Plant & Equipment

Electric drive loader culmination of five decades of development

Introduced in 1963, the Caterpillar 988 wheel loader has been an industry mainstay for more than 50 years. It has been renowned for its reliability, performance, safety, operator comfort, serviceability and productivity. The new electric drive version of this machine platform – the 988K XE – offers improved sustainability and maximised efficiency.

The new 988K XE is the first wheel loader offered by Caterpillar with a high efficiency electric drive system. This new large loader joins industry stalwarts in the 988K and 986K wheel loaders to provide quarrying producers with the most cost-effective loader for each application. The XE has 90 per cent commonality with the 988K, with the same C18 ACERT engine, lower powertrain and cab.

The new loader features switched reluctance technology and leverages more than 15 years of Cat electric drive experience and more than four years of stringent testing in a range of applications for proven reliability in the field. The 988K XE provides overall efficiency of 25 per cent, and up to 49 per cent in face-loading applications, as compared to the 988K loader.

{{image2-a:r-w:300}}While the electric drive transmission replacement on the XE allows for a significant increase in efficiency, the axles and the driveline are the same as on the proven 988K mechanical drive. The C18 ACERT engine is built and tested to meet demanding applications while complying with the Tier 4 Final/Stage V emission standard.

Oil change intervals have been doubled from 1000 hours with the 988K to 2000 hours with the XE, resulting in 40 per cent less powertrain oil being used. In addition, the oil filter interval has been extended fourfold from 500 hours to 2000 hours to match the oil change interval, promising more savings in maintenance costs.

The electric drive powertrain means there is no need for a transmission or clutch, only a single speed range, so the machine efficiently operates without gear shifting. New virtual gears help control machine ground speed and deliver those smooth, quick directional shifts, forward or reverse. The efficient electric drive design increases engine life by up to 3500 hours, extending time between powertrain rebuilds.

The standard Cat Product Link software offers remote data monitoring through VisionLink, so key personnel can stay informed of critical machine operating data. Fuel usage, payload summaries, scheduled service reminders, fault code alerts and various productivity reports are available to help improve machine management. In addition, the on-board Vital Information Management System (VIMS) provides operating data via an interactive touch screen display.

The new Cat 988K XE loader is equipped with a host of technology solutions to increase operating efficiency and machine uptime. Cat Production Measurement (CPM) brings payload weighing to the cab, so operators can work more productively and deliver accurate loads with confidence. CPM offers advanced weighing modes, which assist with payload accuracy and increase loading cycle speed.

The Optional Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is a fully integrated Cat feature, which enables operators to monitor tyre inflation. Available through the VIMS display, the operator can quickly view each tyre’s pressure and take action when needed to reduce wear and increase service life.

The 988K XE offers a range of bucket capacities from 4.7m3 to 13m3. The loader’s rated standard and high lift payload can reach 11.3 tonnes when working with face material and 14.5 tonnes with loose material.

The Advansys Series Ground Engaging Tools protect bucket components and reduce operating costs, thereby maximising machine performance.

The standard 988K XE is performance-matched to offer efficient three-pass loading of the 39-tonne Cat 770G off-highway truck and four-pass loading of the 46-tonne Cat 772 truck. Its high lift configuration delivers five-pass loading of the 55-tonne Cat 773G and six-pass loading of the 64-tonne Cat 775G.

Source: Caterpillar of Australia

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