Hot on the heels of Caterpillar‘s release of five new Next Generation Mini Excavator models in the 1 – 2-tonne class comes four new Next Generation models in the 7.5 – 10-tonne range.
Designed with customer experience at its core, Cat has spent six years working with customers around the world to develop its new Next Generation platform and have done so by going right back to the drawing board. The result of which are four new models designed from the ground-up which provide significant performance improvements combined with lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and a bunch of new features that give operators control like never before.
308 CR Next Generation
Let’s start with the new 308 CR (Compact Radius) Next Generation Mini Excavator which replaces the 308E2CR. The machine comes with swing boom, rubber or steel tracks (with optional rubber pads) as well as optional factory-installed boom and stick lowering check valves improvement in swing torque, the 308 CR continues to perform whether digging on slopes or lifting and placing heavy objects.
309 CR Next Generation
The new 309 CR High Flow, as the nomenclature would suggest, is heavier than the 308 and includes a dedicated auxiliary hydraulic pump, ideal for running power-hungry attachments such as mulchers, mowers or augers while also allowing the machine to simultaneously travel, or multifunction. This is made possible by including a dedicated hydraulic pump to the auxiliary lines that separates it from other machine functions such as travel, swing or boom and stick functions. Technically this isn’t high flow as maximum flow and pressure to the auxiliary lines doesn’t change. What does change is the fact there is no loss of hydraulic power to the attachment when using other machine functions. Without the dedicated pump, auxiliary hydraulic power is typically reduced by 80-90% when using other functions. The 309CR with its dedicated auxiliary pump significantly reduces this drop-off, allowing the attachment to continue running at full power.
307.5 & 310 Next Generation
Cat is also introducing a 307.5 and 310 to Australia. Both models feature standard radius tail swing and fixed boom, which would be considered digging and lifting powerhouses for their size.
What’s really interesting is to understand why Cat consider these “Next Generation” Mini Excavators. Here’s a rundown on some of the industry-leading features that come with these new models:
Stick Steer And Cruise Control
New to the industry, stick steer and cruise control are standard features on all Cat Next Generation Mini Excavators. At the press of a button on the left joystick, the machine switches off the traditional travel levers and activates travel through the left joystick. Stick steer allows operators to quickly and efficiently doze, back blade, cleanup or travel by moving the lever in the intended direction of travel. Customers have the option of completely removing the conventional travel levers and controls to maximize leg space. Switching back to digging mode is a simple push of the same button.
Cruise control, as the name suggests, is just like that offered in cars. When in stick steer mode and cruise control is activated (via a trigger button), the machine continues traveling at the operators chosen speed and direction until deactivated by a simple movement of the travel joystick fore/aft, or pressing the cruise control trigger button again.
Adjustable Hydraulic Response
Up until now the only available adjustment to hydraulic performance of mini excavators is via engine RPM. More engine revs gives more power and faster cycle times. Lower revs reduces speed and gives more control. Cat have changed the game, by allowing operators to set hydraulic speed and responsiveness to suit their experience and the application. Want fast cycle times? Set the hydraulic speed to “fast” mode and the machine gives you maximum hydraulic flow for the power available, which is great for bulking out, trenching or truck loading.
Have an inexperienced operator or need to lift heavy objects? Set the hydraulic responsiveness to “fine” mode and it slows everything down so you can complete delicate tasks without compromising on power.
Full Colour Lcd Monitor
Cat’s Next Generation color monitor covers a variety of functions all on the one screen. As well as analog gauges for fuel and temperature the monitor serves as the control center for most requirements including:
- AM/FM Radio
- Bluetooth smartphone connection to play music and make/receive calls
- Pattern changer
- Hydraulic coupler engagement/ disengagement
- 1-way/2-way auxiliary control
- Auxiliary flow adjustment
- Heater, A/C, and fan controls
- Security passcode settings
- Machine productivity and service diagnostics
Keyless Start And Passcode Security
Bluetooth keys utilise a proximity sensor and allow machines to be started with the simple push of a button. Alternatively, in the absence of the Bluetooth key, Pushto-start can be engaged by entering a passcode via the monitor. Up to 50 codes can be programmed into each machine so operators, site foremen, service mechanics, and owner can have their own code.
In addition to everything mentioned, Caterpillar Next Generation Minis offer up to 10% lower ownership costs compared to previous models, through lower fuel consumption, lower repair costs and extended service intervals.
[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more information www.cat.com to learn more or contact your Cat dealer to arrange a demo.[/colored_box]