Local focus for global motor grader milestone

WesTrac and Rio Tinto were front and centre with Caterpillar® to celebrate a recent major milestone, when the 1,000th Cat® 24 Motor Grader to come off the production line was handed over.

The huge, 80-ton (72-tonne) grader was completed at Caterpillar’s factory in Decatur, Illinois, USA last year, and was delivered to Rio Tinto at a Perth ceremony before it makes its journey to the company’s Paraburdoo iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The first Cat 24 Motor Grader was manufactured and assembled at the Decatur factory in 1996, designed specifically to build and maintain haul roads for ultra-class haul trucks. Since then, miners around the world have favoured the model, which features a wide 24-foot (7.3m) blade, allowing operators to make fewer passes than in smaller graders.

Florian Dumalle, Caterpillar’s area manager for large motor graders, said the team behind the Cat 24 Motor Grader were understandably proud when the 1,000th machine was completed and left the factory.

“For the team at the Decatur plant, it was certainly a momentous occasion,” Dumalle said.

“Today was also a fantastic opportunity for us to thank all of those involved in making our success possible. This would not have been achieved without our collaborators WesTrac and of course Rio Tinto,” he added.

“These large machines have evolved over the past two decades to be a top performer with a great reputation in the mining industry. It is great to celebrate this type of success together, and we look forward to seeing the next 1,000 machines.”

WesTrac general manager of mining, Shane Thomas, said the handover marked another significant milestone in WesTrac and Caterpillar’s relationship with Rio Tinto.

“The partnership has evolved over many years as Rio Tinto has continued to develop mines across Western Australia,” Thomas said.

“We’ve celebrated countless milestones, many to do with world-leading technological advances, but it is pleasing to be reminded that the loyalty many operators have for Cat equipment stems from tried-and-true models such as the 24 Motor Grader, which has been made in the Decatur manufacturing facility for more than 25 years now.”

According to Rio Tinto general manager of mining equipment, Ben Woffenden, the Cat 24 Motor Grader was well regarded within Rio Tinto, providing the right combination of power, weight and blade width to manage haul road maintenance at Rio’s remote mine sites.

“The Cat 24 Motor Grader is a safe, reliable and high-performing machine, that plays a core role in building and maintaining haul roads across Rio Tinto’s Pilbara and US operations,” Woffenden said.

“This is the third-generation model we’ve used across our Pilbara mining operations and it is a privilege to take delivery of the 1,000th machine from Caterpillar and WesTrac.”

“The machine will be put to work when it arrives at Paraburdoo. As a 24 x 7 operation, the effective upkeep of haul roads is required to keep our fleet working productively and efficiently, so the 24 Motor Grader has a vital role to play.”

The handover ceremony at WesTrac’s Perth branch was attended by team members from WesTrac, Caterpillar and Rio Tinto.

Download Images

  1. Download - The 1,000th Cat 24 Motor Grader at WesTrac’s Perth Branch
  2. Download - Pictured left to right: Richard Blaxill (WesTrac), Florian Dumalle (Caterpillar), Ben Woffenden (Rio Tinto) and Shane Thomas (WesTrac)
  3. Download - Ceremony attendees from WesTrac, Caterpillar and Rio Tinto

WesTrac Media Contact


Marissa Taddeo
marissa @ hellospoke [dot] com.au
0401 019 885

Emily Evans
emily @ hellospoke [dot] com.au
0401 337 959

About WesTrac

As one of the largest authorised Cat equipment dealers in the world, WesTrac provides customers with a wide range of machinery and construction equipment as well as comprehensive whole-of-life management solutions designed to make owning and operating equipment as easy, profitable and safe as possible.

With more than 4,500 team members, WesTrac is dedicated to creating and delivering outstanding value for our team, customers, shareholders and the community. We are committed to excellence and are focused on long-term customer relationships and a dedication to customer service, safety, quality and the environment.

Community involvement is an important part of the WesTrac philosophy, and we are proud to support local activities, events and charities in the regions we are based.

As part of Seven Group Holdings Ltd, WesTrac also has strong alliances with other leading Australian businesses, including Seven West Media, Coates Hire and SITECH.

This site uses and sets "cookies" on your computer to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.