M for More
- Published on 30 November 2016
New generation Cat M Series loaders have hit New Zealand shores, and ever since viewing the range in the United States in 2014, Murray Francis was determined to have the first of this next generation of wheel loaders to arrive in this country for his Road Metals operation.
We are super excited to get our new Cat 962M loaders from the team at Gough Cat. It’s the philosophy of our company to be innovators within the quarry and aggregates industry and we believe the Cat M Series sets a new standard for wheel loader performance,” Road Metals managing director Murray Francis says.
For over six decades Road Metals has been engaged in the supply and delivery of crushed and screened aggregates. Murray says quarrying is the nucleus of its operation and over this time that experience that has shaped the company into one of the premier producers of aggregates in New Zealand. Road Metals has become synonymous with quality, performance and integrity while operating a variety of Cat wheel loaders from the earliest model ranges to their more recent 962H, 966H and 980H acquisitions.
Murray says he wanted a Cat M Series loader ever since viewing a unit on display at the Caterpillar stand exhibit while attending ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas in 2014. He takes on the story, “We have a long association with Cat wheel loaders and of course Gough’s as the dealer here in New Zealand. When I saw the Cat M Series I thought to myself ‘M for Murray’, we’ll have one of those! So I set a goal that when the Cat M Series range became available from Gough’s we were going to get the first one sold in New Zealand. At the time the H Series was still available here, but realizing the M Series was the latest release, we weren’t interested in the H, or the K Series which followed.”
John Russel, Gough Cat's general construction industries manager says Gough’s is extremely pleased that the team at Road Metals had the confidence in both Gough Cat and the Caterpillar product to make the decision to purchase the first of the new Cat M Series wheel loaders delivered into the New Zealand market. “It’s a privilege for Gough’s to be able to supply the first of three 962M wheel loaders to a customer, such as Road Metals, that have had a relationship with the Cat brand and our dealership spanning decades.”
Through the careful process of specifying the machines to ensure they were suited to the application, Road Metals was quick to embrace new options and technology advancements offered with the Cat M Series. “The new machines will all be fitted with the optional dedicated joystick implement controls to minimise operator fatigue, while they have the luxury of the remote door opening system to enhance operator safety while climbing aboard the machine,” adds John.
“It’s also very exciting the decision was made to run with the new Cat Production Measurement 2.0 Payload System that is fully integrated into the wheel loaders and provides simple on-the-go weighing for the operator, and productivity data directly to VisionLink for the owners.”
Murray Francis says that Road Metals first impressions of it’s 962M wheel loaders has been very positive. “The team and I got into the first 962M as soon as it arrived to check it out. It’s got good power and digs exceptionally well, while the visibility from the operator cab is outstanding. It’s a very quiet wheel loader to operate, certainly more so than our H Series loaders.”
The 962M features a seat mounted EH joystick steering system, which provides precision control and dramatically decreases operator fatigue. Murray notes that adapting to having no steering wheel was easy and this was backed up by a number of Road Metals operators who quickly made the adjustment. “We brought a group of ten operators into Christchurch who’ve operated both Cat and a competitor model. They jumped on the 962M and the feedback from all of them is that they’re suitably impressed.”
“Its early days but our initial impressions of the 962M are excellent. With the technology provided by Cat and Gough’s in the M-Series we’ll determine the fuel efficiency and productivity, but we expect this will at least match our expectations.”
In the new M Series wheel loaders, Cat has made significant advancements in fuel efficiency and can be up to 25% more fuel efficient than the earlier H Series machines. John Russel says, “We now consider Cat to be the industry leader in fuel efficiency, which may come as a surprise to many machine operators! Cat M Series wheel loaders are not just highly productive but are also extremely fuel efficient, which contributes to the low total cost of ownership.”
“Combined with the best in class operator environment, the team at Gough’s believe we can offer the best new wheel loader and total product support package in the industry”