Similar But Very Different: Cat Expert Explains the Four 315 and 317 Excavator Models | The Dirt #24

Cat's new 315 and 317 excavators are all-new inside and out. So much has been packed into these new models that in this episode of The Dirt we've asked Cat excavator expert Brian Stellbrink to break it all down.

Because there are two standard models to discuss, along with two "GC" models of these machines, there is a lot to discuss with these excavators. Brian breaks down the new electro-hydraulic controls, the redesigned next-generation cab, improved productivity and what the differences are between those standard and GC models.

Check out this week's episode above.

As 16-metric-ton machines, the Cat 315 and 315 GC are what Cat calls "small" excavators—a step above the mini and compact models, but right below the midsize lineup and machines like the 320s and up to the 335. Within the small lineup, the 315 models slots right in the middle between the 13 metric ton 313 and the new 18 metric-ton 317 models.The 315 is also a compact radius machine with only 5.1 feet of tail swing radius.

The 317 and 317 GC replace the 316F in Cat's small excavator lineup. Unlike the 315 models, which are both around the same weight, the 317 and 317 GC differ slightly. While the 317 GC weighs in at around 38,100 pounds or 17 metric tons, the standard 317 is heavier at 40,200 pounds, or 18 metric tons.

Episode Chapters:

0:00 Intro

1:25 How These Machines Stack Up Against Each Other and the Rest of the Lineup

5:00 What is a GC Excavator?

9:56 Key Improvements on the New Cat 315

13:30 New Electronically-Controlled Hydraulics

18:10 Improved Swing Torque

19:20 Increased Drawbar Pull

20:35 Cat C3.6 Engine + Engine Modes

26:03 Cat GRADE With 2D Productivity Increases

29:24 Explaining Excavator E-Fence

32:00 Cat Payload Standard on 315 and 317

34:15 New Cab

37:00 Maintenance Improvements

39:25 315 GC Differences

45:02 317 Key Features and Improvements over 316F

48:40 Two Different Engines on 317 and 317 GC