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United Plant has invested in the outright purchase and rebuild of a Cat® 966K, which will form part of its asset cover solution, as the company enhances its asset management and engineering services proposition.

The re-population of equipment is a highly desirable and viable option. United Plant has collaborated with Finning, one of its supply chain partners – to purchase, rebuild and enhance the safety performance, of the used machine.

Renowned Cat Machine

After purchasing the Cat 966K from Finning, exclusive distributor of Caterpillar® equipment in the UK and Ireland, the machine spent approximately 10 weeks at the Finning workshop facility in Staffordshire, where it underwent a meticulous rebuild. After a subsequent thorough inspection and evaluation using Caterpillar’s Cat Inspect application, the finished result is a ‘like-new’ machine. As well as having a complete overhaul of major components, the machine was also given a new paint job and new graphics.

Says Dave Cripps, Product Support Manager at Finning, “we have a highly skilled workshop team, who offer a tailored rebuild service for Cat equipment. This machine had endured a hard-working life previously, having worked in quarries. Working together with United Plant, we conducted a thorough inspection and carried out a full diagnostic analysis on the machine to understand the scope of work required, in order to achieve peak operational efficiency once the rebuild was complete.”

Says Keith Holland, Contract Manager at United Plant, “one of the major advantages to collaborating with Finning is the market leading warranty they offer. Our asset now benefits from an enhanced warranty package – giving us peace of mind and better budget control.”

A Sustainable Solution 

The option to rebuild and re-populate equipment is also a compelling, sustainable solution, for the environment. More than ever, companies are looking closely at their environmental strategy, and, by using less energy and fewer resources to rebuild, this can help to reduce the carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

“At United Plant, we will always look to make the best decision for that individual asset, equally, sustainability features heavily in our decision-making process. We have a strong commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and relish collaborating with partners who echo these values.” Says Greg Mulhearn, Managing Director at United Plant.

An Enhanced Safety Specification 

Working alongside Spillard Safety Systems, another strong supply chain partner, United Plant has also invested in an enhanced safety specification for the Cat® 966K. The machine boasts a 360-degree camera system, complete with a touch screen monitor – with multiple cameras installed in various configurations, the operator is provided with different views from multiple areas of the vehicle to increase their visual awareness. This also includes a DVR recorder – recording human detection – which operates through the Spillard Live Platform. The human detection system also provides an ‘in cab’ warning to the operator. The Spillard Live Platform is operational 24/7 with customisation to access and security levels.

To further increase visual awareness, the machine has a one metre by one metre mirror package. Operators not sitting correctly in the cab is widely seen in the industry. To help rectify this, a right-hand seat belt indicator kit, complete with yellow seatbelt and buckle and an audible warning has been installed. A universal park brake reminder warning along with an intelligent white noise reverse alarm also features. Enhanced visibility of the machine is also key for its operating conditions. Therefore, a blue reverse arrow, red zone lights, LED engine bay and key fob activated lighting also features.

Technology That Drives Safety 

Utilising technology to enhance safety and efficiency is vital. The Cat® 966K asset cover machine features a bespoke operator daily check process, which is initiated by a dedicated QR code. The operator of the machine has a bespoke device which allows the operator to easily input hours and to conduct the required daily safety check. Once the check is completed, this is submitted through the device and if all safety checks have been approved, the operator can continue. Should any faults or defects be captured during the check process, these are automatically fed into the customer portal and the United Plant regional controller is notified and the data is analysed. Any safety or critical defect work is actioned immediately. Any faults that have been highlighted as advisory will be clustered into the next scheduled engineer site visit.

Says Keith Holland, “the safety of both the machine and the operator is of the upmost importance. United Plant have a ‘safety first’ philosophy and we are proactively using technology, where available, to enhance safety standards. Our ability to feed data centrally to both our customer portal and our controllers, is invaluable.”

Strengthening Supply Chain Partnerships

The collaboration between Finning and United Plant for this specific rebuild demonstrates the depth of the supply chain partnership. United Plant has a strong commitment to working closely with its supply chain to become more than just transactional partners – using the industry and product expertise – to the benefit of all parties. 

Closer relationships between buyers and suppliers can help create significant value and help supply chains become more resilient. To deliver this, the partnerships need to demonstrate some strategic alignment, open communication, trust and engagement and the creation of value. 

Concludes Greg Mulhearn, “I would like to thank Finning for their ongoing support. The rebuild of our asset cover machine means we now have a fit for purpose, re-populated, safety enhanced machine, which can go back to work for our customer.”

United Plant. United People.



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