Near Wyong, in a beautifully illuminated part of the Central Coast, with the sun breaking through the clouds, Tom Campbell’s turf farm project has never looked better. Watching Tom’s 259D3 jet black compact track loader fitted with the brand new Cat® SMART grader blade, looking very swank as it set to work, along with the other Cat machines also matching in black , I couldn’t help but be thoroughly impressed with this Cat SMART system. Things have certainly come a long way in the last decade.
For those not familiar with Tom, he is the owner of Final Trim Excavations (FTX). He purchased his first grader back in 2003, and it’s safe to say when it comes to graders, grading and final trim work, Tom’s a true specialist. These days, FTX has also moved into the excavation sector, supplying plant for Tier 1 and mining projects. Like most good operators in the industry, all aspects of Final Trim Excavations, including the team of 12 employee’s and 13 (soon to be 15) machines, are flat out and booked solid for months.
OPENING UP NEW REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES
After identifying an opportunity in the market for a smaller machine/blade which could work in tighter spaces, Tom purchased the 259D3 and Cat SMART Grader Blade after seeing it on display at Con Expo in Las Vegas in 2020. Tom was instantly drawn to the flexible and compact nature of the 259D3. Once he saw it fitted with the SMART Grader Blade he knew, this set-up was going to fill a gap in his business which he had been aware of for some time. Tom shared, “All of my other graders are larger machines, fitted with 14ft blades which are perfect for the types of work and projects we typically take on. But when it came to road shoulders, driveways, shopping centres and other smaller jobs, we didn’t have the right machinery to take on these smaller footprint works. So, when seeing this awesome configuration from Cat, I knew I had found the perfect solution to what I had been searching for.”
Tom continued, “The Cat 259D3 with SMART Grader Blade is now booked solid with everything from sports fields and road repairs to maintenance. I’ve been a Cat man from very early in my career. We only use Cat machines, and I put that down to their innovative products, which are built extremely well. These machines not only boost our production and efficiencies but like the 259D3 with SMART Grader Blade, they also open up opportunites for new revenue with existing client base.”
AMAZING SUPPORT AND SERVICE FROM WESTRAC
Communication, great relationships, excellent support, and customer service are the backbone of Toms’ relationship with WesTrac. His WesTrac Equipment sales representative, Buddhi Edirisuriya and the Cat Finance team have been integral in FTX’s growth over the years. Tom shared, “My WesTrac rep Buddhi has provided amazing support and guidance with our purchases, service and maintenance along with general support over the last six years. It’s been great to know that both Buddhi and WesTrac have had my back during this time. It’s for this reason why I’m such a dedicated Cat supporter.”
AMAZING GROWTH OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS
EEM had the opportunity to chat with Buddhi from Westrac about his experience of working with Tom and FTX over the past six years, and he said, “One of the things I love about my role with WesTrac is working with clients like Tom and helping them achieve their goals and success with our products, services and technologies. The first machine I sold Tom was a 12M grader, and since then, he has progressed onto diggers, skid steers, along with more graders and even a dozer. It’s been amazing to see Tom grow over the last six years.”
Buddhi continued, “With all of Tom’s latest machines, he has chosen to with WesTrac Equipment sales representative, Buddhi Edirisuriya As Tom’s business and plant is growing, with another three new machines on the way, he’s finding he has less time to focus on servicing schedules, maintenance, and repairs. With WesTrac’s Fit Fleet Essentials Package, WesTrac remotely monitors the machines for Tom. This is a great backup program, as WesTrac notifies Tom if any issues arise before they have a chance to turn into a bigger problem. In addition to notifying Tom of any servicing that needs to be undertaken in the upcoming month/weeks.”
UNMATCHED PERFORMANCE ON SMALL PROJECTS
There is no doubt that the 259D3 with SMART Grader Blade has been an extremely worthwhile addition to FTX’s existing plant, with the 259D3 being booked out three months in advance. The primary operator driving it with the SMART Grader Blade is Bryson Law, a multi-skilled operator who has been with FTX for two years. He has been operating a variety of machines for a total of six years. After chatting with Bryson about his time in the 259D3 with SMART Grader Blade, it was clear he has been enjoying the experience. Bryson said, “I love the fact that we (FTX) are pretty much a Cat based business. That’s all we use, and I’ve been spending most of my time in the new Cat 259D3 Compact Track Loader with the new GB124 SMART Grader Blade. This 259D3 is an all-around great machine compared to the other brands I have I worked with in the past. The creature comforts are excellent, from the air-ride, heated seat to the air conditioning and Bluetooth™ system. But it’s when these comforts are equally matched with the 259D3 MART Grader Blade performance and intelligent systems like GPS and UTS that this set-up comes alive. The Grader Blade and Machine are seamless in the way they work and integrate together as a system. From an operator’s perspective, this pairing is perfect for anything from a pathway, driveway, or major car park, to other uses like building pads and similar.”
Bryson continued, “The time savings you will experience going from form boards, string lines, and tape measures to advanced tech like GPS and UTS are enormous. This becomes even more significant as it now only takes one person in a machine rather than multiple workers, to get the same job completed.”
The icing on the cake for Tom and his FTX operators is the user-friendly design of the entire SMART System. It’s intuitive and easy for operators to pick up, further advancing efficiencies, production, and profits for hardworking business operators like Tom.
The impact with the addition of the 259D3 to FTX is enormous, and that’s before we have even talked about swapping the SMART Grader Blade with another attachment. The apparent benefits of removing the Grader blade and putting on either a four in one bucket, pickup Broom, brushcutter, or other attachment like an auger only adds to the value of this impressive and versatile machine.