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MANUFACTURING: Cape Bucket Fabricator Goes National


Recent Western Cape Business News

MANUFACTURED to Caterpillar’s exacting technical specifications, Barloworld Equipment’s Bucket Fabrication Centre in Bellville has expanded its regional footprint to cover the entire southern African market, meeting the demand both for standard and customised designs. (Barloworld Equipment is the sole Cat distributor in this region.)

Whether the requirement is for a Cat 320 excavator bucket or, at the other end of the scale, a bucket for a Cat 993K wheel loader (Caterpillar’s second largest model in this machine class) our welding shop is equipped for the task,” says David Cookson, Barloworld Equipment’s workshop and field service manager for the Cape region.

Bellville’s Bucket Fabrication Centre offers the market a number of key benefits that include competitive pricing and faster turnarounds when compared to overseas lead times.

All production phases are carried out in-house with the exception of the steel bending and moulding, which is outsourced.

Working according to Caterpillar fabrication procedures for areas that include steel thicknesses and welding standards, a Cat 993 bucket, for example, typically takes the Bellville operation around six to eight weeks to construct,” Cookson explains. (The Cat 993K has a standard bucket range extending from 12.2 to 14.5 cubic metre, depending on the application.)

By comparison, ordering a replacement bucket for a Cat 993K from overseas will take between eight and ten weeks, assuming an ‘off-the-shelf’ unit is available. If it isn’t, then the lead time will be even longer. Plus there are the additional shipping costs that you’ll avoid by going the local fabrication route.”

The welding team has just recently completed the building of a Cat 992 wheel loader bucket for a major mining operation in Mpumalanga, one of its largest orders to date.

Meanwhile, a recent example of a custom job completed by the Bellville team entailed the manufacture of an out-sized bucket on a Cat 988 wheel loader for a colliery in Zimbabwe.

Adds Cookson: “The standard bucket size on the Cat 988 is 4.55 cubic metre. However, the request was for a 14.5 cubic metre bucket to more economically handle the relatively low density material. A Barloworld Equipment artisan was sent up to the mine and carried out the necessary measurements and the Bellville welding team took care of the rest.”

In addition to its national bucket fabrication centre, Barloworld Equipment’s Bellville operation also provides a comprehensive in-house engine and component rebuild service covering the entire Cape region.

Current examples include transmission, engine and component overhauls for key mining and construction clients. Machines undergoing rebuilds include Cat 140H graders, wheel loaders and Cat off-highway trucks.

All Certified Rebuilds come with a one year guarantee and reinforce Caterpillar’s global reputation for engineering durability and quality.

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