Black Cat digs greener excavator technology

It’s not everyday a local company can lay claim to being the first in Australia to embrace cutting edge machine technology designed to run with green and lean operational benefits, through reduced fuel costs and near zero emissions.

The Sunshine Coast-based Black Cat Civil, with operations across civil, mining and construction industries, is the first company in Australia to introduce a fully Tier 4 emissions compliant machine to its fleet with its new Cat F series excavator.

Black Cat Civil directors Brendan Flynn and Jai Tomlinson believe innovation through technology will not only play a primary role in shifting operational culture but also allow the civil construction industry to improve productivity and reduce both operating costs and its carbon footprint.

With growing operations in the Northern Territory and Queensland, the duo said the move was a real break in the market for Black Cat affording his company a competitive advantage.

“We have been waiting for this type of machine for some years: it is pretty exciting for us so we wanted to take it on-board,” Mr Tomlinson said, “Tier four means not only are emissions reduced but so too is fuel so we not only have immediate savings but with the option of running bio-fuel in the future – we can expect even greater savings.

“The Cat excavator will have a major impact on large road and civil projects where space is at a premium. We will be looking to place it on an upcoming major road project on in South East Queensland.

“While you can’t look into a crystal ball, the way technology is going and the current trend toward reduced emissions, we believe you’ve got to take the bull by the horns and get in front of the shifts rather than stick to the older style.

“Already we are seeing 16% better fuel economy alone than previous excavators so we can pass those savings on to our customers. With projects running in almost every state, some with developers and consortiums and others that are government funded: so the cost savings are to the taxpayer as well.”

Headquartered in Brisbane and with operations in the Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands, Hastings Deering is the first earth-moving equipment dealer to supply a leading low emissions machine into Australia.

Hydraulic Excavators’ Sales Manager Brett Lenz said advanced and emerging technologies had been credited worldwide with not only advancing construction works in more competitive times but also developing a highly motivated workforce with improved jobsite culture.

“Black Cat are a progressive earthmoving company that understands the value of machine technology in making their business more productive and efficient,” Mr Lenz said, “Their clients will also recognise this once the machine goes to work and proves itself.

“The future of this “smart iron” machinery means we are delivering outcomes customers want out of their machines in the most productive and efficient way: which means they make more money: and we remain relevant in a competitive market.

“New technologies allow for higher productivity and reduced operating costs. Hastings Deering is leading the way by adopting technologies that allow us to increase productivity, fuel economy and reduce emissions.

“Globally, emissions changes have been driven by legislation. Like all manufacturers of diesel engines, Caterpillar is required to deliver engines that meet government emissions standards that have been phased-in throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Union.

“Emissions standards have been systematically reducing levels of Particulate Matter (PM) and oxides of Nitrogen (Nox) since 1996 when the first standards went into effect. Tier 4 Final standards now reduce PM and Nox emissions to near-zero levels.

“Hastings Deering has undertaken to introduce Cat Tier 4 Final solutions in our Excavator product line outside of any legislative requirements, to not only lead the way in both clean air emissions and fluid costs, but to provide our customers with the latest integrated technological offerings.”

Caterpillar Sales Manager for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Ranil Tennakoon said Black Cat’s commitment to new technology represented an exciting era of Smart Iron for Caterpillar machines.

“This is the age where the iron in the machine begins to flex its intelligence to enable our customers to be safer, more efficient and more productive than ever before,” Mr Tennakoon said.

“The F Series Excavators delivers technology options including Semi-Autonomous grading that's faster and more accurate, improved fuel consumption by up to 25%, Payload and Link technologies to instantly access machine data remotely.”

For Black Cat, Mr Flynn said new technologies meant more than greater efficiencies in productivity, but it will also bring about social changes as leaner and greener companies will shift operational cultures to help develop the future with the latest technology.

“Cabs with clean air, state of the art ergonomics and standards that make jobs easier all contribute to better productivity and happy workers,” he said, “It’s also peace of mind: we know what we are getting and understand the “R and D’ that goes into Cat technology and appreciate the amount of effort they put into staying ahead of the market.”