Meet the 'PALCAT': A Groundbreaking Collaboration in Heavy Machinery Innovation

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In the dynamic landscape of heavy machinery, innovation and adaptability stand out as key components of success. This project showcases a remarkable collaboration between the owner's vision, the builder's expertise, and the cutting-edge technology of Palfinger and CAT. The result? A Palfinger PK53002SH crane seamlessly integrated onto a CAT excavator, positioned to revolutionize operations in New Zealand’s upper South Island.

The project's genesis lay in the owner's specific goals - to upgrade an existing 2012 machine, enhancing lifting capacity and extending reach for more ambitious projects. The requirement for easy dismounting and the ability to remount the original excavator counterweight added an extra layer of complexity. The challenge of navigating underpasses and low-hanging wires during transport led to an ingenious solution, thanks to Phil from Waimea Engineering - a system allowing the crane to be lowered onto the transporter's deck.

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Meeting Paul Steegh a couple of years prior to the PALCAT project was a game-changer. We initially explored the possibility of upgrading his previous Hiab digger crane to meet the demands of his upcoming ventures. Little did we know that this encounter would blossom into a remarkable partnership that ultimately brought the PALCAT to life.

Our choice of the PK53002SH, the flagship of our New Zealand 50tm range, was a result of careful consideration and collaboration. We packed it with all the bells and whistles - Winch, Flyjib, Cab Protection limiting - to ensure it met and exceeded expectations. Throughout the design process, making it a reality, handling technical challenges, handovers, and training, and providing ongoing after-sale support, working with Paul has been an absolute delight.

Paul & his team’s open-minded, pioneering spirit has made this journey truly exciting. The PALCAT project has been a refreshing treat, and I couldn't be more thrilled about our collaboration on this groundbreaking initiative. The experience from that first meeting to the current ongoing support has been nothing short of exceptional said Reece Dillon, Palfinger's South Island Sales Manager.


The builder takes pride in the technical aspects that make this build stand out. The entire system, from the crane's raise and lower capabilities to the seamless transition between crane and counterweight, showcases innovation. The key phase of construction involved meticulous collaboration with a consulting engineer, ensuring a flawless design. Unexpected challenges, such as the impracticality of tilting the crane for transport, were met with adaptability, reinforcing the project's resilience.
“I received invaluable assistance from Terra Cat, Palfinger, DC Equipment, and Rowan Coutts throughout the setup phase of the machine, ensuring the success of this project." – Phil from Waimea

This collaborative build symbolizes the epitome of innovation, problem-solving, and industry partnership.

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Choosing a CAT base was a strategic decision rooted in the reliability and power of a 30-tonne machine already in use. The decision to opt for Palfinger was based on industry reputation and technological prowess. The combination of CAT and Palfinger ensures not only robust machinery but also a synergy of reliability and innovation.

The PALCAT (as they have names) plays a vital role in maintaining the national power grid. From erecting power poles to lifting pylon sections and moving power lines, its applications are diverse. The inclusion of a man cage ensures a safe and efficient means of transporting workers to their designated work sites.

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Our commitment extends beyond the project's completion. We assure comprehensive support in terms of maintenance, training, and customization. We understand the importance of these elements and are ready to tailor our services to the unique needs of our clients. It's worth noting that Palfinger, with 90 years in the industry, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to further enhance our commitment to excellence.


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Steegh Contracting Ltd

Waimea Engineering