Caterpillar Reviews | Glassdoor

Caterpillar Reviews

30 reviews

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3.7
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Jim Umpleby
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Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Some managers have no idea of the definition of work life balance (in 59 reviews)

  • Lack of communication from upper management (in 80 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Caterpillar is a good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Peoria, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Peoria, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Well respected company, job security, good compensation

    Cons

    Has too much of a big company feel sometimes

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the feedback you receive from employees and implement changes that address the issues


  2. Helpful (2)

    "supplemental employees at Caterpillar"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assembler in East Peoria, IL
    Current Employee - Assembler in East Peoria, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It is one of the highest paying labor jobs available in this area.

    Cons

    As a supplemental employee at caterpillar, you will pay union dues just like everyone else, but you will not receive any representation from the union. You are considered an "at will" employee which means that you can be walked out for any reason at any time and the union will do nothing about it. You also don't receive any healthcare or 401k and you cannot bid off onto any full-time jobs. There is no holiday pay or vacation pay. There is nothing more than time and a half after 40 hours.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you understand the full potential of the employees you hire. Some of those with whom I work have degrees in things like transcription, information technology, and education. Some of us are still in college working for those degrees. And some of us just have life smarts. You are wasting a lot of good talent by not reviewing more in depth the backgrounds of those you hire. The CI cards really don't accomplish much when they are just circular filed. And you can't expect results or even participation once everyone realizes that is what happens a lot. Another thing, be honest with your employees. Don't drop a layoff bomb on them at the last possible moment. Many of us are single parents already treading water so fast we can barely keep our heads out of the debt pool. And lastly, since there are no healthcare benefits for those of us who are supplemental, consider hiring people part-time. That way if those so choose, they can find another job to get healthcare at while still working for caterpillar.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great compensation, mediocre corporate culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Peoria, IL
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Peoria, IL
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Their monetary compensation is very high and they have a very structured training program that ensures that marketing reps are fully knowledgeable and prepared to go out in the field. Opportunity for advancement is high.

    Cons

    The location is terrible because eventually all roads lead back to Peoria. Additionally, management wasn't supportive nor involved and did not treat all employees equally nor fairly.

    Advice to Management

    To offer equal opportunities to all employees and to treat them fairly


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "It's not what you know, it's who you know"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assembler in Decatur, IL
    Current Employee - Assembler in Decatur, IL
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There can be many opportunities with Cat, they do offer tuition reimbursement and programs to achieve better jobs internally. Unlike many companies, there is opportunity for minorities beyond what you find in most large companies. They do offer very decent compensation and most beneifts are on par with other employers.

    Cons

    A total lack of communication from the lowest level to the highest. Poor implementation of new programs and a patchwork of programs for employees that varies from area to area and plant to plant. Unless you are "in the loop" many opportunities for employees are never utilized properly and many programs cannot be sustained due to constantly changing rules. Caterpillar also believes in the old adage "the beatings will continue until morale improves" for their workers which leads to a disaffected and disengaged workforce.

    Advice to Management

    Start using CPS as it is intended to utilize your workforce's creativity and knowledge to solve problems - a college degree cannot take the place of hard earned experience and knowledge. Your workers in your shops are woefully shortchanged in your efforts to engage your workforce. If you cannot win the hearts and minds of your workers - nothing, not even CPS, will make a lasting difference in your efforts to implement 6 sigma practices or improve the quality of your products.


  6. "Welcoming environment, but how about starting growth potential."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Peoria, IL
    Former Employee - Intern in Peoria, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Family oriented. Very welcoming. Big equipment that is fun to play with.

    Cons

    Small town, not much to do. Although, you are only 3 hours in any direction from a major city. Those are Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. There are long rotational programs that take place if you want to be an engineer in marketing.

