Finning, exclusive dealer of Cat® machines and equipment in the UK & Ireland, put the latest Cat technology to the test in a head-to-head challenge versus manual digging to assess its impact on reducing task time and increasing efficiency.

Two Cat 320 excavators were set the same challenge of digging an identical 30 metre long 1 metre deep trench with a 10% slope within a required tolerance of +/- 30mm. One was fitted with Cat Grade 2D technology and a laser while the other machine had no technology and an engineer checking the trench grade.

While both methods resulted in a trench which was dug accurately to within the 30mm tolerance, the machine fitted with the on-board technology was captured on video completing the task 32 minutes faster and with two litres less fuel burn.

George Ionescu, product manager at Finning UK & Ireland, explained that the case for the use of machine control technology across fleets to help them operate more sustainable, safe, and efficient groundworks has never been stronger.

He said: “There is a growing movement towards the decarbonisation of the construction sector but still issues to overcome. This challenge clearly shows machine technology has an important role to play in achieving net zero.

“Adopting technology both across your fleet and across your sites saves fuel, labour and time, which are key priorities for our customers following the April fuel price hike and with the current shortage of operators.

“Machine control also increases site safety with fewer ground personnel checking grade and helps to reduce operator fatigue because the technology gives them real-time guidance to ensure that cuts and fills are made to exact specifications without under of overcutting. They can simply start digging and check grade from inside their cab allowing them to work confidently without guesswork.

“Saving energy in these ways makes financial and environmental sense, as we all work towards reducing our usage of fossil fuels and limiting the impact we have on our environment.”

Key benefits of using machine control:

47% more productivity per meter per hour
12% less fuel
63% less man hours

The Cat Grade with 2D technology used in this challenge provides elevation and slope real-time guidance to the operator, informing them of the distance above, below or on-grade between the bucket cutting edge and the benchmark point. It can increase efficiency and productivity when digging and grading basements, footings, foundations, utility trenches, slopes, and drainage ditches for example.

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