Collins Earthworks invests in new Cat graders to meet infrastructure demand

Collins Earthworks has invested in two new Cat 160m graders to meet growing demand on larger infrastructure projects alongside improving sustainability performance.
Loading, Hauling & Excavation / August 14, 2023
By Liam McLoughlin
Collins Earthworks' new Cat 160m graders are vital in keeping haul routes in good condition
Collins Earthworks' new Cat 160m graders are vital in keeping haul routes in good condition

The recent investment is part of Collins ongoing fleet management plan with from Finning UK & Ireland, the world’s largest dealer of Cat machines and parts, and bolsters its Cat fleet to over 60 machines. 

Graders were originally developed in the 1800s and typically used in a wide range of terrains for everything from snow removal to road grading thanks to their durability and reliability. However, over the last couple of decades, their popularity has declined, with an excavator or a dozer – or combination of both – being used to carry out grading site tasks. Now as construction companies push to achieve government net zero emissions targets and improve their carbon footprint, utilising one machine instead of two makes an impact on the emissions generated onsite. 

Collins Earthworks, based in Ripley, Derbyshire, undertakes projects across the UK and Ireland providing a full suite of services from earthworks to demolition, stabilisation to transport and surveying. As such, graders have now become an essential part of the workflow, as the company continues to grow and is taking on larger projects.

Collins engineer Nathan Warner says: “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.”

Cat fleet
The purchase of the graders is part of a rolling fleet management programme by Collins who have a longstanding relationship with Finning having purchased their first Cat dozer in 2003. Their fleet now consists of more than 60 Cat machines including dozers, graders and scrapers – all of which have been supplied and are serviced by Finning.

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

He added: “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. 

“Collins take pride in their fleet and ensure all their machines are well maintained, equipped with the latest technology and make use of the latest safety features. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they are successfully securing large contracts for landmark projects including the East Midlands Gateway, Northampton Gateway and HS2."

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