Next Gen Technology Advances Penn Mechanical Group, Inc. (PMG)
When it comes to the Shank family and their locally owned and operated business, only one word comes to mind—dirt. Whether it’s moving ground to prep a drill site or mass excavation and grading for a new commercial building, where you can find dirt, you can also find Penn Mechanical Group, Inc. (PMG) employees hard at work. From energy industry services to commercial site development, logistics, crane services, and much more, PMG has experience in nearly every industry involving dirt.
Galen and his wife Becky Shank founded PMG in the 1980s. After their two children, Garrett and Tyler joined the company after finishing their schooling, the family business was now complete with every family member involved with PMG. While Becky manages the finances, Tyler spearheads the development of their rig moving, heavy hauling and cranes services. Garrett, the oldest son, originally started working in the plumbing and heating business with his father. After college, however, Garrett became more interested in earthmoving and began introducing buried utility installations to the family business.
Small Beginnings Lead to Big Success
What started with small gas line repairs and installations quickly grew to classic pipeline work, reclamation work and even well site construction. After more than 20 years of committed work and expanding their expertise, the company took off when Marcellus Shale boomed. As the company, projects and employee numbers skyrocketed, so did the need for exceptional equipment. Today, the company has 160 employees and operates more than 120 pieces of Cat® equipment.
PMG’s generous fleet includes nearly every piece of equipment imagined. From skid steers and excavators to articulated trucks, compactors, telehandlers, dozers, cranes, trucks and trailers, PMG trusts Cat equipment and Cleveland Brothers to finish the job. Not only has the company trusted the indestructible Cat equipment to complete the toughest jobs, but PMG also relies on the technology packages offered by Cleveland Brothers. That’s why PMG decided to purchase two new Next Generation (Next Gen) 336s and two new Cat D6 XE LGPs in 2020.
The Cat Next Gen equipment, unlike any other line of product equipment ever released, features an all-new electric drive. The technology integrated onto the machine also spoke for itself.
The electric drive exhibits more power with an instant torque and power response compared to a standard diesel engine. An electric drive saves on fuel and only utilizes a fraction of the parts. Less parts means less fluid consumption and ultimately less preventive maintenance. Additionally, an electric drive balances the machine weight better and so it shifts easier from front to back and helps manage the load more effectively. Because of this enhancement, Caterpillar can offer a more robust warranty, including 7 years and 20,000 hours versus a 3-year, 5,000 hour warranty on a standard engine. The increased fuel efficiency coupled with lower maintenance costs made this a quick decision for the Penn Mechanical team.
Cat Technology Exceeds PMG’s Expectations
In addition, the four machines PMG recently purchased included factory-installed technology that sets this equipment apart. This integrated technology allows PMG to complete a task right the first time and has become essential for Lawer and his crew. Operations Manager Andy Lawer stated, “We are a young and aggressive company. We thrive on critical projects and we really strive to meet tight deadlines. On the operations side, the technology is the most important feature we needed. It allows our work to be a lot more efficient and gets the information into the operators’ hands a lot more efficiently. It saves time and is safer, because we don’t always need a surveyor on the ground in close proximity to excavation operations.”
With a need for short turnaround and no room for error, Lawer said the technology “cuts down on rework by streamlining the information internally.” While he acknowledged it doesn’t replace engineered plans, it makes vital information readily available to operators in an instant. Lawer and his team also utilize Cat Product Link®, which pulls up all of a machine’s health and data remotely on a mobile device instantly and maximizes accessibility and ultimately saves time.
D6 XE LGP Features
Lawer also noted the technology has gotten an upgrade. It used to create a slight visual interference, previously mounted on the right pillar of older models, but now mounts on the front dash and completely eliminates any visual impairment, making it a safer choice for his crews.
Overall, the electric drive and the technology on the Next Gen equipment makes processes more efficient and cost effective for PMG and their customers. Lawer stated, “We haven’t experienced any downfalls. The guys on the field love them [the equipment].” With nearly faultless equipment, Lawer also mentioned the perks of the pressurized and sealed cab, Bluetooth technology, less connectors and more room than ever before in the new cab design, making the Next Gen equipment more comfortable and innovative than ever before.
More Efficient Equipment Means More Projects
While this impressive equipment wasn’t purchased for one project in particular, it helps the PMG team complete more sophisticated projects with less time. With recent projects, including the construction and reclamation of well pads, upgrading township roads and site and retail development, the PMG team has moved hundreds of thousands of dirt and only look to growing their company and skillsets with Cat equipment.