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High performing Ground Engaging Tools (GET) can make a significant contribution to the success of many earthmoving and civil contracting organisations.
For New South Wales-based civil contracting all-rounder Daracon Group, Cat Advansys Tips & Adapters are proving to be part of the success story on multiple fronts.
According to Daracon Maintenance Operations Manager Mick Hingerty, there are obvious safety advantages due to the ease of fitment and hammerless fitting system offered with Cat Advansys products.
But he says there are also considerable advantages when it comes to productivity, efficiency, and the benefits of having a standardised but interchangeable system across the group’s fleet.
“We have machines that can be working in rock one minute and sand the next, so the range offered by Cat Advansys and the ease and speed of changing them allows us to optimise the work we do on site,” Mick says.
“There might have been a bit of a barrier to changing some brands of GET between jobs in the past, so a lot of operators may have tended to put up with what they had fitted. But the Cat Advansys Tips and Adapters are so quick and easy that you don't think twice about the need to change them to optimise performance in a given job.”
According to WesTrac Business Development Manager Reza Ahmadi, a proficient operator can change Cat Advansys tips in less than a minute.
“Tip replacement can be up to 74 per cent faster than previous Cat GET systems,” Reza says.
“It doesn’t require any special tools and is hammerless without any loose parts, which improves safety on job sites.”
The system works with a simple retainer lock that requires a half turn to lock or unlock.
The simplicity of the system and lack of loose parts is something Mick says is particularly appealing for excavators used in Daracon’s crushing business.
“The single biggest feature we look for is retention, because if a tip goes through a crusher, it can do up to $100,000 worth of damage to the machine, not to mention the loss of productivity while the problem is being sorted out,” he says.
“So what's particularly appealing about Cat Advansys is the retention system. By design, there’s no load on the retaining system as the load is carried by the adapter itself. So the chances of anything coming loose are a lot lower.
“That on its own is one of the big reasons we went for Cat Advansys.”
Mick also points to being able to standardise tips and adapters across all equipment as a major benefit. The Cat Advansys system can be swapped out for existing Cat J and K series tips, as well as non-Cat GET systems.
Supply risks are minimised with a single source of supply, according to Mick, including easy pickup or delivery, while the training overheads are minimal because maintainers can gain familiarity with one, simple fixing system.
But it has to be a gradual transition.
“We have several hundred buckets across our fleet so it’s not a simple process to change them all at once,” Mick explains.
“To start the journey, we've done numerous overhauls on existing buckets for both Cat and non-Cat machines, and we’re ordering Cat Advansys as an option on new machines. That way we’ll be able to standardise across the fleet over time.”
Reza explains that Cat Advansys Tips are designed with a balance between strength, wear life and penetration in mind. They are classified according to a scale, which ranges from high abrasion resistance at one end to high penetration at the other.
“Tips for working with abrasive materials are designed for maximum wear life,” Reza says.
“On the other hand, impact tips have a shorter overall length and smaller contact surface to address the strength requirements for penetration.”
Mick says that while Daracon has not necessarily monitored performance closely, there is evidence of 20 to 25 per cent improved wear life in some situations.
Feedback from customers who convert to Cat Advansys tips and adapters is highly positive, with ease of maintenance being the most common theme.
“As well as the simple maintenance, people talk about how efficient and effective the Cat Advansys solution is,” Reza says.
“What makes them really happy is that they can put a machine back to work quickly, as well as the reliability and safety aspects.”
For Mick, regardless of other benefits, it is the reduced risks of injury that provide the real value.
“We have machines working all over the State and we don't always have our own maintenance personnel onsite, so we rely on other people to perform those tasks,” he says.
“There’s not only reduced risk for Daracon but for our suppliers and subcontractors as well. Then if we’re really in a pinch, an operator can change the GET and that could be a real advantage.”
To find out more about Cat Advansys Tips & Adapters and our bonus offer click below or speak to your WesTrac representative.