The Cat® brand has always stood for quality and innovation, and the Next Gen machines are no exception. Going further than ever before, they raise every bar, offering improved performance, reliability, durability, comfort, and versatility.
So, with Caterpillar about to launch two new Next Gen machines, the 950 and the 962, it’s an ideal time to ask a customer to review the Cat 982, the first of the Next Gen machines launched back in 2021. All medium wheel loaders share the same ease of use features as the 982. From the 980/982, the 966/972, and now, the 950/962.
T. Falks Entreprenad is a family-owned company based in Sweden. Established in 2008 by Torbjorn Falk, it is now managed by his son Richard Falk. Working as sub-contractors in quarrying, they specialize in truck loading, crushing and hammering. They have 13 employees working on various sites across Sweden.
“When I bid for a contract with NCC Ballast, I’m paid on the output of finished material from the crushers. It means I need a machine that feeds the crushers continuously, so they run at maximum capacity, performs stockpiling, loads trucks and cleans up at the same time. It needs to do it at the lowest cost per ton, consuming minimum fuel and be cost effective to maintain. And, is ready to work every day throughout the year. We start at 6 am and work continuously until 8 pm four days a week,” Richard says.
It’s why Richard is so enthusiastic about Cat machines.
T. Falks Entreprenad
Tim Pantzar is a T. Falks Entreprenad employee who now mainly operates the Next Gen 982 MWL. “When I first got the 982 back in autumn 2021, I was working at the harbor in Gothenburg. The job there was very varied. I loaded trucks, did some backfilling and stockpiling. And all of this was on a very busy site, where trucks were coming and going, maintenance work was being carried out, and containers were being loaded and offloaded. I remember at the time, one of the things that really struck me was how good the visibility in the cab was. It also has multi-view cameras and a rear object detection system, both of which helped a lot.
Since then, Tim has made it his machine of choice, feeling right at home in the cab. “I love the new seat and appreciate the additional legroom compared to the 980M. In fact, I think it’s the most comfortable cab I’ve ever sat in. Especially when you consider the joystick steering, which is so much easier on the hands and elbows.”
But it’s not all about comfort. Tim also appreciates its strength and speed. “The 982 is very powerful. When we do stockpiling, it almost sprints up the ramp. Such is the power. And it fills the bucket with ease. So, it’s always efficient to get a full bucket load when we load trucks or feed the crusher.”
Tim is equally impressed with the amount of technology packed into the machine. Especially the technology that protects his sanctuary just the way he likes it. “Most of the time, I’m the only person operating the 982, but if this is not the case, with the Operator ID my preferences are saved and reset as soon as I get in the cab. Likewise, the application profiles. I have it set up just the way I like them. But if someone else uses the machine and changes the settings, getting my profiles back is so simple.”
Another feature that Tim appreciates is eOMM (electronic Operation and Maintenance Manual) and onboard job aids. “Being able to access information about a specific command easily and with simple graphics is super convenient.”
When it comes to improving his performance and productivity, Tim picks out three of his favorite features. The Auto Set Tires improves traction and helps reduce tire wear (Auto Set Tires introduces a small lift command which embeds the front tires and reduces tire slippage). Autodig was also very helpful, particularly when new operators are jumping from one machine to another. And Cat Payload, which ensures the operator doesn’t overload a truck. “In fact, the Cat Payload system is so precise that we use it to calibrate the weight measuring system of the crushers. As we’re paid by the output of the crushers, we need to ensure that they are accurate,” Tim noted.
The last word goes to Richard. “When we got the Next Gen 982, we were told maintenance cost would be up to 20% lower. Plus, we could expect to see productivity increase by as much as 10%. Having worked the machine hard since we bought it, I can confirm those figures are true. It really is that impressive.”
The 982 Next Gen owned by T. Falks Entreprenad was delivered to them in August 2021, making it one of the first Next Gen MWL delivered in Europe. Today it has 2,700 hours of flawless service.
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