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The 745C registers up to a 15 per cent improvement in speed in the sub-20km/h range.
The 745C registers up to a 15 per cent improvement in speed in the sub-20km/h range.

New range of artic trucks promises new gains

A new range of Caterpillar articulated trucks will deliver productivity and efficiency to quarrying operations.

Notable for their versatility, articulated trucks (ATs) have a significant following in quarrying and sand mining operations.

Providing speed and economy compared to normal haul trucks, ATs can be particularly suited to overburden removal, site development works and longer haul operations.

According to Caterpillar’s product application specialist Gary Tang, the C-series builds on the proven performance and reliability of the B-series but with a range of new features and technologies designed to deliver even lower cost per tonne results.

“Key features include a new transmission featuring expanded electronic control, automatic traction control, automatic retarder control, hill assist and waiting braking system as well as an optional payload weighing system,” Tang explained.

“And that’s not to mention the increased power and payload that the top of the line 745C now offers.

“Operators can rely on C-series technology to assist in speeding haul cycle times across all models, while the increased payload – up 1.5 tonnes on the top of the range 745C – does not compromise its size as it measures in at the same width as the previous model but with a reduced machine weight (empty),” he said.

The ever-popular ejector body is also available in the C-series range with the 740C EJ, meaning added versatility and site safety. The 740C EJ combines the 745C tractor with a 38-tonne horizontal discharge body, making it a popular AT for on-site spreading applications and in limited tipping areas with overhead obstructions.

The 735C is powered by the ever-reliable Caterpillar C15 ACERT engine producing 337kW, while the 740C EJ and 745C are powered by the 376kW C18 ACERT which now delivers an increased 4.2 per cent horsepower and three per cent improvement on the power to weight ratio.

Tang was confident that operators would notice improved acceleration from standing starts and faster responsiveness when hauling under load. “Both the power to weight ratio and the raw power increase on the 745C in particular will add to the truck’s nimbleness and speed in longer haul duties,” he predicted.


All C-series models are fitted with the new Caterpillar CX38 high density power shift transmission offering nine forward and two reverse speeds.

Articulated trucks have enjoyed a significant following in quarrying and sand mining operations.
Articulated trucks have enjoyed a significant following in quarrying and sand mining operations.

The dedicated CX38 transmission is designed to help improve productivity with higher forward gear speeds compared to the B-series models. The 745C registers up to a 15 per cent improvement in speed in the sub-20km/h range and an eight per cent improvement in the above 20km/h range on lesser grade hauling.

“The significance of the speed improvement in the sub-20 km/h range won’t be lost on quarrying operators as the truck will get away from the loader and onto the haul road quicker and with less effort,” Tang explained.

“Depending on the job site, haul road conditions and other circumstances, it can mean extra productivity every working hour.”

The transmission has a second gear default attribute meaning it will skip first gear from standing start and on grades below 20 per cent and use first gear on those grades above 20 per cent to ensure that performance and efficiency are not compromised.


A special feature of the C-series is the “Hill Start” – technology that provides easier machine control by automatically applying and releasing the service brakes on grades to eliminate roll-back.

“Hill Start will be a boon in applications on grade as it removes another function for operators to undertake, lessening effort and helping operators to focus on day-long productivity,” Tang said.

There is also a “Waiting Brake” function to further assist operators by applying service brakes to all wheels when the AT is stationary with engine running.

“This will improve machine control for operators when they are waiting at load and dump areas,” Tang said. “The operator
simply engages neutral and presses a button on the transmission shift cane to apply the waiting brake.”

Electronic technology enhancements on the CX38 transmission include clutch pressure control to modulate the transmission clutch engagement, meaning smoother shifting and extended drivetrain component life.

Advanced productivity electronic control strategy optimises gear selection in all applications to help enhance fuel economy and performance.

Consistent torque flow is maintained through the transmission gear changes via shift torque management combining with shift logic control. This feature also provides shift selection tailored to the machine’s operation and automatically downshifts for acceleration.

Part throttle shifting allows shifting at lower engine speeds that helps deliver improved fuel efficiency and quieter operation and will add to the C-series’ manoeuvrability at low speed.

The new C-series range also delivers for operators with a continuation of the high cabin standard they have come to expect from Caterpillar ATs.

‘The centre-mounted cab design, three-point front suspension and low pressure ride struts deliver a comfortable ride all day,” Tang added.

“Those features are complemented by a fully adjustable air suspension seat and ergonomically considered cabin layout that has reduced operator effort inherent in the design.

“The dash-mounted colour multi-purpose display is easy to read in all conditions with easy navigation of all performance and condition pages, service information, machine status parameters and video feed from the rearview camera,” he said.

On the performance front, automatic traction control (ATC) evenly distributes torque between the three axles and wheels dependent on the haul road and load conditions.

The system does not require operator input and is fully proportional to ensure the highest fuel efficiency. “ATC is fully integrated with the machine steering system and is able to be proportionally engaged and disengaged ‘on the go’,” Tang explained.

“Operators will notice improved traction on steeper grades or in poor ground conditions as the ATC distributes torque to the slowest turning wheel to improve traction.” The traction control can also be 100 per cent lock-up to all wheels if required.

On the safety side, the C-series’ automatic retarder control (ARC) delivers improved manoeuvrability on downhill haul runs with high retarding power. “This system now eliminates engine over-speed issues and offers a fully controlled descent at speed on grades compared to the B-series models,” Tang added.


A special feature of the C-series is the maximum speed configurator. “This allows operators to input a maximum site speed so as to easily comply with site safety requirements,” he said.

Loader operators will benefit from the Caterpillar Production Measurement tool on the C-series, an option that provides a simple, highly visible status light system (red and green) so as to maintain correct loading practices with payloads whilst eliminating both overloading and light loading.

“This tool also has an in-cabin monitor so the operator has an easy to read payload readout and the data can be captured by office staff via ProductLink as well as used by Caterpillar VisionLink systems,” Tang explained.

The C-series offers significant improvements over the previous B-series, driven by a range of technology and specification changes that can add to productivity without compromising efficiency.

In longer haul quarrying, sand mining or overburden applications, the new C-series offers power, manoeuvrability and
operator performance enhancements alongside improved fuel efficiency to help optimise the return on investment every business demands.

Source: Caterpillar Australia

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Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 7:23am
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