Finning and Digger Man Blog Team Up for Technology Led Road Trip, The Connected Tour

Acclaimed industry blogger Nick Drew, from The Digger Man Blog, joins forces with Finning UK & Ireland on its Connected Tour retrofitting new Cat® PL542 telematics devices to a range of Caterpillar and other OEM machines.

The PL542 records data from your equipment and communicates it through the Product Link platform, VisionLinkÔ. With the ability to track machine location, monitor fuel consumption and downtime, the unit allows plant managers to oversee both its fleet and operators to ensure the safe and efficient running of a site.

The Connected Tour showcases just how quick and easy the unit is to fit. Visiting different plant businesses yards from Western-super-mare to Cannock, the team got individuals involved in the process of fitting the Pl542 across a range of Cat and non-Cat machines. 

PlantForce Hire in Western-super-Mare was the first stop on the map, where the PL542 was fitted to an Ammann Compactor. The Digger Man blogger Nick Drew was given the opportunity to fit and register the device using the Cat Activate app. To see how Nick got on view the Connected Tour videos at

The next stop of the Connected Tour was Gloucester, where Nick Drew showed plant co-ordinator Shane Groves at Smiths of Gloucester Ltd. how to fit the unit himself to one of its Cat 308E Excavators.

The first day of the road trip came to an end at O’Brien Contractors in Warwickshire with engineering manager, Gareth Price installing the PL542 to its brand new JCB 3XC contractor backhoe loader.

Gareth fitted and registered the device himself saying: “It has taken minutes to install, it’s probably taken longer to unscrew the casing than it has to plug this back in. Its already transmitting information and it’s all working.

“We look forward to seeing what information we get from it.”

Day two of the Connected Tour was spent at the Finning head office in Cannock, where the Nick visited the Finsight team of engineers, who monitor thousands of connected assets across the UK and Ireland. The team were able to show him how the Vision Link monitoring service worked, displaying data being received from the PL542 units that were fitted throughout the tour.

Explaining how they can locate, identify and flag up any potential issues with a connected machine, advising whether individual units need preventative maintenance or servicing, the team were able to demonstrate the power of connectivity.

With the PL542 now available from Finning for both Caterpillar and other OEM equipment, customers can order the device direct from Finning, fitting it themselves or with help from Finning engineers. The unit itself is available for free as part of a 36 month £16.99 per month subscription, which includes six months of free Condition Monitoring, 18 months of fleet benchmark reports and expert advice from our dedicated analysists.

To purchase a PL542 from for a Cat machine visit

To purchase a PL542  from for a non cat machine visit

For more information on Connectivity solutions from Finning.