Cat, Caterpillar, Earthmoving Machinery, Pavers

Flexible paving with the Cat® AP400

The Cat AP400 paver in operation on a worksite

EEM finds out what will make the Cat® AP400 paver such a good fit for the Australian market.

Caterpillar® is paving the way for the Australian debut of its latest paver, the Cat® AP400. Due in the second half of 2023, the new 13.6t machine has been designed to offer a versatile all-rounder option to the road construction industry.

The AP400 is designed for safety and efficiency under any conditions.

According to Chris Harkness, Caterpillar Industry Territory Manager for paving products for Australia, the AP400 will also fill a gap in the Cat range, fitting nicely between the 8-tonne AP300 and the 16-tonne AP500F.

“With the AP400, we think we’ve got something that’s going to round out our product line really nicely,” Chris says. “It covers a lot of bases.

“It’s identical in width to our larger 500 and 600 range pavers, but it’s a bit lighter and a bit shorter, which makes it easier to move around – great if you’re transporting multiple machines.”

Chris says the paver will offer a simplified single console control system compared to the dual console system on previous models.

“We also offer two options for grade control,” he says. “Either the full Cat Grade Control system, or the entry-level Basic Grade Control. So, it caters to people looking for value, but if you want to spec it up a little bit more, that can be done as well.”

The AP400 has been designed as a flexible machine that can be tailored to suit various needs and budgets. Chris is confident that the machine will hit the “sweet spot” for a range of customers, with its ability to handle car parks, driveways, and patch work – and optional extensions up to six metres will be available for larger jobs.

The AP400 will also become the entry-point in the Cat paver range for increasingly popular front-mounted extension screeds.

Simplified controls and customisable shortcut keys make operation quicker and easier.

“I’d say 75 per cent of the larger pavers sold here today have front-mounted extension screeds, so I think having that option – the SE47 FM – on this lighter, smaller paver will make it a popular choice,” he says.

Caterpillar will also offer either a steel or rubber tracked version, the AP455, for customers who prefer tracks to wheels.

“The AP400 is all about flexibility,” Chris says. “Whatever your paving style, we’ve got all those options covered.”

Chris says the AP400 offers a compelling combination of user comfort and safety features to help contractors get the job done safely and efficiently under any conditions.

Chris says the support of the Caterpillar dealer network ensures additional peace-of-mind.

“Because it’s a lower paver, you’ve got great visibility of the whole job site,” he says. “You’ve got great capacity for communication, as it’s a relatively quiet machine – so you won’t be losing your voice after a day’s work.”

The AP400 also features easy viewing touchscreen displays with adjustable brightness to suit all lighting conditions – including direct sunlight.

Simplified controls, customisable shortcut keys, as well as the option to automate processes such as the feed system, can all be combined to allow operators to maintain their focus on the task at hand.

“Operating a paver is quite specialised, compared to an excavator, for example,” Chris says. “But anybody who’s been around asphalt for a while will find the AP400 intuitive to operate. If you’re new to paving, there’ll obviously be a learning curve there – but the controls are all positioned in a way that makes sense. It’s not a complicated system.”

For added productivity, the Product Link Elite telematics system will come standard on the AP400, offering real-time data on fuel burn, idle time, and location to help operators maximise efficiency.

“This also provides remote access to fault codes,” Chris says. “If a technician is going out to inspect a potential fault, this can help speed up the process by communicating what sort of tools and parts they might need to bring. Which helps get you back to work faster.”

Chris says the support of the Caterpillar dealer network ensures additional peace-of-mind for customers – particularly for smaller businesses without the benefit of their own workshops.

“It also helps that service centres are a one-stop-shop,” he says. “If you ever have an issue, you just call that one number.”

The Cat AP400
The AP400 will fill a gap in the Cat paver range.
Send this to a friend