Cat suspends operations at Texas dump truck plant

Caterpillar said Tuesday it will suspend operations at its Waco, Texas, dump truck manufacturing facility in the first quarter of 2003.

Caterpillar said it is ceasing production at the plant, which employs 12 people, because of sluggish demand for its dump trucks. Waco employees were to build dump trucks for markets in North, Central and South America, while a plant in Peterlee, England, provides the trucks for European and Asian customers.

But the Peterlee facility has more capacity than demand for Caterpillar dump trucks worldwide, Carlos Rivella, who manages operations in Waco for Caterpillar, told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

“We’re not closing the [Waco] plant, and we’re not planning to abandon it,” he told the newspaper.

The company is keeping the $11 million, 128,000-square-foot facility and the equipment it contains in ready-mode. If demand for the trucks improves, the plant may reopen, said Christopher Glynn, director of corporate human relations for Caterpillar.

Caterpillar will try to relocate the 12 employees to other locations, he said.