Cat® 309 CR excavator and Access Tec

The recent purchase of a Cat® 309 CR Excavator and HM210 mulcher has made the Access Tec’s team’s land-clearing work easier than ever.

Access Tec kicked off in 2019 as a plant mechanic business, and over the years has moved wet and dry hire of machinery.

“We carry out a lot of civil works, as well as a lot of land clearing,” explained owner Don Downey. “A lot of our customers were involved in land vegetation management, so that’s how we ended up getting into it. And I absolutely love it.”

The right tools Access

Access Tec’s latest acquisition is a nine-tonne Cat® 309 CR excavator with an HM210 Mulcher – a package designed specifically for efficient forestry management. Don said his existing relationship with local Cat® dealer WesTrac made the process very easy.

“We bought our first Cat machine from WesTrac in 2020, a 1.7-tonner, and it’s just progressed from there,” said Don.

Nina Zeidan, WesTrac’s Product Advisor for Cat® Attachments, said the purchase process was a good example of WesTrac’s commitment to pairing customers with the right product for their needs.

“Don was originally talking about a larger, 15-tonne machine,” she remembered. “We got talking about landscaping attachments, and what exactly was possible.”

Nina recommended Don consider the smaller nine-tonne 309 CR paired with an HM210 mulcher, and Don went with the advice.

“Traditionally, councils and land-management operators have utilised 15–20-tonne excavators for clearing with a mulcher,” said Nina. “While there’s no dispute over their ability, those machines can be harder to manoeuvre in tighter-access fire trails and aren’t set up for tracking while mulching at the same time.

“The 309 and the HM210 are made for each other. It’s a high-flow mulcher, and the 309 has the secondary gear pump, so there’s no lag in terms of travelling while working with the mulcher. You’re able to finish your job quicker and have access to tighter areas that you wouldn’t with a 15-tonne machine.

“As a lighter machine, you can also carry it on a tip tray, which is something you couldn’t do with a larger machine, and it seems it was the perfect solution for him,” Nina smiled. “He took a leap of faith, and this is the result.”

(From left) Don Downey, Roberto Manna, Access Tec operator Mitch, and Nina Zeidan.

Set up

“One feature that sold this machine the most was having that dedicated hydraulic pump to run the mulcher,” Don added. “I’ve had this machine going up against some other bigger machines on work sites, and this thing just outruns all of them.”

Roberto Manna, Access Tec’s local WesTrac rep, then worked with Don to customise the excavator to a forestry spec machine.

“For Access Tec’s requirements, the 309 was the perfect fit, especially with the HM210 mulcher,” Roberto revealed. “It’s got window guards, and a thick polycarbonate front window to stop any potential hazard flying out of the mulcher. There’s a Cat tilt hitch fitted as well, so they can get the angles right when mulching on batters and embankments. “Access Tec does a lot of roadside work, so having the rubber pads on the tracks is very handy and versatile too.”

The 309’s dedicated auxiliary hydraulic pump is ideal for high-flow attachments such as the HM210.

Peak condition

Roberto explained the key to getting the best out of any machine is to make sure it’s properly maintained and well looked after.

“The good thing with Don is he has operators who treat his machines as their own,” said Roberto. “This machine has done quite a few hours of mulching now, but it’s still in immaculate condition.”

As well as a 3000-hour premier warranty, Roberto pointed out extra support coverage is available through WesTrac’s FitFleet Customer Value Agreements.

“We offer FitFleet Essentials with every machine purchase,” Roberto said. “With Essentials, we monitor the machines from our end, and notify customers when servicing is due, or of any other issues that may arise.”

For Access Tec’s 309, Roberto said Don opted to upgrade to FitFleet Plus, which includes the supply of genuine Cat® parts for a flat monthly fee.

“We have Travis as our product support rep, and he’s been absolutely amazing,” Don said. “Any issues we have, he’s straight onto it and sorts it out really quickly.”

Roberto also said WesTrac’s service coverage across New South Wales is a big part of what keeps customers coming back to WesTrac and Cat® machines

“We’ve got a large fleet of field service guys, we’ve got parts on hand, and distribution centres and warehouses – including a 24-hour warehouse in Newcastle,” he said. “We also have dedicated people in positions who look after specialty areas, from forestry to paving. So we’ve got great coverage across all our products. And the product speaks for itself, performance-wise – productivity, fuel efficiency, and cost of maintenance – when you package all that up, you can see that it’s very well worth the investment.”

“I’ve been really happy with the support,” said Don. “WesTrac has helped us out a lot. The finance packages have been really easy to deal with and the Cat® machines have been reliable.

“We’ll always come back because of that.”

Access Tec specialises in land vegetation management.

Cat® 309 CR excavator key features 

Powered by a Cat® C3.3B engine (Tier 4 Final/Stage V) @ 51.8kW 

9565kg operating weight 

Dig depth of 4642mm 

Dedicated auxiliary hydraulic pump for power-hungry attachments such as the HM210 Mulcher 

Sealed and pressurised cab with improved air conditioning, suspension seat, and adjustable wrist rests 

Ease of operation with Cat® Cruise Control, Cat Stick Steer travel mode, and Next Generation Monitor. 

Cat® HM210 mulcher key features 

1012mm working width 

Variable displacement piston motor for high torque in tough environments 

Balanced drum with fixed bolt-on chisel teeth, staggered to maximise cutting performance 

Front and rear chain guards 

Bolt-on replaceable skid shoes 

Two-year parts and labour warranty.

Find out more about Cat machinery at

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