November 8, 2013
Caterpillar will roll out articulated trucks to meet updated emission requirements in early 2014. The 30-ton 730 C will be available in January, while the slightly smaller 25-ton 725 C will launch in February.
“We’ve gone beyond the Tier 4 Final requirements,” notes Scott Thompson, product application specialist, adding that the artics are designed to help the operator be more productive through the shift, improve ease of maintenance and safety and boost durability.
The 730 C (which also has an ejector model) features a C-13 engine with 16 percent more power, up to 41 percent more torque and a power-to-weight improvement of up to 14 percent. The result of improvements is a 16-percent increase in productivity and up to 6 percent improved fuel efficiency. The 725 C has a C-9 engine that provides up to 5 percent more power, up to 21 percent more torque and an increase in power-to-weight of up to 4.1 percent. Both are Tier 4 Final certified.
The transmission has been updated to allow for smoother shifting for more efficient operations and faster cycle times. On the 730C units, forward rimpull increases by up to 31.5 percent, with reverse rimpull of up to 22 percent. Rimpull on the 725C units is comparable to the Tier 3 units.
Thompson describes improvements in the truck’s traction control as “a game changer.” The 730C and EJ are fully automatic, with no necessary operator interaction. The system is said to be completely proportional for higher fuel efficiency. Both the 730C and 725C offer on-the-go engagement and disengagement, but the 725C has manual control of inter and cross axle locks.
The retarder on the 730C and EJ is an engine compression brake, with up to 60 percent more retarding power to increase brake life. Response time is said to be faster and more powerful. In a test drive on the unit, I found the retarder to smoothly slow the truck on downhill slopes.
The cab has a new seat with more adjustment and a CMPD information center. While the unit has quite a bit of glass, door seals ensure better performance of the cab’s air conditioning system, which is particularly important for units working in southern states.
The structure has a four-frame box construction, an integrated front bumper, a new rear frame and an updated front frame. A lock pin allows the body to be locked in the full-up position, giving improved access to rear chassis components.
The dump body of both trucks is slightly larger, with minor changes being made to the bed. An anti-spill top rail design improves material retention on the top rail, particularly targeted for preventing spillage on the haul road (which has an impact on tire life as well).
The harder body material is said to increase wear life by 12 percent. The units can be purchased with body heat (and are built ready for future installation). Rather than being climate-driven, the body heat option is driven by material conditions, with the heat being particularly helpful for drying wet sticky material.
On the exterior, headlights are spaced out further than in previous models for better lighting of the site during night-time operations. Width position marker lights also make for safer movement of trucks throughout the site, either in night-time or underground operations. A fully enclosed belly pan protects the front of the truck. Ground level DEF emissions fluid are designed for a one-to-one ratio with fuel, and the fuel tank is 15 percent larger than prior models.
Both trucks can be seen at ConExpo-Con/Agg in March.