Technology helps a small contractor overcome a big problem

Heartland-Concrete-ConstructionThere stood Beau Wissing, staring at a mess someone else had created — and now was his to fix. “It was a disaster,” Wissing says of the parking lot being built for a new grocery store.

Heartland Concrete Construction, based in Nebraska, had been hired to finish grade and concrete pave the 100,000-sq-ft lot. The job had turned out to be much more difficult than advertised – and then some.

“This was without a doubt the most complex parking lot we’ve ever done,” says Wissing, who owns Heartland with his father, Jeff. “There were valleys and ridges and crazy stuff all over. The elevations were off. Nothing matched. The engineer had been fired. The plans made no sense.”

That was the good news. “The entry was unworkable,” Wissing says. “It was the worst part of the whole project. There was an approach that had a ridiculous elevation change.” The general contractor told Wissing to take whatever steps necessary to move forward. Yet Heartland is a small firm with limited resources. So what do you do when a job is falling apart — and fixing it is up to you?

See what Heartland Concrete Construction did to turn this project around and are using what they’ve learnt to save time on other projects.

Launching the new Cat machines with a show

catday-6The Official Opening of the Caterpillar Distribution Centre at Yatala went ahead last Friday (20th May). The 80 plus customers that attended the invite only event were treated to a tour of the new facility. They also watched a demonstration featuring several new machines, some of which were shown for the first time in Australia that exhibited the connected site.

SITECH played a huge part in the careful planning of the project including mapping and generating an electronic, constructible model prior to any planning and fleet selection.

catday-3First SITECH flew a senseFly eBee over the proposed site, and from here were able to create a 3 dimensional plan showing all roads, buildings and services to an accuracy of 50mm. The SITECH Data services team took this data and designed the roads, drain and spoil areas, as well as planning the positioning of the stand where all the customers watched the demonstration from.

Work on creating the site got underway a couple of weeks prior to the event, with the SITECH team and the operators for the Cat machines working over several days to get the design mapped out and the Cat logo dug out by an Excavator. Another fly-over by a UAV captured the construction site in full swing as you can see below.

Hastings Deering Product Manager General Construction Industries, Shane Lennon said “We saw 85 customers attend the event, from medium sized contractors to large national accounts, and to date the feedback has been very positive, exceeding their expectations in many cases.”


The Caterpillar Distribution Centre is a $130 million dollar investment, big enough to store two jumbo jets, and the equivalent of 14 football fields at 56,000m2 has been cited as a vote of confidence in the Construction market after the mining industry slump a few years ago.

The centre, which has a capacity to hold up to 22,000 parts, employs 150 people responsible for shipping everything from a small rubber washer to an 18 tonne engine. The main destination for the parts will be throughout the Hastings Deering Cat dealership throughout Australia, PNG and Pacific Islands.

VisionLink is becoming more mobile

Responsive web design on mobile devices phone, laptop and tablet pc

VisionLink, the suite of applications designed to help you get better results from your machinery has received a facelift. The rebuilt VisionLink telematics dashboard is designed to work better with smartphones and tablets.

VisionLink takes advantage of the telematics devices probably already installed on your construction equipment. These devices collect valuable information that can be viewed and used in VisionLink applications, allowing you to measure and improve your construction fleet’s hours, utilisation, fuel burning, idling, health, maintenance and productivity.

The redesigned VisionLink telematics dashboard features a responsive website design, allowing it to provide its full feature set and information layout across both computers and mobile devices. It looks the same no matter which device you access it on.

It also loads faster and displays the data in a much easier to read format, less cluttered and with graphs instead of spreadsheets. This gives you the diagnostics at a glance. VisionLink now features an infinite scroll, which loads new data as you scroll down, meaning no clicking between pages.

visionlink-overviewThe new VisionLink also has a much higher level of customisation than the old version. You can now choose what information you see on the screen and in what order. You can also tailor the alerts you receive and the types of reports that are sent to you.

Plus there’s no need to worry about everything coming to a screeching halt as you learn the new dashboard. The VisionLink current version will be kept on in an online app called VisionLink Legacy. Users will be able to hop back and forth between VisionLink Legacy, and the new version with a single sign-on simply by switching tabs in the browser.

Learn more about the new VisionLink on the website.