Finning calls on dealer network to meet tight timescale for Ministry of Defence

Finning calls on dealer network to meet tight timescale for Ministry of Defence

Being part of a global network of Cat® dealerships has many advantages, not least when it comes to securing delivery of more than 80 fully Cat certified machines to Ukraine ready to help rebuild vital infrastructure and facilities in the country.  

Finning has a long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in the UK, having worked with them over the past 20 years, previously providing generators as well as customised wheel loaders and excavators. In November the MOD, on behalf of the UK-administered International Fund for Ukraine, placed a contract with Finning, the world’s largest dealer of Cat machines, parts and services, for 82 fully operational machines delivered to Ukraine by the end of April.  

The equipment was primarily needed to support rebuilding works on important parts of the country’s infrastructure including reclamation works on sites damaged during the conflict as well as clearing buildings, reinstating infrastructure and repairing underground utilities.  

Given the variety of tasks, Finning worked with the MOD to select a combination of machines – including excavators, a variety of D6 dozers, and various wheel and track loaders – providing the greatest flexibility when on the ground in the Ukraine.  

Having agreed on the machines required, Finning then looked at availability, given the tight deadline for delivery of April 2024 for all 82 machines. Finning began looking at its stock of used equipment available in the UK and widened this out to identify suitable machines to meet the MOD’s needs from other Cat dealerships in the US, Europe and Canada.  

“Being part of a global dealer network, meant we were able to mobilise the required used machines from across Europe and the US to meet the MOD’s requirements,” explained Adam Smith, Head of Used Equipment at Finning. 

“Over half of the machines were sourced from our stock of used equipment here in the UK. However, we were able to meet the demands of the full machine requirement by sourcing equipment from Cat dealerships in the US, Norway, Spain, Germany, and France.  

“This really emphasises the strength of the dealer network across the world and with all dealers adhering to the same inspection standards – we were able to provide absolute reassurance for the MOD on the quality and performance of the machines. 

All Finning used machines undergo an end-to-end, full 140-point service inspection prior to delivery. To this end, all the machines were prepped at one of 10 Finning service workshops in Glasgow, Leeds, Winsford, Cannock, Chesterfield, Dublin, Lisburn, Ashford, and Llantrisant.  

The end-to-end service inspection includes a full function test and visual inspection of the machine itself. Then checks to the hydraulic system, powertrain, axels and gearbox are carried out. This includes fluid analysis checks to determine engine health and a full inspection of the undercarriage, tyres and any work tools. Finally, all the electrical systems on the machines are tested to ensure they are fully operational. 

Adam continues: “Carrying out such a detailed inspection means we can provide a standard Cat warranty package in line with the machine’s age, hours on the clock and general condition, and includes providing a full-service history.  

“This is standard practice across the sale of our used equipment and is universal across all Finning dealerships to provide customers buying used equipment with complete peace of mind and confidence that their equipment has been fully inspected and is fit for the job it needs to do.” 

“The next stage involved us preparing all the equipment for transit. This required us to remove any blades, guides, belly guards and rippers so they wouldn’t be damaged en-route. We then had the task of coordinating with hauliers and shipping agents to manage their journey.” 

Finning delivered the first 25 units by the end of December 2023, with the balance of machines due to be delivered by the end of April 2024. 

Maj Gen Anna-Lee Reilly, Head of Strategic Capability, Engagement and Operations at DE&S, said:  

“We’ve been impressed with the level of expert input and service from Finning, which had a real task with sourcing such a range of machines in a very short time. The company has applied their proven expertise and combined it with creativity to find a solution which delivers a huge benefit to Ukraine.” 

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