Profiling powerhouse

The Cat PM620 Profiler is proving a powerful addition to KEE Group’s profiling fleet and is making its mark in Western Australia.A few years ago, civil services provider KEE Group identified that there was a deficiency in profiling services in Western Australia. The business found the civil and mining industry was starved for choice and really had only two options.

Over the past 20 years, owners Damon and Clayton Spiers have grown the business into a multifaceted organisation that delivers comprehensive equipment hire, transport, asphalt contracting and sweeping services to the local market.

With a slew of new road surfacing contracts and increasing demand for profiling services in the region, the business launched its road profiling division in August 2017 with the aim of providing a clear alternative in relation to value, quality and reliability.

With nearly 25 years of experience in the profiling sector, Wayne Myers was quick to come onboard to lead the new division as Profiling Coordinator.

“The business has been involved in asphalt contracting for quite a few years now, but always found itself a bit hamstrung in recent years when it came to profiling as there are really only two profiling contractors servicing Perth,” he says.

Given the demand for profiling contractors in the region and the company’s growing list of project contracts, Mr. Myers says KEE Group saw an opportunity to expand its service offerings to complement its expanding asphalt surfacing division and enable its clients to benefit from synergies and economies of scale within their business structure. To make a big impact, the company sought the best machinery to do the job.

KEE Group took delivery of two Cat PM620 Profilers late last year after an in-depth investigation into the machine options available on the market.

“We had a look at another manufacturer’s profiler – because it is the most common model in WA – as well as a few other machines. But, we quite liked the concept of the Cat PM620 after calling a few contacts over east and in Europe, who highly recommended the PM620,” Mr. Myers explains.

The PM620 profiler is a high-production, highly manoeuverable half-lane milling machine that performs controlled full-depth removal of asphalt and concrete pavements in a single pass. It’s equipped with a 2010-millimetre-wide high production rotor and has a maximum cutting depth of 330 millimetres.

The feedback and capabilities of the machine, in addition to Cat’s well-known spare parts availability and after sales service, were the major selling point for the business, according to Mr. Myers.

“We took delivery of the first profiler in September last year and it was put to work straight away on a six-month project, which it’s just about to finish. That was basically working flat out, continuously, on night shifts with a few daytime works on the go too,” he says.

The second PM620 was delivered about a month later and has been undertaking similar workloads throughout WA since.

“The operators love it – they’ve all been around profiling for a number of years and they found the Cat very easy to use. The foremen, likewise, are finding the level controls on the PM620s far more superior to other models out there,” Mr. Myers says.

“Our biggest win of all, however, is the client satisfaction, because of the machine’s speed and how quiet it is,” he says, adding that the profilers have been assets onsite particularly for night works around residential areas.

With a lot of surfacing contracts currently underway, including work on NorthLink Stage 2 over the next two years, Mr. Myers says the profilers and the support from Cat and its WA dealer – WesTrac – has been exceptional.

“They have been very good to us, and the aftersales service has been excellent. We had to change a drum on one of them recently, and Cat and WesTrac dropped everything and dealt with it straight away.”

Damon Spiers, Managing Director at KEE Group, is equally pleased with the performance of the PM620s, particularly on the NorthLink WA Stage 2 project, where they are working in tandem with the contractor’s Cat AP655F pavers.

“These two technologically advanced marvels represent decades of research by Caterpillar Inc. They are the true embodiment of dedication to produce the ultimate machine – the best of the best,” Mr. Spiers says. “At KEE we believe they are indeed the best of what the world currently has on offer.”

Ken Russell, Internal Sales Representative at WesTrac, says delivering the PM620s for KEE Group marked a major milestone for WA. “To have the new PM620s here with KEE Group is really leading a step-change in WA.

“The machine is simple to operate, with many automated functions. It’s highly manoeuverable with its advances steering design and four steering modes. It has Cat’s powerful and reliable drivetrain and automatic load control to maximise cutting efficiency,” he says, explaining that the technical capabilities of the PM620s was a big factor for KEE Group in purchasing the machines.

“For KEE Group, a major point of difference was the support not just from us but from Cat and the Cat Paving group, who have been extremely supportive in getting the equipment out to WA.

“The debut of the PM620s on Western Australian road projects has sparked a lot of interest with other customers in the region,” Mr. Russell adds.

“Having these new, highly efficient PM620s working in our region has provided our asphalt paving customers with a versatile and very productive solution for their profiling requirements. The operator feedback is very positive.”

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