A NORTH-EAST truck building firm, rocked by previous market decline, has been galvanised by a fresh deal to make new vehicles.

Caterpillar, in Peterlee, east Durham, has bolstered its production line with new articulated dump trucks and bare-chassis models.

Bosses say the vehicles will add to the existing range of heavy industry trucks.

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However, they confirmed no new jobs have been created in the work.

The firm says its bare-chassis vehicles are capable of carrying specialist equipment such as water tanks and spray systems, with its dump trucks fitted with higher-powered engines and improved rails to counter falling loads.

A spokeswoman told The Northern Echo the work was a major boost for its North-East site.

She said: “Peterlee is the worldwide supply base for articulated trucks and this is an exciting launch for the group.

“The company rolls-out products and services in each of its territories at different intervals.

“These new products are a complement to our product line and will be made by Peterlee's existing workforce.”

Work on the new vehicles comes after Caterpillar's bulldozer track-making division, based in Skinningrove, east Cleveland, revealed plans to create ten jobs and invest in new machinery to meet rising global demand.

The factory, which employs about 70 workers, makes track shoes for its range of large earthmovers, with the parts used as spares for customers across Europe, Africa, the Middle-East and Russia.

The new work is a welcome boost for Caterpillar after it was forced to cut roles at its Peterlee plant at the start of the year due to the strains of falling demand.

The Northern Echo understands more than 110 jobs were at risk, including 70 production workers and 45 office staff, though Caterpillar have not revealed how many jobs were lost.

Caterpillar also makes parts for loaders and excavators at its sister plant in Stockton.