Tag Archive for 'heavy hauler'

The Ride to Success

Catom Trucking Grows Business Through Strong Partnership

From serving a few surrounding counties to spanning the entire Midwest, Catom Trucking has grown significantly over the years. But it isn’t catchy advertising or feet-on-the pavement sales efforts the construction and aggregates equipment hauling company credits for its success; they believe their customers led the way. 

Catom Trucking is able to fulfill unique customer needs with the help of Talbert Manufacturing and its comprehensive design process. (Photo Courtesy of Catom Trucking)

As the opportunity for construction projects increased year after year, contractors took the wheel, driving business and expanding into new territories. And when contractors needed dependable equipment hauling, Catom sat shotgun for the ride to help navigate the road to success. 

A Strong Start

Catom Trucking started in 1979 as a modest family owned and operated trucking company in Chicago. Tom and CathyStellman, Owners, recall the early days when they named the company by merging their two first names together. 

“We started out of our home with one truck and dump trailer hauling sand, gravel and asphalt,” said Tom. “We also leased one lowboy to pick up pavement equipment in the early mornings and evenings. It was a pretty simple operation.”

Many of Catom’s customers were earthmoving, roadbuilding and sewer contractors who relied on the company for getting their large equipment to and from jobsites. Catom was called upon by its ever-increasing customer base to haul everything from trenchers to excavators.

By 1995, the number and size of contracting companies Catom served grew to 25. Catom itself had grown, as well, to keep up with demand, running five trucks and 10 trailers. Up until this point, the trucking company was able to get by with “off-the-shelf” heavy-haul type trailers, but the size of equipment its clients needed hauled continued to increase and finally reached the company’s breaking point.

“Off-the-shelf” heavy-haul type trailers allowed Catom Trucking to get by in the early days of the business, but as clients’ equipment grew, so did the need for a custom solution. That’s when the company turned to Talbert Manufacturing for a solution.  (Photo Courtesy of Catom Trucking)
 

“For the first time, our customers were using 100,000-pound excavators, some of the heaviest at the time,” Tom said.

It was a logistical challenge not only for traveling through Illinois, but also across borders into other Midwestern states, where lower bridges and a multi-axle setups could be required. 

“We simply didn’t have a cost-effective way to haul the excavators in one load. The equipment would have needed to be disassembled and loaded onto multiple trailers, which was time consuming and more costly for our clients. Loading disassembled equipment also raised the risk of injuries. We knew it was time to look at a customized trailer.”

Catom needed a heavy-haul trailer that didn’t just serve the immediate need, but also could be used to haul a variety of other equipment, such as locomotives, and travel through multiple states. They knew this would minimize costs and prove to be more efficient not only for the business, but also their customers, as well. Plus, Cathy and Tom knew a trailer with the flexibility to haul a wide range of equipment would result in a strong ROI. 

Keeping Up with Demand

“We needed to grow as a company so we could grow with our customers and keep up with their demands, so we looked at what our biggest competitors were doing,” Cathy said. 

They noticed many of their competitors were running Talbert trailers. Catom already owned several standard Talbert units.

Catom Trucking owns and operates 30 custom Talbert trailers – 43 percent of its entire trailer fleet. The trailers help the company not only meet the needs of its current customers, but are designed to serve future customers as well. (Photo Courtesy of Catom Trucking)

Not only did Catom need to meet the needs of its current customers, but the company also had to ensure that whatever trailer they purchased could serve future customers. This included considering deck inserts and axle count and configurations. Because Catom had several other Talbert trailers in its fleet already, many of the components that would give them that flexibility were readily available; what one trailer needed for a specific load requirement could be pulled from another. 

The Talbert team met with Catom and its employees to discuss details. The criteria: 100,000-pound capacity trailer, achievable with multiple deck and axle configurations. 

Four months later, Catom’s first custom trailer was delivered: a six-axle raised rail trailer with a removable deck section. The design allowed Catom to install a beam insert or deck extension for longer, heavier equipment. Talbert also designed the trailer to go from six axles to seven or eight axles, which minimized the number of permits needed for traveling through other Midwestern states.

“We know Talbert trailers are built with high-quality, heavy-duty components,” Cathy said. “Having that along with specific features that are customized for our needs took our operation to another level.”

