Matcon Adds Cat 352 UHD Excavator to its Fleet

Matcon Demolition Ltd. (MDL’s) newest fleet addition, a Cat® 352 UHD excavator, is the first one of its kind in Western Canada, making the journey all the way from Caterpillar in South Carolina. For a machine this size, shipping in multiple loads is a given. The machine without the boom and stick was shipped on one lowbed, followed not far behind by the 50-foot boom and 29-foot stick. Buying Cat equipment for demolition purposes isn't a first for MDL, the company's demolition fleet already includes two Cat 336 excavators equipped with concrete crushers and shears. However, in this instance MDL needed a machine with both high reach capability and ability to be used in conventional excavator configuration.

"One of the biggest factors was availability and the fact we already have multiple Cat machines in our fleet," mentioned Jeremy Hinton, project manager and estimator for MDL. Reaching 90 feet into the sky and capable of using an 8,160-pound work tool on the business end, Cat's 352 UHD offered what MDL needed when considering a machine in the 60-ton size class.

Unlike a typical hydraulic excavator, the 352 UHD demolition excavator has variable gauge undercarriage, meaning the undercarriage width can be adjusted depending on the machine's application. For instance, where high-reach demolition requires stability, the machine sits on a wider-than-average 13-foot-wide footprint.

Modern heavy equipment is coming equipped with more and more technology, and Caterpillar's lineup of next-generation excavators certainly doesn't disappoint. With a heated and cooled operator seat, 10-inch touchscreen in the cab, 30-degree tilting cab, machine stability monitoring system when conducting demolition at height, and push button start, this 352 UHD excavator arguably offers equivalent features to that of a fancy sports car.

What is interesting to note in the cab is that, alongside the two standard travel pedals, there are two programmable foot pedals, giving the operator the option to customize their user experience by setting these pedals to control boom or stick functions. Once the 352 UHD arrived at the Finning yard in Surrey, B.C., technicians were quick to assemble, conduct pre-delivery inspection, install, and test the VUC 202 primary crusher supplied by Van-Ed Equipment. Testing of the high-reach to traditional excavator boom changeover process was also completed, and can be done in under an hour.

Industry Partnership Leads to Success

Amidst a market saturated with competing demolition companies, solid relationships with dealers are of utmost importance for a company to continue doing business and remain competitive. Whether it be parts support, machine support, or adopting and implementing technology, dealerships like Finning Canada are valuable resources to contractors. Matcon and Finning have a long history of working together throughout the Lower Mainland, with numerous pieces of Cat equipment already in their equipment fleet. The addition of another was the right step for Matcon Group of Companies to continue serving a growing customer base.

Daryl Troup, industry manager for excavation at Finning Canada, explained, "The machine purchase is just the first step in the journey for the customer. Once they put their new machine to work, the customer's priority is keeping that machine running as efficiently as possible. That is why it's equally as important to foster a strong relationship with the customer on our aftermarket side as well."

Downtime on equipment is enough to cause anyone to lose sleep, and tough applications like demolition certainly deliver challenging and harsh working conditions for heavy equipment. "Finning's support has been strong throughout the purchase and first few months of use," said Hinton. MDL also approached Finning asking for solutions to control dust and provide the operator with better visibility when operating the 352 UHD excavator. Finning responded by outfitting the machine with a third-party water spray system for controlling dust on which Troup commented, "Caterpillar engineers are aware of some of these customer requirements, so the machine had bosses and plates required for mounting the water lines and tank built in."

Finning also installed a camera system on the end of the 29-foot stick with an in-cab screen to provide additional visibility options for the operator. The VUC 202 primary crusher is also an important piece of the package, continuing to build on a more than 15-year relationship between Matcon and Van-Ed Equipment.

Read the full article in Heavy Equipment Guide.