Caterpillar intros 320F L excavators with more efficient hydraulics, fuel use

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The Cat 320F excavator is designed as a “simple, reliable, durable under 50,000-pound machine for contractors looking for a general construction machine,” says Brian Stellbrink, Caterpillar excavator product application specialist.

Powered by a Cat C4.4 ACERT Tier 4 Final 161-horsepower engine, the 320F consumes 8.5 percent less fuel in standard mode than the Cat 320E it replaces, while still offering the same lifting and digging capacity.

“We expect this machine to do well in our rental fleets, and also with general contractors who do applications such as land clearing,” Stellbrink says.

The 320F has a negative flow control hydraulic system, which decreases pump flow when oil pressure increases, and vice versa. Cat says the net result is that the pump and valve operate in harmony with less energy and less wear.

Since all major hydraulic components are positioned together on the machine, there’s less friction loss and pressure drops. In addition, special boom and stick valves recirculate oil flow in the cylinders instead of going all the way back to the hydraulic tank, allowing more oil to flow to machine functions.

The machine’s electronic system stores flow and pressure settings for up to 20 different work tools in the cab’s LCD monitor, eliminating the need to recalibrate every time an attachment is changed. The system can be used with one-way and two-way flow tools, in addition to tools that require a third pump and medium-pressure circuit.

A pre-start system displayed on the monitor allows you to check coolant, hydraulic oil and engine levels inside the cab. The easy-to-replace fresh air filter is located on the side of the cab. An electronic fuel priming pump eliminates the need to manually prime the pump after filter changes. Fluid taps and grease points around the machine can be accessed at ground level.

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