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This is what Caterpillar says is a perfectly screed

Discussion in 'Pavers' started by andoman, May 19, 2012.

  1. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    midwest
    We've used Barber-Green pavers all throughout the 80s and a part of the 90s then we switched to Caterpillar with the buy out of Barber-Green but we've always used the Extend-A-Mat screeds because of the quality mat they laid and how ridged they were. I also want to say we've always purchased Caterpillar equipment and for the most part have always had a good experience and loved the machines and I still have a few million dollars in newer Cat iron in the yard today. However, having said that we bought a new 1055 last year with a new Extend-A-Mat 10-20 electric screed and have nothing but problems with it and Caterpillar is letting the local sales people (Michigan CAT/ Macallister CAT) and the corporate lawyers deal with the issue, which they're dragging their feet and trying to say the machine is operating within Caterpillars acceptable tolerances, all the while I'm stuck with a machine that is un-usable. So they monkey with it from time to time and this is what they say is acceptable in the pictures below. Please don't get me wrong the tractor is great, but I think the screed wasn't seated in the jig the right way when they welded it together. Every time they "fix" it the same thing happens it paves fine for 50 feet they a loud bang and the extensions start moving all over the place (vertically), please let me know what you guys think, I'm at wits end here, and thinking I should have bought a Roadtec with an Eagle screed, but this is our 10th or so CAT and we haven't really had any other problems until now. I personally think I'm caught in the middle of the lawyers bilking Caterpillar for billable hours, all while I loose money with a machine I can't use and people that have to sit home. Hopefully some of the higher ups at Cat read the board.

    photo 5 (2).JPG photo 4 (3).JPG photo 3.JPG photo 2 (2).JPG photo 2.JPG
     
  2. 928G Boy

    928G Boy Senior Member

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    that's terrible, it sounds like you've pinpointed the problem, obvious solution is to replace the whole screed, surprised they haven't offered to do so, you're obviously a valued customer (or should be considered as one)
     
  3. griz

    griz Active Member

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    Occupation:
    equipment technician
    Location:
    usa
    Andoman,
    Looks like your on the right track,The frame work may not have had time to cool before removal from jig.Now you have a tweeted frame, with a new plate its ok till the welds break. With out seeing it thats my best guess.

    GOOD LUCK WITH CAT
     
  4. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but the problem is the plates don't stay in adjustment, you can get them perfect and as soon as you set down and put a light head of material in the extensions they pop and go out of alignment to the point the screed won't fully close, and CAT continues to try to say its normal. I'm sorry but this is not my first extend-a-mat screed it's not normal and nobody wants to take responsibility for it dealer or corporate.
     
  5. griz

    griz Active Member

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    Cats full of sh!%, tell them to put a new screed on it or buy a eagle and back charge cat let the lawyers work out the paper work.Roadtec will back thair screeds Roadtec is # 1 in service
     
  6. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I'm about ready to stop payment and drop it off at their yard, put money in an escrow account until we find a resolution (minus the rental fees on another machine :) ).
     
  7. AustinM

    AustinM Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    wyoming
    Wow, andoman I feel for you. I can't believe CAT told you that is acceptable. I wonder what they would say if you told them "Okay, if that's your position, that your machine is just fine, then I want you standing right next to me when the engineer comes over and tells me to tear this out. And I want YOU to do ALL the talking." I wonder what they would say then!
     
  8. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    It's already happened and I keep adding it to the compensation I expect from CAT, I'm well over 250k in damages above and beyond the replacement of the machine I expect. Apparently CAT is run by bean counters now and they don't care about their customers, I've already talked two other companies out of buying CAT pavers after they heard my story and I've spent 200k with Hamm that would have gone to CAT before this happened. I expect people to hold up their end of the deal when we make one, and this one is pretty simple, when I buy a paver I expect it to pave to standards that would be approved by a DOT and meet the specifications, and right now the screed can't meet a single one of these standards.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  9. erthmover

    erthmover Well-Known Member

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    Central New Jersey
    You hit the nail on the head! I think this is exactly what I would do if I was in you position. Nothing worse than a manufacturer not backing there product. Best of luck and I hope it all works out.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  10. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'm going to make the decision on June 6th after I meet with CAT's lawyers again, I'm done play around with this thing. I've got quotes from roadtec and writgen so I'll be ready to roll once I make the decision.
     
  11. stock

    stock Senior Member

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    Well Andoman how did the meeting go with the cat wigs? were you able to reach a resolution?
     
  12. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    They still swear the machine is 100% per spec, so we asked for a letter stating that fact and they refused. We're waiting to hear back again. I just find it comical that they think the machine is perfect yet they won't put that in writing.
     
  13. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    One of the strong points with CAT was service. That's how they made a comeback with mills after the CMI years. Lately I hear they are beginning to stand back on replacement items. Like with Wirtgen, these localized dealers kind of interfere with the usual process of service, CAT/Wirtgen have these area franchise dealers who think they have a school trained tech that ultimately has the bottom line along with the office. Half the time if you check with the original manufacturer you can find they may have has issues with certain production models that the dealer may know nothing about or they REFUSE to admit they know about in an attempt to cover up defects. Not sure about pavers but with mills it boils down to serial number and where and when they put it together, what production line it came off and knowing how others fared with the same products. Roadtec, I've noticed stand for very little dealer interference and do support products to the fullest. The dealer interference is nothing but a pain in the @ss and a slow down in the owners schedule. Hate reading about this but it is something that I've seen as well with mills lately too.
     
