Equipment Roundup: Cat unveils next-gen excavators, first UTVs; The Duke is one bad ’72 Chevy; Tesla unveils electric Semi; Tracks that monitor their own wear; Volvo intros EC27D excavator

Cat intros next-gen excavators with “digital heart”

All three of Caterpillar’s new Next Generation excavators feature a radically new hydraulic system driven by a “digital heart.” The 320 and 323 (pictured here) models offer automated digging and positioning technology in addition to payload weighing.

How cool is this: An excavator that you can start with an app on your smart phone.

That’s just a tiny fraction of the digital razzle-dazzle Cat showed us last week in the most significant change to its excavator program in 25 years.

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Cat unveils its first UTV, coming Summer 2018 in gas, diesel

Caterpillar introduced its first-ever utility vehicle to meet a growing demand for tough work utility vehicles – while also expanding the company’s reach into the consumer market.

The gas-powered Cat CUV82 and the diesel-powered CUV102D will roll into dealerships in Summer 2018 with the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices of $14,999 and $16,299, respectively, says Norma Aldinger, commercial supervisor for the Cat UTV.

Cat announced last month that it had partnered with Textron Specialized Vehicles to bring the UTVs to market.

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Tesla unveils electric semi: 500 mile range, ‘racecar’ cab, and ‘impossible to jackknife’

With a style more fitting of Star Wars than Smokey and the Bandit, Tesla’s electric semi made its twice-delayed debut Thursday in Hawthorne, Calif., the home Tesla Motors’ design center and company founder Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket factory.

Promising a range of up to 500 miles at maximum weight and highway speed, the company says the Tesla Semi consumes less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile when fully loaded. Battery capacity wasn’t disclosed Thursday night. The company is currently accepting reservations for Tesla Semi for $5,000 per truck with production set for 2019

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Continental Trackman uses microchip in track tread to monitor rubber tracks

Claiming a first-of-its-kind, Continental has unveiled a track-condition monitoring concept for its Trackman rubber tracks that go on several brands of tractors.

Asked whether this technology might apply to compact track loader tracks, Continental said while it currently does not these support these tracks, “it’s definitely something that we could be interested in looking at in the future.”

Using an embedded microchip molded into the track tread, the system communicates with a cab monitor, providing operators with real-time condition data. This is information operators can use to predictively maintain their tracks,

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Volvo CE intros EC27D excavator: Short swing, more power

Volvo Construction Equipment has updated its 2.7-ton mini excavator model saying it represents a versatile and powerful combination of concepts.

Powered by a 20.9-horsepower Volvo D1.1A engine with passive regeneration, the Volvo EC27D  boasts 9,600 pounds of digging force and “impressive” lifting capacity, the company says, adding that it is similar in size to the ECR25D short swing model, but offers greater power and stability than that machine.

Though this new machine uses 5 percent less fuel and has 30 percent less horsepower than its predecessor, the EC27D maintains the same breakout (5,528 lb.-ft.) and tearout (4,060 lb.-ft.) forces.

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The Duke is a ’72 Chevy C50 transformed into one bad work pickup

What elicited such an explicit reaction was The Duke, a beautifully restored and transformed 1972 Chevrolet C50 built by master welder Randall Robertson of RTech Fabrications in Hayden, Idaho.

It’s a cool-looking pickup for sure, but there’s something about seeing it in person that makes you feel like you need this truck.

To read more, click here.