Renaud Chauvet of Select Civil details his experience with Caterpillar’s VisionLink, which helps the company manage an extensive fleet of machines remotely.
Landfill management is complex, with harsh environments, unlevel land and barriers to reach cells posing unique and constantly shifting challenges.
Renaud Chauvet, Select Civil Managing Director, who has worked with the company’s Australian subsidiary for 20 years, characterises the sector as “highly demanding”.
“It can get extremely busy and stressful, some of the sites we manage handle approximately 350 trucks a day. While we are landfilling, we also have to cover,” he says.
Chauvet explains that operators need to have one side of the landfill covered while landfilling the other side where compactors and dozers are working.
“It’s a constant ballet of machines working together to minimise the impact of the landfill on the community,” Chauvet says.
“To manage this workflow without incident in rain, wind, difficult situations or muddy environments takes quite a bit of focus.”
According to Chauvet, behind every successful business is a hardworking team.
“Teamwork to me is the most important part of what we do. Respecting the people that work for us in such difficult condition is a very important part of our success,” he says.
“One of the mottos of our parent company is that the strength of machines comes from the people behind them.”
With 80 per cent of its machines from Caterpillar, Chauvet says Select Civil’s long-standing relationship with the OEM is another factor in the company’s success.
“Other people make really good products, but at the end of the day in our industry, what matters the most is not how good the machine is, but whether it can still function tomorrow if the machine breaks down today,” he explains.
“The waste industry never stops, waste is at the gate every morning.”
Chauvet highlights Caterpillar’s exceptional dealer support and parts availability.
“When one of our compactors broke a clamp on the lifting blade recently, we had the parts delivered here 45 minutes later,” he says.
“Within an hour the machine was back up and running. I don’t think we could do that with anybody else.
“The best quality is availability, peace of mind and parts on the ground backed-up by the massive Caterpillar warehouse.”
Chris Anderson, Select Civil Landfill Manager, says the company see over 350 trucks a day.
“They come up to a tipping pad area, which is a pad on top of the waste. They back up, tip off and then we push in with a dozer. A compactor then comes through and compacts the waste in,” he says.
In order to ensure a seamless workflow, Chris says the company uses Caterpillar VisionLink to monitor their machine hours, idle time and fuel burn.
He adds that technology on machines play an important role in increasing productivity and reducing downtime.
VisionLink allows operators to monitor machines remotely on any device, providing valuable insight to help facilitate efficient project management.
The customisable dashboard allows the display of specific fleet information and provides the option to choose which alerts are received and when.
“We know when engine oil is too low. All this information gets fed back to our workshop thousands of kilometres away,” Chauvet says.
“We can, as much as possible, try and do a little bit of preventive maintenance and are able to call our operators and tell them to be careful, and that something’s going on.”
Chauvet explains that Caterpillars VisionLink system saves Select Civil downtime and subsequently money.
“We deal with multiple dealers, but we have this relationship with Caterpillar because of our fleet,”
“It allows us to get an introduction in new territories and get the full attention of all the dealers.”
Furthermore, Chauvet details how Select Civil utilise methane gas produced by their landfill for power generation.
“Landfills are not tips; they are engineered bioreactors. We do our part by covering the rubbish on a daily basis and encapsulating the gas,” he says.
“Then the gas contractor comes in, drills into the waste mass and hooks up through a system of wells to a vacuum pump and pumps out all the gas that is generated by the waste mass.”
There are two benefits to this, Chauvet explains.
The first, he adds, is odour control, as the methane doesn’t enter the atmosphere.
“Second, you can use power generators to create electricity. These sites are generally neutral in terms of consumption,” Chauvet says.
“They produce more electricity than they consume, and they also export electricity to the grid.”
Regarding his take on the ongoing success of Select Civil, Chauvet says the good and bad thing about their landfill is that waste arrives every day: rain, hail or shine.
“Caterpillar is probably one of the only OEM’s capable of constantly supplying the parts and support we need to have the machines operating day in and day out regardless of the environment they are in,” he says.
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