Greg Walters – Owner/Operator, Greg’s Grader Hire, South Australia

Greg Walters – Owner/Operator, Greg’s Grader Hire, South Australia

Greg Walters and Greg’s Grader Hire in South Australia, have had a relationship with Caterpillar for 25 years.

“Before I bought the M Series, I had a Cat® 12G for 20 years and I reckon I got about 45,000 hours out of the old girl. It really did me well. It was the kind of machine I could rely on with great back-up service and quality equipment I knew was going to last. Anyway, about three years ago, I was getting a repair done and I spotted the M Series and thought that’s what I really need, so I decided to transition up.

“Even after those 45,000 hours, I got a great trade-in price on the G Series. It’s fantastic to think that after so many hours and making so much money for my company, I still got a great return at the end of its life cycle. Cat machines have such a great reputation for reliability and longevity - to me they’re a good investment and a real asset.

“The joysticks were an interesting concept so I bought it, drove it down to a job and just started trimming with it. I practiced for a weekend to get the feel of them. From there, it took me about a week of just going nice and slow, concentrating and getting used to the joystick principle.

“The added bonus was as I was using the joysticks, I had such a wide vision and that I wasn’t dodging in around cabin pillars trying to judge my levels. And with the joysticks the physical effort is very low, so all my concentration is going in to the job and not into what part of my body is aching from 10-12 hours on the job. It’s a really comfortable operator station. My arms are in a rest position and not elevated, and all of the controls are right there in my hands making it so simple. At the end of the day it’s just a joy to operate.

“So I’ve probably got another 20 years I’m foreseeing working for, so I’m hoping this one will see me through as well as the previous one.

“It really is great using the joysticks! And it’s surprising how quickly I picked up the concept of joysticks over the traditional rail.

“One of the other bonuses with all Cat graders is the flexibility when you’re doing things like batters or anything of a vertical nature, plus sports stadiums, apron and runway extensions in airports, subdivision work and bulk work. It’s a very flexible machine.

“I feel like the overall productivity is greatly improved because I’m more comfortable. I can communicate with people onsite because it’s quieter due to the hydraulic pump being moved behind the engine and I can also use the phone via Bluetooth. Safety is enhanced with the reversing camera. It actually makes me feel like working.

“When you’re an hourly hire subcontractor like me, you really depend on the turnover of your machine. It has to be reliable. So Caterpillar really was the only choice that I considered. In fact I never even considered other machines because I’ve had such good field support, sales assistance, and at the end of the day, no matter how old or new the machine is, parts can be transferred to me within 24 hours. The costing of the parts is reasonable as well and competitive, and filters and basic renewables are at my fingertips.

“Even when I was out of warranty and had some questions, they came out and had a look for no charge which is really good. Their warranty has been great. They’ve always been prompt and professional.

“I’ve had the M Series now for three years and have done over 7,000 hours. If I was to be taken out of one of these, I would pack it up!

“Ever since I was a teenager I’ve noticed there’s an ‘aura’ around Cat graders and that Caterpillar were leaders and innovators. 2011 is the 80th anniversary of Cat motor graders and Caterpillar are still leading the way, so much so that I wouldn’t even consider any other. There is no other choice in my opinion.”

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