MONROE, N.Y. (March 15, 2013) - Though its equipment is used in a wide range of construction - and destruction - projects around the globe, quite literally one of the more creative uses of the industry-leading Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) bulldozers and loaders comes with the DIRT WURX USA crew at the controls.
Crafting loosely piled soil into a roller coaster for dirt bikes is an art in and of itself. With stadium-based supercross tracks in particular, they've become so intricate and technical in recent years that, when complete, the racing surface is more akin to a dirt skateboard park than one of the original Mike Goodwin supercross tracks from the early to mid-1970s.
Recognizing this unique dirt-based art form, Ryan Foley of Foley CAT (NJ) recently reached out to the world's premier supercross track design and construction team – DIRT WURX USA - and picked up the DW crew for a special behind-the-scenes look at the CAT headquarters in Peoria, Ill.
"Caterpillar was elated to host Rich Winkler and the DIRT WURX team at our home in Peoria, Illinois," said Caterpillar Inc.'s Chris Gustafson. "For years, Caterpillar and the CAT dealer community has enjoyed seeing and supporting the incredible talents of DIRT WURX as they build the best race tracks using our Caterpillar equipment. The factory visit gave them an up close and personal view to how we build the CAT products they use and the tour of the new Caterpillar Visitor Center let them see up close, many more amazing products including the 797 mining truck and the D11 track-type tractor."
Ushered first class to CAT HQ so that they could quickly get back to the task at hand this week – building the Indy SX track – DIRT WURX USA's tour was coordinated by Ryan Foley of Foley CAT (N.J.). A motocross enthusiast himself, Foley's private SRFMX83 track has become something of legend with his crew back east as it's been designed, tuned and re-designed for a number of years personally by Rich Winkler.
"Chris (Gustafson) and I figured we were long overdue in getting the DIRT WURX crew to a factory so they could see firsthand how these machines are put together," said Foley. "After St. Louis, it made sense to get them to travel to Peoria to see the SS FACTORY where the D6T thru the D11T track-type tractors (bulldozers) are manufactured. It's a HUGE campus and the SS Factory is where final assembly is performed. It is also the single source of supply for the worldwide demand of the D9T thru the D11T bulldozers."
Turning the DIRT WURX USA crew loose in the CAT headquarters no doubt had that 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' buzz about it as the guys were flat out floored by what they got to see and do. "It's hard to say what impressed me most, but I'd have to start with CAT's assembly line," said Winkler. "It's amazing. The thought that goes into every little detail, and with every worker on the line encouraged to make suggestions on how to improve efficiency, makes CAT a model for the industry.
"And these aren't golf cart or Priuses they're building ... but pieces of equipment that weight 60 tons. I think sometimes we take for granted the CAT equipment we have at our disposal. So it was just incredible to see how these machines come together."
One piece of equipment in particular that was completely fascinating was the CAT 797 mining truck (as previously mentioned by Gustafson) - the world's largest, highest payload capacity mechanical drive haul truck. The truck weighs nearly 1.4 million pounds and the bed holds enough dirt to create a supercross track in less than 20 loads (300 loads with normal dump trucks). "It takes 275 pounds of wire just to weld the frame together," cited Winkler.
At the end of the day the DIRT WURX USA crew got to operate some of the equipment via CAT's high tech simulators. Plans are in place to get the DIRT WURX USA crew out to the CAT plant in Phoenix for some actual hands-on testing of the latest equipment when Monster Energy Supercross stops at Chase Field in 2014.
"DIRT WURX USA was absolutely honored that CAT reached out to us for this special tour," added Winkler. "It was a pretty amazing day for the crew and a substantial experience for an operator in general. The overall size and scope of the CAT operation in Peoria is just awe-inspiring. My guys were blown away."
For further information on Caterpillar Inc., including a timeline on the company's rich history in developing American, link to: http://www.caterpillar.com/company/history
DIRT WURX USA – the premier SX/MX track design and construction company in the world - is the exclusive supercross race track design and construction firm for Feld Motor Sports and the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. With more than 20 years of global experience in the field, DIRT WURX USA's highly talented crew of designers and heavy equipment specialists not only build the world's most visible tracks, but are also accessible for affordable track design and construction at the local level. For more information, please visit www.dirtwurx.com
High Profile Public Relations, LLC is a multi-faceted communications agency specializing in strategic media relations - both industry and mainstream - for the powersports and action sports communities. Dialed in with all forms of power and action sports, its participants, manufacturers and live event promoters, HPPR's Pat Schutte can be reached at (734) 369-2170 and email@example.com. For more information, please visit www.highprofilepr.com.