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Caterpillar debuts excavators, wheel loaders, skid-steers

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With GIE+EXPO merely weeks away, Caterpillar touted a few new products to press in advance of the show at its facilities neighboring Raleigh, N.C.

The press briefing kicked off at Cat’s 286-acre Clayton, N.C., facility Sept. 30. A facet of Cat’s building construction products (BCP) unit, the Clayton complex is an assembly-only facility but also includes a test center, distribution center, visitor center and logistics department.

With BCP comprising six product families and more than 75 models, Cat hit on the newest additions to its families of mini hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders and skid-steer and compact track loaders.

On the heels of releasing the E2 Series mini hydraulic excavators, comprising the 303.5E2, 304E2, 305E2, 305.5E2 and 308E2 models, Cat’s 303E mini hydraulic excavator also is being released through 2015 and is in some U.S. dealerships now. Manufactured in Japan, the 3-ton machine is 60 inches wide and powered by a 14-kilowatt engine.

Ideal for the entry-level landscape professional, the 303E was designed with simplicity top of mind, said Greg Worley, operator and application specialist for Cat. Customers have four options to choose from in terms of the machine design, which is whether to have a cab, canopy, rubber tracks or steel belt.

Worley also hit on Cat’s new Dual-Lock Tilt (DLT) coupler for 5- and 8-ton mini hydraulic excavators. The DLT coupler allows work tools to be adjusted through a 180-degree arc, and users can change work tools from the cab thanks to the DLT’s visible locking mechanism. 

In the wheel loaders family, the spotlight was on the recently released 903C compact wheel loader.

In addition, representatives demoed the 914K compact wheel loader—replacing both 914G2 and IT14G2—and 938K small wheel loader. The latter features upgraded software with a hystat operator mode.

Newest to the compact track loader family are the 297D and 297D XHP, featuring a dual suspension undercarriage, modular cab, redesigned vertical lift loader linkage with Cat Intelligent Leveling, among other features.

Moreover, Cat’s D-Series has expanded undercarriage options, with a factory option to add steel tracks to the 299D and 299D XHP—a move to further cater to companies offering land management services, said Kevin Coleman, senior marketing engineer at Cat.

Photos: Cat, LM

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