Considering new technology? Don’t buy it. Try it.

Technology is driving big changes in the construction equipment industry. If that makes you a little bit anxious, you are not alone. In fact, according to a 2015 survey of 1500 US adults conducted by researchers from Chapman University, fear of technology actually outranks fear of dying.1 “People fear things they depend on, but can’t control,” explains one of the study’s authors. “That’s technology.”

If you’re suffering from tech-xiety, rental can be a good way to take control. Cat® dealers typically stock their rental fleets with newer models, many of which are equipped with the latest features. Put a rental machine or two to work on your site and get instant access to innovation without a big investment.  

 

What will you try?

Your Cat dealer’s rental machines are loaded with technologies that improve safety, productivity and fuel efficiency. Which systems are you curious about? 

Automated grading systems are available in a variety of 2D and 3D configurations. Some simply provide visual guidance for the operator—showing where to cut and fill—and others actually control bucket or blade movement. Despite their differences, all are designed to help any operator—from the newbie to the veteran—get to grade faster and more accurately with fewer passes and less fuel and materials. The Cat Connect Technology offering includes a suite of grading systems for dozers, scrapers, excavators and motor graders. If you’re renting one of these machines, consider a model that’s equipped with a Cat GRADE system. Your Cat dealer can help you determine which system best meets your needs. 

Telematics systems are also catching on in the construction world. They track working time, idle time, fuel usage, machine location and other critical factors, providing valuable data for operations and equipment managers. The telematics piece of the Cat Connect Technology offering is called Cat LINK. It includes Cat Product Link™ which captures the data and VisionLink® which lets you view the data on any web-enabled device and use it to make decisions. If your rental machine includes a VisionLink subscription, your dealer can help you use the reports to improve utilization, conserve fuel, control costs and optimize asset life. 

 

Wait – there’s more

Although most of the technology buzz you’re hearing these days revolves around things like automated grading and telematics, you’ll find many other innovative features in a Cat dealer’s rental yard. So look for some of these technologies when you rent a newer Cat machine.  

ECO mode comes standard on many new models, but it’s one of those features operators don’t always use. That’s unfortunate. All you have to do is touch one button and the system will automatically adjust engine speed up or down based on the work being done. Give it a try. You may save 20% or more on fuel.

Auto idle is another fuel saver. This one starts doing its job as soon as the engine is turned on (no extra buttons to push). It waits in the background while the operator works, then automatically cuts engine speed if it senses no activity from the controls for several seconds. As soon as the controls are engaged again, engine speed returns to the level the operator had specified. Saving fuel doesn’t get much easier.

Performance Series Buckets may not seem like “technology”—until you rent a loader that’s equipped with one. We put some of our best engineers on this product development team and ended up with an exclusive design that offers faster loading, higher fill factors (10% or more) and better material retention, all of which translate into higher productivity at a lower unit cost. 

Auto-dig, doze and carry functions; payload measurement systems; intelligent compaction tools; seat belt and tire monitoring technologies … there’s a lot of innovation in today’s Cat line-up. Ask your dealer if it’s available to rent. 

 

Take control

If you’re curious about new technology, but it makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry about buying. Just focus on trying. Choose a rental unit, test the technology on your own site and gauge the impact on safety, productivity, efficiency and costs. You may decide to buy eventually. Or maybe you’ll continue to rent. All that matters is that you take control. Don’t let fears about technology keep you from bringing home the benefits.

 

  

1 http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/10/americans-are-more-afraid-of-robots-than-death/410929/