Thursday, January 24, 2013

James Bond Trades Aston Martin for Cat Excavator

Both Cat machine fans and action movie aficionados alike might enjoy an exciting new website: It was created as a collaboration between Caterpillar and the producers of Skyfall—the latest James Bond film—and contains enough near-misses, reportable incidents, and outright disasters to make any safety supervisor picture mile-high piles of forms and the inevitable lawsuits that would accompany the extreme misuse of Caterpillar equipment depicted in the film if it were to somehow occur in real life.

The centerpiece of the mini-site is a clip from Skyfall in which iconic superspy James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) operates a 320D excavator atop a moving flatcar. As the train travels down the tracks, Bond rolls the excavator over several cars and smashes through the roof of the adjoining passenger railcar. Bond’s ally rides alongside the train and watches his next pulse-pounding move: leaving the cab unattended to walk across the extended boom and stick in order to jump into the car he damaged.

In addition to the action-packed clip form the film, the Caterpillar/Skyfall site is packed with photos. All joking aside, safety on the set was considered THE foremost concern, and numerous pictures of the film and safety crews on the set attest to the difficulty of filming these kind of high-energy scenes. But the results are worth it: we can all agree that Skyfall depicts one of the most exciting—and foolhardy—uses of Cat equipment ever committed to film!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sending Machines to the Moon

Although it sounds like something from a science fiction novel, Cat recently announced a partnership with NASA that could lead eventually to mining operations in a particularly remote location: the moon!

Cat was one of several dozen companies awarded seed funding by the Innovative Partnerships Office (IPO), a division of NASA that encourages the advancement of cutting-edge technology with potential space applications by supporting research and development projects across a variety of sectors.

The IPO is interested in technology that Cat plans to develop for mining in dangerous or toxic environments: specifically, heavy equipment that can be operated remotely, eliminating the need for sending miners into potentially life-threatening situations.

Of course, similar technology could be used in a variety of inhospitable environments, including the lunar surface. For this reason, the IPO has offered Cat funding for two prototype 287C multi terrain loaders that can used to mine, grade, and trench on the moon by operators on Earth.

Currently, one of these prototypes is being designed at Cat headquarters in Peroria, IL, the other at NASA headquarters in Houston, TX.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Peterson Power Systems at the Bottom of the Earth

Peterson Power’s rental and used equipment businesses often send employees across the globe to meet customers and deliver gear, but despite several years in the business, there’s one particularly remote location to which they had never shipped a unit, sent a technician, or installed a part: Antarctica, southernmost continent, home of the world’s largest desert, and the coldest place on Earth! However, a request for engine and genset rebuilds in McMurdo Station, a U.S. Antarctic research center located on the shore of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica, recently brought an opportunity for Peterson to add another feather to our hat of international deliveries… We won a job in Antarctica!

Patrick Higgins, Product Support Sales Manager, explained how Peterson won the job: “We had an employee who left us to work in Antarctica,” Patrick said. “After four or five years there, he came back to the United States and took a job finding contractors to work in Antarctica during the summers. Fairly recently, a big engine overhaul job came up, and he gave us a shot at bidding it. The job is complex—it consists of two complete in-frames, one top-end overall, one generator-end replacement, and one radiator & fan hub repair. We won the bid, and next thing you know, we were planning a trip to McMurdo Station!
McMurdo is operated by the United States through the United States Antarctic Program, a branch of the National Science Foundation. The highest average temperature at the station is a balmy 31º Fahrenheit in January [midsummer, to residents of the Southern hemisphere] and in August, the average low is -25º! Needless to say, for the approximately 1,300 people who call McMurdo their home, keeping the lights and heaters working reliably is top priority!

“Our job will run from October to January,” Patrick said. “Three technicians have agreed to spend four months on the ice, where they will demonstrate Peterson Excellence in the most inhospitable climate on earth.” And they’ll be busy: “The guys will arrive at McMurdo in early October,” Patrick said. “For the first two months, they’ll be in McMurdo during a 3516 overhaul and a generator-end swapout on a 3516. In November, one of the guys will fly to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide field camp to perform a radiator & fan hub repair on a C9 generator. Then, from November to December, all three technicians will fly to the South Pole station [at 10,000’ elevation!] and do a complete, major overall on a 3512.”

Power Vice-President John Krummen explained more about the job: “Visiting Antarctica is exceedingly difficult during the Southern hemisphere’s winter, which takes place during our summer,” John said. “Planes are rarely able to navigate the whiteout conditions near McMurdo and ships approaching the continent must be led by an icebreaker. Our technicians will arrive shortly after the Antarctic airspace becomes navigable—the people who spent that winter at McMurdo will be happy to see new faces after six months and are sure to give them a warm welcome!” John went on to praise the techs for their dedication to our customers: “Going to Antarctica is a big deal for Peterson,” John said. “We have now worked on every continent and condition on Earth—from extreme heat in Algeria to incredible cold in Antarctica. The dedication of our employees makes it possible for us to say truthfully that we will do whatever it takes, no matter how distant or forbidding the job, to put the Customer First!”

To view images of Peterson in Antarctica, visit our facebook page.  Or check us out on Pinterest.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peterson Trucks to Host Idealease Safety and Compliance Seminar

On April 18, 2013 Peterson Trucks, the Bay Area’s authorized International truck dealership, will be hosting “Safety & Compliance Simplified,” an Idealease seminar for fleet owners and managers on compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates.

This one-day seminar is designed to help motor carriers understand and meet FMCSA regulations, manage commercial vehicle safety, train employees on fleet safety, reduce violations and accidents, and limit liability exposure. It is open to all fleet owners and mangers.

This year’s discussion will cover FMCSA driver screening tools, driving qualifications, hours of service (drivers’ daily logs), drug and alcohol testing rules, vehicle maintenance and inspection, accident recordkeeping, and CSA.

Attendees must register in advance at

For more information visit

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Get to Know the NJPA

On Friday, January 18, 2013, the National Joint Power Alliance (NJPA) will be hosting a “get to know us” event in San Mateo. The meeting will be an opportunity for vendors with NJPA contracts to learn about the organization and to network.

The NPJA is a public agency, member-driven service cooperative that acts as a liaison between its member agencies—consisting of schools, government operations, and non-profit organizations—and contracted service and equipment providers. The event on January 18 will be held at the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport from 10am to 11am.

The NJPA asks that participants reserve their space prior to the event by calling 888-894-1930 or by registering on their website: