CAT 994K Wheel Loader at Rio Tinto

NPE delivers Australia’s first rental Cat® 994K Wheel Loader to Rio Tinto’s Marandoo Mine in WA

National Group’s premier brand, National Plant & Equipment (NPE), has delivered a brand-new Cat® 994K Wheel Loader to Rio Tinto’s Marandoo Mine Site

A pioneer in mining and metals, Rio Tinto was the first in Australia to secure the rental of the 994K, which has become the top customer choice in its size class for over 25 years.

After arriving in Perth from the Caterpillar® manufacturing facility in Decatur Illinois, the wheel loader began pre-assembly on 17 February by WesTrac at its Reid Road facility. From there, the oversized load was disassembled for transportation from Perth to the Pilbara, where final assembly took place on site at Marandoo before being handed over to Rio Tinto to begin work in early May.

Cat large wheel loaders are well known as the ‘top of their class’ due to their sheer size and durability that ensures maximum availability through multiple life cycles. The 994K doesn’t disappoint, with a net power of 1,297 kW, an operating weight of over 240 tonnes and a bucket capacity range of 19.1 – 24.5³ for hard rock conditions (up to 43.6 m³ for soft rock), making it the largest wheel loader currently manufactured by Caterpillar.

“With optimised performance and simplified serviceability, the 994K allows mine sites to move more material efficiently and safely at a lower cost per tonne” notes Mark Ackroyd, National Group Managing Director.

“They are the ideal machine for large mining companies such as Rio Tinto to maximise their efficiency and productivity and reduce the level of ongoing maintenance required.”

Geoff Bailey, WesTrac Executive General Manager of Sales commented on the company’s long-standing relationship with National Plant & Equipment and the machine’s impressive capability.

“WesTrac have worked closely with NPE for more than seven years and we’re proud to continue to support the business with industry-leading equipment and technology.

“The 994K can handle large payloads even in tough conditions, loading a matched Cat 789 or 793 haul truck in five to six passes respectively. It’s a highly efficient option for our WA mining customers.”

As many businesses and industries come to a halt due to COVID-19, National Plant & Equipment has continued it’s ‘unstoppable’ ways, led by their CEO and Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd.

“The 994K is Caterpillar’s latest and largest model of its kind and one of the biggest wheel loaders in the world. There is currently less than ten in Australia, so we are very excited to own a brand-new model and to see it go to work with one of our key clients. We are very confident it will meet and exceed any expectations”.

National Plant & Equipment’s Business Development Manager for Western Australia, Craig Binstead, had nothing but praise for the highly sought-after machine.

“We are thrilled to be the first rental company in Australia to own a Cat 994K wheel loader. Everybody in the mining industry knows how robust and durable these loaders are, so we are very happy to be adding one to our extensive fleet”.

Things do not seem to be slowing down for the National Group either as they prepare to deliver a range of other machinery to mine sites around Australia in the coming months. Watch this space!