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National Plant and Equipment has delivered Australia’s first rental Cat 994K wheel loader to Rio Tinto’s Marandoo mine in Western Australia.

For over 25 years, the 994K has remained the top customer choice in its size class and is the largest wheel loader manufactured by Caterpillar.

It features a net power of 1297 kilowatts, an operating weight of over 240 tonnes and a bucket capacity range of 19.1–24.5 cubic metres for hard rock conditions.

WesTrac began the loader’s pre-assembly in February after it arrived in Perth from Caterpillar’s manufacturing facility in Illinois, United States.

The 994K was then disassembled for transportation to the Pilbara, Western Australia, where final assembly took place at the Marandoo mine before it began work early this month.

With the optimised performance and simplified serviceability, the 994K allows mine sites to move more material efficiently and safely at lower cost per tonne, according to National Group managing director Mark Ackroyd.


“The are the ideal machine for large mining companies such as Rio Tinto to maximise their efficiency and productivity and reduce the level of ongoing maintenance required,” he said.

“There is currently less than 10 (994K’s) in Australia, so we are very excited to own a brand-new model and to see it go to work with one of our key clients.”

Business at National Group had also been positive despite the coronavirus crisis, Ackroyd added.

“We are thrilled to be the first rental company in Australia to own a Cat 994K wheel loader,” National Plant & Equipment’s business development manager for Western Australia, Craig Binstead said.

“Everybody in the mining industry knows how robust and durable these loaders are, so we are very happy to be adding one to our extensive fleet.”

WesTrac executive general manager of sales, Geoff Bailey said the 994K could load a matched Cat 789 or 793 haul truck in five to six passes respectively, making it a highly efficiency option for Western Australian miners.