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Caterpillar’s excavators for emergent markets

First publishedin World Highways
January February 2019
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The Cat Next Generation excavators offer performance gains and fuel savings over the models they replace
Caterpillar says that its Next Generation 30tonne class excavators, the 330 and 330 GC, meet the needs of customers in emergent markets. These machines offer gains in operating efficiency,  as well as lower fuel and maintenance costs and improved operator comfort. The new excavators offer features designed to match productivity and cost targets.


Delivering high-production performance, the new Cat 330 features standard integrated Cat Connect technology and the most power and lift capacity of the two models.

Meanwhile, the new Cat 330 GC combines productivity with reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs, offering high reliability and low cost/hour performance.

The Cat 330 has the firm’s sophisticated integrated Cat Connect Technology. This is said to increase operating efficiency by up to 45% over traditional grading operations.

The standard Cat GRADE with 2D system provides guidance for depth, slope, and horizontal distance to grade through the standard touchscreen monitor, making operators more accurate. The system is readily upgradeable to Cat GRADE with Advanced 2D or Cat GRADE with 3D. Standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick and bucket movements so operators can stay on grade with single-lever digging.

Cat Payload delivers precise load targets and increased loading efficiency. With on-the-go weighing and real-time payload estimates, Payload helps prevent truck over/underloading. The new Lift Assist feature helps the operator safely pick up heavy objects without tipping. Visual and auditory alerts indicate whether the load is within the excavator’s working limits.

E-fence prevents the excavator from moving outside operator-defined set points. The system is particularly useful when working beneath structures or near traffic.

Cat LINK hardware and software connect jobsites to the office and provide managers with machine-critical operating information.

These Next Generation excavators are said to use less fuel than the models they are replacing, a saving of up to 20% for the 330 compared to the 330F and as much as 15% for the 330 compared to the 330D2.

New Smart mode operation automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to digging conditions, optimising fuel consumption and performance. To further reduce fuel usage, engine speed is automatically lowered when there is no hydraulic demand. The excavators feature a new main control valve that eliminates the need for pilot lines, reduces pressure losses and lowers fuel consumption.

The new cooling system employs auto-reversing electric fans, which independently monitor hydraulic oil radiator and air-to-air aftercooler temperatures.

The Cat 330 has a larger, 6.7tonne counterweight, which enables the excavator to lift nearly 10% more than the 330F and up to 15% more than the 330D2. With increased swing pressure, a larger swing drive, and larger swing bearing, the Cat 330 delivers 5% more swing torque over the previous series, making backfilling and lifting on slopes easier.

Offering extended and more synchronised maintenance intervals, the new Cat excavators are said to lower maintenance costs by up to 20% over the previous series.

The new Cat air filter with integrated pre-cleaner and primary and secondary filters has double the dust holding capacity of the previous design. The new Cat hydraulic return filter has a 3,000-hour service life — a 50% increase over the previous filter.

Fuel system filters are synchronised for service at 1,000 hours, a 100% increase over the previous filters. The fuel system water and sediment drains and hydraulic system oil level are positioned close together at ground level, making routine maintenance faster and safer.

Customers are offered a choice of Comfort or Deluxe cab packages, or a Premium package in some regions. All Next Generation Cat excavator cabs come equipped with standard features like keyless push-button start, large touchscreen monitor with jog dial keys for control, and sound-suppressed rollover protective structures to offer the next level of operator comfort and safety.

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