Equipment Changes, But Cat® Support Remains the Same for “Contractor of the Year” Finalist

Times have changed since Brad Phillips first sat in a Cat® machine decades ago. “It was probably a little D4,” recalls the vice president of Phillips Companies’ Excavation Division and a finalist for Equipment World Magazine’s 2014 Contractor of the Year. “You had to pull the levers, push the pedals—that thing wore you out.”

Today’s machines, according to Phillips, offer so much more to help his Beavercreek, Ohio-based operation work productively. So too do manufacturers like Caterpillar that provide and support his equipment.

“You don’t realize all Caterpillar has to offer until you become a customer and start taking advantage of those resources,” he says. “It takes some effort on your part—you have to ask questions, do some reading, go to demos—but it’s worth it. Caterpillar has the long view on where the industry is going.”

Technology, Ergonomics Boost Productivity

Some of the biggest changes Phillips has seen during his tenure at Phillips Companies, which was started by his grandfather in 1942 as a sand and gravel company, involve technology. He and his crew are “big believers” in GPS grade control, for example, which can be found on the operation’s D5 and D6 dozers used for mass excavation.

“It speeds up everything so much,” Phillips says. “We just finished a 110-acre subdivision without putting a single stake on the ground for our dirt work. The operator can just get in the cab, get the blade on the line and go. It’s so much more productive.”

Operator comfort is another area where Phillips has seen big improvements. He believes the ergonomic features found inside the cabs of his Cat backhoe loaders, dozers, excavators and scrapers today make for happier, more productive employees—and that’s important in an area where good heavy equipment operators can be hard to find.

“In that old D4, you had to practically contort yourself to push the clutch,” he says. “Now the seat adjusts 12 different ways. Our operators can perform the work and be comfortable at the same time.”

“Full-Service” Support Is Second to None

One thing that’s remained constant over the years, though, is the high level of support Phillips gets from Caterpillar and his Cat dealer, Ohio Cat.

“Caterpillar has consistently been the one that steps up for us,” he says. “We always feel that when we need something we’re going to get it. We’re not going to be left in the lurch. If we have a big excavator go down, for example, they’ll have another machine for us so we can keep going.”

Phillips Companies has its own service garage and handles the majority of its maintenance work, but turns to Ohio Cat for major repairs or when its own shop is overwhelmed. The company also relies on the Cat dealer to make sure equipment stays up to date on inspections and maintenance.

Phillips also appreciates Caterpillar’s “full-service” solutions. His operation rents machines from Ohio Cat and the Cat Rental Store to supplement its core fleet of equipment and often takes advantage of financing packages through Cat Financial.

“They get it,” he says of Cat Financial. “It’s a less painful process with them.”

Read more about Phillips, his operation and why he was selected as a Contractor of the Year finalist in the Equipment World feature linked below.

Equipment Changes, But Cat Support Remains the Same for “Contractor of the Year” Finalist
An Equipment World 2014 Contractor of the Year finalist, Brad Phillips relies on Cat® equipment—and support from dealer Ohio Cat—to keep his excavating operation working productively.

Lifelong Love of Construction Gives Brad Phillips a Distinct Advantage

Lifelong Love of Construction Gives Brad Phillips a Distinct Advantage

Contractor the Year Finalist Brad Phillips likes “figuring things out and seeing the results” as part of the third generation to run Phillips Companies, an aggregate production, ready-mix and excavating operation.


Cat® Grade Control

Cat® Grade Control

This factory-integrated precision grading system can help both new and experienced machine operators deliver dramatic improvements in grading efficiency over a wide range of applications.

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