  14. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    I hate to say it because we had a long run with Barber-Green and Caterpillar but the next machine will most likely be a Roadtec. This isn't a knock to Roadtec by any means, but we invested a lot of money with Caterpillar all the way down to refusing to buy trucks without CAT engines so it almost feels like walking in on what you thought was your faithful wife pulling a train with the neighbors. It's hard to figure out which way to go after staying with a product line for so long.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  15. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    out west lately
    LMFAO@faithful wife and the neighbors...

    Not that we should have a machine preference, machine is a machine and its usually who runs it BUT....with BRAND NEW equipment these days alot is at stake for the manufactuerer that sends a defective unit and they should stand by it not just 100% but 1000%, they should be giving you a new paver, tractor and all, send that one back and then hope they can sell it to someone else that maybe ok with a used refurbished item. The whole loyalty thing....well, you know what I think on those fronts after what I've been through in the last few months here, Loyalty nowadays depends on the college fools with minimal economics and business management degrees in penny pinching. The people that hire them are the problem. They get a bottom line on equipment and think its the only way to maintain a profit because the customer is expendable. These goofy kids nowadays dismantle and destroy companies in seconds. Thats what happened to CMI.

    Won't even share the amount of times I've seen Roadtec Wirtgen CMI reps come to town and take an entire crew out to dinner and bail us out of jail the next day after we got too drunk. Hell, even the teeth salesmen used to do that. Now, its all a thing of the past because its about cutting costs and hanging the other guy out to dry.
     
  16. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Generally I agree with the machine is a machine, but it is like being comfortable with a control system and knowing that every time you do X the machine is going to do Y so you can compensate for it. Unfortunately our new machine if you do X the machine throws alphabet soup at you at random, and CAT doesn't seem to care and things are getting worse. Our 420 backhoe just broke down (valve block problems) and when we get it back it's half butt put back together and when we call they said they ran out of time so they bubble gummed it together. Needless to say Deere is in the yard right now appraising some equipment to replace. To date because of this CAT has missed out on a 8 ton Hamm, a 3 ton Hamm, 4 dump trucks, a tractor, and now a backhoe, so they are winning the battle by loosing the war. I doubt I'll ever buy another thing from Michigan/Macallister CAT, unreliable, and not trustworthy.
     
  17. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    I'd have to agree after a read like that. Its a litany or repeated failures in not just one dept. This time of the year that is completely unacceptable. The service techs should be bent over backwards and on fire trying to ensure your equipment they are trained to maintain is in the best shape possible. Its hard to comprehend why they are taking that posture, if your running and even if you need them, they make more money? Are they intentionally using the gum wrench approach to elicit additional service/repair calls at that rate they inflate after hours. They need to make something right as is, never mind the fact they lost long standing customer. This time of year isn't the time for call me later, its now or there's going to be a problem later....

    And im sure you are on it but it makes no good business sense coming from one of the largest premier equipment manufacturers.
     
  18. andoman

    andoman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    midwest
    I agree, the tech came right out and said the bubble gummed it together without blinking, I have no idea what's going on over there but I've given up hope. We have a long stand policy to only buy from American companies but Hamm walked in at the right moment and has been taking care of us. I'm actually impressed with the service, in fact they even sent out a guy to work on the backhoe after they heard what happened. Even though im going to trade it in i need it to make it until the new unit gets here, and they get that. Luckily the dealer here supports Deere and Wirtgen so I should be covered, especially if they put that kind of effort forward.
     
  19. milling_drum

    milling_drum Senior Member

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    out west lately
    Hell yes, thats management giving the customer something to rely on. It is fair to mention CAT for many years did stand by the products and were more than willing to assist in any way possible, I'm a little concerned about to the area, you know this from the deals I've recently been through around there. Out where I am now, a CAT tech was fixing a dynapac roller while telling me a few little secrets about my new gig. The tech was under orders from his area GM to fix and be on standby for this contractor in ALL possible forms. They had also informed the tech when he needed time to go elsewhere let the office know so they could send a replacement immediately. I did'nt mention this thread but it sounds like a regional management problem over there. I'll try to fish up an exec email or something and pass it along, It appears you could backcharge them a dollar or two and you have plenty of proof.
     
  20. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    I am wondering how much of this is your Cat dealer. We had some issues with a D4K with 80 hours on it. Took almost two weeks to replace the electric solenoid on the blade control. Machine sat with the blade in the air for two weeks on a job. In my opinion the dealer dropped the ball on quite a few things. I also notice that MI cat is trying to push certain products rather than get what someone wants. A prime example is the new heavy duty truck line. They are trying to sell equipped trucks, no big deal, until you look at the way they are set up. Every truck I have seen at Mi Cat is a tri axle. I dont know of anyone using a tri axle in this state. Weather its a roll off, or dump, every truck is a quad axle for a reason.