Scottish contractor first in UK to purchase Cat 317 excavator
Aberdeenshire-based JKR Contractors is the first firm in the UK to purchase a Cat 317 excavator from Finning UK & Ireland.
This new model offers JKR several advantages in completing projects accurately and efficiently. The Cat 317 is a replacement for their existing 316 machine and has been fitted with the latest Trimble 3D technology from connected site experts SITECH UK & Ireland.
Company director Jim Taylor said the new machine was an extremely versatile small excavator at 18.5 tonnes which fills an essential gap in their fleet as its size class means it can be effectively deployed on housebuilding and roadworks projects.
He said: “The machine has been fitted with a tilt rotator, which makes life easier for our driver and the machine is more productive as it can dig from the same position without moving. We run the Trimble technology from SITECH on all our machines which means our engineers can upload and update drawings remotely.
“The technology is an important element for us. Engineers are hard to find, as are operators and ground works staff, so having the technology allows one engineer to manage multiple sites remotely from the office. It also cuts the time it would take for them to travel to and from sites.”
JKR was started in 2007 by father and sons Jim, Kevin and Ryan Taylor, providing civil engineering and concrete works to commercial, domestic and agricultural businesses throughout north east Scotland, and now employs over 180 members of staff. The purchase of the Cat 317 is part of a significant wider investment in Caterpillar earthmoving machines by the company.
Since 2020 the company has purchased two Cat D6 dozers, three Cat 320 excavators and three Cat 313 excavators. Finning also provides JKR with regular machine performance reports, that include monitoring fuel usage and idle times, together with a warranty and service package which helps them avoid costly downtime by proactively monitoring machine health.
John Stuart, major accounts manager for Finning, said: “We have a longstanding relationship with JKR. It’s been great to see them grow as a business over the last few years and support them in getting the best out of their fleet.
“The Cat 317 is a great choice of machine, and we already have several enquiries from other customers about it as it has some great built-in technology including E-fence which ensures the machine works within a set area to avoid hazards. There are also 360-degree cameras and soft levers which are very easy to operate with no resistance at all, which operators really like.
“The addition of the Trimble 3D kit from SITECH provides the operator with the levels to work to and gives them a plan and depths which alleviates the need for an engineer on site. JKR were early adopters of the software because the tolerances it gives are very small and there are no reworks which reduces wear and tear on the machine.
“With Finning field engineers based all over Scotland and branches in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, customers have complete peace of mind that their machines can keep running and parts can be ordered and delivered ready to fit the next morning. We also provide our customers in outlying areas with access to drop-off boxes where they can pick up their parts and take directly to site to be fitted to keep them operational.”