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Caterpillar Forum?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by gdmason76, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. gdmason76

    gdmason76 Member

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    I would have to say, I have been monitoring this site for a long time and I am very impressed with the content contained within. I work Caterpillar Inc. in our compact construction products and this site has provided me a lot of insite into the pros and cons of our products, services, and a view into the industries we serve.

    I would be curious to hear anyone's opinion about Caterpillar sponsoring and or offering a similar site where customers like yourself can post product questions, service issues, maintenance assitance, safety concerns, product ideas..etc.

    Please let me know what your think..be honest!!! Our customer's voice determines a lot of what we do.
     
  2. Motat

    Motat Well-Known Member

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    This sounds too good to be true.
    I have always been a fan of Cat ,but are starting to have my faith tested somewhat .
    This Idea of your thread is a great one,but
    A would like to know for sure you are who you say you are [someone with real influence to improve the product] ,and not a sheep in wolves clothing ,here to gather up ammunition to throw back at the faithfull

    B That Complaints be seen as constructive] criitisizm
    C would be disapointed if the thread is hijacked by the likes of our resident ''broken record '' Hitrack hater
    Kind regards
     
  3. gdmason76

    gdmason76 Member

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    Good Thoughts

    I agree 100% on all 3 thoughts. It is key that we open the doors to "you" the customer and let you know that we value your opinion and thoughts, regardless if those thoughts are negative or positive. We would like to make "experts" available in all areas to our customers with profiles on their background and areas focus.

    For example: From Dec 1st until Dec 31st, John Doe, of the Excavator design division will be available to answer your questions and provide feedback on the current model of 320 size excavator.

    Ideally, all thoughts, comments, and discussions would be summarized and delivered to the right "ear".

    What expectations would you have in regards to posting product, service, issues and problems?

    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. MKTEF

    MKTEF Senior Member

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    Hey Gdmason76.:)

    I have spent some time on your safety site, and there is a lot of good info there.

    Personaly i think a spesific cat site may be to "special" for the broad user groups on the net. I beliewe it might go into a type of "special club".

    And then may end into that u don't get the opinion of the broad users of equipment.
    And i beliewe one of the goals would be to get the opinion from many, not only the cat users.(cause they are "fans" already)

    But a talk with Steve F might give u a corner or threads here..:D
    And that way u will get a broader public reacting on the info/questions/maintenance u post.
    And there is always the possibility to send a PM if u don't wan't to post it.

    And maybe we can get some of the other producers on the scene.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  5. Dirtman2007

    Dirtman2007 Senior Member

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    Hi, Do you work for Gregory Poole CAT in Raleigh. I noticed it said you were from Cary, NC and that was the only cat dealer I could think of. I'm in Raleigh.
     
  6. gdmason76

    gdmason76 Member

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    No, I work for Caterpillar Inc.
     
  7. CascadeScaper

    CascadeScaper Senior Member

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    Sounds like an excellent idea. My dad currently owns a couple pieces of Cat compact equipment and I would be more than willing to throw my two cents in about things that could/should be changed on the equipment that we have. Starting with the buckets, pin grabber coupler, and hydraulic thumb on our 303CR. I have a few choice words about the overall construction and ease of operation with these tools. Nothing too serious, but it seems like the pin grabber never works correctly, the buckets (12" and 24") are falling apart with less than 300 hours on each and we're not working in rock very often, and the thumb bushings and pins are a little less than mediocre.

    With that said, I'm a BIG advocate of Cat and always will be, my dad also won't buy anything else. However, I've been exposed to operating other makes through various employers. :usa
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  8. Wulf

    Wulf Senior Member

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    I think it sounds like a great idea gdmason76 but I don't know what your dealers will think about getting bypassed and folks dealing directly with Cat Inc. on a public forum :beatsme
     
  9. Deas Plant

    Deas Plant Senior Member

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    A 'Cat' Forum?????????????????????

    Hi, GDMason76.
    If you have been monitoring this site for any great length of time, you will probably have gained an idea of who and/or what most of the more common contributors are.

    For myself, I am a pretty dedictated Cat fan but by no means one-eyed about it. I do think though that IF a window could be opened where feedback from a site such as this got back to Cat. Inc. and the R&D people and the design people took a SERIOUS look at it, that might just give Cat an edge that few if any of their competition have. I say 'IF' in capital letters for what I consider to be a pretty fair reason, that I have not seen much evidence of any feedback being seriously considered in the past, especially from outside of the U.S.A..

