Caterpillar launches M318F, M320F wheel excavators with greater durability, lower operating costs (PHOTOS)

Updated Sep 10, 2014
Cat M320F wheel excavator

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Caterpillar has launched two new wheel excavators—the M318F and M320F—which the company says incorporates the best features of predecessor models with improvements based on customer input. The resulting machines provide reliability and durability combined with low operating costs.

Both excavators deliver 169 horsepower from a Cat C7.1 ACERT engine that includes an emissions aftertreatment system that requires no maintenance other than periodic DEF tank refills; a NOx reduction system; selective catalytic reduction; diesel oxidation catalyst; diesel particulate filter and high-pressure/common-rail fuel system.

The engine is longitudinally mounted with the cooling package forward, so ground level access to routine maintenance points is simplified, and electrical and hydraulic components are grouped in specific areas. Radiators are grouped in the same compartment and the condenser can be tilted for cleaning. The Tier 4 Final machines weigh 21.7 and 23.2 tons, respectively.

The excavators feature an automatic system the operator can use to sense machine parameters, lock the axle-oscillation function and set the service brakes, ensuring the machine is ready to dig while reducing operator fatigue by eliminating the need to constantly press the brake pedal. The brake and axle lock release when the operator presses the travel pedal. A new travel-lock system is engaged via the switch panel and combines implement stop and swing lock functions.

The exterior of the machines have been redesigned, and feature a new ROPS-complaint operator’s cab with higher pressurization, larger door, new windshield, new mirrors that include a heater option and more. Three access steps and a door handrail have been redesigned to improve access to the cab, and the left-hand console inside the cab tilts to simplify accessing the seat. The excavators also have a new height adjustable steering wheel, console safety lever, standard lighting package with counter weight light, three cabin-mounted lights and light on the boom, and a cabin interior sound level of 71 dB(A).

Additional features include a PIN-code anti-theft system, a new blade with a redesigned profile that allows the blade to remain parallel to the ground at any height, an engine-idle shutdown system and a new electronic hydraulic system.