Meet the expert

Cat Swings Into Next Generation

The momentum behind Caterpillar’s range of Next Generation excavators continues to build with the release of 330 and 330GC models.

Leading by example, Caterpillar revolutionized the excavator industry with the 2018 release of the 20 tonne class Next Generation excavators.

And now, with the Australian release of the 30 tonne class machines this year, Caterpillar’s totally new approach to excavator design will deliver unmatched performance and operating experience and maintain the company’s market leadership.

Here, Excavator Product Specialist Robert Leo, introduces the new machines, detailing the technology advantage.

With more standard technology at better price points, a wider range of machines to better match applications, and huge reductions in fuel consumption and maintenance costs, the Next Generation excavator range delivers a better bottom line for all customers, Mr Leo said.

“We have redesigned every aspect of the new line of 30T excavators to deliver better performance and better match customer needs just as we did with the 20T machines,” he said.

“The 330GC is the new standard model that is reliable, comfortable and productive. It is ideally balanced to deliver performance, maximise operator productivity and offer the lowest cost per machine hour of performance.”

The 330GC is joined by the new, performance model 330, continuing the legacy of what has been one of the most popular Cat® excavator models globally.

The new model 330 raises the bar even higher, Mr Leo explained. “With improved fuel efficiency and the industry’s highest level of factory fitted technology, including a completely new cab with features focused on operator comfort, and lower maintenance costs, the new 330 range will set the pace for productivity and bottom line performance for any customer.”

Mr Leo said the design of the 30T excavator line-up primarily focused on achieving improved productivity, lessening fuel burn and reducing maintenance costs – aspects bound to have a positive impact on a customer’s ownership costs and bottom line.

“This is certainly what has been achieved in the new line-up,” he said.

“The customer can expect to see gains of up to 45 per cent in operator efficiency through the use of standard fitment technology on the 330 and up to 20 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency as well as a 20 per cent reduction in maintenance costs.”

“Achieving this level of performance was ‘quite simple’,” he said. “The Cat 330 offers the highest level of standard factory equipped technology.

“Utilising these standard fit technologies such as Cat Grade with 2D, Grade with Assist and Payload, means owners can expect to achieve increases in operator efficiency of up to 45 per cent when compared with traditional grading methods. “When we decided to reduce fuel burn on the 330GC and 330 compared to equivalent models from the F-Series, we chose to be really aggressive.

“We reduced the RPM yet again but increased the size of hydraulic pump to maintain performance.

“We introduced as standard a new electro-hydraulic control valve, which has eliminated the need for pilot hydraulics; introduced electro-fans with individual control settings, including reverse; and added a new SMART mode in  the engine dial settings, which works to optimise system parameters to achieve the best fuel efficiency,” he said.

“We also use our idle management features to further assist in reducing fuel consumption, these include Automatic Engine Control (AEC), Engine Idle Shutdown (EID), 2D Grade technology and ECO mode.”

A key driver in the new design was to reduce maintenance costs by up to 20 per cent based on 12,000 hours of operation in order to reduce overall operating expense for the customer.

“We went further than ever before and extended, as well as synchronised maintenance intervals on all models,” Mr Leo explained.

“This has included doubling service intervals on items such as air and fuel filters, which now change at 1000 hours.

“We can now carry out all daily maintenance checks from ground level including checking of the engine oil.

“We reduced hydraulic capacity by 15 per cent with removal of the pilot hydraulic systems and hydraulic filters with the move to electro hydraulic controls for the operator.

“As owners will know and prospective owners will learn, Caterpillar has taken the new excavator model line-up to a new level by choosing to explore technology advances and pushing concepts of limitations on machines.”

He said the machines delivered a better customer experience with more model options, offering more standard fitment technology and at a wider range of price points “making the machines accessible to all owners”.

The new technology is worthy of further exploration, Mr Leo said. “Getting more done without standard factory fitted technology sets a new benchmark.”