    Just as a 'f'rinstance', Cat, along with most of the other light dozer manufacturers, seems to have almost TOTALLY abandoned the idea of outside push arm dozers below the D6N or equivalent in favour of PAT blades. Now I grant you that a LOT of these smaller dozers ARE used for cleaning up and rough/finish grading, especially from what I can gather, in your country, However, YOUR country is NOT the be-all-and-end-all of the small dozer market and a dozer of around 100 hp and 15 tons with wide gauge, long track frames AND OUTSIDE push arms on a bull/tilt or semi-U dozer blade would be ideal for the work that I do here in South-East Queensland, DownUnder.

    Whether high sprocket or 'oval-tracked' is not all that important. What IS important is that it have good to great slope ability, be capable of reasonably heavy clearing within the limits of its weight and power, able to dig out rocks and stumps with the corner of the blade and bulk push material somewhat more efficiently than any PAT dozer that I have yet seen. PAT blades don't have the lift for clearing much in the way of trees, they are somewhat uncomfortable with taking heavy loads on the corners of the blade and they are just plain NOT good, efficient bulk earth movers.

    Diff. steer, while being all very easy to use, is a real PITA when working in tight spaces such as are commonly encountered in our work on house sites. They usually seem to involve the long way round for the LONG way home. Clutch-and-brake or hydrostatic drive are the preferred options in our work. Sure, the diff. steer is supposed to contra-rotate. I have run a Cat D6H and a D6R and they DID NOT like contra-rotating in anything but IDEAL conditions, i.e. firm to hard ground, and then somewhat reluctantly.

    Up until about 6 weeks ago the company for whom I work had a Cat D5B, wide gauge, 44X series dozer with an after-market ripper and a scrub/brush canopy. I did a LOT of work with this machine, leveling house sites to +/- 3/4", clearing, spreading 60,000 tons of shale fill dumped from trucks ahead of a Cat 825C compactor and cutting some 'different' driveways in some difficult country, among other jobs. It was simply a magic little machine for the work that it did. MY question: What do Cat now manufacture that is around that same size WITH an outside push arm blade AND a good set of 'hooks' with around 2-foot penetration? (The after-market ripper on the D5B carried 2 x 2-foot shanks and handled them very well, thank you.)

    Another 'f'rinstance': Cat has stopped making the 943 track loader or any close equivalent. The 943 with a 4-in-1 bucket and rear 'scarifiers' was/is the ideal size and type of machine for the bulk of the work that we do, clearing, levelling and prepping house sites for building. My employer has 6 of them and 3 x 953's. He is considering buying second-hand 943's in the U.S., shipping them over here, re-furbishing where necessary and putting them to work because good 943's are getting to be like hen's teeth and rocking horse manure DownUnder.

    Your comments, PLEASE?

    I agree that IF a window could be opened and results achieved, that would be a wonderful thing. However, in this case, I suspect that I might 'be from Missouri', so to speak. I may need to be shown.

    I wish you well with this 'project' if you decide to try to implement it and you can count on my support, at least while it has the appearance of being serious.
     
  10. gdmason76

    gdmason76 Member

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    To address a couple things:

    First of all, there is a great conversation started here. I appreciate everyones input, excellent information. PLEASE understand that I cannot discuss and or provide product information, or assitance in any way. I am only here to gauge the acceptance of a forum/blog that may or may not be provided by Caterpillar Inc. This is only a hypothetical.... gaining your insites into the pros / cons, concerns, etc is exactly what I am looking for.


    The concerns that we may be bypassing a dealer with a service of this type is wrong. IF, and a big IF at that, we were to start offering an outlet like this for our customers we would include the dealer in every step of the way. The relationship we have with our dealers is #1. The input would be shared and discussed. We are not only looking to speak to Caterpillar customers, but the users of construction equipment in all industries.

    Additional Questions: What is the number one motivation to belong to a group like this, and what is the biggest benefit you get from it?

    Thanks again for everyone's input!! I will be discussing your thoughts and comments with my team in the next day or so! Get your thoughts in today!
     
  11. Dwan Hall

    Dwan Hall Senior Member

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    I think this site already answers all those questions. it also compares different brands with the pros & cons of each.
    This site, which already has a very large deversified membershipis already established, would be a good location to see how well your idea would work out.

