Founded by Dale Elphinstone in 1975 and located in Burnie, Tasmania, Australia, Elphinstone is a leading manufacturer of quality products for the global rail maintenance, underground and surface mining industries including: extended distance, off-highway haulage trucks; technologically advanced road-rail excavators and rail maintenance equipment; and underground support vehicles.
Elphinstone manufactures the well-known and widely respected Haulmax, Railmax and SVS brands that are marketed worldwide.
“We’ve enjoyed a 40-year association with Caterpillar and Caterpillar OEM Solutions”, says Kelly Elphinstone, Managing Director. “Our partnership with Caterpillar has always been a mutually successful one. We believe the Cat® product is the best in the market. The durability, the customer support and the Cat dealer network are unrivaled globally.”
Recently, the Company purchased back the IP to its previous Elphinstone brand and re-launched as “The Next Generation”, reflecting their re-entry into the underground mining market with Elphinstone’s next generation of underground support vehicles, and a deliberate transition from the original generation of management to the next.
One of the first products to be released under the Elphinstone brand from the Company is the WR820 Agitator Truck — a new ground-up design for customers who need high-volume and efficient concrete transport underground. Elphinstone’s new WR820 Agitator is a purpose built 10.5 cu. yd. (8 m3) platform, specific for underground applications.
“We work extremely closely with Caterpillar OEM Solutions,” says Kelly. “They’re very supportive from both an engineering and sales perspective. They’re helpful in opening the door for Caterpillar OEMs to access the worldwide Cat dealer network, removing barriers to market entry and providing any assistance we need.”
“Caterpillar OEM Solutions is an excellent partner,” says Mal Watkinson, Product Development and Marketing Manager for Underground Support Vehicles. “We work intimately with them on the product designs—we share technical information, machine models, drawings, and technical support which makes the development of the products much easier.”
“Parts and service support is key in running underground mining equipment and that’s the main reason we prefer to use Cat components. The components are common with other products that dealers or customers already have stocked on the shelf and are therefore ready when customers need replacements,” says Watkinson.
The integrity of Cat components is fundamental to Elphinstone’s success. Caterpillar offers access to durable products and an unrivalled global dealer support network. No matter where a customer is in the world, they have a great support infrastructure for Elphinstone products.
“We’re in contact with OEM Solutions and our account manager on a weekly basis,” says Kelly. “As soon as they or we identify an opportunity, we’re able to talk openly with them about it. They also enable connections to the Caterpillar product groups for us and that’s of incredible value.”
“The Cat dealers and Caterpillar bring experience and brand / product reputation to the relationship. The global dealer network reaches customers in countries around the world. When a customer needs product support they can rely on a one-stop-shop solution when using Cat components,” says Kelly.
Founder Dale Elphinstone says, “The customers see us as a value supplier. We build products to a quality standard that provides value to our customers.”
“CATERPILLAR OEM SOLUTIONS IS AN EXCELLENT PARTNER. WE WORK INTIMATELY WITH THEM ON THE PRODUCT DESIGNS—WE SHARE TECHNICAL INFORMATION, MACHINE MODELS, DRAWINGS, AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT WHICH MAKES THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRODUCTS MUCH EASIER.”
“Elphinstone also stands for enduring product support. No matter what, we stand by our customers. We work through the Cat dealers to do that, but we also have our own factory trained technicians who travel worldwide to support the customer and dealer. If we have a problem with a product, we’ll fly someone there to make sure that customer gets their problem resolved quickly.”
“We’re very proud of the relationship we’ve been able to establish with Caterpillar over the last 40 years and particularly Caterpillar OEM Solutions, who have provided invaluable support to us over that time. They’re an effective liaison between ourselves, the dealers and the product groups, assisting to promote our products so we’re able to complement the existing Cat product line. At the end of the day, it’s about getting more yellow iron in the field around the world and we couldn’t be happier,” says Kelly.
Maintaining fleet efficiency and peak production requires oversized support trucks that refuel and maintain equipment, move machines efficiently around the site and minimize haul road dust. Wilpinjong Mine in Australia relies on a fleet of Cat powered Haulmax support trucks to keep their operations running around the clock.
Railroads are essential to the Australian mining economy – maintaining the tracks ensures they meet shipping and production schedules. The leading rail maintenance operation in Australia uses Cat based equipment to cut their maintenance times down from days to mere minutes.
Manufacturers understand and rely on the benefits of innovative Caterpillar technology and the quality built into every Cat machine system and major component, as well as the support services available. The result: purpose-built solutions from water wagons serving a quarry or construction site to a foundation drill helping build new infrastructure.