Cooper Civil is making the most of a 3D-enabled Cat® 315 Next Gen Excavator by pairing it with a Cat TRS10 Tiltrotator. EEM learns the productivity benefits of operating in an all-Cat ecosystem.
Since 2015, Cooper Civil has aimed to distinguish itself from other civil contractors in South East Queensland by offering precision earthmoving solutions using the latest technology.
Its fleet of GPS-equipped Cat Next Gen excavators, combined with a wide range of hitches and attachments, are testament to this commitment, and gives the business the flexibility to execute a wide range of services – from road construction and civil infrastructure projects to bulk earthworks and environmental rehabilitation.
This has helped Cooper Civil work with several tier one construction companies on the delivery of several major infrastructure projects across Queensland, including contributions to multiple Bruce Highway Upgrade projects.
“We specialise in final trim GPS excavation on major infrastructure projects all around the Brisbane area,” says Director Rhys Cooper. “And we’ve been doing so for nearly seven years.”
Based on his enthusiasm for all things construction technology, Rhys says he had been excited by the flexibility and versatility of tiltrotators since he first saw them doing the rounds on social media – and quickly added them to his fleet wish list.
“I knew that a tiltrotator combined with a good final trim excavator operator would just take our services to the next level for our clients,” he says.
Not long after, Cooper Civil’s first foray into tiltrotators started with another brand. But according to Rhys, a number of small but annoying compatibility issues prevented his team from fully capitalising on the potential of the technology.
“When we were entertaining the idea of getting another tiltrotator to go with a new 15-tonne Cat Next Gen excavator, the Hastings Deering team mentioned that Caterpillar had their own tiltrotators too,” Rhys says. “And they quickly sold me on the idea that it would be a one-stop shop, which I was excited about – the fact that you can go to Hastings and get all your answers under one roof.”
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Scott Roberts, one of Cooper Civil’s experienced operators, is no stranger to tiltrotators – and he’s a big fan.
“I’ve probably racked up about 1000 hours now on tiltrotators,” he says. “I love everything about them. They make every job a lot quicker.”
Scott has recently been hard at work operating one of Cooper Civil’s new Next Gen excavators – a Cat 315 3D – packaged with the new TRS10 Tiltrotator. He says the seamless integration between attachment and machine has made his job easier than ever.
“It’s incredible – being able to get to those hard-to-reach places or those last little angles that you usually can’t reach, it’s just a matter of rotate and then it’s done,” Scott says. “And less time setting up means more production. The controls are unbelievably smooth too – it’s surprising how many movements you can do at once with this thing.”
Rhys credits this smoothness to the TRS10’s seamless integration with the Cat 315 – which he calls “the Rolls Royce” of 15-tonne excavators.
“The TRS10 paired with the 315 is just insane,” he says. “With the 315’s auxiliary hydraulic flow, you’ve got everything you need to easily make multiple movements at once.”
Rhys says being able to tilt and rotate a bucket simultaneously can streamline a range of projects that would typically involve a great deal of swapping attachments, moving an excavator around, and other fiddly adjustments.
“Especially chasing out corners, working on V drains, stuff like that,” he says. “Sometimes you’ll go through and bulk a job out, then just spin the bucket around smooth it over just like that – job’s done.”
Glen Tati is Hastings Deering’s Global Construction and Infrastructure Sales Representative for the Sunshine Coast. He’s worked with Rhys for several years, and has developed a solid understanding of the Cooper Civil business and how it works.
“When Rhys first came to me chasing a new Cat 315, knowing his business and the applications he works in, we suggested the TRS10 as a possible option,” he says.
Given Rhys’ past experience with tiltrotators, and some of the performance issues he’d experienced, Glen suggested an all-Cat package could be just the right solution for Cooper Civil.
“Rhys has always been a big advocate for the Cat Next Gen platform, and for having the latest and greatest technology in the market,” Glen says. “So the TRS10 was a no-brainer for him. “The fact that it’s fully integrated with the machine, and having it backed by Caterpillar and Hastings Deering as a single unit was something that really interested him. It made it a pretty easy decision for Rhys to make.”
Glen says pairing the TRS10 with a Cat excavator also makes for an extremely frictionless experience for operators.
“It’s a plug-and-play system,” he says.
“Once it’s connected to the machine, it’s fully integrated. It’s all on one screen, fully controlled by the operator in the cab.”
Combined with a range of time-saving smart functions such as Return to Home and Bucket Shake, Glen says the TRS10’s comprehensive feature set can help streamline operations in any application.
“It’s got continuous rotation, 40-degree full motion tilt, as well as the quick coupler functionality, which lets you easily swap between multiple attachments.”
Under one roof
For a business like Cooper Civil that prides itself on keeping up with the latest and greatest in construction technology, Rhys says being able to count on the support of dealers and manufacturers is paramount. And he says that’s exactly what the Hastings Deering team provided as his team found its feet with the TRS10.
“Because it’s the latest technology, we obviously had a few things we had to work through at the beginning while we got familiar with it – but Hastings Deering had us under control,” Rhys says.
“They really are a one-stop shop. It’s only ever one phone call to their tech support guy Ryan, and he’ll go through everything with us to get any problem sorted instantly.”
And for those behind the controls, Scott says operating with the TRS10 has made a job that he already loves even better.
“I really enjoy using the TRS10,” he says. “It’s incredible – it’s made my job a lot easier, and makes me actually love my job a lot more.”
For Rhys, this enthusiasm alone goes a long way to justifying the purchase.
“For me, purchasing the TRS10 and putting it on a Cat 315 Next Gen – if I was looking to work for someone, that’s what I’d want to drive,” he says. “I want to attract the best operators in this industry, like Scott. And if I look after them, I know they’ll look after me.
“I geek out on tech like this, and I don’t even get to drive it. So to hear the enthusiasm these guys have to turn up every day, and be blown away by what they can do with these machines – it actually gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.”