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Next generation’ excavators, wheel loaders impress at trade show

At the National Construction Equipment Convention at the Sydney Showgrounds last November, attendees from the quarrying, mining and civil construction sectors were the first in the world to observe and trial Caterpillar’s “next generation” 36-tonne class excavators and the new Cat 950 GC wheel loader. The launch provided exclusive knowledge of the latest advancements in equipment and technology in the quarrying and civil construction sectors.

Next generation 336 excavator

The next-generation 336 and 336 GC excavators promise increased operating efficiency, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and improved operator comfort compared with previous models.

The new excavators offer unique combinations of features designed to match operators’ productivity and cost targets.

“The 336 now comes with a new cab, seat and touchscreen display, longer maintenance intervals and ground level servicing that lower your maintenance costs by up to 15 per cent,” said Robert Leo, Caterpillar’s product application specialist for hydraulic excavators.


“An improved power system with the inclusion of the electro-hydraulic main control valve, electronic in-line pump and cooling system can also improve fuel efficiency by up to 15 per cent more per unit of work.”

Leo said the 336 was “well suited to the quarry application with its heavier 7.5-tonne counterweight for increased lift and stability” and “an optimised boom and stick for durability”.

He added that other features – such as FOGS guarding, side bumpers, LED lighting, a 360-degree Birdseye camera system, Caterpillar’s Payload technology “as standard”, reverse fan, full-length track guards, heavy-duty final drive and bottom guards and a swivel guard – make the 336 “ready to tackle the most severe quarry applications”.

He said the Cat 336 featured standard integrated Cat Connect Technology – an intelligent suite of hardware, software and dealer services designed to help producers run more profitable operations. This technology falls into six categories:

  • Cat Link, which gathers data generated by the assets and job sites.
  • Cat Grade, which automates machine functions and guides operators to achieve targets in rough, fine and finish grading. It helps operators to grade faster in fewer passes.
  • Cat Payload, which brings load weighing and real-time feedback to the cab, eliminating trips to the scale and improving operator accuracy and speed.
  • Cat Compact, which delivers advanced measurements and real-time guidance inside the cab to help operators meet compaction targets faster, more uniformly and in fewer passes.
  • Cat Detect, which improves operator awareness of the work environment, reducing the chance of accidents. It also helps prevent unauthorised use of equipment.
  • Cat Command, which enables operators to run equipment from a remote location on- or off-site, making work safer and more comfortable.

Since it was launched, Caterpillar has been receiving positive feedback from its customers.

“They’re saying great things about the new 336 next gen machines,” Leo said. “They’re commenting that the 336 Cat next gen digger is more fuel-efficient and more productive, which is delivering an improved bottom line to their business.

“Customers cannot believe that Cat is offering a machine that is full of standard technology and improved service and maintenance features as standard.”

The 950GC wheel loader

{{image3-a:r-w:300}}The new Cat 950 GC wheel loader combines low operating costs with the durability, reliability and economy of proven Caterpillar components to deliver productive performance in a wide range of five-tonne wheel loader applications.

“The GC is an affordable loader that has very few limitations. It’s a low-entry-price-point loader with the usual Caterpillar DNA,” said Dick Mars, Caterpillar’s product application specialist for the Asia Pacific region and India.

“It has the market’s highest loader arm clearance (a non-high lift comparison and higher than the M-series) and a fuel-efficient Caterpillar C7 engine, matched with the Caterpillar 4F3R countershaft transmission.”

The 950 GC’s features include:

  • Heavy-duty frames.
  • Cat Z-bar linkage.
  • Performance series buckets.
  • Fuel-efficient Cat C7.1 engine.
  • Powerful load-sensing hydraulics.
  • Spacious, air-conditioned cab with intuitive controls.
  • Support from Caterpillar’s worldwide dealers.

The 950 GC loader is well suited for stockpiling, load and haul work, hopper charging and truck loading.

Mars said Caterpillar had been showcasing the loader at demos along Australia’s east and west coasts and received positive feedback and orders from its customers.

“We have received orders from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia,” he said.

“The feedback to date from key customer demonstrations has been that the power and productivity and fuel efficiency were similar to other Cat five-tonne wheel loaders.

“The price point is very acceptable for this type of loader and, above all, operators like the simplicity of use.”


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