Earthmoving News

Innovation and total cost of ownership drive purchase decision for Qube


When Qube purchased the new Cat® 982 XE Wheel Loader, there was no room for unplanned downtime as the machines are required to work consistently while loading ships in port. This made reliability non-negotiable. 

According to Trent Henry, Qube Bulk’s Logistics Manager for Southwest Operations, customers are looking for innovations like greener technologies to reduce exhaust and use less fuel. 

“Continuous safety improvement is also key for both Qube and our customers and these machines are easier for the operator to use so that reduces the overall risk of injuries or accidents,” Henry said. 

“The ongoing challenge for any material handling organisation is to get things done safely, productively and efficiently at the same time, so we always have that mix in mind when we look at equipment.” 

WesTrac Account Manager Jake Lewis said long before the machines were ordered, WesTrac and Qube worked together to complete application studies in the sheds at the port. 

“We had to understand exactly what Qube was trying to achieve and what limitations they’d face when operating inside the sheds and around the hoppers,” Lewis said. 

While Qube was looking for maximum productivity, the smaller machine was best suited to the types of operations being carried out. For that reason, a high-lift option was included, enabling the 982 XEs to perform work that might typically be carried out by a larger Cat 988 model. 

Along with big fuel savings, the wheel loader ensured safer operations, WesTrac Product Manager Lawrie Hayles said. 

“The 982 XE configuration will allow Qube to reduce fuel consumption by 35 per cent over the earlier Cat 982,” he said. “And even greater savings if you compare it to what a traditional Cat 988 would achieve to deliver similar productivity. 

“[Additionally,] one of the most obvious improvements is that everything can be checked on this machine from ground level. You can also complete refuelling from the ground. There’s very safe access and egress to the cab with a lot of handholds, handrails and a wide door opening.” 

Local support in Bunbury was another factor in Qube’s decision to purchase the machine, given the criticality of keeping the machines operational at peak times, while extended service scheduling was also a priority. 

Clients like Qube drive innovation for WesTrac and Caterpillar. 

“We’ve always moved materials in the past but they’re looking for innovative, more efficient ways of conducting the business of materials handling,” Lewis said. 

“We’ve been fortunate to be able to partner with Qube on a number of different projects and being a first mover on these Cat 982 XE Wheel Loaders is one example. We’re also working with them on various other technology projects and doing so provides WesTrac with valuable data that helps us improve and innovate our own business, so it’s very much a win-win situation.” 


First published by WesTrac. 

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