CATERPILLAR in the North-east is sending more than 95% of these new ‘green’ trucks abroad.
The facility at Peterlee is the only Caterpillar facility in the world that produces the articulated vehicle and the 50-acre site has just over 1,000 employees engaged in their design and manufacture.
The market-leading big yellow trucks are used for everything from mining, quarrying and waste management through to heavy construction projects. The machines operate in extreme climatic conditions from +20'C to -20'C in all types of terrain.
The next generation line-up now includes a certified emissions compliant cleaner diesel engine that has reduced exhaust emissions. New features include automatic traction control that helps the driver deal with very slippery conditions.
Product manager Steve Lanctot said: "Locally we have invested over £40m in the development of our new machines and getting the facility ready to build them."
Production volumes have doubled from last year; this combined with the launch of the new machines is helping increase employment opportunities at the Peterlee facility. Already this year more than 50 agency employees have been offered permanent contracts. Recruitment seems set to continue as additional shifts are considered for later this year. The company also continues to invest for the future with the addition of ten more new apprentices to the team this year.
Phil Handley the Peterlee Managing Director said: "There is nowhere in the world that has the passion or pride of the team at Peterlee, this has been an outstanding demonstration of teamwork and commitment.."