- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Caitlin Mugford
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
The bulk of industry-standard crawler carrier units in North America come from foreign manufacturers in a set design for a set purpose with minimal customization. If a component needs replacing or repair customers are often left waiting for backorder parts to ship from Japan or other countries thousands of miles away resulting in lost time operating and money out of the their pocket.
For years, this was the case, until husband and wife team, Mike and Lisa Crimaldi, founders and co-owners of Illinois-based Terramac LLC (Terramac), set out to develop a superior product. “We’ve both been in construction and drilling our entire lives – Mike since he was 17,” shares Lisa. “My father, who was an entrepreneur, came to the U.S. from Italy and his first occupation was a drilling job. He was very successful and he helped train Mike and I.”
Years later, after seeing opportunities to improve on crawler carrier unit designs while running Rig Source Inc. (Rig Source), a drilling equipment and crawler carrier sales and rental center, Mike started to envision Terramac and an advanced crawler carrier. Mike knew he could make significant improvements in attachment customization and offering the product support current manufacturers lacked.
“Rig Source has been operating for about 10 years, renting and selling drill rigs and crawler carriers,” shares Lisa. “It was through Rig Source that we saw the need for an improved product.”
North American made machining
The first major improvement was to source primarily North American-made components for Terramac’s RT9 rubber track crawler carrier. “What makes the RT9 so special is it comes from American-made steel and North American-made high-quality components,” reveals Mike. “Our competitor’s machines are from Japan and customer support is a struggle, especially when you have to wait for backorder parts to come all the way from Japan.”
The RT9 also ramps up customization options, making it a well-suited unit for a variety of industries, including mining, pipelines, general construction, environmental construction and beyond. “Terramac offers several added attachments and we’re willing to work with OEMs and end users to offer a level of customization our competitors cannot,” explains Mike. “Other brands give you one option and that’s it – you’re on your own once you purchase it, but we’re willing to work with the customer throughout the whole process and long after their sale.”
“The more customized we get, the more markets we can enter,” adds Lisa. “We have an in-house equipment designer capable of 3D drawings and modeling and walking customers through the whole process.”
Rapid acceleration from concept to product launch
From conceptual design to rolling out its 100th RT9 unit, the lifecycle of Terramac has been one of fast-paced growth. “While Terramac officially formed in 2011, production of the RT9 has only been going for about 24 months,” reveals Lisa. “In that short period, of time our product has been really well-received and we’re expanding our current markets and dealer networks.”
The company operates out of a single location in Illinois, but sells to dealers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. “We’re currently in the process of signing on another major Canadian dealer with numerous locations throughout Canada, as well as other domestic dealers,” Lisa continues. “With major pipeline and mining industries, there are many users in Canada and the market is a great fit.”
Meanwhile, at home in Illinois, the RT9 is going where others cannot. “We have two units that have been running for about six months at Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park,” notes Lisa. “This is a very unique job because the park is actually being constructed on top of a parking garage in downtown Chicago.”
To build on the structure, crews are using light-weight geofoam as the base. “They needed a carrier that could transport dirt and top soil without damaging the geofoam and the RT9 was the perfect solution,” explains Lisa.
Just the beginning
While the RT9 can gently roll over sensitive surfaces with a fully loaded ground pressure of just 5.1 pounds per square inch, Terramac’s crawler carrier can also tackle the toughest terrain with a 230-horsepower Cummins diesel engine and an 18,000-pound carrying capacity.
But Lisa says this is just the beginning for Terramac. “We’re now in the early stages of product design and development of a new model crawler carrier with larger capacity,” reveals Mike. “It will have a heavier carrying capacity and production is slated for 2015.”
“We knew we had a ground breaking piece of equipment, but never would have guessed our mission for customers to discover the difference would intrigue so many, so fast,” adds Lisa.
As more RT9s roll off the production line and the next generation of innovation nears release, Terramac LLC is delivering the difference, taking the road less traveled in versatile crawler carriers.
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