Cat 306 CR latest addition to Next Generation lineup, first “true Cat 6-ton”

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix

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Continuing Cat’s Next Generation compact excavator line up, the 6-ton class Cat 306 CR shares similar control layouts and common components with other machines in the series, along with the Cat Stick Steer system. Cat unveiled the new machine during ICUEE.

“We’ve never had a genuine 6-ton machine,” says Greg Worley, Caterpillar product expert. The 306 CR is not a replacement for Cat’s 305.5 model but rather an addition to the range, he adds.

When equipped with same cab as Cat’s 7- to 10-ton models, the 15,821-pound 306 CR has maximum depth of 162 inches. Using a swing boom, the machine’s compact radius design has a 58-inch tail swing with counterweight. A canopy version will be available in 2020.

The unit can lift up to 7,839 pounds at a 9.8-foot radius. “The 306 CR picks up three times more weight at full stretch than our 305.5 model,” Worley says.

A load-sensing hydraulic system with an electronically controlled variable-displacement piston pump generates 46-gpm hydraulic oil flow, which Cat says gives it increased travel performance and higher digging forces than competitive units.

Cat 306 CR demonstration at ICUEE.Cat 306 CR demonstration at ICUEE.

A 24-gpm high flow rate to the auxiliary circuit allows operation of demanding attachments. The standard auxiliary hydraulic system provides one-way, two-way and continuous flow.

Powered by a 55.9-net-horsepower Cat C2.4 turbo diesel, the 306 CR uses a sealed and pressurized cab to lower in-cab operating noise levels to 72 decibels. The cab features common 1.5-ton to 10-ton Next Generation features such as an LCD monitor with jog-dial for navigation, USB port and standard Bluetooth capability. “Basically this is the mini version of the 308,” Worley says. “It has the same cab, same doors and same features.”

As with other Next Generation excavators, the model has a standard Cat Stick Steer system, which allows the operator to switch from conventional lever/foot-pedal steering to controlling travel using a button on the joystick. “Customers love it,” says Worley. “They try it and they’re hooked, and it’s got to make sense to the customer. It’s not about the gimmicks.”

The unit can be used with a straight blade, angled blade or an extra tool carrier (XTC) configuration. Cat offers three undercarriages options, Worley says: standard, steel with pads or steel track only.

Cat 306 CR Quick Specs

Engine Cat C2.4 Turbo
Net power 55.9 hp
Minimum operating weight with cab 14,299 lbs
Maximum operating weight with cab 15,821 lbs
Tail swing Compact
Standard dig depth 146 in.
Dig depth, long 162 in.

To download the full Cat 306 CR specs use this link.