Caterpillar: Entering the micro machine market

Tina Grady Barbaccia

January 18, 2012

Cat_miniexcavatorsCaterpillar is extending its range of compact excavators, with the addition of three models with operating weights of 2,061 pounds, 3,340 pounds and 5,886 pounds. The Cat 300.9D takes the manufacturer into the micro market. With an overall width of 28.7 inches, the machine is capable of driving through a standard doorway, providing easy access to the most confined job sites. A water-cooled, three-cylinder diesel engine produces 18.4 horsepower; along with a twin gear pump hydraulic system that creates a maximum stick breakout force of 1,011 pound-feet and a maximum bucket breakout force of 2,000 pound-feet. The machine comes equipped with an extending undercarriage and fold-out dozer blade, allowing a digging depth of up to 69.4 inches and a maximum excavation radius of 121.7 inches. A foldable overhead protective structure is mounted on the front of the machine, allowing the fitting of an additional guard to protect the operator when the machine is used with a hydraulic breaker. Caterpillar’s work tool division will be introducing a new H25 compact breaker specifically to work with this smaller machine. Auxiliary hydraulic lines with quick disconnect fittings are supplied as standard.

The Cat 301.4C, with an operating weight of 2,921 to 3,340 pounds depending on specification, fits into the line-up below the current 301.8C. The machine is available with a choice of cab or FOPS/TOPS canopy, and with standard- or extending-width undercarriage. Power comes from a 24-horsepower engine, and the machine boasts a maximum bucket breakout force of 3,597 pound-feet and a stick force of 1,596 pound-feet. The machine has good working range with a maximum digging depth of 143.5 inches, and reach at ground level extends to 145.7 inches. The maximum lift capacity to the front of the machine is 1,576 pounds. Lift capacity over the side of the machine is 739 pounds with the retracted 39-inch-width tracks, rising to 1,091 pounds with the standard 51.2- inch extendable tracks.

Tipping the scales at 5,681 pounds with a canopy and 5,886 pounds with full cab, the 302.7D CR is the lightest Cat compact radius model, making it easy to transport for a rental company or contractor. Powered by the same proven 24-horsepower engine as the 301.4C, the machine boasts a load-sensing hydraulic system, providing a maximum bucket force of 5,058 pound-feet and a maximum stick force of 3,462 pound-feet. The Cat 302.7D CR combines a compact radius design (zero tailswing without counterweight) with a spacious operator environment and easy access to regular service points. Two-way auxiliary lines are standard, equipped with quick disconnects for rapid work tool changeover. A joystick-mounted proportional auxiliary control allows for fine control of a range of powered attachments. The dozer blade offers added stability when digging, and a float function on the dozer control allows operators to grade and push with confidence.

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