Caterpillar introduced a number of micro and mini excavators during this year’s GIE+EXPO.
The manufacturer says that new models come standard with several new customer-centered features.
First up are the four micro excavators that pack considerable power in the 1-to-2-ton class. There is the 301.5 that has a canopy, standard tail swing and is in the 1.5-ton class; the 301.7 CR that has a compact radius and canopy and in the 1.7-ton class; the 301.8 is in the 1.8-ton class with standard tail swing and options for either a canopy or a cab; and the 302 CR is in the 2.0-ton class and has a compact radius. Operators have the option of a canopy or a cab.
The 301.5 is ideal for the entry-level landscaper. The 301.8 is suited for heavy lifting and the 302 CR offers site stability for heavy duty jobs.
One of the most notable features of these new excavators is the Stick Steer system. This allows operators to swap from a conventional lever/foot-pedal steering controls to left-hand joystick control of the bucket. This improves operator control with less effort.
“Great operators are few and far between, so machines need to be simple,” says Greg Worley, senior product engineer.
The controls are designed to be intuitive and each model comes with a Next Generation LCD monitor for machine information. Comfort has also been a focus for these models with adjustable wrist rests and a suspension seat available. The models where a cab is optional are pressurized and sealed to reduce dust and air conditioning is available with the climate control system.
All models are powered by the Cat C1.1 engine, a three-cylinder diesel rated at 19.2 net horsepower and 21.6 gross horsepower that meets Tier 4 Final standards. Dig depths are 7 feet 8 inches or 7 feet 9 inches depending on the model.
To boost versatility, the standard auxiliary hydraulic system provides one way, two way and continuous flow. Each model comes standard with an expandable undercarriage. All models retract from 51.2 to 39 inches, except the 302 CR, which retracts from 55.1 to 42.9 inches.
Rubber track undercarriages are standard with steel tracks available for all models
The excavator’s dozer blade allows operators to backfill and grade with one machine. The blade has a float function and allows “dig-to-blade” operation for handling loose materials.
Maintenance is made easier with a tilt-up cab that provides access to major components.
“The easier it is to get to where the machine needs servicing, the more likely it will be serviced,” Worley says.
Meanwhile in the 7-to-10-ton category, Caterpillar added six new mini excavators that also feature the exclusive Stick Steer system.
The lineup includes the 307.5, a standard tail swing model with a fixed boom; 308 CR, a compact radius model with a swing boom; 308 CR VAB, featuring a variable angle swing boom; 309 CR, featuring a compact radius, swing boom and high flow auxiliary hydraulics; 309 CR VAB, which adds on the 309 CR’s abilities with a variable angle boom; and 310, featuring a fixed boom, standard tail swing and twin blade cylinders for handling heavy duty tasks.
Dig depths are 13 feet 5 inches to 17 feet and the variable angle boom enhances digging capability in tight work sites. The 307.5 is powered by the Cat C2.4 turbo diesel engine with a 55.9 net horsepower, while the five larger models run on the Cat C3.3 diesel engine rated at 70.3 net horsepower.
Operators can use the Next Generation LCD screen to dial in personal operating preferences and quickly adapt the machine to their preferred joystick movement. A rear camera is integrated into the monitor as well.
High flow is available on the 309 model, allowing it to operate the most demanding attachments.
“No longer is a mini excavator just a digging machine,” Worley says.
Click here to view the full specs for the different 1-to-2-ton class models and click here to see the full specs for the 7-to-10-ton category excavators.
Additionally, Caterpillar also highlighted its new 5-seat UTVs and side discharge bucket attachment.
Last year, Cat introduced its first ever UTV and now it is expanding its offering with the gas-powered CUV85 and diesel-powered CUV105 D.
The new models can seat five people and have a steel cargo bed that can hold up to 1,000 pounds. The CUV85 and CUV105 D also have a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.
Caterpillar says these UTVs are capable at hauling tasks and maneuvering rugged terrain. The gas model can reach top speeds of 45 mph while the diesel model can reach 25 mph.
Customers can customize their UTVs to fit their specific work needs with accessories such as a front winch or work lights.
As for the side discharge bucket, the attachment is designed for skid steers, compact track loaders, compact wheel loaders and multi-terrain loaders. It can carry loose materials such as gravel, mulch or sand and discharge them via belt conveyor from either side of the bucket.
A rotating agitator keeps the material flowing. Operators can adjust the conveyor speed and door openings to control the volume of material discharged. This attachment can help in tasks like backfilling trenches and reduce the wear on tracks, as the user doesn’t have to turn the machine as much.