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CAT: Paving for stability

The Caterpillar RM400 Road Reclaimer was critical for Stabilcorp’s works in New South Wales. Image: Stabilcorp

Stabilcorp, working with Caterpillar, has been helping flood-impacted communities to recover through repaired local transport infrastructure.

In February 2022, an inundation of rain smashed New South Wales, resulting in one of Australia’s most catastrophic flooding events. Community members tragically lost their lives, homes and properties were destroyed and roads were among the swathe of infrastructure across the eastern seaboard that was washed away. 

Almost two years later, road rehabilitation company Stabilcorp is helping the community by revamping local transport infrastructure damaged or unusable by the devastating floods. The local community is warmly receiving their help. They are going out of their way to make contractors feel welcome and thank them for contributing to reconnecting towns and neighbours. 

“Some of the communities we’ve been working in still have marginal access or no access to heavy vehicles,” Stabilcorp General Superintendent Brendan Pinson explains. “The community definitely appreciates what we’re doing out there.” 

Stabilising with Stabilcorp

Most of Stabilcorp’s recent work has involved overlaying, stabilising, and sometimes wholly replacing roads impacted by the 2022 floods. 

“The biggest project at the moment is Grafton,” Pinson says. “At the moment, we are up the top of Clarence Way. The roads out there have been impassable to the point where the Council has been up there just ripping up the road and regrading it.”  

With at least another eight months of works at Clarence Way alone, Stabilcorp has armed itself with a WesTrac-supplied Cat® RM400 Road Reclaimer designed to rehabilitate roads and provide soil stabilisation efficiently and effectively.

For Pinson, the Cat RM400 not only suits the job, but is also comfortable and easy to operate. 

“A new operator would pick it up very quickly; everything’s laid out very well, and the operator’s very comfortable sitting inside the cab,” he says. “We’ll definitely go with the Cat brand for any of our reclaimers that we update in the future.”

Many features for users

WesTrac Product Specialist – Paving and Forestry Products Michael Kelly says the Cat RM400’s main attraction is the vast range of features, including operator comfort, easy-to-use multifunction controls, a suspension seat, and machine size. 

“Because of the size of the machine, it’s very easily transportable, like a little pocket rocket,” Kelly says.

According to Kelly, demand for Cat Road Reclaimers has continued to rise in New South Wales as more flood repair work is commissioned. 


 

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“In some areas where roads were washed off the surface, they had to build the road base back up and then build a road over the top. As such, we’ve seen a massive uptake in the requirements of these machines to undertake these jobs,” he says.

For Stabilcorp, investing in a Cat RM400 Road Reclaimer through WesTrac was about more than just the machine. 

“One of the main reasons why we went with Cat gear was that we knew we would get good service out of WesTrac,” Pinson says. “No matter where you are in the State, there’s usually, within half an hour, a WesTrac service vehicle available.” 

WesTrac’s service proved invaluable when Stabilcorp had a mechanical issue with its newly acquired machine. 

“Their communication was key there,” Pinson says. “They were honest the whole way through, which was refreshing.”

WesTrac Product Support Sales Representative Jim Hewitt was on the front foot with this support. He ensured Stabilcorp’s machine was back up and running with minimal downtime. 

“They’re quite complex pieces of equipment. When new gear like that is in the field, fresh off the production line, commissioning with WesTrac support is critical to ensure the customer will reach full productivity fast,” he says. 

“Getting through that process as quickly as possible is our highest priority. We do that by utilising our local field service technicians, WesTrac’s team of experts back at the branch, and with the help of Caterpillar’s specialists.” 

With 14 branches across New South Wales, WesTrac has businesses like Stabilcorp covered in servicing Cat Road Reclaimers. 

“We understand that whenever there’s any mechanical concern in the field, we must be on it as soon as possible. We also need to keep the customer informed on the progress. If they need anything from us.” 

Managing maintenance

WesTrac’s primary service goal is to reduce downtime. It is why WesTrac collaborates with Stabilcorp to provide flexible maintenance and repair options. 

“We’ll be flexible and work around their productive timeframe,” Hewitt says. “These machines pay mortgages, send kids to school, and if they have a down event, it has a massive impact on a small business.” 

For Pinson, bringing the Cat Road Reclaimer into Stabilcorp’s fleet is only the beginning. 

“We want to increase our fleet to have more Cat equipment. We’re just about to hit the button on buying a new grader,” he says. “There is no one in Australia that can match WesTrac’s service.” 

This article was originally published in the April edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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