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Cats get on the level at cattle market (Part One)

Sun 21 Jul 2013

Cats get on the level at cattle market (Part One)

The main contractor for this development is Morgan Sindall, who have extensive experience of building these types of facilities all over the country. Coles Plant won the contract for all the on-site earthworks. The 6 million pound, state-of-the-art facility, will replace the ageing cattle market on the south side of the town, which in turn will be replaced by a medium sized Tesco store, and 91 new homes, that will be built by local developer Cavanna Homes. A number of readers have asked me for more dozer action shots here on the blog, so I was delighted to capture two of the South West’s top operators in action on this job. Justin (Go Back) Gliddon, on the Caterpillar D6T XL and Rob Heard, on the Caterpillar D6N LGP. The dozers are levelling off material from cut areas further down the site, which is distributed by three of Coles Plant’s Volvo A25D articulated haulers. The fill is levelled off in 300mm layers, prior to treatment by Welsh soil stabilisation contractors Beach, after which each layer is heavily compacted by a Bomag BW219 DH single drum vibratory roller. Justin invited me to take to the controls of his 18 month old Caterpillar D6T XL. The last time I really operated a dozer for any significant length of time was back in 1973/74, when I was around 12 or 13 years old. As reported in some previous blogs, I was often put to work on a Cat D6C on a tip, but since then I have only had a brief ten minute spell in a Cat D8T, at Caterpillars Malaga facility in Spain back in 2011. As such I was pretty rusty and novice like behind the controls, but I loved every minute of it! These machines have certainly come a long way since the days of the D6C. The cab is an extremely pleasant place to be now, and on another hot summers day the air conditioning was a delight. All the controls are nicely to hand, no more stretching out in front to pull on the tiller levers while pressing a foot pedal to make a turn! The left hand lever controls all turning movements, and forward and reverse movements are controlled via the yellow rocker thumb switch, whilst speed is controlled by a roller thumb control. On the right hand side is the blade control with forward and back controlling the blade lift and lower functions, with left to right controlling the blade tilt control. Couldn’t be easier could it?  Well, actually yes it could, like most experts in their field these two guys make the job look so easy, and it was great to witness them going about their business, doing what they do best! Once I left the cab, the lads teamed up to put on their own "mini" version of the world famous Caterpillar Malaga “Big Push”, in a display of controlled side by side dozing power which offered me some great photo opportunities! Of course these two machines are totally different animals, and Rob Heard displayed the usefulness of his PAT (Power, Angle, Tilt) blade while performing some batter trimming work further down the jobsite later on during my visit. I personally think the D6N LGP looks a much more balanced machine and the PAT blade must be a useful tool for trimming works. In part two of this report I will take a look at the excavators and ADT’s at work on this site.  

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