Walker Vocational Truck
Walker Machinery's Custom Painted CAT CT660 Vocational Truck
HARD WORK NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD
BELLE -When Caterpillar set out to develop their new line of on-highway Vocational Trucks, they spent hundreds of hours on the road gathering input on everything from specs and comfort to visibility and performance.
The result: the Class 8 CT660, a seriously powerful truck built for seriously productive work, loaded with features and options for the toughest jobs and built to the customer’s specifications. It is your next dump truck, concrete mixer, waste carrier or heavy hauler and it is coming here, to Walker Machinery Co., to work for you.
In preparation for the arrival of the Vocational Trucks, Territory Manager for Caterpillar Financial Lia Banks provided support to Walker Machinery, in June. Her purpose was to meet with Walker Machinery employees, such as General Manager of Walker Engine Power Rodney Canterbury and Credit Manager Sheila Lowe to review the process for financing the new Vocational Truck.
“In many cases, there may be more struggles in place for the customers, due to the fact that many purchasers of this truck will have smaller businesses,” Banks said. “That process will smooth itself out over time.”
“The truck is still so new,” Canterbury said. “Right now we are trying to learn about it ourselves.”
Despite the newness, Walker has already sold six trucks. “The customers want to see what Caterpillar is producing on-highway,” Canterbury said. “The customers that are using and purchasing these trucks today have a history with Caterpillar and Walker Machinery.”
Part of that history, for Walker, has been delivering what customers want by way of listening to their needs. They tell Walker their specifications and requirements and Walker designs it for their application. Available in truck or day-cab configurations, the CT660 supports a wide range of body types for applications, such as agriculture, concrete forestry, mining/quarry, governmental, landscaping, oil and gas, and road construction.
The Vocational Truck sits on a strong foundation equipped to handle whatever vocational body or equipment your application requires. The chassis features a set-back axle, with both 116-inch and 122-inch bumper to back cab lengths available. Both provide an extra tight turning radius for enhanced maneuvering and driving performance.
Under the hood, the CT660 is powered by Cat CT Series Truck Engines. The specs are designed explicitly for customers' demanding applications and include a Cat “CT11” engine with ratings from 330bhp to 390 bhp, a Cat “CT13” with ratings from 410 bhp to 475 bhp and, coming in 2012, a Cat “CT15” with ratings from 435 bhp to 550 bhp.
Since the truck was designed by Cat engineers, it has features and benefits that you expect from Cat equipment, Canterbury said.
“The real differentiator, with Caterpillar, is that the frame rails are the heaviest in the industry,” he said.
According to Canterbury, the trucks will be ready at the end of August/early September.
Banks discussed the current state of the market and how the vocational industry differs from the machine industry. She also discussed the purchasing process, including quoting, credit approval and how the credit team is now responsible for vetting insurance.
“These trucks may be transporting different stuff over the road and we have to be sure the insurer, for our customer, is stable and well-rated,” Banks said.
The diverse technology that comes out to the industry is something that Canterbury likes.
“We take care of the customers with a very dedicated staff,” he said.
To find more information about the CT660 click here.
Charlie Evans, retired, was Commercial and Truck Engine Product Support Manager for Walker Engine Power.
Walker Engine Power in Spotlight
Aug. 8, 2012
Aug. 8 and 9, Walker Engine Power was filmed, by Simantel, for a video spot to be featured at CAT Mine Expo and DriveCat.com. Stay tuned for a link to the video.
Photos courtesy of Brad Zingre, of Caterpillar.
BELLE – Walker Machinery Company’s Engine Power Division is in the spotlight this week, and soon enough, the whole world will understand why.
Simantel, a marketing communications firm from Peoria, Illinois, shot videos for Caterpillar, Inc., Aug. 8 and 9, highlighting Walker Engine Power’s CT660 truck sales. According to Caterpillar On-Highway Industry Rep. Brad Zingre, there are a few reasons for the focus.
“Walker Machinery is the highest performing dealer to forecast in North America,” Zingre said,
Which was quite a feat, considering Walker was the second-lowest ranked in opportunity.
Zingre reflects back to the inception of the truck and the engagement of Walker in the business, from 2010. When Walker went into the truck business, a prospectus was developed - a path of profitability, based on a dealer’s opportunity. That business plan was created over a period of eight months, presented to Walker’s executive committee and Caterpillar representatives.
“They approved our plan and from that point on it was all hands on deck,” General Manager of Walker Engine Power Rodney Canterbury said.
When the staff is committed, Walker Machinery has built their reputation on not only selling a quality product, but providing professional product support after the sale.
The change in focus paid off. In the forecast from Caterpillar, Walker was given the challenge, based on their selling opportunity - 17,000 trucks in Walker’s territory - to sell four trucks. So far this year, 13 were sold.
The Walker video was suggested by Zingre to Cat’s marketing department. Based on Walker’s successful sales and a very good customer, Medford Trucking, Cat agreed to hire Simantel and come to West Virginia. The video will feature Walker’s Commercial and Truck Engine Product Support Manager Charlie Evans, a testimonial from Mechanic Timmy Young, and two customers: Medford and Articulated Services, Inc., focusing on truck application.
Zingre attributed Walker’s success to its engagement with and understanding of customers.
“I don’t think we’d have a TV crew here today if it wasn’t for the support of Rodney, Charlie, Rocky [Peck, a Walker salesman] and the truck division,” Zingre said. “There is very high level of engagement from the top of the Power Systems Division down. It’s very rare when you have a conversation about the truck business that 100 percent of the time the general manager is engaged.”
