When Busselton City Council found its Cat 826G Landfill Compactor showing signs of wear and tear, the council weighed up all the options. Following a cost analysis, the decision was made to rebuild instead of buying new.
Used for the council’s waste management requirements, the machine is an essential part of the fleet and one that cannot afford to be out of action for long.
Fleet Management Coordinator Linda Kusal was receiving an increasing number of reports from operators of unplanned downtime and given their many years of combined experience, she knew it was unlikely to be due to operator error.
Linda decided it was time to review options and turned to WesTrac to assist.
Cost analysis identifies substantial savings
“The machine was still intrinsically suitable for our operators and the tasks they perform, so combined with the cost savings, we decided a rebuild was looking like a more favourable option than buying brand new.”
A cost analysis was undertaken by the City of Busselton and determined that considerable upfront savings were possible compared to purchasing a new machine.
In addition, as operators were accustomed to the 826G controls and existing functionality, the upgrade meant little or no additional training – and therefore no additional cost – was required when they got back in the driver’s seat.
Additional cost savings that were not considered in the initial analysis will be realised over time due to improved efficiencies in running costs.
As well as offering cost savings, the rebuild option provided the Local Government Organisation with an opportunity to include a broad range of updates and upgrades based on feedback from the operators. Linda said:
“One of the most beneficial aspects of our rebuild was the opportunity to include recommendations from our operators.”
“We were essentially able to tweak the rebuild requirements to customise the machine to better suit our operating conditions.”
“A significant improvement was fixing interior faults and shortcomings, meaning we were able to eliminate the common occurrence of pests getting in which, unfortunately for our operators, were not able to get out again.”
Access to local WesTrac branch an added bonus
Busselton City Council is no stranger when it comes to Cat equipment. The existing fleet of yellow machinery includes graders, backhoes, road rollers and wheel loaders, which have consistently been the vehicles of choice. Linda said:
“As a Local Government Organisation, we have always been impressed with the ability for our maintenance, repairs, services – and now the rebuild – to be carried out in the South West by WesTrac, supporting the skills and workforce in our local area.”
The rebuild included a full operating system update as well as the addition of Cat Product Link – hardware that wirelessly connects the compactor to WesTrac’s network.
Product Link provides Busselton City Council with the ability to see visualise their compactor’s location, health and performance via My.Cat.Com and Cat S·O·S Web, an online tool that displays fluid sampling results, analysis and recommendations. Linda said:
“The upgrade to My.Cat.Com and Cat S.O.S features means we are able to service the machine now and into the future with ease, and will have far less downtime waiting for repairs.”
“We have always received very good support from WesTrac’s Customer Support Manager and developed a great working relationship over the years.”
With WesTrac’s Bunbury branch located only half an hour from Busselton, the City of Busselton’s workshop supervisor was able to visit as required throughout the rebuild to monitor progress, while WesTrac also provided updates and photos on a weekly basis.
The Bunbury branch is part of WesTrac’s comprehensive network throughout Western Australia, ensuring equipment owners have fast and efficient access to parts, service and support.
Sustainable outcomes provide further incentives
Another positive aspect of rebuilds – and a key reason they are gaining popularity – is the strong sustainable outcomes they offer owners and operators.
The City of Busselton, like many councils, places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability.
One of the council’s objectives is to roll out a waste reduction strategy that includes mulching stockpiled green waste, which will ensure the rebuilt Cat 826G Landfill Compactor is put to good use for many hours into the future.
Linda recommended that other councils and businesses consider rebuilds as a viable alternative to buying new. She said:
“You should obviously explore all options, do your sums, ensure availability of a reliable substitute machine if required and then make the decision based on all those factors.”
Linda added that the performance of the rebuilt machine was comparable to a new one and she expected to see ongoing benefits for some time to come.