Caterpillar has listened to its customers who have asked for lower owning and operating costs for its excavators.
Ryan Neal, who is product application specialist for Caterpillar, said the company’s three next-generation 20-ton excavators — the 320 GC, 320, and 323 — and the 36-ton 336 and 336 GC deliver in that area.
“From the pumps to the valves to the full-cab design, everything is 100% a different machine,” he said.
In addition to lower ownership and operating costs, Neal mentioned several features that governments will appreciate, such as standard grade assist that automates boom, stick, and bucket movements. That helps operators stay on grade with single-lever digging.
As soon as the bucket reaches the operator’s desired elevation, the machine will not allow the bucket to go below that grade. The operator simply moves the stick or arm in with the joystick, and the machine maintains the bucket and the boom, not allowing the bucket to go below grade.
“It keeps them from overdigging and also automates the boom and the bucket for them,” Neal said.
He also said municipalities would like the machine’s e-fence feature. That feature helps the machine work safely under structures or near traffic. To do that, it prevents any part of the excavator from moving outside of points that the operator sets.
“The operator physically cannot swing past that point,” Neal said. “It will stop itself.”
Government fleets will also like the 100% redesigned cab, Neal said. The cab features high operator visibility and more comfortable seating, and Caterpillar designed the cab after talking with operators to see what would make their jobs easier.
“It is their office,” Neal said. “If you make them comfortable and give them the features they need and want, it makes a more productive operator.”