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Product Demonstrator / Machine Operator

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Location: Clayton, NC, United States
Date Posted: Feb 15, 2019

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Job Description


As part of Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products Division (BCP), the Sr. Product Demonstrator Operator works as part of design, development, and validation teams on various construction equipment products including Backhoe Loaders (BHL), Mini Hydraulic Excavators (MHE), Small Wheel Loaders (SWL), and Small Track Type Tractors (STTT).  They use their high degree of machine operating skill and experience to help develop the next generation machines and systems and to help solve customer issues and improve current machines.  They work primarily at our Clayton Machine Development Center (CMDC), in Clayton, NC, but may also visit customer and supplier sites.


The Sr. Product Demonstrator Operator provides a critical function at Caterpillar in developing the best and most reliable products.  They do this by representing real world operators, replicating the applications and jobs our customers do and helping determine and push the capability limits of new designs and machines.  This happens throughout concept exploration and evaluation, tuning and development for improvement, and machine testing and validation to ensure product reliability and durability, and covers all machine systems including overall Performance, Hydraulics, Engine/Cooling/Sound, Drivetrain, Operator Environment & Interface (HVAC, Ergonomics & Layout, Controls, Displays, & Software Integration). 


This Sr. Product Demonstrator Operator role is a unique and exciting opportunity to provide the Caterpillar Team with the Voice of the Customer, helping to ensure we provide the best, most reliable products for our customers. 

Responsibilities (include but not limited to):

  • Act with safety in mind at all times for yourself and others
  • Provide the Voice of the Customer, putting yourself “in the customer’s shoes”, adjusting perspective and operating style to represent wide variety of customers (from Rental to Fleet to Owner/Operator and from beginner / inefficient to expert / high performance & efficient)
  • Operate wide variety of machines at high skill level, especially BHL, MHE, SWL, and STTTs, in a wide variety of customer applications and job tasks, pushing machines to their capability limits during evaluation, tuning, and testing of various machine systems, software / tuning, and performance
  • Evaluate small hydraulics & controls changes during machine tuning and testing, and effectively compare and communicate the pros and cons of each version 
  • Periodically participate in concept / design review meetings to provide input on early design concepts
  • Communicate effectively, providing useable verbal and/or written feedback to engineers on machine performance, potential issues, positive areas, and/or areas and suggestions for improvement
  • Work closely and safely with other team members and occasionally suppliers or customers, and closely follow detailed instructions from engineers and/or other operators during machine testing
  • Read and follow Standard Test Procedures for safe and specific machine operating techniques
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on other aspects of customer experience including machine serviceability, safety, and perceived value of various features
  • Plan and prepare test areas including building special test fields and evaluation courses, operating water truck & compactor, measuring soil compaction, moving concrete bunkers, creating stock piles and side slopes, measuring and marking trench rows, and some various manual labor.
  • Perform site maintenance and improvements on test fields, roads, and drainage systems
  • Perform machine and work tool maintenance and minor repairs and occasionally provide support to the PD Shop, including bucket swaps and adding weight to machines
  • Occasionally travel to customer sites to understand special customer applications, requirements, and/or concerns
  • Demonstrate and train engineers and lesser experienced operators on safe and proper machine operation techniques and customer applications
  • Support machine Endurance operations by periodically running and evaluating machines and issues and helping to evaluate and improve Endurance Operator skills and capabilities


Specific Examples of Past Product Development Tuning and Evaluation Work Include:

  • Ergonomic Evaluation of seats, levers, controls placement, display placement, intuitiveness of controls and menu systems
  • Implement Tuning & Evaluation of modulation, controllability, speed, response, balance, power, and overall machine performance
  • Visibility Evaluation & Demonstration of how new enclosures / cabs / structural elements limit ability to perform customer applications
  • Replicate Customer Complaints on machines in house to help Product Support resolve the issue
  • Competitive Machine Evaluation with Marketing to compare machine strengths and weaknesses


Basic Qualifications:

  • High School Degree or equivalent
  • 15 years of experience as a machine operator on various construction equipment with:
    • Advanced machine operating skill and ability to operate consistently and repeatably and to the maximum machine capabilities
    • Extensive knowledge and experience performing wide variety of customer jobs and applications
  • Significant experience operating at least 4 of the 5 following machine types: 
    • Backhoe Loaders (BHL)
    • Tracked Hydraulic Excavators – preferably including mini sized machines (MHE)
    • Articulated Wheel Loaders – preferably including small (SWL)
    • Track Type Tractor dozers - preferably including small (STTT)
    • Skid Steer Loaders / Compact Track Loaders (SSL/CTL)    

Top Candidates Will Also Have:

  • Ability to work as part of a Team and interact professionally with engineers, suppliers, and customers
  • Experience operating Motor Graders or performing grading applications
  • Experience with Accu Grade / GPS / Laser grading systems
  • Experience operating other Caterpillar and competitive mid or large sized earthmoving equipment
  • Ability to detect minor changes in machine response or performance during machine tuning and evaluation testing and clearly communicate in detail about the relative differences and pros / cons between each setting / component change.
  • Ability to vary operating techniques to simulate various customer types (beginner to expert)
  • Ability to diagnose equipment problems or concerns and perform basic repairs
  • Ability to self-direct work and assess and perform site maintenance needs
  • Experience in machine testing / development
  • Experience in training / teaching machine operations
  • Experience with welding
  • Willingness to occasionally travel for up to 2 weeks at a time, domestic or international (≤ 10%)
  • Current North Carolina CDL License (or willingness to get)
  • Operator Certification from Caterpillar (or other)
  • Associates or other advanced degree
  • Good Communication skills (verbal & written) with the ability to provide specific, detailed feedback
  • Basic Computer skills (email, word processing, etc)
  • Ability to follow written and oral instruction
  • Ability to perform physical strenuous activities on occasion

Caterpillar is not currently hiring individuals for this position who now or in the future require sponsorship for employment visa status; however, as a global company, Caterpillar offers many job opportunities outside of the U.S. which can be found through our employment website at

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Job Info

Feb 15, 2019


United States