New Cat® track loader technology delivers precision grading for family business

National groundworks company Connop & Son Ltd has invested in the most advanced Cat® Compact Track Loader (CTL) from Finning UK & Ireland to tackle their high specification commercial and agricultural concrete flooring projects.

Connop & Son Ltd, a family run business which began in the 1970s, is a longstanding customer of Finning and already operates several Cat machines within their fleet to complete large scale agricultural and commercial flooring to a high standard.  

This latest Cat 299D3 XE CTL model represents the highest performance and most advanced technology available in the CTL line. As early adopters of machine control Connop & Son Ltd have also combined it with a Trimble 3D laser grade system for even greater cutting accuracy, together with a Cat GB124 Smart Grader Blade attachment which transforms this compact equipment into a powerful precision grading solution. 

While conducting significant grading work for applications like concrete a highly precise grading system ensures there is no wasted fill material. Using smart technology like this means operator productivity is enhanced and more efficient, while being able to complete their work in fewer passes also decreases the wear and tear on the equipment.  

Iwan Jenkins, Territory Account Manager, Wales Region for Finning, said: “On large scale projects such as industrial builds which cover huge areas the flooring must be absolutely accurate in terms of tolerance otherwise it can cost thousands of pounds due to the cost of concrete. 

“The great thing about the D3 series is that it also supports a line of new smart attachments which means the machine control recognises the tool and automatically tailors the controls and operator information to match the tool and the task. 

“It also has advanced control features which assist operators with repetitive tasks like grading, digging and loading, and the assist feature can automatically maintain the desired slope without the operator making any adjustments as the machine travels the cut.” 

The GB124 blade attachment Connop & Son Ltd has fitted to their machine means the hydraulic wings give it the capability of a mini grader, and with the Trimble laser system fitted as well means it is easily possible to achieve accuracy up to 5mm. The machine also has a Finning Equipment Protection Plan warranty which provides complete peace of mind for Connop & Son Ltd over the next four years should the new machine require repair or replacement of any components. 

The Connop & Son Ltd fleet already includes two Cat telehandlers, a 320 excavator, a D6T dozer and a D6 Next Generation dozer which is currently on hire. The 299D3 XE CTL is a replacement for an existing machine and was chosen by company Director, Chris Connop, after he enjoyed a demo of the smaller Cat 279D3.  

He said: “I was looking for something reliable and after the demo of a 279 two years ago I was impressed overall by the machine. After that we got a call from Finning asking for feedback and I explained that I thought the attachment needed some changes and now that’s exactly what they’ve built. 

“I think we may be the first in the country to have this machine and it’s excellent. It’s in use five days a week and our driver absolutely loves it. 

“We use it in projects such as industrial builds with 2D and 3D prepping as it’s fitted out with Trimble GPS and it adjusts everything to suit, and with a warranty up to 6,000 hours we’ve got everything covered. 

“I can’t fault Finning as we’ve found them good with supplying parts and service and I’m talking with them now because we’re looking for a new bulldozer. Although Cat machines command a premium product price, we know we can trust the reliability and they retain their value. Another stand out factor for me is the attention to providing driver comfort and putting effort into this which a lot of companies don’t.”  

To find out more about Finning Cat Skid Steer and Compact Track Loaders and machine warranties go to