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It has to be Cat's for Castleford Engineering

Sun 07 Jul 2013

It has to be Cat's for Castleford Engineering

Steve Rule has over 30 years’ experience in the civil engineering, mining, tunnelling, demolition and ground works sectors. Like so many of our generation, Steve started operating kit at a very young age on the family firm. Steve’s father, Ivor Rule, along with his brother David, had established Rule Brothers Contractors in Cornwall in the early 1960’s, so there was always plenty of opportunity for the young Steve to gain some invaluable time behind the controls. Steve’s father was a big JCB fan and in fact, he was one of the first men in Cornwall to buy a 360 degree hydraulic excavator, a JCB 807. One of Ivor’s friends was said to say at the time, “blimey that thing will eat up all the work in Cornwall within a month!” Ivor continued to purchase JCB kit over the next 25 years. In this old scan of a local newspaper cutting, we can see the new JCB in action in Portreath Harbour. The business became E.I. Rule & Sons when Steve’s older brothers joined the business, and Steve officially started with them in 1983, aged just 16, having already gained a wealth of experience in the seat from an early age. In this old Polaroid shot we see the two young Rule brothers in the seat of a JCB 3C. On the passing of Steve’s father in 1987, the company sadly folded, and the brothers went their separate ways. Steve went on to work in the aforementioned industry sectors, gathering much more experience, including gaining an explosives licence, that according to Steve’s wife Lisa, he can’t wait to use again!  Nine years ago, Steve moved from Cornwall to Devon and decided it was time to set up his own business, and as such Castleford Engineering came into being, with Castleford being the name of their previous house. When it came to choosing his make of machine, Steve never had any hesitation; it just had to be Caterpillar, having been a lifelong fan of the famous American brand. Castleford Engineering currently run three Cat machines, including two new additions in the form of a 5 ton class Cat 305E mini excavator and the popular 308E, which is Caterpillars latest offering in the 8 ton sector. These machines have been supplied by the new Cat Compact Dealership for the South West, WH Bond & Sons. But without doubt the star attraction in the fleet is the impressive Caterpillar 321D L CR 21 ton class excavator. Castleford Engineering specialise in water based civil engineering projects, including hydro- electric schemes, fish passes, weir repair and river bank stabilisation, working primarily for the Environment Agency. This kind of work involves a lot of concrete shuttering and placing, and Steve was keen to show me the special long reach adaptation he designed and had had manufactured for his machine. Constructed from a second hand 3 meter dipper from a Cat 312, which has been fully tested and calibrated, this impressive set up gives the machine a total reach of 9 meters from the front of the tracks, giving Steve a great working envelope on any jobsite. Steve said when you have a full skip of concrete on the end you know it’s on there, but the machine copes very well considering it’s a compact radius model. In addition to this special adaptation, all Castleford Engineering’s machine use environmentally friendly Bio oil due to the sensitive nature of the environments where these works take place. I was so impressed with this machine and Steve’s approach to his business, that I am planning to do a follow up article for Earthmovers Magazine over the coming months, which will be one to look out for in the future. We would like to thank Steve and Lisa Rule for their kind hospitality during this site visit.  

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