The 45.2-ton Cat 745 articulated truck unveiled last week at the company’s ConExpo booth is visibly different from its predecessors, and features a new external “spinal” ROPS that uses bonded rear quarter glass, thus eliminating the structural rear pillar. The result: what Cat calls a “dramatic improvement in visibility from the cab.” The 745 is also the first Cat machine that will no longer carry a suffix; instead, Cat will note changes by model year.
“Our focus has been on the operator with the 745,” says Scott Thomas, Cat applications specialist, articulated trucks. “It’s a completely new cab, with 20 percent more interior space than the previous model.”
Operators can now flip a ground-level switch to illuminate the steps and hitch areas for increased safety when entering the cab. A “wake up” cab feature initiates machine displays as soon as an operator opens the door and a lighter, stronger cab door has shut assist for improved sealing against dust infiltration. Inside sound levels have been reduced 5 decibels at the operator’s ear. “It’s now similar to driving a mid-size sedan,” Thomas says.
Infrared glass reduces solar heating inside the cab, an important feature with the increase of cab glass, and left- and right-hand sliding windows increase ventilation in addition to allowing easy communication with other workers. Additional vents above and behind the operator enable the cab’s new automatic climate control to efficiently heat and cool the cab and provide 12 percent more air, Thomas says.
The in-cab touchscreen display enables the operator to monitor machine functions and personalize a variety of options. A heated/cooled seat has a variety of adjustments, allowing each operator to dial in preferred settings. Mirrors are positioned on the cab instead the fender. A new convex mirror allows the operator see people in front of the machine. The low-profile exhaust stack does not have to be removed to transport the machine.
A combined transmission and hoist lever gives operators single-lever control over truck speed and body hoisting functions, automating repetitive operations. Using a switch, operators can choose between manual or fully automatic assisted hoisting control. This control automatically applies the waiting brake, sets the transmission in neutral and hoists the body to the maximum angle at high rpms. A push-button lever control lets the operator set the machine speed and transmission hold/waiting brake. Directional gear shifting protections brings the machine safely to a stop when transitioning from forward to reverse and vice versa.
Since body overturns can occur in artic operations, Cat’s Detect with Stability Assist system both audibly and visibly warns operators if the tractor or the body has reached an angle threshold where it is in risk of tipping over. “If the machine is approaching an unsafe condition during operation, the operator won’t be able to raise the bed of the truck,” Thomas says.
The machine’s Advanced Automatic Traction Control proactively applies the differential locks prior to any wheel spin. Terrain-based throttle smoothing prevents the artic from surging when an operator is unable to keep steady pressure on the accelerator pedal while traveling over extremely rough terrain.
The Cat 504-horsepower C18 ACERT engine now can be put in a new economy mode, resulting in a 5-percent fuel consumption improvement.