Mr. Santhosh Patil, Pune
Pricing and fuel consumption have been the 2 sore points about Cat® excavators with customers, but Kamdhenu Group, Pune, has been making new inroads with its fleet of Cat 320D2 excavators purchased a year back in 2014.
"The Cat 320D2 excavator is a class apart from other machines because of its 'highest in its class' bucket capacity, better fuel efficiency and commendable high altitude engineering capability. It gives an output which far exceeds that of any other machine," says Santosh Patil, Working partner, Kamdhenu Group. He explains, "The Cat 320D2 bucket capacity is 22% more as compared to other same-class excavators, which leads to 17% less fuel consumption per ton. This has indeed brought in higher output and reduced man hours, thereby helping us complete our projects well before the stipulated deadline."
Founded initially as a bore-well digging equipment company in 1982, the Kamdhenu Group diversified in 1997 with its foray into infrastructure development. With employee strength of 200, the group has currently diversified into several verticals such as road infrastructure development, mining, crushing and screening, and earthwork.
Kamadhenu Group has a formidable fleet of 90 equipments of major brands. Chief among them are 3 Metso crushers, Terex screening plant and 24 excavators, out of which, his latest purchase of 5 X Cat 320D2 excavators in 2014 are his pride, and in his words, represent the 'modernisation' of his fleet. Other equipment includes the Cat C9 Acert engines installed in the Terex screening plant.
The Cat 320D2 excavators have been deployed in Pune for excavating compact basalt, which is used as road aggregate. "Cat has an excellent global presence and superior brand image", says Patil, a qualified mechanical engineer, who has been buying equipment for the group ever since its inception. "I have seen Cat machines at trade shows. I have also been doing research on the internet and have consciously built awareness of such machines over the years. I decided to go in for Cat excavators as it catered to our requirements and overrode our experience with other brand machines."
The Cat 320D2 is Patil's preferred choice because it best suits their requirements, has a major brand image in the industry and has better resale value. He justifies, "We went in for the Cat 320D2 excavators despite their high pricing and fuel consumption factors. I am very satisfied with its unmatched performance. It is highly fuel efficient and is noted for its superior output and speed. Our operators are very happy with the machine. The state-of-the art cabin with air-conditioning and ergonomically designed chair makes it possible to put in long hours and get good output."
Earlier, Patil was using Kobelco SK350 D, which is a 35 tonner for quarrying. For some applications, he needed a 21-22 tonner excavator and hence was on the lookout. He reminisces, "When the GMMCO sales team suggested the Cat 320D2 for my requirements, I explained to them that I was hesitant about going in for Cat excavators because of their high pricing and heavy fuel consumption. The sales team insisted that the Cat 320D2 was the perfect solution for my requirements and was a fuel efficient model."
Patil was unconvinced, but was impressed by the positive attitude of the sales team. He adds, "They provided me the machine on site for 2 weeks to understand the benefits of owning a Cat 320D2 excavator. This was in sharp contrast to the attitude of other brands, which discouraged such practices and did not understand our dilemma of whether we were investing in the right type of equipment to enhance our business."
He recollects, "I did extensive analysis on its productivity, fuel consumption, other cost factors like maintenance and its robustness. I grilled the sales team with every possible problem that could arise as I wanted value for money. Using the Cat 320D2 on trial was the clincher as it helped me take a balanced decision in place of a biased one."
Spelling out the prowess of the Cat 320D2, technically sound Patil says, "High productivity and increased reliability of the Cat 320D2 ensures more uptime. The powerful Acert C 7.1 engine is highly fuel efficient. Fuel consumption varies between 12-17litres per hour depending on the load factor. Return on investment is good -- though priced on the higher side, it delivers most satisfactorily. Our machines have completed a little less than 4000 hours in one year."
Patil shares a healthy rapport with the local dealer, "The Gmmco Dealership at Pune is doing a commendable job. They promptly respond to our service requests and are accessible at all times. Spare parts are readily available and our machines are in peak condition at all times. Regular on-site maintenance has become effortless due to ease of serviceability features like ground level access points. Maintenance contracts are also within acceptable limits. S.O.S. is a remarkable concept that helps in maximising uptime."
Speaking about the brand image, Patil says, "The Cat 320D2 excavators have definitely contributed to our business success. They have enhanced our capability in bringing in high quality and timely completion of work. Hence it is also one of the premium products, which adds extra punch and conviction of a good delivery, while bidding for projects."
Patil does not believe in taking calculated risks, but likes to make informed choices. He says, "We anticipate a life expectancy of more than 25,000 hrs, which is exceptionally good. Even after such extensive usage, we are positive that the machine would fetch a better resale value than other brand machines.
Patil's misconception of Cat 320D2 as an over-priced machine has indeed been replaced with positive conviction. "Today, I am a satisfied customer and would definitely go in for more Cat excavators depending on my requirement. After having made a detailed analysis of the superior capability and high reliability of Cat 320D2 excavators, I positively recommend it for its genuine qualities."
High powered work efficiency coupled with reduced fuel consumption has indeed tipped the balance in favour of the Cat 320D2 excavator for Patil. He signs off, "Every drop of fuel matters and is accountable for unmatched work output."