Catom could finally move some of the biggest pieces of equipment at the time in one load, which, as they predicted, saved time, hassle and money. Potential customers also took notice of Catom’s new capability, quickly moving them to the head of the pack of preferred companies.

“We started to receive opportunities to bid bigger projects,” Tom said. “Less than a year later, we needed a second custom Talbert trailer to keep up.”

The trailer may have been Catom’s second custom unit, but it was the company’s first 11-axle trailer. It also had a removable deck, jeep and stinger, which allowed heavier loads to be distributed more evenly. 


“That’s when we really thought we were going to town,” Tom said. “We were getting more and more big jobs because we were one of the few hauling companies that could accommodate the larger equipment, and having the two custom trailers really allowed us to serve these contractors quickly.”

Each trailer was basically several units in one. For example, Catom could install a beam insert onto the 11-axle trailer to haul a large excavator, then put in the flush deck and take off axles for moving a crusher or forklift. Catom could serve a wide range of clients with the custom trailers, which made for a healthy return on investment while providing a service that was ahead of the local competition. 

“We started using our Talbert custom trailers from day one and each unit has quickly paid for itself.”  

Built to Suit

Catom now owns and operates 30 custom Talbert trailers – 43 percent of its entire trailer fleet. This includes multiple lowboys ranging from 40-ton, 2-axle to 65-ton, 13-axle trailers as well as 40-ton Double Drop stretch trailers and sliding-axle tilt-bed trailers used for hauling smaller equipment. The latest model Talbert delivered, in July 2017, was a 13-axle unit custom designed to transport much heavier equipment than ever before. 

“Every inch of that trailer is built to our specs. We simply gave them the serial number of the Talbert trailer we wanted it compatible with, then sat down with their team to discuss details,” Tom said. “The process is like no other. Catom gets engineering, parts, quality control and sales all in one room so they really understand what we need – and what our customers need.” 

As equipment grew larger and became heavier over the years, the demand for trailers that could handle the equipment in one load increased dramatically. That’s when Tom and Cathy Stellman saw their modest trucking company experience significant growth and success, which they attribute to hard work and valuable partnerships.  (Photo Courtesy of Catom Trucking)

Catom isn’t about just making its customers happy, but its employees, as well. Stellman has “been in the trenches,” so to speak, and is familiar with what works. The company often looks to its drivers, too, for insight about what makes operations easier. 

“When we order Talbert trailers, we know what we are getting,” Cathy said. “If we need a 60-ton unit, we get a 60-ton unit, not a 60-ton-rated trailer that can’t really handle the load because of a weak neck. That’s one of the most impressive things about the Talbert trailers – the geometry of their goosenecks.”

Talbert pioneered the industry’s first mechanical removable gooseneck in 1947 and the first hydraulic removable gooseneck in 1962. The innovations revolutionized how equipment was loaded and hauled, making what was once time consuming and dangerous, quick and safe.

“What makes Catom successful? Plain and simple: When our customers have a need, we fulfill it and we fulfill it well,” Cathy said. “But, it couldn’t be done without suppliers like Talbert who mirror those same values. Any time our customers come to us with a special request, we’re meeting with Talbert to get it done.”

The road to success is never straight and can be sometimes difficult to navigate. But what makes that road to success achievable are the partners who are in it from start to finish. For Catom Trucking and its customers, that partner has been and still is Talbert Manufacturing.  

That partnership, coupled with hard work, keeps Catom Trucking growing both in terms of fleet and family ownership. Tina Stellman, Tom and Cathy’s daughter, has also contributed to the company’s growth since 1997 and shares with her parents the same passion for fulfilling customers’ needs. 

“We feel strongly about maintaining a family owned and operated business,” Cathy said. “As I step back from the business, I look forward to Tina continuing the great relationships, passion and customer commitment that has made Catom what it is today.”

CAT REDESIGNED G SERIES CARRIES ON 777 LEGACY WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR HIGH PRODUCTION, FUEL EFFICIENCY, AND OPERATOR AMENITIES

The new Cat® 777G off-highway truck builds on the legacy of performance, reliability, and long-term durability established by 777 models since 1977, both in mining and large earthmoving applications.

