Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to buy a laser grader...It's $20k. Set up demo for today. We started work at 5am and prepped the area so it would be ready for the laser which was schedualed for 10am. 4pm rolls around, CAT guy calls says he's at the job site with the laser grader where am I? We drive over.......they did not bring a dual slope laser, they did not bring a tri-pod with a mast and said just put it on the back of my pick-up - that should be good enough. Wrong again turbo! I told the inattentive youth to go back to the shop, get the proper equipment so I can demo this little item properly.......and don'tcha think I would want to have it set up so there are no blind spots so make sure to bring back the correct mast. I have been working on this demo set up for two weeks, have been very specific and detailed in what I want, need, have and am going. The guy treated me like I was an inconvenience. I must say, the Cat machine with laser box sitting on site does make a fine piece of yard art. The actual service I have received from CAT to date is marginal with a distinct tone of arrogance and piss poor performance.......I know I am not a big operator.....I am only $250-$500k range of ownership of equipment, so I am small potatoes but if you say you are gonna do it......do it and do it on time or don't do it at all. They ( CAT ) cost me a day of work, screwed the pooch for tomorrow's jobs and Sat's job's and that's where I sit right now.......there is still day light, so they may show back up with the proper components.......anyone care to take a hard money wager on them showing up tonight with the rest of the components.......come on CAT boys show that loyalty and take the other side of this bet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,400 Posts
My turn.

Cat technology guy calls after I inquire on Trimbles website about laser graders and the differences and similiarities of the Apache components. We correspond over email and then met for lunch and he gives me a quote. I agree and they start the install end of May begining of June. They are still working on the system. Having some tech. difficulties. Tommorrow they are coming out with lead tech. to troubleshoot before calling Apache. Come to find out they are not really familiar with this system and need some training. Don't recall that part over the burger I had, maybe I need to close my mouth when I chew and drink less beer.

I will say there is zero arrogance and I seem to get along good with the sales tech guy and the guys who have been out to work on my stuff. I think he would really like a check for what they have done, but he acknowledges that it aint working right and there is a .5 inch difference in the system and they cant seem to understand why. I will not pay a dime until it is perfect. I have one chance to hit this market and the machine will be perfect. I also think they have already adjusted the bill to try and reduce their lose in time on this deal. I will address that later.

What bothers me is that it is practically Sept. and I still am not operational. I never harrassed them over the Summer to get out here, they came out as they could except for 1 week in July I was out of the area.

They are good guys and not like what you have run into Rock but the obviously delivering as promised and in a timely manner seems to be a problem. For the record Rocks dealer and mine are not the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
you need to be cat like when dancing around the hard questions. Like:

1) why is your price 20% higher than the competition for this machine or item?
2) why do you act like you are bothered I have called to do business with you?
3) why do some of your machines that cost more, do less?

Cats are quick on their feet, always land all four down, and have 9 lives. Cats are aloof and act as if they could care less about you and your life or business just as long as you feed them. They do not come when called.

Now you know why CAT is named after cats.:rolleyes::laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,506 Posts
My turn.

Cat technology guy calls after I inquire on Trimbles website about laser graders and the differences and similiarities of the Apache components. We correspond over email and then met for lunch and he gives me a quote. I agree and they start the install end of May begining of June. They are still working on the system. Having some tech. difficulties. Tommorrow they are coming out with lead tech. to troubleshoot before calling Apache. Come to find out they are not really familiar with this system and need some training. Don't recall that part over the burger I had, maybe I need to close my mouth when I chew and drink less beer.

I will say there is zero arrogance and I seem to get along good with the sales tech guy and the guys who have been out to work on my stuff. I think he would really like a check for what they have done, but he acknowledges that it aint working right and there is a .5 inch difference in the system and they cant seem to understand why. I will not pay a dime until it is perfect. I have one chance to hit this market and the machine will be perfect. I also think they have already adjusted the bill to try and reduce their lose in time on this deal. I will address that later.

What bothers me is that it is practically Sept. and I still am not operational. I never harrassed them over the Summer to get out here, they came out as they could except for 1 week in July I was out of the area.

They are good guys and not like what you have run into Rock but the obviously delivering as promised and in a timely manner seems to be a problem. For the record Rocks dealer and mine are not the same.
Ouch, that's like having Christmas delayed every day. I do rent stuff from Cat and they have always been great, I just don't like having that color equipment on the job site (we do put a sheet over it and park it behind the house).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,147 Posts
I dunno what's with Cat in some places. I guess my company doesn't get along with Cat all too well, we run practically everything Komatsu. Funny thing is, we have a brand new 938H on another site that I've been working on the last couple days. Can't quite figure that one out, Komatsu builds a decent loader, not sure why management sprung for a Cat. Haven't had a chance to run it yet, but the operator says it's nice.

