Parkes Shire Council is now the owner of a new state-of-the-art roadworks mainstay, that’s also the first of its kind in the country.
The 9.8 metre-long and 3.4 metre-high CAT RM500B Road Reclaimer rolled into town on Thursday.
The new road mixer is the first of this series to be sold in Australia by Caterpillar, having previously only been available in Europe, Canada and the United States.
The $673,900 mixer digs up the existing materials on site, such as the road itself and recycles it, providing a cost effective and environmentally friendly means of resurfacing and maintaining road pavement.
“Our region is a key freight link for road trains and heavy vehicles moving across the state,” Councillor Neil Westcott said, who’s a member of council's Plant Procurement and Replacement Committee.
“By investing in the most efficient and cost effective equipment and methods available for the maintenance of our road assets, we are able to reduce transport costs and increase productivity for the local agricultural and mining industries.”
Specialist CAT staff from the US will travel to Parkes to train six council employees to operate the new mixer and carry out critical functions.
“Roads are easily the largest budget expenditure item each year with in excess of 2000km of sealed and gravel road across the region managed and maintained by council,” Director Works and Services Ben Howard said.
“Investing in this state-of-the-art piece of equipment means council will avoid outsourcing this type of work to contractors, saving council money in the long term, while ensuring our local road infrastructure is maintained and improved to the highest possible standard.
"This is also a fantastic opportunity for our staff to upskill in order to deliver the level of productivity required in this area of work.”
The new mixer complements council's extensive road works plant fleet, which includes graders, loaders, backhoes, rollers, tipping trucks, excavator, low loader, jet patcher, and minor plant and equipment.