Cat’s mini marvels
The five new compact-radius Cat E-Series Mini Hydraulic Excavators all use new engines meeting Stage IIIB emissions regulations and incorporate new features such as COMPASS control panel.
The five new compact-radius Caterpillar E Series Mini Hydraulic Excavators are equipped with a new digital COMPASS—Complete Operation, Maintenance, Performance, and Security System – control panel.
Built into the COMPASS monitor are an anti-theft system, requiring a five-digit alphanumeric password to start the machine, and an Economy Mode feature (3.5 to 5.5tonne machines) which, Cat says, can potentially lower fuel use up to 20% by adjusting engine speed. An automatic engine-idle system drops engine rpm to idle after four seconds of inactivity.
Also available through the COMPASS panel is a continuous-flow feature for auxiliary hydraulics, which maintains selected flow without operator intervention. An adjustable auxiliary-flow control for work tools is also new. The auxiliary hydraulic system can be adjusted on a scale of 1-15 via the monitor for added control when handling, for example, a tilting bucket/coupler. Also, a number of different work-tools come preset into the control panel for the operator to choose.
The new model E Series — the 303.5E CR, 304E CR, 305E CR, 305.5E CR and 308E CR SB— all use new engines that meet Stage IIIB emissions regulations. The new machines are said to be designed to carry on the solid performance of their D Series predecessor, while adding even greater value for customers.
An end-damping system in both the boom and stick cylinders to reduce shock loads and to reduce material spillage is another feature of the E Series machines.
The 308E CR SB is only being made available in a Swing Boom configuration. The new model is said by Cat to be designed with enhanced stability, compared with its predecessor, and, optional counterweights are available for use in extreme situations when added stability is required. The 308E CR SB also gets a 17% boost in engine horsepower, which translates into faster hydraulics for improved travel speed, manoeuvrability and grade climbing.
In addition, the 308E CR SB is fitted with a larger cab than its D Series predecessor, and is available only as a cab model, with standard air conditioning, heated air suspension seat, and radio. Other E Series models can be configured as a four-post ROPS canopy or with a cab.