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Watch now: Decatur CAT employees celebrate motor grader milestone

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DECATUR —  When you are the largest of something made at Caterpillar Inc.'s Decatur plant, you are already the center of attention when you show up on most work sites across the world.

On Thursday, it wasn't the size of the 24 Motor Grader that put it in the spotlight. Instead it was its place in history as the 1,000th motor grader of its kind manufactured at the plant.

“A lot of hard work and dedication and a lot of people to got us to this moment today,” said Tina Czerwinksi, the Decatur Caterpillar facility manager. “And it looks beautiful.”

Caterpillar milestone

Employees pose with the 1,000th 24 Motor Grader manufactured at the Decatur Caterpillar Inc. plant during a ceremony Thursday. 

Employees from the Decatur plant were on hand during a ceremony Thursday to celebrate the milestone before the machine is shipped to its new home in Australia. 

“We have been building the 24 Motor Grader model since 1996,” Czerwinski said. “Twenty-six years, hundreds of employees have contributed.”

One of those employees is Section Manager Megan Haurberg, who began her career with the company and the celebrated piece of machinery in 2017.

“I take a lot of pride in this one,” she said. “This one’s kind of my baby.”

According to the company, the 24 Motor Grader model is often used at mining sites. The process of building the grader can take weeks, which includes fabrication and assembly, before it is shipped. 

“They have exceptional operator comfort,” Czerwinski said. “Serviceability is really what our customers are looking for.”

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The model has changed and updated since the first one 26 years ago. “But that’s always with our customer in mind,” Czerwinski said.

The normal processes of getting customer feedback and incorporating them with the products have evolved. “This one definitely has our customer’s stamp on it,” Czerwinski said.

Caterpillar has been a major manufacturer in Decatur since 1955.

Caterpillar Milestone

Decatur Facility Manager Tina Czerwinksi shares information about the 24 Motor Grader and the teamwork that makes it possible during a ceremony Thursday to mark the 1,000th motor grader of its kind to come off the Decatur assembly line.

The 24 Motor Grader is different from the others produced on the Decatur assembly lines, according to Haurberg. The 80-ton piece of equipment has a 24-foot long blade.

“It’s really neat to be a part of it, to say that my hands were touching this machinery,” Haurberg said. “I take a lot of pride in that. It’s a huge accomplishment for us.”

Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


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