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Collins invests in graders


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One of Collins Earthworks' new graders
One of Collins Earthworks’ new graders

Graders have gone out of fashion over the past couple of decades, Caterpillar dealer Finning reports, with most contractors preferring an excavator or dozer, or combination of both, for grading tasks.

Collins Earthworks, based in Ripley, Derbyshire, undertakes projects from earthworks to demolition, stabilisation to transport and surveying. As the company has grown, and taken on larger projects, it has come to appreciate the value of graders.

Collins engineer Nathan Warner explained: “The company has experienced significant growth in the last decade and we are working on around 30 sites across the UK. While dozers can handle levelling jobs on smaller sites, we’re now increasingly working on larger-scale sites than before – including the East Midlands Gateway, Northampton Gateway and HS2 – and this is where the graders really come into their own.”

He continued: “We’ve recently bought two Cat graders from [Caterpillar dealer] Finning, increasing our fleet to two Cat 140s and three Cat 160s.  We have the machines running constantly on the larger sites – they provide a vital role in keeping the haul routes on site in good condition which improves all-round site productivity.

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“Also, because a grader is designed specifically to prepare and level the ground, it completes the task much more efficiently than when using a dozer. This in turn reduces the emissions generated by the machine and also saves time, which also cuts costs.

“We’re also looking at running more and more of our fleet on HVO fuel so we’re able to offer a greener alternative at the tender stage of projects with fewer carbon emissions.”

The purchase of the graders is part of a rolling fleet management programme by Collins, which has a longstanding relationship with Finning having purchased its first Cat dozer in 2003. Its fleet now consists of more than 60 Cat machines including dozers, graders and scrapers.

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