The Caterpillar range of Next Generation mini hydraulic excavators has been expanded with the addition of three new models in the 7-to-10-ton category. The new models provide a selection of basic configurations, allowing customers to choose the machine that works most efficiently in applications routinely encountered. As with all Cat® Next Generation mini excavators, the new models feature heavy duty main structures, fuel efficient engines, load sensing hydraulics, spacious cabs, and the exclusive Caterpillar Stick-Steer system. The overall design goal for Next Generation models is to ensure optimum value for the customer in terms of performance, operator experience, serviceability, and affordability.
The new-model lineup includes the 307.5 and 308.5, both standard tail swing models with fixed booms, and 310, also new to the range, featuring a fixed boom with twin boom cylinder, standard tail swing, and optional blade with twin cylinders for handling heavy duty dozing chores.
The new models range in maximum operating weight from 8 113 to 10 172 kg and in standard dig depths from 4 047 mm to 5 174 mm. Powering the 307.5 is the Cat C2.4 turbo diesel engine rated at 34.9 net kW; the 308.5 and 310 models use the Cat C3.3B diesel engine rated at 55.4 kW gross power.
The design of Cat Next Generation mini excavators emphasizes operator comfort, convenience, and safety. The three new models are fitted with sealed and pressurized cabs to ensure a clean environment, featuring a redesigned heating/ventilating/air conditioning system that ensures all-weather climate control. Suspension seats, with a retractable 51 mm belt, are standard, and the operating consoles feature adjustable wrist rests. In-cab sound levels are a quiet 72 dB(A).
Intuitive controls include the Next Generation LCD monitor that provides easy-to-read machine information and features a jog-dial for easy navigation, including setting personal operating preferences. For added convenience, a standard control-pattern changer allows operators to quickly adapt the machine to favored joystick movement. A machine-security system is standard—numeric code—as is a radio with Bluetooth capability. The large front window slides upward and stores conveniently overhead, and expansive glass areas on the sides and rear of the cab, plus a skylight, provide all-around visibility. Additionally, the machine can be configured with a back view camera as part of the premium display as an option.
An exclusive feature for new Next Generation models is the standard Cat Stick Steer system, which allows the operator to switch (with the touch of a button) from conventional lever/foot-pedal steering controls to low-effort joystick control. Automatic two-speed travel is standard.
The cab’s protective structures—ROPS (ISO 12117-2:2008); TOPS (ISO 12117:1997); and top guard (ISO 10262:1998 Level II)—are designed to promote a safe working environment for the operator, and controls are protected via a hydraulic lock-out. The easy-to-transport Next Generation models also feature tie-down points on the track frames to facilitate securing the machine.
The new Next Generation mini excavators use an efficient, fuel-saving, load-sensing hydraulic system with an electronically controlled variable-displacement piston pump capable of oil flows to 167 L/min in the 307.5 and 308.5 models and 233 L/min in the 310. Generous flow rates, coupled with high main-relief pressures, provide the new models with the hydraulic capacity to generate increased travel performance, and higher digging and lifting forces.
For added versatility, the standard auxiliary hydraulic system provides one-way and continuous flow. The 307.5 and 308.5 come equipped with a standard undercarriage length, while the 310 is available with a long undercarriage only, designed for added stability.
A dozer blade option further expands the capability of the new models, allowing the machine to handle backfilling and grading tasks. The blade features ample travel, above and below grade, and has a float function. Major structures for the Next Generation mini machines—upper and lower frames, track frames, boom, and stick—are patterned after their larger Cat excavator counterparts and designed for long-term durability.
Routine maintenance check points are accessible at ground level through the side doors, and the battery is maintenance-free. Side panels are flat and recessed to protect them from damage, and have been designed for easy replacement.