On June 17th and 18th, Milton CAT welcomed customers, local companies, and neighbors to our new Tonawanda, NY, facility for an open house. The open house gave customers the opportunity to get an inside look into how Milton CAT will be supporting them from the facility. Two hundred fifty local companies and 500 individuals attended the open house over the two days. It was a jam-packed event with plenty to see, do, and eat.
Upon registering under the main event tent, open house guests received a name tag. The name tag had 14 of the open house activities listed. Each activity was coordinated with a numbered dozer that ran along the sides of the tag. If guests got 10 hole punches from 10 different open house stations, they were entered into a drawing to win a CAT cooler, golf bag, or corn hole set.
Open house guests received in-depth tours of the 40,000 sq. ft. facility. Tours began in the showroom, where customers have direct access to sales, service, parts, credit, and SITECH Northeast experts. Spanning the entire length of the showroom is a mural of some of the ways Milton CAT supports the Buffalo area with machines and power systems. On display, there is a 1949 D2 tractor that Milton CAT purchased from a Batavia-based farmer.
The tour groups then went into the 10,000 sq. ft earthmoving service shop, which features heated floors and make-up air systems to maintain a comfortable temperature; three in-floor scissor lifts with 12,000lb capacity each, four cranes from Simmers Crane Design & Services of Tonawanda, five oil reels that dispense triple-filtered oil, and all the tools and equipment required for a wide range of service tasks. The tour groups were led through the wash bay and bulk oil room to the parts department, where the automated vertical lift parts stocking system (VLMs) stole the show. The facility has five VLMs that can store 22,000 different line items, so most parts orders can be fulfilled from Tonawanda’s inventory. The parts are stored on revolving tracks that automatically come down when an order is being picked. Parts employees don’t have to get up in a man lift or search through a warehouse making the parts-picking process safer and more efficient. The tours concluded at the future technology hub, where there will be a machine simulator, video conferencing, and a real-time data wall showcasing Milton CAT’s use of information to better customers’ uptime and productivity.
The Tonawanda facility is the first Milton CAT location with a SITECH Northeast presence. Milton CAT and SITECH Northeast worked closely to make the open house a success. In the two-acre demo area, the SITECH Northeast team gave hands-on machine demonstrations so guests could see firsthand how Trimble technology can improve safety, accuracy, and efficiency. Machines in the demo area included a 308 Excavator with Trimble Automatics, 3D GNSS, and Augmented Reality; a D3 Next Gen Dozer with Trimble 3D GNSS; and a 279D3 CTL with a CAT GB124 Grader Blade and Trimble 3D GNSS. SITECH Northeast also gave flight demonstrations with their Wingtra VTOL drone, which can be used for surveying.
Milton CAT’s power systems rental team set up a hybrid system of an XQ35 generator with a HES30 energy storage PowrBank to power the main event tent. Under the main tent, there were nine capability information stations: mobile power; used equipment; agriculture solutions; paving solutions; Milton Xpress; scrap, waste, and demolition; Milton CAT careers; CAT Financial; and allied parts. The stations allowed guests to get their specific questions answered by the topic’s expert. Lunch and refreshments were also served under the main tent.
Next to the main tent, there were static machine and work tool displays. The work tool team offered red tag sales on used work tools at the event.
In the facility’s conference room, Chris Milton welcomed guests and thanked them for coming. Following the welcome from Chris, the Tri-Point Construction Layout team gave a series of seminars on how customers can take full advantage of their machine technology. Seminar topics included preparing a project site for machine technology, what it takes to create a 3D digital model from paper plans, what to expect from a 3D site model, and the advantages of using technology to measure and locate installed items.
On the Saturday of the open house, Milton CAT hosted Caterpillar’s Operator Challenge. 30 competitors competed in three challenges using a 302 excavator, a 289D3 skid steer, and a 950 wheel loader. The challenges were designed to test the operator’s precision, speed, and safety. Garret Wilson of G.P. Wilson Grading and Excavation was the first-place winner with a time of 1:16 on the 302 challenge and 1:44 on the 950 challenge. Augie Tolli of Villani's Lawn & Landscape LLC won second place with a time of 4:38 on the 289D3 challenge.
Thank you to those who attended the Tonawanda Open House. Milton CAT is proud to be supporting Buffalo-area customers from the beautiful new facility. We’re here to serve you, so contact us anytime!