Rated payload for the new 777G is 98.4 tons (89.4 MT), with a standard-body volume (SAE 2:1) of 83.8 cubic yards (64.1 m3). The design of the 777G, which replaces the 777F, focuses on fuel efficiency, enhanced visibility, and operator comfort, convenience, and safety.

Conserving fuel

The new 777G’s Cat C32 ACERT™ engine meets US EPA Tier 4 Final as well as EU Stage V emission standards and is available in configurations to meet emission standards of less regulated (LRC) countries. The engine delivers 1,025 gross horsepower (765 kW) and incorporates a number of fuel-conservation features.

Auto Neutral Idle allows the 777G transmission to intermittently shift to neutral when the truck is idling in a forward gear to avoid stalling the torque converter and increasing engine speed. Engine Idle Shutdown, an operator-selected feature, stops the engine when the truck idles in park for more than a preset interval. Speed Limiting provides an alternative to gear-limiting the 777G by allowing the truck to travel at a more fuel-efficient engine speed and in a more efficient transmission gear. Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy (APECS) transmission controls boost fuel efficiency by maintaining momentum and speed on uphill grades during shifts.

In addition, the 777G has two operating modes, Standard Economy and Adaptive Economy. Standard Economy saves fuel by reducing engine power by 0.5 to 15 percent, based on the fleet and economic conditions at a particular site. Adaptive Economy requires a production baseline for the site using the Advisor display, and then, as the truck travels the haul cycle, the system automatically evaluates the power rating needed to meet baseline requirements. Full power is applied when needed, and reduced power is applied when appropriate. The efficiency of the 777G’s performance is further enhanced by 7 percent more engine torque and an increase in top speed.

Operator environment and safety

The 777G features a redesigned cab, easier to enter and exit, and having a new operator seat on the left and a more comfortable trainer seat on the right. A new console with an integrated hoist-and-shift lever enhances convenience, as does more interior space for storage. The truck’s design also emphasizes improved visibility, to both the work area and instrumentation, and overall visibility is further enhanced with an optional object-detection system. Convenience items include a powered left window, automatic temperature control, throttle lock for long uphill grades, and reduced interior sound (by 50 percent, compared with predecessor models)

Operator safety is a primary design factor for the 777G, with roll-over and falling-object protective structures integrated into the cab’s design. Laminated glass is used in the front and left windows, and emergency egress is provided via a right-side hinged window. A ground-level engine-shutdown switch is readily accessible, and a secondary steering system is provided in the event of the primary steering system failure.

Powerful wet-disc brakes are used at all four corners and provide parking brake and slope-holding capability. Brake life can be extended with an available engine brake, and a brake-wear indicator facilitates timely maintenance. Automatic retarding adds to positive control on downhill grades, and a new steering-sensitive traction-control system assists when ground conditions deteriorate

Structures and bodies

The 777G’s major structures are designed for long-term durability in harsh operating conditions, engineered to endure through more than one power-train life cycle. Box-section castings are used strategically in high-stress areas, a new front frame design increases the approach angle on ramps and grades, and a heavy-duty rear axle housing axle allows increased lubrication and filtration of critical components.

The Dual Slope Body, designed for optimum material retention on haul roads with steep slopes, carries material low and centered for stability. Heaped capacity is 78.8 cubic yards (60.2 m3) in its standard configuration. Two side-board sizes increase capacity for lighter weight materials. The X body has a flat floor and facilitates metering material into a crusher; standard heaped capacity is 83.8 cubic yards (64.1 m3). Rubber or steel liners are available for both bodies. Light-material bodies provide capacities to 165 cubic yards (126 m3).

Serviceability

Tire life can be extended for the 777G with the TKPH/TMPH feature that calculates tire loading, and a mud-protection package is available to help keep power train components clean. Hydraulic-oil filter life is 1,000 hours under normal conditions. Fluid-fill and extraction points are grouped for convenience, and all checkpoints are located at ground level and lighted for night access. A master disconnect switch, engine lock-out switch, and hydraulic lockout switch provide a convenient method when servicing the 777G.

 

777G SPECIFICATIONS

Engine Cat C32 ACERT
Net Power (SAE1349) 916 hp (683 kW)
Operating weight, w/std. body 363,000 lb. (164 650 kg)
Weight distribution, loaded, 33F/67R
Transmission speeds 7F/1R
Max. travel speed 41.7 mph (67.1 km/h)