Cat dozers are known for their operator comfort features, excellent visibility and low-effort controls that help improve operator efficiency, says Sam Vedhakumar, Sales and Support Manager, Caterpillar India. In a chat with Equipment India, Vedhakumar talks about the dozer market and the product and service back-up offered by the company. Excerpts from the interview.What is the demand-supply scenario for dozers currently? Dozers or track-type tractors as they are more popularly known the world over, in the last decade and earlier, were primary tools of choice in the mining and coal segment for stockpiling and ripping applications. In India, this industry was predominantly influenced by the equipment purchase plan of Coal India. Today with our customers’ focus in utilising the right tool for the multiple construction, infrastructure and mining opportunities that are available in our country, the demand for dozers has become increasingly significant. There are multiple players in this industry, and Caterpillar with our offerings of small, medium and large dozers, can configure these machines to suit our customers’ project requirement, be it as a utility or production tool.What are the growth enablers?Any construction, infrastructure or mining project involves movement of material from point A to point B. These materials can either be in a loose or compacted condition. The most effective manner in which materials can be stockpiled or spread, depending on the need of the project, will drive the usage of dozers. In short, all projects that require movement of bulk material are directly proportional to the need of dozers.What are the product / technology trends in dozers?The end result of all product / technology trends for dozers should result in enhancing the grading accuracy, increasing operator comfort and offering the most efficient cost structure to our customers.Caterpillar offers the AccuGrade system, which results in automated dozer blade control. This improves efficiency by reaching the target grade faster, in fewer passes and reducing the need for traditional survey stakes or multiple grade checkers. Sensors calculate precise blade slope and elevation, then automatically adjust the blade to maintain grade.Using Product Link system, our customers’ equipment fleet tracking requirement is simplified. Using cellular technology, key machine parameters such as location, machine hours, active and logged service codes and security alarms are reported.Tell us about the range offered in dozers and its unique features.Caterpillar offers the widest range of dozers for the multiple requirements of our customers in India. Our product portfolio includes D3K (engine horse power - 74hp), D4K (86hp), D5K (97hp), D6G (160hp), D6R (175hp & 195hp), D7R (240 hp), D8R (305hp), D9R (405hp), D10T (580hp) and D11T (850hp).Cat dozers are known for their operator comfort features, excellent visibility and low-effort controls that help improve operator efficiency. Our superior engine and power-train technology provides optimal engine performance and reliability. A variety of undercarriage configurations and components allow the machine to be matched to specific application needs. Grade control systems that help improve operator efficiency and accuracy to help get more work done, on time and on budget.Tell us about your service back up and training facilities.Cat dozers are designed for ease of serviceability in mind, apart from the focus on being the most productive, durable and reliable equipment at any jobsite. This helps in reducing operating costs and increasing machine uptime. Our dozers come standard with the renowned service of the Cat dealer network, globally. In India, our dealers Gmmco and TIPL offer support that includes preventive maintenance agreements, outstanding parts and service support, extended warranty, refurbishment of existing machines etc. Examples of truly world class workshop facilities with 5-star contamination control capabilities can be observed at Gmmco’s Nagpur branch and TIPL’s Asansol branch. Apart from these, our dealers have product support centres distributed across our country to meet our customer requirements. We have certified dealer instructors who can help assist our customer dozer operators in ensuring that their Cat Dozers are being used to the maximum operational characteristics.What is the rental scenario with regard to dozers?The rental market for equipment in India continues to evolve year on year. Today, the majority of equipment available is skewed to smaller sized earthmoving equipment only. The Cat Rental Store, owned and operated by our dealers, Gmmco & TIPL, have most equipment that our customer needs on a rental basis. Depending on project requirements, if a dozer is required for a project with duration of say 12 to 18 months only, or required during peak production requirements, Cat Rental Store is an ideal option for our customers to consider ensuring the total project cost is minimised. Our dealers, Gmmco and TIPL also offer low hour used equipment with warranty as an additional option for our customers.How do you view the future for dozers?With our government’s continued focus on the growing infrastructure needs of our country, projects being identified for execution in the mining and ports segment, and our customers’ focus in using the right machines in their jobsites, the future for the dozer industry is promising.Widest Range:D3K (74hp), D4K (86hp) D5K (97hp), D6G (160hp)D6R (175hp & 195hp), D7R (240 hp)D8R (305hp), D9R (405hp) D10T (580hp) and D11T (850hp).