Having only been released to market 18 months ago, leading Cat dealer WesTrac is celebrating the momentous delivery of its 100th Cat Next Generation Medium Wheel Loader.
Founded in 2014, the Bunbury-headquartered, multi-generational family-owned MGM Bulk is a name synonymous with haulage in Western Australia and has its roots in Giacci Bros which was set up by founding father, Mario Giacci in conjunction with his brother Tony in the 1950s.
Investing in Cat equipment supplied by WesTrac is nothing new to Giacci family-owned businesses spanning three generations, with Cat products featuring prominently in their fleets over six decades and remaining a pillar of reliability at MGM Bulk today.
The passion for transport and logistics – and Cat machinery – bloomed in the 1960s when Director Mario – now 85 years of age – bought the Company’s first Cat machine, an eight tonne 933F Traxcavator powered by a Cat D320T.
Fast forward 60 years and MGM Bulk’s fleet currently boasts 152 prime movers, about 500 pieces of trailering equipment, 25 wheel loaders and a wide range of ancillary equipment.
Making up approximately 90% of MGM’s machinery fleet, Cat products are working across a range of industries to help provide haulage, quarrying, ship and port loading, storage management services and more.
MGM Bulk Fleet Manager Allan Thomas says the full spectrum of Cat wheel Loaders are a key part of MGM’s operations from the Pilbara to the South West, helping meet ever evolving productivity targets.
“Over the years we’ve had all sorts of machines. The smallest one we currently have is the Cat 924K going all the way up to Cat 988s and 992s. The latest and main purchase we make these days are the Cat 982s, which are part of the Next Generation range. We are up to our eighth of those in our fleet.”
The most recent Cat 982 purchased in August 2023 is destined to be put to work with 11 others filling ultra quad road trains carting iron ore in the Pilbara.
The machines average 7000 hours per year (almost 20 hours per day), giving them a front-line lifecycle of roughly two and a half years.
Thankfully, according to WesTrac Construction Product Manager Lawrence Hayles, a long list of features means Cat Next Generation wheel loaders are ready-made for operator comfort.
“We’re rich in resources and construction activity in WA. These machines are ideally suited for the construction market as well as resources in loading road trains, feeding hoppers and crushers on mine sites. It’s the most advanced machine in its class in terms of operator comfort, ergonomics and safety. It’s easy to access and egress the cab and once you’re in the cab, the gear, the amount of adjustments in the seat – that’s heated and cooled by the way – dash layout touchscreens and seat mounted controls make it a very safe and controllable machine.”
Lawrence says among many features popular with customers is full ground level servicing access and a high level of built in safety.
Demand for Cat medium wheel loaders – covering 19 tonne to 36 tonne class machines is accelerating, with approximately 300 units entering the market each year.
“We’ve sold and delivered 100 Cat medium wheel loaders since taking delivery of our first Cat 980 and 982 machines 18 months ago. We’re about to take delivery of the Cat 950, which completes the full suite of medium wheel loaders in the Next Generation range.”
Lawrence points out gains in this range extend to productivity, with WesTrac working alongside customers to maximise machine output and improve efficiency.
“We’ve been able to train operators to typically load 350 tonnes an hour into a crusher with a Cat 982 and load a 150-tonne road train in 12 minutes. For MGM Bulk, the Cat 982 with an aggregate-type payload of 12 tonnes is the perfect class size to be loading trailers, not only in terms of total payload going into each trailer but achieving the correct distribution of weight and accurate axle loading.”
MGM’s Allan Thomas confirms efficiencies and productivity gains the Cat 982 has introduced.
“In the North West, we’ve upgraded from the Cat 980 to the new Cat 982, substantially increasing our efficiency. We’ve achieved an approximate productivity boost of 21.05% for loading ultra quad road trains and our focus on efficiency continues beyond there.”
The latest model has a default eco mode and a power-dense 13L engine, which contribute to reduced fuel consumption. Additional technological features, such as automatic dig to prevent wheel spin and automatic idle shutdown further increase productivity by up to 12%.
WesTrac’s FitFleet Customer Value Agreements and portal, Product Link and Vision Link services add more visibility and control than ever before to monitoring and managing product health, maintenance and servicing as well as improving performance on the frontline.
For MGM Bulk’s hard-working wheel loaders in the Pilbara, retirement back to the cooler surrounds of the South West comes after about 30 months on the job.
But not all MGM Bulk’s machines cycle out at that pace, with one of the Company’s longest serving Cat machines being a 1999 model 966F still working today with 46,000 hours on the clock.
WesTrac Account Manager Anthony Garic, who has been working with MGM Bulk and the Giacci family since 2004, said the successful relationship is testament to shared passion for high quality products that deliver.
“The Giacci family’s passion for haulage and transport has been immense, growing multiple businesses from what started as a one truck operation between two brothers close to 70 years ago. Mario believes in two products – he runs Cat machines and Kenworth prime movers. He believes Cat loaders are the best solution available to load the material his trucks carry.”
In Anthony’s words, the “marriage” of three customer focused entities – MGM Bulk, Caterpillar and WesTrac has been built on loyalty and the added trust MGM Bulk has of WesTrac’s branch support across WA.
“Providing that back-up is obviously important but the machines themselves are extremely impressive. The productivity of the Cat 982 Wheel Loader is a great match to MGM’s ultra quads. Very quick, agile, quiet and accurate in meeting axle loading requirements. MGM is looking forward, with their eyes set next on the Cat 982 XE as they seek out the latest low emissions, high productivity solutions. We strive to help MGM reach their goals and continue delivering to their clients. We’re immensely proud to support MGM Bulk and look forward to our ongoing relationship together.”