Caterpillar Case Study – Powered Ladder System

The Problem

A leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment contacted Caster Concepts to inquire about building them a motorized ladder cart to help retrieve parts in their facility. Operators were having trouble pushing a manual cart around when it was fully loaded, which came in at 1,200 lbs.

The Solution

Modifying a regular ladder cart already utilized in the facility, Conceptual Innovations retrofitted it with a drive system. This system eliminated the push/pull force previously experienced by the operators, helping to improve productivity and reduce the chance of overexertion injuries.

When designing this motorized ladder, the top concern of the customer was to ensure the safety of its employees. They did not want their operators riding on the cart as it was moving. To ensure safe operation, Conceptual Innovations added a disable sensor on the ladder. Once someone steps on the ladder, the drive system is disabled.

Likewise, the company wanted to make sure operators were always in control of the cart. To keep the operator’s hands on the cart when in use, an enable button was placed on the opposite side of the ladder handle as the thumb throttle. This addition ensured safe, two-handed operation.