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Finning deliver used equipment solution to Glensanda

Finning sourced, fully prepared, and managed the delivery of 18 Cat machines to Glensanda, and delivered full operator training on site
Finning sourced, fully prepared, and managed the delivery of 18 Cat machines to Glensanda, and delivered full operator training on site

Dealer meets challenge to supply fleet of Cat machines and operator training in tight time frame

WHEN Aggregate Industries resolved to bring operations at Europe’s largest granite quarry in house, they challenged Finning to supply a fleet of Cat machines and complete full operator training to enable the company to take over operations in just eight months, without impacting production on the site.

While the supply timescale was tight, the location of the site at Glensanda Quarry posed its own set of logistical challenges. Situated on the western coast of Scotland, Glensanda Quarry is a unique site where any machinery being delivered must first navigate the Highlands’ roads, complete with police escort, before finally reaching the site via barge.


Finning, the world’s largest dealer of Cat machines parts and services, sourced, fully prepared, and managed the delivery of 18 Cat machines to the site and delivered full operator training on site ready for a go-live date on 3 January 2023.

Discussions between Aggregate Industries and the Finning team began over the summer of 2022. The Finning team first conducted a detailed site production analysis to assess the scope of equipment required to ensure they maintained the levels of production on the site. Once the scope was agreed, Finning went on to source the equipment from their wide portfolio of used equipment.

Mick Leonard, strategic account manager at Finning UK & Ireland, said: ‘We’ve had a long relationship with Aggregate Industries having supplied them with new equipment many times over the years. However, the solution we recommended to meet their short time frame and to ensure production could continue without any interruption, involved purchasing used equipment.

‘This not only enabled them to maximize their financial investment – using a solution provided by Cat Financial alongside capex, but also ensured they were able to meet their mobilization deadline and supported their sustainability ambitions with used machines using less energy through manufacturing than new.

‘Through our network within the UK and Europe, we sourced a fleet of three Cat 992 large wheel loaders, 12 Cat 777 off-highway trucks, a Cat D9 dozer, a Cat 16 motor-grader, and a Cat 966 medium wheel loader. All the equipment was transported to the Finning workshop in Glasgow to have any component repairs carried out, before being fully prepped and all the necessary safety features added so they could operate on site.

‘Having sourced the equipment, we next needed to overcome the logistical challenge of getting them to the site – which is only accessible via the sea. All the equipment was first transported by truck to Oban, before being loaded on to barges and taken to site.

Two of the used Cat 777 off-highway trucks on the final leg of their journey to Glensanda
Two of the used Cat 777 off-highway trucks on the final leg of their journey to Glensanda

‘Once delivered, we arranged for our internal equipment operating training team to go to site, to facilitate training for more than 30 of Aggregate Industries’ operators. With the right operator skills, the used equipment offered significant fuel savings compared with their ageing fleet. The deal also included a five-year service agreement, with parts delivery planned on site to coincide with service schedules, whilst plans for delivery of an on-site hose solution would further ensure machine uptime.’

Calum Carnie, works manager at Glensanda Quarry, said: ‘A changing and challenging set of circumstances led to a very demanding timescale and delivery schedule for Finning and Aggregate Industries to ensure the super quarry was able to continue producing uninterrupted.

‘Working toward this shared objective, the management teams of both companies worked closely to plan and co-ordinate everything from repair work, tyre fitting, road movement orders, barge bookings and sailings, right through to machine assembly, commissioning, and operator training.

‘Whilst the capability of Cat equipment is well known, the condition and reality of a used fleet is not, so the Finning team worked hard to make sure inspections were carried out, available machine history was shared, and an overhaul and component replacement programme was understood both pre- and post-delivery.

‘One year in and the team continues to work well together to make sure we achieve high availability, productivity, and the best possible cost per tonne from our assets.’

With more than 54 quarries around the UK, being able to access Cat Finance to fund the fleet without compromising their other operations was key for the Aggregate Industries team, whilst choosing a used fleet means they have maximum flexibility to take advantage of new machine technologies going forward as they update their equipment.

Mick Leonard added: ‘Our on-site support at Glensanda and work with Aggregate Industries continues as our team are now assessing their site operation and will be providing technology solutions and data reporting so they can maximize their cost per tonne and increase their output, which is a priority for them over the next five years.’


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