Meet the expert

CAT® new large hydraulic excavators line up

“Caterpillar’s next generation excavators have revolutionised the excavator market,” Excavator Product Specialist, Yibin Teo, says adding, “A focus on the customer experience was central in the design of the new line of large excavators, which includes more models, more standard technologies and an even greater range of options and price points.”

Caterpillar offers a wide range of next generation large excavators, which comprise of performance models 336 to 395 featuring factory standard technology and the 336 GC and 345 GC standard models to suit applications like bulk earthworks or hammer use that don’t require the full suite of standard technology imbedded in the next generation performance range of excavators. “Our GC models provide solutions for operations where high reliability, faster return on investment and low cost per hour performance are the priorities, while our performance models are all about leveraging the integrated technology to achieve maximum productivity and lowest cost per tonne,” Teo adds.

The various configurations of the Cat® engines in the large excavators can run on biodiesel up to B20 and by offering different emission choices like U.S EPA Tier 3 and U.S EPA Tier 4 Final options across most of the range, customers have more choice than ever.

Teo said, “Our large excavators are designed with new features that help to lower the fuel consumption and increase fuel efficiency ranging from 5% to 25% while improving the machine performance and the productivity.”

Three engine modes of operation: Power, ECO and SMART modes are available to best match your performance and fuel efficiency expectations to your applications and to ensure the machines are always working in the most optimal settings for any job. It’s the next generation SMART mode however that automatically matches the engine RPM and hydraulic power to the actual digging conditions to reduce fuel consumption and optimise performance in real time by sensing the load on the hydraulics that is a real game changer. Simply set the excavator in SMART mode and let it manage engine power when and where you need it with no further operator input.

A precise combination of lower engine speed and large hydraulic pump pressure and flow delivers more work per unit of fuel. “Cat pumps matched to Cat engines, with Cat hydraulics and Cat software means our systems are highly refined and tuned to work together,” explained Teo.

The cooling fans on next generation large excavators are mainly On-demand hydraulic fans with a couple of models using a hybrid system of electric and hydraulic fans. These variable speed fans ensure cooling is optimised and helps to save on fuel consumption when cooling (fan speed) requirement is low.

We wanted to help lower owner’s operating cost, so Caterpillar has reduced maintenance costs by up to 15 per cent based on 12,000 engine hours, Teo said. “We have gone further then we have ever before and extended and synchronised maintenance intervals on all models. Synchronised 1000-hour oil and fuel filter service intervals reduce downtime and the extended intervals also means that on a 395 vs 390F, customers can save on 48 filters over 12,000 operating hours.”

The new hydraulic system no longer requires a pilot system, eliminating the need for a pilot filter, further reducing maintenance costs.

Other improvements like the advanced air intake filter with pre-cleaner has more dust holding capacity than the previous air intake filter for better engine protection. The new hydraulic oil filter provides improved filtration performance, anti-drain valves to keep oil clean when the filter is replaced, and longer life with a 3000-hour replacement interval, which is 50% longer than previous filter designs. The new high-efficiency hydraulic fan has an optional automatic reverse function to keep cores free from debris, eliminating the need for any operator interaction further lowering the maintenance costs.

The new Cat 336 Hydraulic Excavator offers class-leading production and low-cost operation. Its powerful hydraulic system delivers strong digging forces and swing torque to boost production in the most demanding applications. The new Cat 340 Hydraulic Excavator features a more powerful engine, wider track gauge, and 7.5-tonne counterweight to increase productivity by 10% over the 2020 model Cat 336. Its increased power and stability, combined with next generation electrohydraulic system efficiency, make it the best choice in the 40-tonne (45-tonne) class for moving tonnes per hour.

At the core of the Cat excavator range, simple, easy-to-use technology helps operators and owners get the most out of their machine. Cat GRADE with 2D provides real time guidance on bucket teeth position and helps the operator reach grade faster and boosts productivity.

The systems can be upgraded, or factory optioned with 2D Advanced, which is able to provide in-field design or Cat GRADE with 3D which is able to track the bucket position through the Global Navigation Satellite System for high accuracy grade performance.

Grade Assist allows operators to stay on grade with the use of a single joystick input, automating the boom bucket and tilt commands. Grade Assist has been refined for use with heavier work tools and is now available on the 349 and 352.

Lift Assist is a new feature that is available on all performance models. The Lift Assist feature provides real time indication of load centre and mass and by calculating the weight of the actual load being lifted and comparing it to the excavator’s rated capability, visual and auditory alerts show and tell the operator where in the excavator operating range the load can be safely lifted.

Standard Product Link™ makes the management of the customer jobsites easier by gathering data from the equipment. It provides location, machine hours, fuel usage, productivity, idle time, diagnostic codes, and grade control internet connectivity as well as remote flash and troubleshoot which can reduces downtime.

Cat PAYLOAD technology is a fully integrated system that delivers precise load targets with on-the-go weighing, which prevents over/underloading, and reduces load times and maximises efficiency.

The newly designed cabs with automatic climate control and wider seats raise the standard in comfort and productivity. The cabs are designed with advanced viscous mounts that reduce cab vibration by up to 50% over previous excavator models.

All the controls and the joysticks are ergonomically designed to reduce operator effort and fatigue. The ROPS cabs with narrow front cab pillars along with other features like the standard rear-view camera, larger windows at the front, sides, and rear give excellent visibility to the operators in all the directions. The tilt-up left console allows the operators to enter and exit the cabs easily and safely. Performance-enhancing features like the front-facing control panel, keyless pushbutton start, and large touchscreen monitor with jog dial keys come standard, which simplifies the operation. Convenience features like Bluetooth integrated radio, USB ports for charging and phone connectivity, cup, and bottle holders provide better access, connectivity, and storages, which further boost operator comfort.

Teo said the excavators set a new benchmark for the industry. “They are revolutionising how owners and operators utilise our machines to maximise performance, improve productivity and operator efficiency and reduce operating costs and help owners improve their job-site profitability. “Designed to deliver an unmatched customer experience,” Teo added. “The range has to be experienced to be believed – they have set a standard that enhances our segment leadership and paves our way forward.”

For more information about Cat large excavators, visit the local Cat dealer.

NSW/ACT WesTrac 1300 881 064
VIC/TAS William Adams 1300 923 267
Western Australia WesTrac 1300 881 064
QLD/NT Hastings Deering 131 228
South Australia Cavpower 08 8343 1600
NZ TERRA 0800 93 39 39

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