Case Study

1800 Mr Excavate and their new CAT® 306 XTC

For Craig Champion, owner and operator of 1800 Mr Excavate, his earliest memories of earthmoving involve sitting on his father’s lap operating machines in the South Australian sand in their back yard. So, it’s safe to say he was born into earthmoving and it has remained in his his veins ever since.

Being a third-generation earthmover, Craig’s skill and technique behind the controls are second nature, and he started 1800 Mr Excavate out of necessity for an earthmover to perform quality work with reliability being a key component. It was September 2017 when Craig kicked things off, and by March 2018 it was all systems go, and 1800 Mr Excavate was in full operation. When asking Craig what his inspiration to start his own business was, he said

“The focus of 1800 Mr Excavate is to offer a customer centred service achieving satisfaction and quality.”

“As a business we can typically perform a wide range of services for our clients from site cuts, trenching, general site cleans, septic tanks and landscaping to also digging pools and in-ground trampolines. So it’s essential to pay great attention to detail, be reliable and utilise multi-purpose equipment, which allows us to focus on achieving our client’s needs.”

“Having Cat equipment sales and service provided by WesTrac, we now have equipment that is versatile in their implementation and uses.” Craig continued “I’ve always been a big Cat fan for their reliability and durability, as well as the excellent support from WesTrac. I have recently purchased a 306 XTC with a tilte rotator and various buckets. The XTC (extra tool carrier) component is uniquely offered by Caterpillar on the 306CR and in this configuration acts as both an angle blade and 4 in 1 bucket. This machine, with its integrated technology, has enormously increased my productivity. I’m actually the first in Australia and possibly the world with this specific set up which is pretty awesome,and after experiencing first hand how much this set up has changed not only the types of work I’m performing but also removing the need to transport my skid steer as well. It’s only a matter of time before a lot more operators out there jump onto a set up like mine.”

When pushing Craig for more information on exactly how the 306 XTC has impacted on his business, he replied “The 306 XTC has many benefits, these include: on most jobs on landscaping and construction sites that require a skid steer and excavator, I can now complete these tasks by using just the 306 XTC where previously I would have required the skid steer as well. Utilising the 4 in 1 on the XTC adaptor, with the Cat tilt rotator TRS6 being integrated electronically into the Cat computer system, I have ease of control from the joysticks right through to the touch screen display. The stick steer mode with these machines is a great advantage, with the 4 in 1 bucket, it becomes a machine that can be used for a variety of tasks. Being a small business, owning machines and attachments that allow me to complete the greatest amounts of tasks is extremely important. The tilt rotator has allowed me to use the 306 XTC to its full potential. 1800 Mr Excavate install pools, trampolines and perform site cuts, and if for any reason we need to disconnect the tilt rotor and return back to its original set up, it can be back up and running in no to me, as a traditional excavator. A lot of operators like myself don’t want multiple screens in the cab, and the fact that all of the XTC attachments, flow rates, camera, and tilt rotator and more run through one great looking screen is a huge bonus.”

The XTC element of the 306 XTC refers to the extra tool carrier or blade element. This can house almost any skid steer attachments, and in Craig’s scenario, the 4 in 1 bucket was a perfect choice. “The XTC component is so versatile in what it does, and you can choose to mount pretty much anything that goes on the front of a skid steer to the 306 XTC. “I’ve used forks to move pallets and pods around the site, and I love the options I have available with this system. In the last week, I’ve been working on a horse arena pad where I needed to cut 1.5 meters out of the bank, and then I used the 4 in 1 to level out the pad. Also, when it comes to moving bulk material this set up is awesome,” Craig said.

Craig himself comes across as a good as gold, hardworking, humble Aussie. He’s focussed on his family and his business and is prepared to invest both his time and money into business strategies and equipment that are going to enhance his business. He’s on the front foot when it comes to improving his customers experience, and he isn’t afraid of marketing his business. If you live up in the Greater Hunter area keep an ear out for his very cool radio jingle that should hit the radio in the not too distant future.

The 306 XTC has opened new opportunities and options for Craig, with the reliable equipment backed by servicing including infield servicing and 24hr workshop availability by WesTrac. Craig Shared his experience, “WesTrac have been great. For me, relationships are all about great communication and WesTrac have listened to all my requests on the build of my 306 XTC and provided excellent feedback. My questions were all answered with enthusiasm, and the experience of purchasing both my 306 XTC and my 259D3 were great. It’s been a positive experience from the very beginning. The WesTrac team have made themselves available to me and I feel great knowing that should I have any issues from time to time, that they will have me back up and running in no time. As for previous issues with my machines, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve only ever had one problem with my 259D3 with the secondary fuel pump and the team from WesTrac had it sorted with the machine back up and running on the same day.”

Joining us on the day with Craig was Adam Bunning from WesTrac, and with six years under his belt with WesTrac, Adam’s still enjoying every day of it. He loves the products he sells. When asking Adam about the benefits of the 306 XTC, he shared “While we now have an excavator with a skid steer coupler and all the added versatility that that brings, we also have the tilt rotator which makes this 306 XTC the ultimate worksite warrior. Gone are the days of owning an excavator and a skid steer, along with a truck and trailer or a big float to carry everything around. Now you can get it all in the one package with this impressive 306 XTC set up. The ultimate benefit of this package is you can bid for all sorts of jobs and be able to take on any challenge on the job site.”

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