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.
Andy mentioned several reasons why companies should be considering remote technology. Those are mainly safety, efficiency, and employee retention.
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.
“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 utilized, why don’t we switch between those machines with a single operator and fully utilize 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.
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 labor 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.”
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.”
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:
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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