    Advice to Management

    None. Keep up the great work. They treat you like you are one of the team even when you are new. Plenty of people willing to help.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "honest opinion"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior IT Analyst in Peoria, IL
    Current Employee - Senior IT Analyst in Peoria, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good pay for midwest small town
    cost of living
    good training
    international exposure/travel

    Cons

    most employees have relatives also in management. Lots of sons with dad's as VP's, Department Heads,etc. . . also work at Cat. In other words, about 40% of the the employees working in Peoria have one ofrthe more of the following "qualifications":
    1. Grew up on Peoria
    2. wen to Bradley, UI, or ISU
    3. One or both Parents work at Cat
    4. Father/Mother is department head, VP or other influential manager.
    5. Nepotism is prevelent if you look closely. Very abnormal for a fortune 200 Company that says it values Diversity.
    6. International assignments largely are now being filled with candidates from local countries.
    7. 65% of Peoria community has not traveled overseas, or even lived outside of Peoria their whole lives.
    8. Chicago, and St. Louis are 3 hours away

    Advice to Management

    diversify


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Highly Capable, Underutilized Talent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Auditor in Decatur, IL
    Current Employee - Quality Auditor in Decatur, IL
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is better than working for a smaller company.
    Not required to work 2 weeks of days then 2 weeks of nights (No swing shifts like other companies in Decatur, IL).
    Health insurance is not as expensive as in other companies.
    It is a safety aware environment.
    Can contribute up to 70% of pay into 401K up to the federal cap.
    Quality issues usually get resolved

    Cons

    Nepotism. Pension was eliminated and replaced with 401K for Hourly Workers who were hired as Full-Time after Jan. 19, 2005. 2-Tiered wage scale. You can do the same job as someone who was hired under the old contract and they get $5 more per hour than you and they get the pension plan. Animosity between the 3 shifts. Shifts setting up other shifts to fail. People trying to do the easier work and leaving the harder work for the next shift. If you are a labor grade 6 or lower, then your upward mobility is limited.
    You either have to be related to or know the right people to move up within the company, unless you graduated top of your college class. A worker is pretty much stagnant in upward mobility once accepting a Hourly Wage Job. If you are a hard working, educated, farm-boy, you will be stuck on the factory floor. If a production worker is 1 minute late for work, you will be penalized the same as if you had missed the entire day of work. Supervisors can fire Supplemental Workers for any, or no reason at all.
    The company gives too much emphasis on 6-Sigma. I believe someone who is a creative problem solver can do the same things as any 6-Sigma Blackbelt.
    If you are a woman or minority, you can move up in this company.

    Advice to Management

    Take inventory of skills of all employees. There are highly intelligent employees working on the shop floor who could be highly valuable to the company if given the chance. If we have the incentive, we can improve the Quality and Velocity.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Caterpillar - Exporting Producs, Importing Revenue, a good place to call Home"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Peoria, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Peoria, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good technical career path in most engineering areas. The sub-units (engineering sections) are run by engineering supervisors who have engineering degrees, so they typically understand the work they are dishing out..

    Cons

    Way to focused on processes, it's like we believe Utopia can really work, and very little slack is given for non-conformance. Some managers are obsessed with "just follow the proces and nothing can go wrong. Everything will go wrong if we don't follow the process"

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the product...implement the processes in a more sensible manner since there's good value in most of the processes we learn.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Don't work here unless you want to be miserable in the middle of nowhere."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Peoria, IL
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Peoria, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is fine. The benefits are fine. I did like some of the people that I worked it seeing as we were all in similar positions. There is not much else I can see as being a positive. I feel like I had a very standard experience as a recent college graduate working for Cat. Cat is only good for a certain kind of person, which was not me.

    Cons

    Read how I rated things. You are working for a company dealing with downsizing, fear of bankruptcy, and many other issues. I felt like a pawn. It was awful. I didn't have the opportunities offered to me that I was promised.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lie to college kids about what they are getting into. I went to a well accredited engineering school in the midwest and had many job opportunities.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Large company with many opportunities if you have the persistence and desire to pursue them."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Specialist in Peoria, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Specialist in Peoria, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Large company with stable employment. Layoffs are rare. Opportunity to work in a variety of locations around the world in many different types of jobs. Engineers in product development can be involved in all phases of the development process from design, to testing and production. It is very rewarding to participate in the design life cycle of Cat products.

    Cons

    Large company with resulting political issues. It can take a long time and a lot of people to get something done. Office environment is very bad. Large open office spaces with small cubicles and no windows. The company has become very process oriented, so much so that many times the implementation of the process seems to be more important than the results. 6 Sigma is still the mantra. Promotions can be difficult if a person wants to stay on a technical track and not move around to different jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Concentrate less on process requirements and more on developing people. Management should encourage development of technical roles with authority and responsibility.