Greg Mumford is the Sales, Service and Marketing Manager for the ANZP division of Caterpillar Global Construction and Infrastructure. He briefs Quarry on how Caterpillar has fared over the course of the global pandemic, and how the company is promoting new technologies to reduce carbon emissions, further customers’ success, and overcome the industry’s impending challenges.
How has Caterpillar performed in the pandemic?
The pandemic has presented us with many challenges. It was essential we keep our people safe, given the virus has affected so many people globally. There have been flow-on effects of the virus such as logistics issues and the supply of raw materials to build our machines and provide service has been challenging. However, Caterpillar’s financial performance has been very strong. Quarter on quarter, we’re seeing big growth on 2020. So we’ve weathered the pandemic quite well.
Has the pandemic dramatically changed the way Caterpillar now does business with the Australian and/or global extractive industries?
It hasn’t dramatically changed what we do, there are some subtle changes. We have done more online marketing of our products and services. We’re doing a lot more training online, due to COVID restrictions in particular areas. That’s really the extent of it. What we’re doing now is a lot more online communication with our dealers and with customers than we did previously.
Lockdowns didn’t really impact us. Cat dealers have extensive distribution around Australia, working locally with quarrying companies. The end users were largely unaffected in terms of the support the Cat dealers were able to supply.
What are some of the most popular Cat earthmoving machines in the Australian extractive industries at present?
The most popular quarry machines for us are our off-highway trucks, and our loading tools are medium and large wheel loaders primarily. So they are the main products we sell to quarrying companies.
Does Caterpillar have any new products planned for the quarrying industry in 2022?
We’re launching our 980 and 982 next gen wheel loaders. They will be at the IQA national conference in Newcastle in March 2022, incorporating several technologies to improve productivity for quarry customers. There will also be a session that will inform the audience about the machines and our other projects.
The company offers programs and services – Cat Productivity, Cat Command, Cat Payload, Cat Equipment Management, and Cat Detect – that go beyond just the installation of key plant and equipment. Why should quarries utilise these services and products?
With our product and service development, we’re always working to identify our quarry customers’ needs, and making the product and service better for them. Ensuring their success is really our mission.
We meet with a quarry customer, we work out how they can be more successful, and then we create products and services that will achieve that goal. So we’re heavily focused on creating new technologies that enable a customer to become more productive, to reduce their costs, to work in a safer manner, based directly on quarry customer feedback.
What kind of innovations are your products adopting to save time, cost, energy and achieve zero waste?
Sustainability is a really important part of the future of the quarrying industry and Caterpillar’s product development. We have made several announcements recently that are aligned to our sustainability message, eg Cat Command which provides autonomous solutions to customers, the development of electric drive dozers and large wheel loaders, which reduces fuel consumption significantly, the development of engines that burn alternative fuels such as hydrogen, landfill gas, and biogas. All of these initiatives illustrate our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.
Where is Caterpillar positioned in the development of electric or alternate fuel engines, as well as autonomous vehicles and automation?
Some of the electric drive products could be introduced to the quarrying market but the autonomous products are still on the larger trucks in the mining market. However, in the future, we will develop products that will be targeted at our specific customers.
At this point Caterpillar is very focused on reducing carbon through reducing fuel consumption by making all of our existing products more efficient and using more technology.
What do you anticipate will be major challenges for the Australian and/or global extractive industries in the next three years?
I think the number one challenge will be hiring and developing skilled people to work in the industry. With the forecast growth in infrastructure projects and civil projects in Australia, the demand for quarry products will be significant. The quarrying industry’s ability to meet that demand efficiently and profitably will be another challenge. Third, being able to respond to the sustainability demands imposed by various stakeholders.
How can Caterpillar assist the extractive industries with meeting these future challenges?
Caterpillar can help by providing new cutting edge technology in our products that will help reduce costs and increase productivity. We can provide first class product support to ensure our products are reliable, and partner on training opportunities where gaps exist relating to our product performance.
For more information about Caterpillar GCI’s products and services, visit cat.com/en_AU.html
This article appears in January’s ‘Industry Leaders’ edition of Quarry Magazine.