Remember Win a Cat® Truck contest winner Coley Mulkern? Back in November 2011, more than 3,000 entrants competed for a brand-new Cat CT660 Vocational Truck, and Coley and his company—Lionel Plante Associates (LPA)—took home the grand prize. The folks at Milton Cat, LPA’s local dealer, recently checked in with Coley and provided this update:
“No passing, and no toll booths either. Instead, the Cat CT660 truck owned by Lionel Plante Associates spends a lot of time getting barged around from island to island, hauling drainage stone, seawall blocks, road gravel, winter sand and salt, waste-water drainage sand, topsoil and landscaping material. When it gets to its destination, off it goes to deliver its cargo, driving on rough and windy dirt roads and then back to the barge. Everything has to be perfectly planned and impeccably executed—the tide waits for no truck.
“It was four years ago, in November 2011, that LPA, one of over 3,000 contestants, won the Caterpillar ‘Win a Cat Truck’ contest, and time has not erased the smile from Coley Mulkern’s face. Actually, the very much hands-on CEO exudes the kind of energy that makes things happen and makes you want to be part of it, too. When we visited him to check on how his CT660 was doing, we were told that to see the truck in action we had to jump right then and there into one of LPA’s smaller boats to travel to another nearby island. Sorry, no time to grab a jacket; the truck could not be slowed down or it would miss high tide for its next delivery.
“Coley’s enthusiasm for his chosen way of life has spilled over to the younger generation. The pride and self-assurance with which his son Nathaniel and Coley’s nephew Matthew share their own LPA stories and plans for the company’s future is infectious.
“When we asked Coley for a summary of his CT660’s performance, he starts by telling us that the excitement generated by the contest has not completely died down. ‘We still get new customers who tell us that they heard about us because of the award; when I drive the truck in Portland, people wave at me!’
“Coley reminds us that the need for dependability, always a concern for a contractor, is increased even more when your territory is the islands of Casco Bay. ‘The simple task of delivering a load of material is a big deal for us; we have a very small window because of the tides, and failure becomes enormously expensive.’ He’s happy with the support he gets from our coworkers in Scarborough, and although he has not had any serious issues, he counts on them for scheduled maintenance. But the best compliment sure is this one—Coley has convinced a couple of his friends to buy Cat trucks, also; one of them, a Cape Elizabeth contractor, actually bought two.”
Click here for more pictures of LPA’s truck and its unique application.