Pipe Line Machinery

Around the Corner, Around the World

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM) is the global pipeline industry focus for Cat® equipment. Working with the extensive network of Cat dealers around the world, PLM has sold and rented equipment on every continent except Antarctica. As lead supplier or in partnership with local dealers, PLM is providing the equipment, coordinating the training and service, arranging financing and providing equipment and pipeline expertise on major pipeline projects around the world. From North and South America to China, Australia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, PLM is the one name for pipeline equipment.

Take a walk with us as we share just a few of the major pipeline construction projects that PLM has been involved with and some testimonials from satisfied customers.

North America

Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL is a pipeline to be constructed to transport synthetic crude oil and diluted bitumen from Alberta, Canada to multiple destinations in the United States, which include refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Sunland Construction Inc., a PLM customer, will be building the portion of this pipeline that runs from 25 miles north of Livingston, Texas to the Texas Gulf Coast – approximately 114 miles of 36” pipe.

PLM provided Sunland with 91 machines, a combination of 587T, 336EL, 349EL, D6TLGP, D7E, D6NLGP, and 14M Motor Graders. With the project beginning around August 1, 2012, a significant amount of coordination between the PLM departments of Sales, Rental & Used Equipment, New Equipment, and Cypress Service Facility was needed.

Access Pipeline

Access Northeast Expansion pipeline is a 297 km long project of 42 inch pipe that will carry LVP Bitumen Blend and will run from Conklin AB to Redwater AB in Canada. PLM has an assortment of equipment on this project to include the 72H, PL61, and PL87 pipelayers in addition to D8T and D6T dozers and 349 and 336 excavators on rent.

As you can imagine, the climate during the winter months is harsh and very demanding. The 72H received a custom fit cab with a heater available just in time! The 72H pipelayers are being used to handle the welding shacks that contain the automatic welders (Shack Packers). PL61 pipelayers are working the end prep or beveling machines and the PL87 will be handling the bending, lowering, and heavy lifting phases of the job.

Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada

The PL87 pipelayer made its debut in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada as a prototype in 2012. Spirit Pipelines Ltd is the company working on the project where they are replacing a 1.8km (just over 1 mile) wooden pipeline that has been in use for fifty years moving water from the dam to the hydroelectric plant.

According to James Fasek, PLM account manager, an immense about of blasting took place in order to get this pipe in the ground before covering it back into the mountain. The new pipe is 11 ft. in diameter and each section of pipe is 40 ft. in length and weighs 30,000 lbs. It will replace the full 1.8km pipeline once completed. Each joint in the pipeline requires over half a day of welding and each joint once completed has 120 ft. of welding done.

A visit to the Spirit Pipelines crew was made this summer to check on the operation of the PL87. James went with John Bilawka, PLM product support coordinator, Tom Myer with CGP, Kent Smith, Cat senior engineer specialist - pipelayers, and Kyle Schumacher, Cat pipelayer service engineer. All the updates have been done and everything checked out on the machine. “The customer loves the PL87”, says James. The new features for operator comfort and the reduction in machine footprint on the right-of-way were some favorite features for this customer. The operators also commented on how much they appreciated Cranesmart Load Monitoring Indicator (LMI), which let them know how much they are lifting and where they are with the machine’s capacity.

“We have a happy customer”, says James. This experience underscores PLM’s experience and resources, enabling them to work with pipeline contractors around the world in making sure they get exactly what they require for the job.

Latin America


In Argentina, PLM customer BTU has begun work on a gas project owned by TGN, a gas distribution company. The project consists of 130 km of 30” pipe and 21 km of 21” pipe – a total of over 93 miles of pipeline construction.

During the process of analyzing different options for the pipelayers that would be needed, BTU researched machines from older Caterpillar models as well as from competitors such as Liebherr and Chinese pipelayers. The end result was BTU opted for new machines, specifically the Caterpillar PL83, and their reasons were sound.

A high importation tax on used equipment was just one of the factors for buying new equipment. However, safety concerns played a large role as well. The project owner had very strict safety guidelines and the challenge was met in the PL83 with the Caterpillar Certified Roll Over Protection System (ROPS). In addition, the project was going to take place on the northern part of the country as well as in the southern part of Argentina where temperatures can be very extreme. The cab on the PL83 provided protection from the temperature and a comfortable operating environment making it the perfect choice for BTU all the way around.

The PL83 answers the challenge of safety and performance; offering a variety of features for increased lift capacity, enhanced slope capability, ease of operation, and performance. Having the newest fleet of pipelayers in the market, BTU will benefit in the long term locally and outside Argentina as well.


QCLNG Pipeline

In July of 2012 PLM’s Territory Manager – Australia, Martin Williamson, Product Support Manager - APD John Masterton, and Vice President - Asia Pacific, Scot Jenkins, visited the QCLNG pipeline in Australia. Their host for the day was MCJV-APLNG Plant Manager, Darryl Haworth.

The trip began in Chinchilla, the start of the gas trunk line, and headed north to a camp at Cracow. At Cracow the group sighted approximately 200m of pipe ready for lowering into the trench. Further north were our Vanguard welding units with some of our D6N shack tractors and Cat 572R’s. All of the Cat pipelayers working on this project have been supplied by PLM, around fifty-five side booms, 587T’s, 583Ts, 572R’s.

This photo was taken on site of the QCLNG and is the winner of PLM’s 2013 Calendar photo contest.

© Copyright 2013 - 2016 Pipeline Machinery International. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Site Map