When it comes to heavy equipment, we’ve used every brand there is. The more we tried other brands, the more we realized how much of an advantage Caterpillar has over their competition. Cat is the best equipment manufacturer in the world, and while their prices sometimes reflect that, we’ve found that their products are worth every penny.
We buy all of our equipment new because we want the best years out of that machine. We’re buying that machine for the long term, and not just for the next year or two. When we buy equipment, we want the best 5-7 years of that machine’s life cycle. One thing we’ve learned over the years is that when the time comes to sell our machines, a used Cat excavator will bring a much higher price than a used Volvo or Komatsu. Cat machines simply don’t depreciate nearly as much as most other brands do.
Another issue with other manufacturers is that you have to periodically set your machines aside to let them regenerate and burn off emissions. On the other hand, the Cat Regeneration System takes care of that automatically in the course of our daily operations ― the machine doesn’t even need to power down. That function alone cuts the downtime significantly for every piece of equipment.
For our purposes, the biggest part of Caterpillar’s advantage is actually the fact that our Cat dealer Thompson Machinery provides the best service we could ever ask for. They’re not as big of an operation as some of the national dealers, but in our area, no one else compares. Thompson not only has the best inventory, but they also have the most knowledgeable technicians. In fact, they do such a great job that RAWSO doesn’t even have our own shop.
We only have one mechanic, who usually works on small issues that don’t require a trip to the shop. All of our service work is done by Thompson Machinery. They let us know when our machines are due for regular maintenance, and their tech comes out and does the service on-site. They’re able to keep our machines’ uptime at a high level, to the point where we realized we couldn’t do it better ourselves.
Strictly using Cat machinery also streamlines so many aspects of our operations. We’re not going to five different places to get parts, we’re not going to five different places for service, and we’re not going to five different dealers to buy five different brands of equipment. It’s all Cat, all the time. In addition, we use VisionLink, Cat’s fleet telematics technology. VisionLink not only helps us track maintenance and fault codes, but it also integrates with our timecards. Because of this, we have accurate data down to the tenth of an hour on every machine, every day.
When it comes to equipment, every company wants to say that they use the best machines available. With Cat, we not only get the finest heavy equipment in the world, but we’re also able to take advantage of these many other benefits. We genuinely don’t think RAWSO would be where we are today if we used any other equipment manufacturer.