Cat upgrade for Sicon
A number of new Caterpillar excavators are turning heads for Canterbury-based contractors Sicon.
The six Cat excavators recently delivered to Sicon by Goughs are two 12 tonne 311DRRs, two 305CCRs, and 304CCR and 303CCR units. The smaller excavators range from 3.8 tonnes to 5.8 tonnes. These join a new Cat 12M motor grader that was acquired last year.
Sicon chief executive Brett Beagley says that the new Cat units are already creating a positive response with both the company’s staff and customers throughout the region.
Established in 1994, Sicon has grown from its central Canterbury origins based at Darfield, and now has offices in Rangiora, Timaru and Tasman. Employing over 300 staff, it is a leading supplier of quality asset management, maintenance and construction services throughout the South Island. Beagley says that when it came time to upgrade excavators in their machine fleet, a number of different equipment suppliers were contacted.
“Goughs represented themselves very professionally and presented a proposal that addressed our requirements. When we factored machine specifications, price and other services like maintenance contracts into account, the Cat package compared very favorablely with other suppliers.”
Key factors for Sicon were the productivity and reliability of the Caterpillar product over time, and the structured R&M package that could be provided.
“That tipped the scales in favour of Goughs,” says Beagley.
The Cat 311D RR (reduced radius) has an operating weight of 12,500kg and is a direct replacement for the 311CU. It
incorporates many design improvements; notably increased operator comfort, higher breakout force and increased lifting capacity and lower operating and owning costs. The 311DRR is powered by a Cat C4.2 engine with Acert technology to optimise performance and meet emission standards.
A new feature of the 311DRR and the other Cat excavator units is a reduced tail swing that is often a key element for the applications Sicon uses them in.
“With many of our projects requiring working in confined spaces or on road sides, reduced tail swing makes the Cat units performance so much more effective,” says Sicon branch manager Jon Wood.
Wood says that early feedback on the excavators has been excellent.
“Each machine is very well balanced. The operators love their performance and comfort, while they’ve received comments in the field on how impressive the new Cat units look,” he says.
Beagley says Sicon is very pleased with the recent Caterpillar acquisitions.
“This investment along with the 12M grader has proved to be a very positive addition to the company’s fleet of construction plant. Along with these plant purchases Sicon has received operator inductions; use of Gough’s GPS product link web based fleet management tool and an ongoing commitment through service agreements on all machine items.
“We believe Sicon has received an excellent overall package from Goughs. The addition of the six Cat excavators will enhance Sicon’s ability to productively complete work for our customers throughout the South Island as well as to tender for future project work.”
Contractor Vol.33 No.5 June 2009
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