The system, produced in Finland by Sleipner, effectively provides wheels for tracked excavators, enabling them to be towed up to five times faster than driving on tracks. Wear and maintenance needs are also reduced by roughly 80%, it is claimed.
The exclusive distribution agreement covers the whole of the UK and Ireland and stems from the first introduction of the product, commonly known as 'skates', by Finning in late 2011. It was announced at the Hillhead quarrying equipment exhibition taking place in Derbyshire this week.
Finning core industries business manager Greg Mulhearn said: "This is a significant deal for Finning, as we move further towards delivering complete equipment solutions to our customers. Bringing Sleipner into the Finning family is a natural choice, as we can answer the specific needs of quarry and mining customers when it comes to improving productivity and reducing maintenance costs.
"With significant changes in health and safety for quarry and mining operators when it comes to dressing the face with mobile plant, more businesses will be moving away from wheeled loaders to the use of tracked excavators. This therefore delivers the compelling argument for marrying excavators with the Sleipner system, under a complete service and support agreement."
With Finning set to stock a range of Sleipner products capable of transporting the Caterpillar range of excavators from 30 to 550 tonnes, customers will be able to purchase the Sleipner system as part of an equipment deal package. Finning will also offer Sleipner products to existing and non Caterpillar customers.
Sleipner sales VP Jaakko Lipsanen said: "The UK market for Sleipner is very significant, particularly with the move to the use of more tracked excavators in quarry and mining applications. Because Finning is so strong in these sectors and can offer significant service benefits across the UK, we see the combination of our product and its ‘on the ground’ support as very compelling to the end user."