Cat, Caterpillar, Earthmoving Machinery, Excavators

Choice of emissions and technology with Next Generation Cat® 315 and 315 GC Excavators

The Cat 315 GC Small Excavator

Excavator Product Specialist Teo Yibin discusses the new Next Generation Cat® Small Excavators 315 and 315 GC, and how their versatility and flexibility can deliver big benefits.

Sandwiched between the 13-tonne 313 and the 18-tonne 317, the 15-tonne Cat® 315 and the 315 GC excavators are the latest addition to Caterpillar’s small excavator line-up.

Due to their compact radius design, both machines are suitable for use in a wide variety of jobs and industries such as grade work, slope work, trenching, loading, and utility work.

“Caterpillar has redesigned every aspect of the 15-tonne excavators to deliver better performance and better match customer needs just as we did with the 20-tonne machines,” says Cat Excavator Product Specialist Teo Yibin.

“And we’ve given the customer more choices, allowing them to choose their emissions preference as well as technology options.”

Teo says the new Cat® 315 is eight per cent more productive than the previous model.

Tier 3 and Tier 4 options

Like many other larger Next Gen Hex range, the 315 and 315 GC have the option of a Tier 4F engine, or a Tier 3 Engine that does not require diesel exhaust fluid.

The new fuel-efficient Cat C3.6 engine powers these two Next Gen small excavators, giving improved performance over the previous 315 F model. Both engine choices are backed by the Cat Fuel Edge program, giving customers certainty on their biggest operating cost.

This is available with the purchase of a qualifying Cat machine – with Product link™ enabled – from any participating Cat dealer. If the machine burns more than the committed fuel consumption threshold, the dealer will provide a parts credit.

“The compact design gives operators the confidence to dig, swing and dump in space-restricted jobsites,” Teo says. “The 315 is eight per cent more productive than the previous model, giving improved fuel efficiency, while the 315 GC can save up to 15 per cent fuel consumption over the previous model.

“New Smart Mode operation automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to working conditions for maximum productivity and ECO mode to save fuel in less-demanding applications.”

Performance gains

The advanced hydraulic system of the 315 and 315 GC excavator provides the optimum balance of power and efficiency to increase productivity over the 315F L.

Its new electronic hydraulic valve delivers significant efficiency. A 10 per cent higher swing torque makes working on slopes and around the jobsite much more efficient, and the drive system easily navigates tough ground conditions and slopes with 14 per cent more drawbar pull.

“Both machines are suitable for much more than just utility work or on residential sites,” Teo says. “These machines are right at home on even large infrastructure jobs and loading trucks. The new electronically controlled hydraulics have made for both faster control response and better controllability.

“To the customer, the benefit with the 315 GC model is that you’re getting F-Series levels of performance, but at a lower price point while still getting the big maintenance savings, big fuel savings, and electro-hydraulic controls. The 315 GC 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.

“But for customers looking for a 10 per cent boost in swing torque that elevates efficiency when working on slopes and moving around the jobsite, check out the 315 excavator with technology options like the very popular Cat Grade with 3D.”

Technology standards and options

Delivering superior performance and best-in-class productivity for 15-tonne excavators, the Cat 315 comes standard with a host of productivity enhancing technologies to increase operator efficiency by up to 45 per cent. Standard Cat Payload provides on-the-go weighing and real-time payload estimates, so operators can deliver precise load targets every time to improve loading efficiency. Using VisionLink Productivity, Payload and other jobsite data can be used to remotely analyse and manage production targets across multiple jobsites.

Critical operating data such as fuel usage, idle time, CO2 emissions and fault codes are tracked by VisionLink to help boost fleet management efficiency.

“There is also a range of additional factory-fitted options to increase productivity and expand grading capabilities for the 315,” Teo says. “Grade 2D automatically guides digging depth, slope, and horizontal distance to quickly and accurately reach desired grade. Increasing safety when excavating in confined spaces, the new 2D E-fence keeps the front linkage within a predefined work area to avoid hazards on the jobsite as well as standard cab avoidance.

“For advanced grade demands, Cat Grade with 3D includes an additional 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen monitor featuring powerful graphics, and customisable 3D views bring the job-site design to life, giving operators the ability to hone in on the right perspective. And there is a range of other intuitive embedded features to help them be more productive.”

The new Cat GRADE with 3D system allows operators to quickly create in-field 2D and 3D designs if a job-site design is not available.

“This enables customers to utilise Cat GRADE with 3D on smaller projects to build designs such as swale drains, trenches, pads, basement cuts, and finishing,” Teo says. “The in-field design can use the cutting edge as a survey tool, or operators can input the exact plan, elevation, and profile of the design, which helps improve work quality and prevents rework.

“The factory 3D option also means operators can start work quickly and safely with no need to install or remove 3D system components, and eliminating cable connections adds to the reliability.”

Cat GRADE with 3D systems come with the option of single or dual GNSS receivers, securely mounted to provide real-time position and heading of the machine.

“But there are some customers that do not need the added technology features for the work they do,” Teo says. “Why pay for something you will never need? If you’re in the market for a machine that gives you a solid performance with the benefit of lower up-front acquisition costs, lower owning and operating costs, and unmatched dealer support, then check out the 315 GC.”

All-new cab elevates comfort

Both Cat 315 and 315 GC operators will experience a new, 13 per cent larger cab designed with improved ingress/egress to boost comfort and productivity. The full-sized cab offers a low-profile design plus large front, rear, and side windows with narrow cab pillars to offer 40 per cent greater visibility compared to F Series small excavators, enhancing safe operation.

“We take safety seriously at Caterpillar,” Teo says. “The standard rear-view and right-hand-sideview cameras further improve visibility of the operating environment. Owners can also upgrade to 360-degree visibility to easily see objects and personnel around the excavator in a single view.”

Teo says advanced viscous mounts significantly reduce cab vibration compared to previous models, reducing operator fatigue.

“Improved sound suppression lowers interior noise levels to improve operator comfort,” he says. “Operators can make hands-free calls through the new standard radio’s Bluetooth connectivity for personal devices. It’s really cool.”

Lower operating costs

These two models also lower maintenance costs by up to 25 per cent, making them the right fit for rental, municipal, and general all-around excavating applications that require dependable performance and low operating costs.

The 315 and 315 GC feature a host of design upgrades that simplify maintenance to deliver up to 25 per cent lower costs than their F-series counterparts. The excavator’s new hydraulic oil filter delivers improved filtration and a 50 per cent longer change interval at 3000 hours. New anti-drain valves keep the hydraulic oil clean during filter replacement to improve system longevity.

“Operators can now conveniently track filter life and maintenance intervals through the in-cab LCD monitor – it’s a no brainer,” Teo says. “All daily maintenance checkpoints, including engine oil, are easily accessible from ground level, making it safer.”

Cat S∙O∙S system on these machines allows for quick and easy extraction of fluid samples for analysis, simplifying maintenance.

“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,” Teo says.

Currently the 315 and 315 GC come with three-year Equipment Protection Plans on powertrain, hydraulics and technology including a 3.99 per cent Finance rate up to 60 months for purchases made before 30 September 2023.

Contact your local Cat dealer now:

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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