Caterpillar says that the new D7 moves up to 8% more material per hour than the old D7E, with about 6% more weight (29,776 kg) and 12 % more horsepower (265 hp or 197 kW).
Blade capacity is increased by 10%, and the elevated sprocket undercarriage delivers better ride and balance, as well as increased penetration force, the manufacturer tells us.
Like the D6 and D8T, the new D7 is driven by a fully automatic 4-speed transmission, which continuously adjusts for maximum efficiency and power to the ground without added operator input.
It has the same new cab seen on the D5 and D6/D6 XE, with multiple seat and control adjustments and a 254mm (10-inch) touchscreen display. A standard high definition rearview camera shows in the main display.
Slope Indicate technology is standard with the premium display package, showing machine main fall and cross-slope.
ARO with Assist is a grade-ready option bundled with basic blade control and a new set of assist features that work in the background. These are:
- Cat Grade with Slope Assist – providing basic blade positioning assistance without added hardware or a GPS signal.
- Factory Attachment Ready Option (ARO) – provides mountings, brackets and hardware for installation of any brand of grade control system.
- Blade Load Monitor – for feedback on current versus optimal blade load to help optimise blade capacity (so long as there is a GPS signal).
- Second generation Stable Blade – works with operator blade inputs for smoother surfaces.
- Traction Control – automatically reduces track slip.
- AutoCarry – automates blade lift to help maintain consistent blade load and reduce track slip. (Traction Control and AutoCarry also require a GPS signal.)
Optional extras include factory integrated Cat Grade with 3D. Advanced Inertial Measuring Units (IMU) provide greater speed and accuracy without position sensing cylinders. Small antennas are integrated into the cab roof for better protection and GPS receivers are mounted inside so they can be secured by locking the cab doors.
The D7 is available in Standard or Low Ground Pressure (LGP) configurations, with a variety of blade and track shoe choices to optimize the machine for the intended application.