By Jason Hurdis, Global Market Professional, Construction Materials, Caterpillar Inc.
To raise productivity, many contractors concentrate on getting more done in less time. But simply working “faster” can lead to inaccuracies, rework and worse — accidents on the job. Instead, the focus needs to be on working “smarter.” Here are four machine technologies that can help boost your productivity AND your safety performance.
Combining automated machine control with advanced guidance, grade technology helps operators hit targets faster and in fewer passes, resulting in up to 50% better grading productivity. It’s also a big safety enhancer, drastically reducing the number of people required to lay out and re-stake a job. And by improving accuracy, grade control reduces the amount of material delivered to (or removed from) the site, which means fewer machines and people to work around.
Here’s another safety bonus: The latest grade control technologies, like Cat Grade with 3D, are integrated into the machine. No one needs to climb up on the equipment and risk a fall to remove the masts at the end of a shift.
On many quarry and aggregate worksites, “recycling” is a big time- and money-waster. Trucks load up, head to the scale, then have to recycle back to the loading site because they’re not carrying enough material. With payload weighing on the go, the loading operator can put the right amount of material into the hauling unit the first time, every time. Technologies like Cat Payload speed up cycle times and boost productivity. And by eliminating under-loads and overloads, they make the work safer — with fewer trucks jamming up haul roads and no risk of trucks exceeding their braking capacities on the roadway.
Using measurement systems like Compaction Meter Value (CMV) and Machine Drive Power (MDP), intelligent compaction systems give operators instant, in-the-cab feedback on compaction and coverage, so they know exactly when they hit the target and can move on to the next job. Greater accuracy means fewer passes, so compactors spend less time rolling back and forth onsite, where there’s always the danger of machine-to-human contact. Technologies like Cat Compact also give you proof of when and where you hit specs, reducing (or eliminating) the need for people checking readings onsite.
Keeping a machine like an excavator out of harm’s way while working can take your operators’ focus off the job at hand, affecting productivity and efficiency. Integrated safety technology like Cat 2D E-Fence helps eliminate that problem. E-Ceiling, E-Floor, E-Wall and E-Swing prevent the boom, bucket and stick from contacting anything overhead, underground, out front or to the sides of the machine — like power lines, fiberoptic cables, buildings or live traffic. And E-Cab Avoidance keeps the work tool or attachment from coming in contact with the cab, protecting the operator.
It might be one of the job site’s best-kept secrets, but productivity and safety actually go hand in hand — and putting just one of these technologies to work should have you seeing improvements in both areas. It’s a win-win you can’t afford to ignore. Check out this free webinar for more details.