No. 7 Story in 2015
A new cab design with several refinements including to the glass, controls and comfort, give operators a lot to look forward to in Caterpillar’s new F2 series backhoes.
Cat announced the center-pivot model lineup at World of Concrete in Las Vegas with the unveiling of the 420F2 IT. The 415F2, 416F2 and 430F2 round out the lineup.
The 415F2 is a new entry to the lineup, powered by Cat C3.4B ACERT engine rated at 68 horsepower. The machine is aimed at the rental market and government agencies and does not require diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
The 416F2, 420F2 and 430F2 are each powered by the Cat C4.4 ACERT, and are rated at 87 hp, 93 hp and 108 hp, respectively. The 420F2 and 430F2 are available with both single-tilt and Integrated Tool Carrier (IT) front linkage. Four-wheel drive is standard on the 430F2 but is an available option on the other models.
A six-speed auto-shift transmission is available as an option on the 420F2 and 430F2. The transmission can also be optioned with a lock-up torque converter that provides a top speed of 25 miles per hour and improved fuel economy.
Standard on the 420F2 and 430F2 is an Economy mode that adjusts engine speed and hydraulic pump displacement to optimize performance and fuel consumption. These models also feature variable speed steering and adjustable auxiliary-hydraulic flow.
Each F2 Series machine can be equipped with auxiliary hydraulics, including a third-function loader valve, six-function backhoe valve, and related lines. The 420F2 IT and 430F2 IT machines have a standard hydraulic loader quick coupler and feature twist-to-connect hydraulic quick disconnect fittings that can be connected under pressure.
The hose routing for extendable sticks has been redesigned on all models for increased durability.
But the most significant changes in the F2 models over their F Series predecessors are related to the cab. First off, it’s a bit easier to enter the cab thanks to an third step. But more importantly, Cat modified the cab design to accommodate flat glass for better visibility and features a new rear window that improves trench sight lines.
Additional eased visibility to the bucket corners comes through a repositioning of the heat stack to align with the cab frame. A jointed windshield wiper increases coverage by more than 40 percent and larger fenders keep mud splatter to the glass at a minimum.
In terms of comfort, no matter if you’re operating inside the standard cab on the 415 and 416 or, the deluxe cab on the 420 and 430, there’s plenty of legroom to be found along with an air-suspension seat. You’ll also find a significantly quieter cab as Cat says sound levels have been reduced from 80 decibels to 74.
The machines also offer more control over cab climate with a roof cap that keeps the heat out and a new HVAC system that has recirculation control.
The machines also feature a new gauge cluster with a large LCD screen. A differential-lock control is now positioned on the loader control and dual directional-shift controls are available on the IT models. Plus, the single tilt 420F2 and 430F2 models are now outfitted with single lever loader controls with an integral roller switch for auxiliary functions.
Joystick controls with in-cab pattern changers are standard on the 420F2 and 430F2 but are optional on the 415F2 and 416F2
A keypad security system is an option on the F2 Series. The system disables the engine, transmission and hydraulic system until the correct passcode is entered.