    Just my .02 cents

    Dwan
     
  12. Motat

    Motat Well-Known Member

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    I personally are a dozer man,with long experiance mostly as owner operater of D4 s. I still own a D4 E . Spent a couple of yrs driveing in Australia ,on Older machines 9G 8K 7G D85 Komatsu also some time on Diff steer 8 N [I think that was the letter.] I was most taken with it.
    Then in last yr or so have dry hired D4 H D6M D7R
    I have had much time to compare with Komatsu either good or bad,but get a lot of good feedback about them.
    My veiw alway was that tho Cat were never the highest performance machines ,they were reliable ,had good resale value,and exellent backup here with Goughs in NZ.
    Goughs however have in there wisdom managed to get rid of all there long service and experianced Cat trained mechanics,and employ what seems to me to be anyone off the street ,and charge like wounded bulls.
    Most of these guys ,if I mentioned a 7U D4 or a 12A 955,would look at me thinking I am from Mars
    I find there parts service still good,tho lots are overseas,and we have to pay to get them freighted here.
    Getting Back to dozers
    My favourite gripe is the silly clutch brake steering,where they have no foot brakes,but are both on the clutch lever or toggle.
    This is a fool of an idea,with no merits what so ever. We still have legs to climb into the machine ,so we may as well use them to control brakeing in a far smoother ,and more reliable way.
    Why o Why are they built this way .Can only assume its cheaper.
    I have many more issues but will restrict myself to one more for now.
    Fuel consumption .
    This 7R Ive just had hired ,Im sure has the computor ,and Im told these are so nessasary [along with other things] to get max performace with least fuel cost etc. This thing has neither .Its like driveing an old D9G and burns almost 50 ltrs fuel an hr. What advances have been made ,other than the loverly cab and air con etc,over the old 7G ,Im sure its certainly no better machine.
    Thanks for letting me bend your ear .
    Regards
    PS My wifes not what she was either,but I cant see me changing now.
     
  13. Wulf

    Wulf Senior Member

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    That's priceless... does she browse HEF?
     
  14. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

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    Maybe it would be wise for Cat to sponsor this site and get there own Section here. I would be more then happy to post my thoughts and such there, but there just ain't enough time in the day to be visiting more sites then I do now. I'm not saying I wouldn't check it out, but unless I had a strong opinion on something or had a question that I haven't found an answer on I doubt I'd visit it.
     
  15. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    In answer to both halves of the question, without a doubt, it's the peer-to-peer exchange of information and experiences that is the very fabric of a site like this one.

    We're a group of like-minded individuals who come together here to both learn from and teach each other, both through direct questions and answers, and simply, shared experiences. That process, builds a sense of "community", and that sense of community is what keeps our members interested and involved. It's what makes the guys who've forgotten more than I'll ever know, willing to answer questions from somebody who's just bought their first machine, and doesn't know diesel fuel from hydraulic fluid.
     
  16. Deas Plant

    Deas Plant Senior Member

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    Hi, GDMason76.

    Quote: "Originally Posted by gdmason76
    Additional Questions: What is the number one motivation to belong to a group like this, and what is the biggest benefit you get from it? "

    Personally, I'm here because I have well over 45 years of 'butt-in-seat' time behind me on a LOT of different types of machines in a LOT of different applications and I can't see any sense at all in taking all that knoweldge and experience to the grave with me. Forums such as this give me the chance leave some of that knowledge and experience behind with others who will appreciate and use it - and hopefully, pass it on in their turn.

    Strange as it may seem with all that experience behind me, I also learn from different folks here as well and that is a plus for me. If I ever stop learning, I reckon I'll be dead from the neck up.

    I occasionally receive e-mails from people I've never even heard of asking for help about some aspect of operating, maintenance or repairs on some machine or other. This leads me to believe that there might also be a fair population of people who come to this and other forums and read a fair bit without posting much if anything. They quite possibly take notice of who posts what and choose a likely person to ask by e-mail if they have a problem or query. (My e-mail is on display on my profile.)
     
  17. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I find the idea intrigueing but see lots of problems.

    All the end users I've worked for have had little problem voicing opinions with the manufactures. All the dealers I've worked for have had little problem sticking a manufacturer's rep in front of an irate owner and using them as a shield.

    I know of manufacturers that have paid for focus groups for specific info into the perceptions of their products. Your initial proposal sounded to me like a marketing type looking for a way to get free information. I am a little leary of your statements of working for Cat when I know they have specific policies regarding public statements. Cat has always been big on confidentiality.

