I recently had the opportunity to attend Caterpillar’s year-end press briefing, and one of the biggest takeaways is that the company is offering more options that is leading to greater productivity and fuel efficiency, all in an effort to help contractors solve worksite challenges. There are three big takeaways that I think every construction professional needs to consider if they are running any type of equipment on the jobsite.

Cab is more comfortable. Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways—a common thread across every piece of equipment announced at the event—is that the cab is more comfortable. It is clear that Caterpillar has listened to its customers and created a cab that is designed with the worker in mind. This includes everything from noise reduction to creating a space for a lunchbox—a big benefit for many of the construction professionals at the event.

For instance, the Cat D6 dozer, completely redesigned from the ground up, has heated and cooled leather seat options, more storage spaces, distributed cab heating and cooling, and less air directed toward windows, which helps reduce fogging and frosting—and that is just one example.

Those who jumped into the seat of the machine were quite impressed with how comfortable the equipment is designed today.

This ties into the second trend I would like to touch on—that new equipment can help attract a younger workforce. Many of the contractors at the event indicated that the combination of cab comfort and technology can be a key tool to help entice the younger generation to consider a career in machine operation. As one example, Luke Laney, VP of operations, C. Laney and Sons, explains that the machine is one of the best ways to attract the younger generation.

Ray Simpson, president, Savage Excavation, echoes the sentiment, explaining that, “the kids loved the computer in the cab,” adding that the equipment is very comfortable and versatile.

Still, one of the biggest trends at the event is the fact that the technology is leading to more productivity. Many of the pieces of equipment announced are also significantly more productive due to the technology.

Sticking with the dozer D6, as an example, the equipment is up to 50% more productive with the Cat Connect technology. David Zavoral, client and workforce manager, R.J. Zavoral & Sons, explains that he is able to see the project on screen and know what it will look like when he creates it.

From improving productivity, to enhancing comfort, technology on equipment is transforming, and could potentially be a way to attract a younger generation of workers to the construction industry.

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor