If you’re a company specialising in soil compactors in the 10–12-tonne class I doubt EEM has reviewed a product more relevant and exciting for you than this one. The new Cat® CS12 GC is a game changer with Caterpillar’s clear and distinct focus on performance, value for customers and impressive technology. There’s no doubt this is going to make a huge impact on the market.
Caterpillar has gone back to the drawing board with the new range of compactors producing a design that has focused on quality and enhanced compaction performance. Operator comfort and visibility have also obviously been high on the priority list when designing this impressive machine.
MACHINE DRIVE POWER (MDP)
Caterpillar has yet again gone down the road of exclusive technology with its new Machine Drive Power (MDP). Rounding out this new offering is Caterpillar’s value piece with its Customer Value Agreements, which also adds depth and sophistication to this new offering with hassle-free servicing and long service intervals.
To get down to the nitty gritty with this test drive we enlisted the help of operator and educator Scott Lidster from Australian Earth, with Chris Powell from Caterpillar to assist with product knowledge and machine specs.
One of the many features of the CS12 GC is improved ease of use, which meant Scott was the perfect operator because it had been about 20 years since he had used a soil compactor, so it was interesting to see how well Scott adapted to the new features and simplified layout and operation. Scott shared, “I’ve been lucky enough over the years to spend time in most types of heavy machinery. My role as an educator for my business Australian Earth sees me travel the world to teach companies and operators the new features and best practices of their new purchases to achieve optimum efficiencies. So, for me it was two decades ago since I stepped into a soil compactor and it was a very rudimentary experience.”
Scott continued, “Coming into this test drive I’ll be honest and say my expectations were pretty high. I have a high opinion of the Next Gen Cat range of excavators, loaders and dozers, so I knew Caterpillar wouldn’t release anything that wasn’t top shelf and boy was I right – the Cat CS12 GC has come a long way.
“From a technology perspective Caterpillar’s new MDP technology is essentially telling you when the ground has become firm and when you can stop working or move onto a new area. This feature alone is going to save massive amounts of time, fuel and expense. It really does take the guesswork out of compacting. On the power front for a 10–12 tonne range machine the CS12 GC is impressively nimble on the ground and can climb an incline of up to 55 degrees.”
EXCELLENT VISIBILITY IN COMFORT CAB
While filming Scott operate the compactor, I couldn’t help but admire the clean all-glass cabin and once I sat in the machine it confirmed my thoughts. You are literally surrounded by glass from head to toe making vision and confidence when operating the CS12 GC truly next level. “Many operators will have to work right up to an edge with these machines, either close to a drop off or other sensitive area. The visibility from the chair with the full glass panels is excellent. Operators working in sensitive areas will love this epic cabin design and the confidence it will bring during operation,” said Scott.
Another great piece of tech is the auto vibe feature, which delivers the perfect amount of vibration to achieve optimum results based on the type of ground you are working from. When Scott first drove past me and activated the vibration I was amazed at its power from where I stood about 5m away. This machine is designed for serious heavy-duty commercial soil compacting capabilities.
When I asked Scott about any other standout features he jumped straight into the following: “Operators are going to really appreciate the large LCD screen in the top right corner of the front glass panel, which made reversing a breeze. The seat is also very comfortable for operators who spend long hours in the machine. It’s a comfortable cabin with the luxuries you would expect like AC, but something that I was also quite surprised by was that when steering and bringing in the vibration the hydraulics didn’t go missing – it was a seamless and powerful experience. On the in-cab noise and vibration, Caterpillar has done a standout job keeping the cab quiet and comfortable. The vibration dampening for the cab works amazingly well.”
LEADING COMPACTION PERFORMANCE
After receiving great feedback from Scott it was time to scratch the surface with Chris and find out what else is combining to make this roller such an impressive machine, “The key strength of this machine is its industryleading compaction performance, which we have experienced and seen today. On top of that we have maintained our B series hitch with the GC, which is an important part of the machine. It really does take a large load and is a maintenance-free hitch for customers, which adds up in terms of serviceability. Caterpillar has obviously put a lot of time and energy into the cab in terms of functionality and comfort. The new MDP technology is exciting to bring tothe market because it provides vastly important information to customers about when to stop compacting and when you have reached the required mark specified for the project. It’s going to save a lot of time and fuel over the course of a project,” said Chris.
The icing on the cake is the Cat® Customer Value Agreement (CVA), which is delivered through the dealership network where the product link data (including EPP and maintenance service agreements) is sent to the customer ensuring hassle-free servicing.