Bummer Cat has to be stupid and blow off customers regardless of their size of operation. Eventually it's going to catch up with Cat, how long it's going to take is hard to say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
We recently visited my wife's cousin in Indiana. Her husband had a D6 with laser control and I gave it try. It has an automatic mode but it assumes the machine can push whatever the blade is pushing. So I went to just operated and watched the level. I've never spent the time to master the dozer and the laser didn't help that much. I think I could have done a better job with my 4n1 on the ASV. I would guess that an good dozer operator would be using to confirm what he knows.

jmf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,147 Posts
Was it a dual plane laser on that D6? I like the laser systems, but all they do is speed the process of grade checking by allowing the operator to not have to get off the dozer, that's about it. GPS, on the other hand, is an incredible tool to have on a dozer. While I haven't tried fully automatic grading, the standard setup of just following the display in the cab is good enough for me. Shows you where existing grade is, where you are at that moment in time, and where things need to be. GPS is awesome, but incredibly pricey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update: Just got back from setting up the laser on the rental CAT. The guy who is an expert did not know how to calculate percentages.......after we fingered that out, it was time to run the machine. Opppsss! Both quick disconnect pins on the tracked skid are broken and will not hold an implement on the front of the skid. Phone calls of frustration from my poor CAT rep.......and although it is still sunny out here, I think he was more red out of embarassement.......Suppose to deliever a machine to me bright and early tomorrow.......at about 10am, so I can get to work. Hell man, we start at 6am.....it is not go to church day, what's the deal? Can't someone answer the phone now and bring me a machine tonight.......nope........So, do I look like a hero or a zero to my client who is paying big bucks for this high performance on time service?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Scag.......almost got it right with laser vs. gps. Both have their place. The market I am after is perfect for laser, and prohibitive for gps....Highways, big govt. jobs where you have the manpower to program the software and develop and support gps is where that is good........but that is not me......Give me inside building slabs, baseball fields, parks, upper end home yards of an acre or more, parking lots, sports courts, etc.......there is the partial list of the niche this is made for....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,147 Posts
I'd tell them to get their act together or you'll find someone else. Buying equipment is much like buying insurance, cars, etc.. Always good to have another option in case one just doesn't work out, don't keep all your eggs in one basket kind of deal. I'd tell them to get it figured out or pound sand. That stuff just irritates the hell out of me. If it makes you feel any better, my crew needed a 580 today and we didn't get one, we got crapped on a little. Apparently the underground crew was more important than us. Haha

You're right about GPS, doesn't make sense unless you're a big dirt contractor. It takes a small army of dudes in job shacks to keep the models running and at least one guy running around with a rover and making sure everything is working like it's supposed to. Laser works just fine for large, single or double plane grading. The jobs we're on though, grade changes so much, that's the biggest advantage of GPS. We know where we are, all the time, anywhere on the site. On the job I'm on now though, we don't have any machines with GPS on them, just a dude running around with the rover. But if you're running a D8 or excavator with GPS, man, that really takes some guesswork out of things especially if you're on a huge job where grade changes so much. Like I said, that's the real advantages of GPS, you know where grade is all the time. No re-setting up the laser or reciever on the rod, nothing, simply walk the GPS reciever over, shoot, and go. Great tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,400 Posts
I dunno what's with Cat in some places. I guess my company doesn't get along with Cat all too well, we run practically everything Komatsu. Funny thing is, we have a brand new 938H on another site that I've been working on the last couple days. Can't quite figure that one out, Komatsu builds a decent loader, not sure why management sprung for a Cat. Haven't had a chance to run it yet, but the operator says it's nice.

Bummer Cat has to be stupid and blow off customers regardless of their size of operation. Eventually it's going to catch up with Cat, how long it's going to take is hard to say.
They probably bought the CAT to keep the Komatsu guy honest. Just a reminder that just because we are mostly Komatsu don't think we wont go anywhere else.

I see that here all the time.

I large underground company has mostly all CASE machines minus 1 Hitachi 200, they have a 210 CASE and a 330 CASE . They have two three CASE loaders and 1 Volva. All their backhoes are now CASE.

My excavator buddy has all CAT minus 1 465 and 1 Hitachi 200, he has 2-430s, a 160H, 950 loader, and a 315C excavator. The Hitachi was due to a pissin match he was having with CAT. The skid steer is just him, he never liked CATs skid steer, has always bought CASE. I think it works. Althought I have never had a reason to try it. I get taken care of pretty well.

I asked them why the change up. Answer don't want to have all one color, keeps everyone honest was the answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And just for the record: My CAT rep thinks I am a little abrasive and quite demanding. I told him, how would you like to be me and live with me because he is absolutely right and I have a hard time living with my self alot of the time too!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,147 Posts
They probably bought the CAT to keep the Komatsu guy honest. Just a reminder that just because we are mostly Komatsu don't think we wont go anywhere else.

That's kinda what I was thinking. Or Cat is trying to get into our company, one of the two was the way I figured. We have a lot of equipment, at least 80 pieces I'd bet. I know that even right now when times are slow, the fueler said he fueled up 65 pieces one day last week when I asked him. So, we're definately a contender for Cat's business here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,605 Posts
this is goin to be way off topic and is goin to be a huge thread hi jack but i have always wondered this. scag how do you get to the job? do you drive straight to the job or do you go to a shop and ride in a company truck to the job? just wondering how little stuff like that works in a huge company like that..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
Just an aside (or hijack if you like that better), GPS machine control is probably not suited for most owner/operators here. You better be a large firm with a dedicated person(s) for the GPS control and models required to get the most out of the GPS infrastructure.

We are talking large earthwork jobs where they measure productivity in 1000's of cubic yards/hour.

The models, computers, equipment and personnel required to produce/service around this equipment is significant.
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top