Canterbury countered giving credit to Zingre.
“He has been engaged with every deal and with us every step of the way. They have not always been pleasant conversations, but at the end of the day we get the job done, the customer is satisfied, caterpillar is satisfied and Walker is satisfied. Everyone is working together,” he said.
The video was featured at CAT Mine Expo and is on DriveCat.com.
Hauling Coal Keeps Family Business Moving
Feb. 15, 2012
From left: Brothers Dale and Kevin Medford work long hours at Medford Trucking, LLC in Charleston, W.Va. Medford commissioned two Caterpillar ® CT660 tractors, in January, from Walker Machinery Co. and put them to work hauling coal from mountaintop mine sites.
CHARLESTON – Medford Trucking, LLC started their business, in 2001, with three trucks.
Now they have 150, according to General Manager Dale Medford.
“I had no idea we would be this successful,” he said. “There are not very many coal hauling companies that have been in business for 10 years that have been as successful as we have. I don’t know what we’ve done right, but we have really been blessed.”
He attributes that success to a reputation built upon responsiveness and accountability.
“They’ve never called us and said they needed a job done that we didn’t do for them. Whatever day of the week it is, we’ve always met our quota,” he said.
Dale began working for the family company in 2006. He oversees the staff of mechanics, truck drivers and trucks. He likes the variety the job brings, he said. The company is in approx. seven mines and is always ready for more work, Dale said. A typical call requests 50,000 tons of coal to be moved. One mine has Medford hauling about 60,000 tons per week off of one job.
“That’s an average of about 225 loads a day,” he said. “It takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours to make a round trip. We keep 40-45 trucks a day on day shift and probably 30-35 trucks on night shift to take care of that job.”
Dale said Medford’s goal is to run every truck they own. His brothers Kevin and Roger own the business that once sat at the mouth of Witcher Creek. Back then, the coal industry started picking up.
“We got into the trucking industry on the coal mine end of it at the right time,” Dale said.
The company stays busy, 24/7 hauling coal in mostly a three-county area of Fayette, Kanawha and Boone with some work in Logan. Drivers haul the coal to river docks and rail yards.
“It keeps us busy,” Dale said. “We’ll take on anything. They know our reputation.”
Commitment to Service keeps Walker’s Lube Trucks Running
Feb. 28, 2012
BECKLEY – Walker Machinery Co. just added another Lube Truck to its fleet of nine.
This one is a little easier to see coming, as it is the first wrapped in digital art. Driver Randy “Catfish” Colbird will take the truck through the Beckley and part of Walker’s Summersville territories.
According to Beckley Branch Manager Jody Green the truck is just another way to be accessible to the customer.
“It’s another door for the one-stop-shop of Walker Machinery,” Green said.
The Lube Truck is something Walker began to utilize in the mid 1990s as a way to offer the customer more services. Enclosed in the back of the box are steel tanks full of several different types of oil, oil filters and other supplies needed for Preventive Maintenance (PM). If desired, customers are able to purchase Customer Service Agreements through Walker’s Product Support Service Representatives (PSSRs) to allow scheduled service and maintenance on their vehicles.
According to Walker’s PSSR Manager Brent Samples, Walker Machinery’s PM Service and Inspection Program allow their customers to do what they do best - manage their jobsite, while Walker provides expert preventive maintenance, service and support for their customers’ equipment.
• NO SURPRISES: Maintenance costs for the services are guaranteed up front.
• ON SITE SERVICE: No need to haul equipment, Walker comes to your jobsite.
• GUARANTEED QUALITY: Cat® filters and fluids that meet or exceed Cat® specs assure quality and warranty compliance.
• NO ENVIRONMENTAL HASSLES: Walker properly disposes of used oil, filters and other fluids.
“Walker Machinery will provide all labor, parts and oil to perform the preventive maintenance at OEM recommended intervals. SOS samples are taken and forwarded to the jobsite as well,” Samples said.
The new Cat® CT660 Vocational Truck, officially announced at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011 tradeshow in March, has passed all requirements of the Caterpillar’s rigorous new product introduction process and is approved for shipment to customers. The CT660 has been in limited production since June, with the first units off the line used to validate manufacturing procedures and to ensure that the CT660 meets the high standards of quality customers expect from Cat products. Customer deliveries of CT660 Vocational Trucks began in September.
"Caterpillar is extremely pleased with the response we have received from our vocational truck customers," says George Taylor, director of the company's Global On-Highway Truck Group. "A number of customers, who saw the CT660 for the first time at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, actually ordered trucks before having the opportunity to drive them. I think that speaks highly of their confidence in Cat products and the Cat Dealer Network."
Caterpillar will continue ramping up CT660 production through the third quarter in order to fill customer orders, Cat dealer rental fleets, and dealer inventory. Most Cat dealers in North America have held or plan to hold open house events in order to introduce customers to the CT660 and explain how the trucks can be configured to meet their demanding vocational applications.
"Most important for Caterpillar at this point," says Taylor, "is to focus on increasing production and getting customers behind the wheel of the CT660. Once customers drive the CT660 and take note of how carefully it's designed to meet the demands of vocational service, we think they'll immediately recognize how the truck can benefit them. The CT660 is a significant new product for Caterpillar, and we're excited about supplying a truck that will help with rebuilding our infrastructure in a recovering economy."
Customers should contact their local Cat dealer or visit http://drivecat.com/ for more information about the Cat Vocational Truck line.
For information on the CT660, call 304-949-1600.