  1. Standard Cat Grade with 2D – Cat Grade with 2D helps operators reach grade faster. Operators cut and fill to exact specifications without overcutting. No grade checkers are needed, so the work area is safer
  2. Standard Cat Grade with Assist – Automated boom, stick and bucket movements deliver more accurate cuts with less effort. The operator simply sets the depth and slope via the monitor and activates single-lever digging.
  3. Standard Cat Boom Assist – Stay grounded when you dig, lift, swing and load. Prevents the machine from lifting, ensuring the machine stability.
  4. Standard Cat Bucket Assist – Makes levelling much easier and consistent. Maintains the angle of the bucket to the ground when the stick and/or boom is moved.
  5. Standard Cat Swing Assist – Simplify your work cycle with less effort and lower fuel consumption. Automatically stops swinging motion of the machine at a pre-set point.
  6. Standard Cat Lift Assist – Simply engage the Lift assist feature through the monitor and safely lift to the machine’s rated load. If you exceed the rated load at any position the Lift Assist feature will sound an audible alarm as well as display flashing lights to alert the operator to adjust the stick/boom to come back to a safe position within the rated load of the machine. Simple as that!
  7. Standard Payload – Cat Payload technology delivers precise load targets with on-the-go weighing, which helps prevent over/under-loading and maximises efficiency. Automated tracking helps manage production and lower cost.

There is also a range of additional factory fitted options to increase productivity and expand grading capabilities.

Cat Grade with Advanced 2D offers an additional 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen monitor enabling the operator to create in-field designs of the section or trench that needs to be dug and/or graded.

Cat Grade with 3D also adds an additional 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen monitor allowing the operator to see a full 3D view all the time. For example, a top view of the field designs along with a cross session and longitudinal view of the area being worked on.

Mr Leo said loading designs into the system on more complex projects, including those with frequent changes in elevations and slopes such as road construction, golf courses, complex drainages infrastructure, will allow the operator to have a full visual and sound control of the depth and slope needed to reach grade, without the need of surveying or grade checking.

“This additional technology offers our customers a total factory fitted solution,” he said.

“With both the standard factory integrated technology or the optional technology, we are offering an unmatched customer experience,” Mr Leo said.

The new cab is key to the customer experience. Already fitted to the 20T range, the new cabin was designed to make operating our machines one of the best experiences available.

“The ergonomically designed, ROPS cab now sees all controls in front of the operator, a touch screen monitor for ease of use and a seat and consoles offering comfort in even the most aggressive applications.

“A new keyless push start button as well as a customisable joystick is available for each operator via a unique pin-code system,” he said.

“This new cab is the standard for operator comfort allowing them to reach the highest productivity levels.

“It really has to be seen to be believed how much has been packed into one excavator cabin,” Mr Leo concluded.

On the safety front, the cab offers dramatically increased visibility to the front, top, rear and sides when compared to the F-Series.

“We have a new upper access platform design allowing for safer cab entry and exit, as well as improved right-side visibility there is a rear and right view camera.

“The operator has the option to increase visibility by optioning a 360 degree bird’s eye view system, which sees the addition of a left, right and front camera for all-round visibility on the cab monitor,” he said.

Standard 2D E-fence features add to the safety suite, allowing the operator to set automatic stop motion boundaries on the machine offering Forward, Swing, Ceiling, Floor and Cab protection.

The E-fence protects equipment from damage and helps minimise the possibility of underground utility or damage to areas outside the digging zone.

“Automatic boundaries can even help prevent operator fatigue by reducing over-swinging and over-digging,” Mr Leo said.

“These excavators are revolutionising how we utilise our machines to maximise operator efficiency, reduce operating costs, increase productivity and improve returns.

“As with the 320, the 330GC and 330 were designed with a total new approach and offer more model options, more standard fitment technology and a wider range of price points.

“We expect the customer experience in these machines will set a new standard and lead us into the future,” Mr Leo said.

“They certainly warrant further exploration at your local dealer – a test drive is an experience not to be missed.”

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