Caterpillar has been manufacturing backhoe loaders since 1985, with the introduction of the A series generation. Each generation has since been introduced with new features, improvements and benefits with customers’ feedback in mind allowing them to remain safe, productive and efficient.
In May 2020, Caterpillar launched four new backhoe loader models that built on the success of the Cat® F2 Series backhoe loaders. The new range consists of the Cat 428, 432, 434 and 444 models, replacing the 428F2, 432F2, 434F2 and 444F2 machines respectively.
The 428 and 432 are standard backhoe loader models while the 434 and 444 are the equal sized tire backhoe loader models.
WHAT’S NEW ON THE LATEST MODEL LINE UP OF CAT® BACKHOE LOADERS?
The new Cat backhoe loaders offer similar model platforms throughout the model line up to deliver component commonality and operating similarities. These machines also display the new Cat “Modern Hex” trade dress and nomenclature, which removes model suffixes.
The new Cat backhoe loaders have a redesigned front end with optimal rake angle allowing better protection to the grille and improved work tool visibility. Further, the battery position is relocated from the front to the right-side box for easier access from the ground. Another change has been the addition of fingertip stabiliser levers for ease of use.
The new 432 and 444 models are equipped standard with low-effort electro-hydraulic (EH) loader and pilot hoe controls. To meet customer preference, standard mechanical backhoe controls on the 428 and 434 models can be optionally upgraded to pilot hoe controls. This gives increased comfort and controllability over mechanical controls traditionally offered on these models.
New optional performance boom cylinders are available on the 428 and the 434, offering up to 25 per cent more boom lift capability to enhance operating performance. Performance boom cylinders are standard on the 432 and 444 models.
LOADER AND BACKHOE VERSATILITY
The parallel lift loader arms deliver strong breakout forces, better dump height and reach along with good lift capacities to enable optimal machine utilisation especially in aggregates and utility applications.
On the front of the machine, optional integrated tool (IT) carrier loader couplers are available on all models, together with a range of attachments including dedicated fork carriages, road sweeping brooms, material handling arms, multi-purpose and side dump buckets to name a few.
The excavator style curved boom and the overall hoe linkage design with 60-40 split for boom and stick delivers better reach over obstacles and superior stick force. Additionally, the 432 and 444 have an optional extendible stick with dig depth of 5665mm and 5707mm respectively (SAE maximum). The 205° hoe bucket rotation assists with better material retention.
On the hoe side, hydraulic quick couplers are available for all models together with a range of attachments including hammers, augers, vibratory plate compactors and compacting wheels. Rear-end attachments for the previous F and F2 generation models can still be used as there have been no changes to the linkages on the back of the machine.
All Cat backhoe loader models are designed to deliver more of what customers wants. Superior performance and controllability, along with high fuel efficiency is delivered with load sensing closed centered hydraulics system along with flow sharing valves.
All Cat backhoe loaders can be optioned with factory fitted hose burst protection allowing maximum rated lifting capacity along with meeting safety requirements at most job sites.
This hydraulic system includes a variable displacement pump, which has been offered in all Cat backhoe loaders since 1985, allowing matching of power to flow demand and enabling better multi-functioning hence reducing load on engine and less strain on hoses and seals. The benefit for customers is improved fuel efficiency, longer life of components, less noise, smooth and better controllability.
The trusted and reliable Cat C4.4 engine remains on the new series. All models in the new backhoe loader line up feature standard four-wheel drive with standard rear differential lock, which locks the rear wheels together allowing for increased load penetration with superior traction in poor underfoot conditions such as sand or mud. The benefit for customers is reduced owning and operating costs through reduced tire, differential and axle wear.
An auto shift transmission with optional lock up torque convertor is available on all four models offering up to 16 per cent fuel efficiency when roading as well as achieving up to 40km/h roading speed.
There have been significant improvements in the cabin through various generations of the backhoe loader delivering more of what the customer wants with safety and comfort. The cabin is ROPS and FOPS with excellent all-around visibility. Ergonomic controls, air suspension fabric seat, fresh air recirculation, tiltable and telescopic steering column and robust air conditioning system provide all day comfort to customers.
Every backhoe loader features a hinged cooling pack with tiltable cooler, which is best in industry allowing for customers to easily clean these vital components and requires no tools to open. Further, all daily checks are accessible from one side making it easy and convenient.
The main loader arm pivot pins have been improved to make it easier to grease from the ground level without having to lift the hood following operator and customer feedback.
The flip open hood with inside cabin switch allows for easy access for all daily engine checks ensuring ease of serviceability. Sealed for life axles allow for reduced maintenance costs and increased safety for customers.
For more information about Cat backhoe loaders or to book a demonstration, contact your local Cat dealer.