Cover story: Cat Certified Used Equipment

Cat Certified Used Equipment from Terra Cat is proving to be a popular choice for buyers who need a modern piece of equipment that has low hours and has been thoroughly vetted by qualified technicians

With a global reputation as the most well-known construction machinery brand, Caterpillar equipment has long been used by owners to also stake their business reputations on.

Many established companies have a loyalty to the premium brand that often goes back generations, while newer operators understand that turning up on site with a Cat® piece of kit gives their client confidence that the work will be carried out with efficiency and to the required specifications.

However, for some buyers, getting a foot onto the ladder of what a top-tier brand like Caterpillar commands can sometimes be a bit daunting, and it’s here that the manufacturer has acknowledged this by introducing their Cat Certified Used Equipment selection.

What is Cat Certified?

Cat Certified equipment consists of selected late model, low-hour machines

Sitting in a tier between used and new machinery, a Cat Certified machine provides a stepping-stone for purchasers who perhaps cannot justify buying a new machine or may not be able to wait for something that’s not immediately available to use. Either way, buying Cat Certified can help get things underway fast, with Terra Cat’s assurance that the machine won’t let them or the client down.

Described as ‘Not Used – Experienced’, Cat Certified equipment consists of selected late model, low-hour machines (usually around the 2000-hour mark). The machines go through a rigorous inspection and servicing process by Caterpillar-certified technicians, using genuine Cat parts.

"Each machine is thoroughly inspected with a comprehensive 140-point inspection checklist," says Dean Brown, manager used equipment and rental – Terra Cat.

"Along with this, we will touch up any scratches and marks so the buyer is getting an immaculate machine that would be hard to differentiate from something new."

Selecting the best

Every Cat Certified machine undergoes a rigorous inspection and servicing process

In New Zealand, the bulk of the Cat Certified machines are from the Cat Rental fleet. The reason for this is that Terra Cat is aware of each machine’s background and is across its service history.

"Having a close association with each machine as it passes through our rental fleet allows us to understand it fully, and we know where and how the machine has been worked over its lifetime," says Dean.

"We also know that they’ve been well-maintained and have met our high standards."

Standing behind the product

In addition to acquiring a high-quality piece of used machinery from a trusted supplier, buyers can take confidence in knowing that Terra Cat stands behind everything they sell. Cat Certified machines come with a 12-month/3000-hour of warranty, whichever comes first, to help manage risk. The type of coverage details and terms vary by product and application, but it’s fair to say that a comprehensive customised support package is put together for each customer.

Who are buying Cat Certified?

In NZ, the bulk of the Cat Certified machines are from the Cat Rental fleet

For Shane Berkett of Hawke’s Bay-based Berkett Aggregates, Cat Certified equipment has found its way into a busy operation that processes aggregate for subdivisions, forestry roading, and other commercial projects.

"We’ve kept all our gear Caterpillar. Staying with one brand adds a level of safety for operators. We’ve kept all eight of our wheel loaders the same size, and the operators know all the machines are the same — the switches and controls are the same to use. It also means that parts are the same, cutting edges — things like that keep the complexity down."

With 14 machines in his fleet, four fairly recent arrivals are from the Cat Certified selection. The additions consist of Cat 730C2 and Cat 730 Next Gen articulated dumpers, Cat 345GC, and Cat 323 Next Gen excavators.

"We view the Cat Certified machines, much like a new one. They are lower hours and service records are available, so you can see what’s been done on them," says Shane. "They’ve been gone over thoroughly by the techs and it’s different from putting a used machine into the fleet.

"One of the dump trucks that we purchased started off as a hire machine with us. It had done 600 hours when we got it, and we put another 600 on the clock before deciding to cut a deal and purchase it, so you could say we virtually had it from new.

"Terra Cat are good — they’re flexible and understand we all have different needs and requirements."

Another business that has kept Cat machinery at the forefront of its operation is Otago-based Cargill Contractors. With more than 40 staff and located in Evansdale at the northern end of Blueskin Bay, some 20 minutes from downtown Dunedin, the business covers a wide range of industry portfolios, which include anything from demolition, forestry, and council contracts through to significant subdivisions and varied civil construction projects.

The equipment side of the company is underpinned by Cat equipment, and as expected with a varied workload, machines of all sizes make up the fleet contingent.

One recent project required the purchase of an excavator with a 3D package to achieve a two percent grade to prevent silting, and it was here Cargill Contractors owner George Terry turned to his usual supplier Terra Cat.

"It all happened fairly quickly. We were able to secure a machine that was set up for our needs," says George. "With something new, there’s usually a waiting period while it’s fitted with a 3D package, then tested, etc., but in our case, we were able to get what we needed fast by purchasing a Cat Certified machine.

"Terra Cat provided what we needed and being a late model, but pre-owned, we were confident about it carrying out the project efficiently, and it was a financially sound purchase for us — it worked out well."

Cat Certified machines available

Cat Certified machines include from mini to larger excavators, compact tracked loaders, wheel loaders, and ADTs

At the time of writing, Terra Cat had around 20 Cat Certified machines available to purchase, from mini to larger excavators, compact tracked loaders, wheel loaders, and articulated dump trucks.

"Buyers are getting high-quality, low-hour, late-model Cat machines that have been thoroughly vetted by our technicians," says Dean.

"They are an excellent way of transitioning into a premium sought-after brand."

For more information, contact Dean Brown at 021 582 826, or visit

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