Cat's New 336 Excavator Gets Boost in Fuel Economy and Technology

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Cat 336 excavator dumping bucket load into dump truck from position atop dirt pile.

Cat's new 336 hydraulic excavator offers extended service intervals and reduced fuel consumption for low-cost operation and productivity. The standard machine has some of the highest-level factory-equipped technology to boost productivity, the company says.

“Our new Cat 336 model delivers the right balance of power and payload,” says Brian Abbott, Caterpillar global product manager for large hydraulic excavators. “The result is a rugged and reliable machine that delivers excellent production along with low owning and operating costs.”

Built rugged

According to Cat, the 336 excavators deliver reliable operation in a variety of applications based on strong structures. Powered by a Cat C7.1 engine, the company says the 4 million hours of service reflect the long-term reliability of the machine.

Cat’s Next Generation excavators are designed to use Smart mode operation (one of three power mode settings) to burn less fuel by automatically matching engine and hydraulic power to the digging conditions, optimizing both fuel consumption and performance. The other two options are Power mode to deliver maximum power to meet the most demanding tasks and Eco mode, which reduces engine speed to a constant 1500 rpm and minimizes fuel consumption.

Service intervals have been extended and some intervals have been eliminated altogether, with a simplified hydraulic system. Engine oil and fuel filters are synchronized for service at 1,000 hours, increasing uptime and reducing parts and labor costs. By offering extended and more synchronized maintenance intervals, the new Cat excavators do more work at a lower cost and reduce maintenance costs over the previous series.

For easier, faster and safer daily maintenance, the updated 336 models include fuel-system water and sediment drains and hydraulic system oil level being positioned close together at ground level.

High-ambient temperature capability of 125˚ F, cold-start capability at 0˚ F, and the ability to operate at up to 14,764 feet above sea level enable the 336 to work in various climates. Cat says auto hydraulic warmup in cold temperatures gets the machine to work faster and prolongs the life of machine components. The air intake filter with pre-cleaner features high dust capacity, and a high-efficiency hydraulic fan offers optional automatic reverse to keep cores free from debris.

The cooling system includes a new on-demand fan to keep the excavator working at the correct operating temperature for maximum efficiency. 

Product Link collects data automatically from the jobsites to the office. Information on location, hours, fuel usage, idle time, maintenance alerts, diagnostic codes and machine health can be viewed online through web and mobile applications. This helps maximize machine uptime, allowing for remote troubleshooting and remote flash, allowing dealers to remotely connect with the machine to diagnose fault codes and update operating software, Cat says.

Comfortable operation

All Next Generation excavator cab trims are available for the 336. The deluxe cabs come with a heated air-suspension seat, and the premium cabs come with a heated and ventilated air-suspension seat. A tilt-up console for the deluxe and premium cab designs affords easy cab entry and exit.

Standard features include keyless push-button start and touchscreen monitor with jog dial keys for machine control. A Bluetooth key fob is available. An Operator ID passcode allows for engine starting, and Operator ID can quickly save and restore joystick button, response and pattern preferences for individual operators.

In addition, Optional Cat Stick Steer makes travel and turning easier. Overall, the machine comes with a host of standard Cat technologies. Cat Payload delivers precise load targets and increased loading efficiency, helping prevent truck over- or under-loading.

With the standard Cat Grade 2D system comes guidance for depth, slope and horizontal distance to grade through the standard touchscreen monitor. Standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick and bucket movements so operators can effortlessly stay on grade with single lever digging, the company says. That system is readily upgradable to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or Cat Grade with 3D.

All Cat Grade systems are compatible with radios and base stations from top third-party technology suppliers. Operators can store up to four depth and slope offsets to quickly cut to grade without a grade checker.

Also, auto hammer stop warns operators after 15 seconds of continuous firing and then shuts off the hammer after 30 seconds to prevent wear and tear. Auto dig boost and auto heavy lift increase bucket penetration and lift capacity by 8%, and Cat Lift Assist helps operators avoid tipping the machine while picking up heavy objects with visual and auditory alerts to indicate if the load is within the machine’s limits.

Quick specs

  • Engine: Cat C7.1
  • Gross power 302 hp
  • Operating weight: 81,200 lbs.
  • Max. digging depth: 24’ 8”
  • Max. reach at ground line: 36’ 3”
  • Max loading height: 23’ 3”

 Cat 336 excavator unmannedCat's 336 excavators have extended service intervals and Smart mode operations to reduce fuel consumption and cost of operation.Cat