The new Cat 302.7 CR (pictured above), 303 CR and 303.5 CR hydraulic mini excavators are built on the Next Generation platform, with stick steer, cruise control, operator adjustable settings, and tilt-up canopy or cab as standard equipment.
Expanded use of common parts throughout the line plus the sturdy exterior design help reduce parts inventory investment and lower repair costs., Caterpillar says. Daily maintenance checks are made through side doors, while the tilt-up cab gives access to components for servicing.
The manufacturer says they deliver 10% more performance in travel and trenching, with hydraulic system upgrades improve lifting performance and cycle times, while customisable operator settings improve efficiency.
The turbocharged Cat C1.1 Turbo engine powers the 302.7 CR and 303 CR models, while the Cat C1.7 anchors the powertrain for the 303.5 CR. Both engines meet EU Stage V emissions standards and offer 17.6 kW net power. Standard auto idle and auto engine shutdown help to conserve fuel.
These Next Generation excavators are designed with a compact radius swing for working in confined spaces. Fixed undercarriage width is 1,500mm for the 302.7 CR, 1550mm for the 303 CR and 1780mm for the 303.5 CR of 1550mm. An expandable undercarriage option for the 302.7 CR allows the operator to hydraulically retract track width to 1355 m for fitting into confined spaces and then expand width to 1780mm for digging and lifting stability.
Interchangeable counterweight packages enable users to tailor machine weight to job requirements, offering the balance between low ground pressure and lifting performance. The ‘light’ counterweight option adds 100kg to machine weight, while the ‘extra’ adds 250kg.
All three Next Gen models offer both standard- and long-stick configurations. Standard digging depths range from 2450mm to 2810mm, while the long stick configuration allows the machines to reach from 2650mm to 3110mm depths. The standard dozer blade has above- and below-grade travel and has a standard float function for easy clean-up. There is also an angle blade option on the 303.5 CR.
The Cat Stick Steer System is designed to simplify machine control; at the touch of a button, the operator switches from conventional lever/foot-pedal steering controls to joystick operation.
Caterpillar has also unveiled the new Next Generation Cat 308 CR Fixed Boom hydraulic mini excavator (below). When compared to a swing boom design, the fixed boom delivers increased vertical wall digging depth and dump height and improves lifting performance when working at a close radius to the machine.
Providing a 20% increase in vertical wall digging depth compared to the 308 CR Swing Boom, the 308 CR Fixed Boom requires less repositioning in a trenching application, meaning more speed and less fuel.