Innovation and total cost of ownership drive purchase decision for Qube - Part 1

Part 1 of 2: Qube was the first in APAC to purchase the new Cat® 982 XE Wheel Loader; but it was a decision based on longstanding experience with Cat equipment, solid relationships with WesTrac and previous benefits realised from other models in the XE range.

Integrated import and export logistics services provider Qube was the first operator in the Asia Pacific region to purchase the new Cat® 982 XE Wheel Loader, but it was a decision based on longstanding experience with Cat equipment, solid relationships with WesTrac and previous benefits realised from other models in the XE Wheel Loader range.

There’s a general philosophy in business that the first movers do the hard work and the fast followers reap the rewards.

But for Qube Bulk, a division of Qube’s larger integrated import and export logistics services provider, being the first operator in the Asia Pacific region to put the Cat 982 XE Wheel Loader to work was a carefully evaluated and well researched decision. The group looked at similar previous experience and liaised closely with WesTrac and Caterpillar® to ensure the new models met the brief.

The two new machines, which are used for material handling and ship loading at Bunbury’s Inner Harbour in Western Australia, are the latest in a proven line of Cat XE Wheel Loader models that provide a range of benefits including significant reduction in fuel burn.

Research is a key part of QUBE'S decision-making process

According to Qube Bulk’s National Asset Manager Anthony Donegan, a lot of work goes into identifying, researching and acquiring new technology.

“It’s not a short process when we look at new technology at Qube,” Anthony said.

“We do our research, we look across the market to understand what's happening, and we weigh up the drivers behind any new equipment purchases.

“One of those drivers is our own goal to continually improve the way we work. Another is meeting our customers’ expectations. Then we look in depth at what’s available.”

Anthony says it is not the first time Qube has been the first mover when it comes to Cat equipment or XE Wheel Loaders. Back in 2019, having been the first operator to put the Cat 972M XE to work in the Australian market, Qube reported on the significant reduction in fuel burn and other benefits the machines provided.

That performance improvement was the catalyst for the group to then make a move on the larger Cat 988K XE Wheel Loaders, with four of the machines joining the Qube fleet between 2019 and 2021. Again, Qube was among the first operators to adopt the new model in the Australian market.

The obvious benefits came to light once more and for that reason, Anthony says there was a high degree of confidence when it came to the latest decision to purchase two Cat 982 XE Wheel Loaders (view gallery below).

previous machines deliver on promised benefits

“What gave us confidence was the fact that the previous machines that we've delivered into our operations actually matched the specification and claimed benefits in the marketing material,” Anthony explained.

“We had the data to compare on the previous machines and could see they were delivering what Caterpillar and WesTrac claimed they could.”

It comes as no surprise to WesTrac Product Manager Lawrie Hayles, who says the XE Wheel Loader range is the premium offering from Caterpillar and draws on extensive research and development work to deliver numerous benefits to operators.

“The XE range of Medium Wheel Loaders come with a constant variable transmission, which means you don't have any of the parasitic losses like you would have with a traditional powershift transmission,” Lawrie said.

“They are very efficient and enable the engine to operate at a lot lower revs, meaning a big reduction in fuel burn. They also generate a whole lot less noise, less carbon emissions, and provide a far smoother ride for the operator which means less fatigue.”

The sustainability credentials – along with ongoing improvements to safety, efficiency and productivity, as well as the resulting reduction in maintenance requirements – were key aspects of the justification for Qube’s purchase of the two new Cat 982 XE Wheel Loaders.

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