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Cat tracked loader with laser-guided grading blade

Digger Blogger | 11:00, Wed April 24 2024

Herefordshire concrete flooring specialist Connop & Son has invested in top of the range machinery for high spec projects.

Connop & Son is a family business that began in the 1970s as an agricultural contractor. It soon moved into construction and, specifically, concrete flooring.

It already has several Caterpillar machines – it is a  long-standing customer of Cat-dealer Finning – and its latest arrival is a Cat 299D3 XE CTL compact tracked loader, coupled with a GB124 Smart Grader Blade attachment. As early adopters of machine control, Connop & Son has combined this with a Trimble 3D laser grade system.

Using smart technology like this enhances productivity and reduces waste. Being able to complete the work in fewer passes also decreases wear and tear on the equipment. 

The GB124 blade attachment that Connop & Son has fitted to its loader has hydraulic wings, giving it the capability of a mini grader, and with the Trimble laser system fitted as well means it is easily possible to achieve accuracy up to 5mm.

Iwan Jenkins, Finning’s account manager for Wales, said: “On large scale projects such as industrial builds which cover huge areas the flooring must be absolutely accurate in terms of tolerance otherwise it can cost thousands of pounds due to the cost of concrete.

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 “The great thing about the D3 series is that it also supports a line of new smart attachments which means the machine control recognises the tool and automatically tailors the controls and operator information to match the tool and the task.

 “It also has advanced control features that assist operators with repetitive tasks like grading, digging and loading, and the assist feature can automatically maintain the desired slope without the operator making any adjustments as the machine travels the cut.”

Connop & Son already has two Cat telehandlers, a 320 excavator, a D6T dozer and a D6 Next Generation dozer. The 299D3 XE CTL is a replacement for an existing machine and was chosen by director Chris Connop after a demonstration of the smaller 279D3. 

 He said: “I was looking for something reliable and after the demo of a 279 two years ago I was impressed overall by the machine. After that we got a call from Finning asking for feedback and I explained that I thought the attachment needed some changes and now that’s exactly what they’ve built.

 “I think we may be the first in the country to have this machine and it’s excellent. It’s in use five days a week and our driver absolutely loves it.

 “We use it in projects such as industrial builds with 2D and 3D prepping as it’s fitted out with Trimble GPS and it adjusts everything to suit, and with a warranty up to 6,000 hours we’ve got everything covered.”

MPU
MPU

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