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New 20-tonne Cats pile on the tech

Digger Blogger | 09:36, Thu October 26 2017

Caterpillar has taken the wraps of three next-generation 20-tonne class excavators.

The Cat 320 GC, 320 and 323 boast, as you would expect, across-the-board improvements in fuel usage, maintenance costs and operator comfort, with Cat Connect Technology for productivity gains.

While the Cat 320 GC is designed for low- to medium-duty applications, the 320 and 323 (pictured above) have all the tech – programmable grading, working area limiters, automation and telematics that talk to the office.

Offering guidance for depth, slope and horizontal distance to grade, the Cat Grade with 2D system helps operators reach required grade quickly and accurately. The E-fence feature prevents any part of the excavator from moving outside operator-defined set points (fcor when working alongside live traffic, for example). The standard 2D system can be upgraded to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or Cat Grade with 3D.

Standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick and bucket movements, so operators stay on grade with single-lever digging. Factory-fitted Cat Payload on-board weighing delivers precise load targets and increased loading efficiency with on-the-go weighing and real-time payload estimates without swinging to prevent truck over/under-loading. Cat LINK hardware and software connect jobsites to the office, giving all the operating information.

Helping to achieve fuel savings of up to 25% (so they claim), is a new cooling system with multiple electric fans that independently monitor hydraulic oil, radiator and air-to-air aftercooler temperatures to deliver the exact airflow required. With a new hydraulic system, all three of the new models have a new main control valve that eliminates the need for pilot lines, reduces pressure losses and lowers fuel consumption. Fewer hydraulic lines on the excavators result in 20% less oil required, Caterpillar says.

With a higher dirt capacity, the new Cat hydraulic return filter offers a 3,000-hour service life, a 50% increase over previous filters. A new Cat air filter with integrated pre-cleaner and primary and secondary filters doubles service life to 1,000 hours, while a new fuel tank cap filter extends service life to 2,000 hours. The three fuel system filters each offer a 500-hour service interval.

All daily maintenance checks for engine oil, fuel water separator, fuel tank water and sediment, and cooling system level are performed from ground level, which makes life easier.

Features inside the cab include keyless push-button start, a large 203mm touchscreen monitor with jog dial keys for control, and programmable joystick buttons for productivity settings.





320 GC




Cat C4.4 ACERT

Cat C4.4 ACERT

Cat C7.1 ACERT

Gross Power, kW (ISO 14396)




Operating weight, kg

21 900

22 700

25 500

Max. digging depth, mm
(5.7 m boom, 2.9 m stick)

6 730

6 730

6 730

Max. reach at ground level
(5.7 m boom, 2.9 m stick)

9 860

9 860

9 870

Max. loading height
(5.7 m boom, 2.9 m stick)

6 490

6 490

6 480





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