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Cat 730C UK built Articulated Truck stars in new cat product range

SATURDAY, JANUARY 03 RD, 2015 

In January 2014, Caterpillar launched its most comprehensive range of new equipment for years and Finning News was there for the big unveil. With new Articulated Trucks developed and built in the UK taking the headlines for the event, Finning News took the opportunity to find out more by talking to key product specialists from Caterpillar.

For Paolo Fellin, Caterpillar Vice president for global construction and infrastructure, the takeaway message was all about productivity and how the recovery in Europe could be supported by combining new fuel-efficient products with technology and dealer support to deliver higher levels of jobsite productivity.

Behind the fuel story is the introduction of new engines and the progression into Stage IV with new machines. “What was once a major worry for customers, who have expected fuel consumption to increase as new engine regulations come into play, is now a thing of the past.”

According to Caterpillar engine specialist Martin Parker, who has overseen a Stage IV development programme across the world, with 300,000 hours worked and significant fuel savings achieved; “Our new Stage IV engines use 8% less fuel and are cleaner, generating less particulates and therefore a reduced need for regeneration, with the Cat regen system continuing to operate with no interruption to the work cycle.”

For the new Cat 730C and ejector model, which uses the Cat C13 engine, it is all about productivity. With an increase in horsepower of 16% and 30% more torque, the Cat 730C delivers an overall rise in productivity of 10%, a reduction in fuel consumption of 6% and an overall 14% improvement in power to weight ratio.

Breaking down the development programme and changes to the new AT range, Cat product specialist, Julien Balardelle said: “The 730C and its sister unit the 725C are both built at our UK facility in Peterlee. Throughout the design process we have worked with Finning customers in the UK to identify the key issues they face when operating AT’s on jobsites. Through this process we recognised the need to develop two specific machines, a general cost efficient earthmover, in the 725C and the 730C, which is a high production unit.”

“Having both options available enables customers to select the right unit for the job at hand. Over the last 15 to 18 months, we have been working with Finning customers, like Frank Lyons, who have tested the new 730C in numerous site operations. The feedback has been very positive and the key changes in the machine have all added to the overall operator experience.”

Julien continues: “Outside of the new engine, one of the key significant changes has been the introduction of a new lightweight highly efficient aluminum transmission, which delivers all of the torque and power straight to the ground. This has reduced the overall weight of the machine and thanks to a new in-built software system, the 730C delivers much smoother and faster shifting.

“In practical terms, this means the operator can operate the machine more efficiently and therefore achieve faster cycle times. It also delivers greater acceleration and gives the operator the ability to climb up steeper gradients. Even in reverse, the 730C will now go up a gradient which is 5% greater than the previous unit. ”

Also new for operators of the 730C is a 100% automatic traction control and a significant increase in retarding capabilities. The traction control has been integrated with the steering system, to deliver totally ‘on the go’ engagement and disengagement, without any impact on the turning circle capability of the unit.

Julien added: “The new system delivers 60% more retarding power, eliminating breaking, even on steeper slopes. We have also done away with switches, to make the operation simpler, whilst still allowing users to turn in tight corners. Ultimately, by being able to transfer all of the power to the ground, we are able to avoid wheel slippages, significantly reduced tyre wear and with the retarding power, overall running costs are lower.

In addition to the new AT range, Caterpillar has also launched four new standard M Series wheel loaders, the 966M, 972M, 980M and 982M. Following on from the successful launch of the Cat 966K XE in 2013, the M series range also boasts a new 972M XE and an updated Cat 966M XE.

“When it comes to productivity and performance the 966M is 10% more efficient than the 966K and the 966MXE is 25% more than the standard 966M. So for customers with a need for high productivity there are significant savings to be made”, comments Finning product specialist Gary Lambert.

Joining the new M series range are the new C15 powered 770G and the C18 powered 772G Off Highway truck models. With a capacity of 38.2 and 46.8 tonnes respectively, depending on application the new models are up to 20% more fuel efficient. Both also come with the Caterpillar VIMS (Vital Information Monitoring System) as standard. VIMS monitors real time machine performance, which can link directly into the Finning Finsight condition monitoring team, to ensure the highest levels of productivity.

With major improvements to comfort, the new range also comes with a central mounted cabin for better visibility and a new Working Area Vision System called WAVS, all of which are aimed at improving all-round performance. With the 374F and 390F large excavator models also joined by a new work tool range, the upgraded 308E2 excavator, B series compactor and D series tracked loader, the new Caterpillar products all come with one thing in common, a focus on customer’s productivity.