New equipment makes the grade on larger construction projects

COLLINS Earthworks has purchased two Cat 160m graders from Finning UK & Ireland, to help meet demand on larger infrastructure projects alongside improving sustainability performance.

The investment bolsters the firm’s Cat fleet to over 60 machines.

Graders were originally developed in the 1800s and typically used for a range of applications from snow removal to road grading. Over the last 20 years, their popularity has declined, but as construction companies push to achieve net zero targets and improve their carbon footprint, utilising one machine instead of two makes an impact on emissions generated.

Collins Earthworks undertakes projects across the UK and Ireland providing a full suite of services including earthworks, demolition, stabilisation, transport and surveying. As such, graders have become an ‘essential’ part of the workflow.

Collins engineer Nathan Warner explained, “The company has experienced significant growth in the last decade and we are working on around 30 sites across the UK. While dozers can handle levelling jobs on smaller sites, we’re now increasingly working on larger-scale sites than before – including the East Midlands Gateway, Northampton Gateway and HS2 – and this is where the graders really come into their own.

“We’ve recently bought two Cat graders from Finning, increasing our fleet to two Cat 140s and three Cat 160s.  We have the machines running constantly on the larger sites – they provide a vital role in keeping the haul routes on site in good condition which improves all-round site productivity.

“Also, because a grader is designed specifically to prepare and level the ground, it completes the task much more efficiently than when using a dozer. This in turn reduces the emissions generated by the machine and also saves time, which also cuts costs. That’s important to us; Collins is committed to improving how we perform sustainability practices.  We’re also looking at running more and more of our fleet on HVO fuel so we’re able to offer a greener alternative at the tender stage of projects with fewer carbon emissions.”

The purchase of the graders is part of a rolling fleet management programme by Collins, with the company having a long-standing relationship with Finning having bought its first Cat dozer in 2003.

Jake Wright, head of regional sales south at Finning, added, “The Cat graders are the ideal choice for the types of larger scale construction work that Collins are now recognised for across the UK.

“We’ve worked with the team at Collins for around 20 years. In that time, we’ve built up a strong working partnership, ensuring we offer full support from our bespoke packages, whilst providing insight into machine performance and efficiency through our proprietary VisionLink system.”