On The Level: When to Consider Cat® Command for Your Business
On The Level: When to Consider Cat® Command for Your Business

When to Consider Cat® Command for Your Business

When, where, and why should you consider remote technologies like Cat® Command for your business? We're walking through all the reasons you need to start planning now for the future of heavy equipment operation. 

Technology is ever evolving and constantly changing, from cell phones to apps and even in heavy equipment. You may not be thinking about integrating remote or autonomous equipment into your fleet in the immediate future, but there’s a good chance that you are developing or bidding on contracts for new sites for batch plants, feed pads, bulk handling, industrial, or waste transfer stations. And if you want to remain competitive in tomorrow’s market, you need to approach your new sites with new and future technologies in mind. 

 

On The Level: When to Consider Cat® Command for Your Business
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On The Level: When to Consider Cat® Command for Your Business

But when, where, and why should you consider remote technologies for your business? This month I caught up with Andy Massey, one of our product experts familiar with Cat® Command, and we’ve got some points for you to consider.

Why Remote Technology? 

Andy mentioned several reasons why companies should be considering remote technology. Those are mainly safety, efficiency, and employee retention.

Safety

Preventable safety incidents are happening every day. We need solutions NOW. At Caterpillar, we believe that everyone should go home safely from work every day and that every accident is preventable. With technology like Cat Command available, there’s no reason we should be putting operators into dangerous or hazardous work environments, whether it’s exposure to harmful air quality or environmental hazards that could cost someone’s life with the slightest mistake. You’ll also see reduced fatigue for your operators because using technology like this gets rid of the noise, vibration, and movement from being in the cab for long hours.

Efficiency

'Cat Command brings a full range of attributes in machine efficiency and uptime for construction and bulk handling applications that simply cannot be ignored,' says Andy. 'When we think about sites where machines are not fully utilised, why don’t we switch between those machines with a single operator and fully utilised those people, those machines, and the time?' We also know that profits vastly increase with the adoption of new technologies – take a look at how 2D and 3D Grade have transformed dozing, for example.  

Employee Retention

Let’s clear the air here – there will always be a need for highly skilled operators in certain machines for certain applications. Remote technologies aren’t replacing jobs, if anything they’re creating more. 'Cat Command promotes a high skill of operation,' explains Andy, 'You actually need a higher skill level and higher concentration to operate equipment remotely.' This will pave the way for higher paying jobs in the construction industry in the future, as well as the opportunity to hire more ground crew and offer greater opportunities for advancement within your organization. Technology offers a high appeal to younger generations, which is exactly what we need to combat the current labour shortage in skilled trades. 'This is the #1 issue we see with customers globally right now – attracting and retaining good operators,' says Andy. 'Cat Command brings a different viewpoint to what makes a good operator and opens up this line of work to a new generation who may have never considered it, as well as a career path for disabled and highly skill operators alike.'

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When Should I Start Planning?

Short answer: now.

There is no doubt that complete machine autonomy is coming, we just don’t know when yet. It’s important not to dismiss this. 'If your competitors are early adopters, then you’ll be at a huge disadvantage if you don’t start planning now,' says Andy.

Remote technology needs to be considered within your infrastructure plans. If you are working on planning new sites today that will be permanent sites, plan them with controlled areas for remote and autonomous operation and plan to have infrastructure in place to charge electric machines and/or trucks. Andy says, 'You’re not going to build a batch plant for just 5 years of operation, so be sure to build it with the infrastructure in place now so that you’re ahead of the game when all the technology fully rolls out.'

How to Determine if Your Fleet Should Include Remote Technology

Do we have you convinced yet? Hopefully the answer is yes, and if it is, here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if your fleet is ready to start incorporating remote technologies now:

  • Is your work environment harsh or dangerous?
    The ability to remove operators from potential harm is a huge benefit to remote technologies. Cat Command solutions also reduce fatigue, which means your operators’ health and wellness will also benefit.
  • What does your machine utilisation look like?
    If you have a machine idle time of 40% or more, you should consider remote technologies. You can increase utilisation of highly skilled operators and bring idle time down to as low as 5% using Cat Command.
  • Do you struggle to attract operators?
    Technology is a key component to attracting new generations of workers. Cat Command is also important in our ability as an industry to hire and promote disabled operators within the skilled trades.
  • Do you operate in remote, hard to reach locations?
    Maybe you struggle to find operators who would relocate for specific job sites, or you work in commodities where you don’t need to run equipment continuously throughout the day. 'Cat Command gives you the ability to hire operators on demand,' explains Andy, 'so you can have an operator connect into a machine at a specific location and run that machine only for the times needed, from an office anywhere in the world.'
  • Do you currently have a safe, controlled area on site to operate remote technologies?
    If you have the space for it already, what are you waiting for?

 

Bottom line – remote technology is no gimmick, it’s here to stay. Technologies like Cat Command are going to make huge differences in the industry, both from a safety perspective and from a cost and productivity perspective. Keeping on top of the latest research and studies enables you to see how you can implement new technologies into your business and continue to grow as a result.

Contact your local Cat dealer for a consult on integrating Cat Command into your fleet.

 

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