    The biggest problem would be with certain kinds of info getting loose that might cost someone extensive amounts of money. Many of us have had, or worked for people that have had, machines that didn't live up to expectations or worse. While it might give somone a place to vent at the manufacturer's expense, it also might drop the value of the machines that others already own. Could that be considered a "Cause of Action"? On the other hand what would happen if statements were made that were not true? What would be the manufacturer's, dealer's or owner's remedy for real or perceived monetary damages?

    I think a non aligned and anonymous site like this brings out the kinds of responses you are looking for without putting dollar signs in the eyes of hungry attorneys. As has been shown by the responses to you post, the system is working.
     
  18. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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    Caterpillar Forum

    I've worked closely with Caterpillar at various times over the last 40 some years, and always had a good relationship with several Cat National Account Reps and Operator Trainers. Unfortunately, most are now retired or passed away. They were some great people. Same with various dealer people from coast to coast. Mostly all good people.

    Thing with Caterpillar (and other manufacturers), is that they usually seemed to pay more attention to larger customers. People like the Kiewit's, the Greens, the SJ Groves and Guy Atkinson's, etc. I saw Cat lose sales because of this and while I realize that you have to butter up your active customers, you have to butter up potential customers as well. One of the reason Cat had such a difficult time breaking into the municipal market. They ignored it for a long, long time. Same with the big road shows -- ConExpo and MineExpo. Unless you happen to know someone from Cat at the show, chances are you will be given the brush off pretty quickly, even if you show a lot of interest in some specific product or design or simply want to know more.

    However, once you got to know someone at the factory or senior district management level, you had direct access to all kinds of information and assistance that one would never have suspected existed.

    Personally, I think a Cat forum would be great. Tis true that there is a lot of information and experience asked for and freely given here, but there is a lot that doesn't pertain, and I've noticed that the one or two Cat factory people on the forum don't volunteer a lot of information.

    There is a fairly good example of give and take online and that is the GM site. Visit that and see what's talked about there. Pretty interesting and there are a lot of factory people reading and writing comments on the site. I don't visit it often but as I'm starting to show signs of needing a new vehicle I may look at the website more as time moves forward.

    Now a lot of the old guys I knew at the Cat house, they didn't know what a computer was for, except maybe as a door stop over at building KK. The internet was a complete mystery to them and they would be amazed to see what it's become. Not that they wouldn't have used it, they were pretty sharp and original thinkers all of them. Excellent problem solvers and they knew the product line inside and out.

    That would be the kind of person the proposed site would need. I suppose a financial and accounting type would also be useful, as I see those kinds of questions on this site fairly often. Keep in mind that whomever is cast to be a writer from Cat would have to be knowledgeable about Cat iron worldwide. That may be a tall order to fill, but a Cat moderator could also select from a bag full of Cat factory experts, so that ought not be a big problem.

    Give it a go, can't hurt.
     
  19. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member

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    i own 3 excavators, 2 end loaders, coupla trucks...cat doesn't waste their time w/me...nor i them. i don't want them on my jobsite
     
  20. Deas Plant

    Deas Plant Senior Member

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    Re Cat Forum being hijacked.

    Hi, Motat.
    Re a Cat forum being hijacked by people such as the anti-hi-track obsessive, that is why all these forums have moderators and administrators.

    I think Steve, Digger, Squizzy, et al, have been very patient, tolerant and very fair with the 'malcontents' who have come to this site and I commend them for it. Those in similar positions on a forum such as has been proposed would need to be at least as patient, tolerant and fair in dealing with similar situations on such a forum 'cos ONE of the stated objectives of such a site would need to be to provide space for people to air their grievances and complaints.

    How-Wevver, the people who have been a PITA here, like most of their ilk anywhere, soon give away the fact that they have an agenda. Once they do this, it would be time to give some serious consideration to jumping on them.

    Having said that, have you noticed that the people in question who do the ranting and raving here have been somewhat conspicuous by their absence lately? I have. Do you suppose that being exposed as being less than they claimed to be by various members of this forum may have had something to do with that? We, the ordinary members, may not have the power to stop such people posting on forums such as this but we can, as sure as God made little apples, let them know that their lines are not being swallowed. If they persist in pedalling their favourite agendas after that, it would then be time for the moderators/administrators to step in.

    Hope this helps to set your kind at rest in this regard.
     
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