The Value of Rugged Phones for Builders

As part of our new series of #RuggedStories, we sent our very own Hannah Daborn to understand how our key users could be using a Cat® phone to help make their working lives much easier.

In this episode, we focus on builders. Understanding builders’ daily challenges, helps us at Cat phones to innovate and enhance our rugged phones.

Here follows Hannah’s story of her first-hand experience of a day spent with a team of builders based in the UK, equipped with her Cat S41 smartphone.



Why Builders Need Cat phones

My day on site with builders was a real eye-opening experience. I learnt that a lot of builder stereotypes, like many, are way off. More importantly, though, I was happy to discover that from practicality to safety, the Cat phone really is the ultimate tool to have on site, whatever the job!

And it comes with a range of pre-loaded useful apps, specifically designed for key Cat phone users – not a lot of people know this!

The day begins

The day began at 6:00 am. I was dressed for the occasion with an obligatory cup of builder’s tea in hand and cliché builders outfit, complete with tool belt, ideal for storing a mid-morning chocolate bar, lip gloss and mobile phone.

I climb into the truck and a plume of dust covers me. I adopt a yoga like position as foot well is currently occupied with an extensive array of power tools.


Site No. 1:  Single storey extension to a Victorian house

I greet the grafters with my firmest handshake, followed by a “morning mate” nod. I’m in!

We set to work busily laying footings for the extension. I am surrounded by mud and wet concrete, which I know are perfect conditions for the Cat phone to shine!

I gallantly leap over a small trench. In doing so, my S41 falls out of my back pocket and drops into a mud pit. I casually reach down to pick up the phone submerged in mud and throw it in the nearest bucket of water to clean it – confidently knowing this phone is totally waterproof.

Understandably my chums let out gasps. But I calmly shake off the water and show that my phone is still working just fine.

Drop proof

Site No. 2: Complete renovation to an Edwardian Lodge

This is where I am greeted by a delightful stilt walking Irish man, who claims to be Madonna’s number one fan. With the grace of a gazelle, he navigates his way around the floor and gets to work plastering the ceiling.



He jokes that his earlier career in the circus is handy for his current role.

Another bonus of the phone’s rugged features is that it is drop tested from 1.8metres onto concrete, ideal for when up ladders or Dura-stilts!

Cement mixer survivor

Accidentally, I drop my trusty S41 into the cement mixer (not while it’s on may I add!). I then use it as a plasterer’s finishing trowel to plaster the wall – not recommended to try at home, folks.

Nonetheless, this is not a problem for Cat phones. My S41 is impervious to dirt, grease, oil, sand (and cement!) and keeps on working without any problems.

Integrated thermal camera

Site No.3 Re-tiling a Thatched Property’s roof.

This is where the Cat S60 really comes in handy.

You can use the trusty thermal imaging capabilities of the Cat S60 smartphone to check there is no wildlife or rodents nestled in your thatched roof before carrying out work.

The phrase ‘raining cats and dogs’ did in fact derive from animals hiding in thatched roofs, which then would tumble out in heavy rain.

The thermal camera of the S60 is a useful tool to check for any potential overheating due to the proximity of electric cables as well as overheating chimney flumes.

Handy Phone Apps for Builders

Our Cat smartphones are available with a pre-loaded range of apps, specifically chosen to appeal to our users.

Available via the App Toolbox, you can select from a range of apps suited for Construction, Farming, Sports & Outdoors, specific Rugged Work & Tools and much more.



Pitch Gauge app

When tiling the roof, the Pitch Gauge* app is used to calculate the total size and slope of any roof. It includes two digital slope finders and a square calculator.

You can find slope without ever leaving the ground using this camera-mode. Then, take a picture with the pitch reading and current address stamped onto it, and attach it to an email for your own or the insurance company’s documentation. This is trusted technology all available in the palm of your hand, thanks to the Cat S60.

Spirit level app 

The Power Bubble – Spirit Level* app is a particularly useful tool for levelling and checking either horizontal or vertical levels.

StaySafe™ app 

Staying safe is critical on site for yourself and fellow workmates. The StaySafe* app (pre-loaded onto Cat phones) is particularly handy for this. It will give you peace of mind next time you or a colleague are working solo, in a hazardous environment.

The app lets workers check in/out of locations and trigger a panic button to alert a pre-defined list of co-workers should they run into trouble. The app’s hub management system allows you to address alerts in real time.

BuildCalc app

The BuildCalc* app is also pre-loaded onto Cat phones. It is an advanced construction calculator created by builders for builders. It makes projects and calculations on site much easier.

From practicality to safety, the Cat phone has it all! The ultimate tool on site and built for the job, whatever the job.

Discover our full range of Cat smartphones.

*third party apps available via the App Toolbox on Cat phones


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