By Marisa Mahato
Caterpillar’s new D8T model dozer is designed to move more material in less time with greater efficiency at a lower cost per ton.
Equipped with an automatic transmission and redesigned engine, the D8T boasts ease of operation, thanks to a fully automatic powertrain, and can move up to 18 per cent more material per hour while burning no additional fuel when compared to previous models. In lighter applications, customers can also expect to see fuel savings up to 11 per cent.
A key component to the productivity gains offered by the machine is largely accredited to the newly designed fully automatic four-speed transmission.
“We’ve effectively put another gear between one and two, which is truly in the sweet spot of productivity and efficiency when you’re in those heavy drawbar pull applications,” said Sam Meeker, product application specialist for dozers and track loaders at Caterpillar.
The operator is only required to select the desired ground speed, and the machine will automatically optimize the dozer for the application, allowing operators of varying experience levels to achieve the same level of productivity.
Powered by a Cat C15 ACERT engine, the D8T comes equipped with more power than its predecessor increasing its max net horsepower from 312 to a class-leading 354 hp, resulting in up to 13 per cent more drawbar power to the ground. This machine also features a 10.2 cubic metre semi-universal blade, which is 19 per cent larger than the standard, allowing operators to move more material in fewer passes. In addition, optional performance cutting edges may be interchanged to further increase blade payload by up to 25 per cent. This model also comes equipped with a differential steering system and an additional 10 per cent more steering torque.
Another fuel-saving feature of the D8T is the new torque converter with lock-up clutch that automatically locks and unlocks as needed for seamless shifting, further maximizing efficiency from the powertrain component and reducing fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent.
“It’s a big deal,” Meeker said. “It takes a pretty good amount of software and electronics to control it, make it smooth, reliable and productive, but this is a truly amazing component that is able to get us that extra efficiency and extra power that we’re looking for in a transmission.”
To better aid operators in hitting target grades with greater precision and speed, D8T dozers now come remote control ready, allowing customers to have a variety of Cat Connect Grade technologies installed. Remote control machine operation not only saves time and increases profit, but also increases operator safety, especially when working in difficult dozing conditions.
These technologies range from simple grade indicators, to GPS integrated systems that can be easily installed or removed and put onto other Cat machines. The D8T now comes standard with Cat Slope Indicate, which displays cross-slope and fore/aft orientation for quick reference and greater accuracy.
As well, the machine is available with the optional AutoCarry, Cat’s traction-control system that allows the operator to maintain the desired blade load, improve load consistency, and reduce track slip and works hand-in-hand with Cat Grade with 3D.
The D8T also comes equipped with standard Product Link Elite to aid with remote troubleshooting and provide access to machine data such as location, hours, fuel consumption, idle time, events and diagnostic codes. New hardware and software provides real-time operating and advanced health information via cellular, satellite and GPS.
When it comes to maintenance, the D8T features cartridge fuel filters that are purpose-built to help keep the fuel system clean and extend injector life. A standard feature on the D8T is a programmable, automatic reversing fan that adds greater ROI. Also standard, the now larger oil pan doubles engine oil service to intervals of 500 hours, further saving time and money. Optional features such as powered bottom guards help reduce downtime for maintenance and enhance safety.
After removing the bolts, the doors open hydraulically via a remote switch in the centre for fast and easy debris clean-out, or from one side for full maintenance access. Other features like grouped service points, ground level service and modular transmission help simplify daily maintenance and service tasks.
Customers may also reduce undercarriage maintenance costs by opting for the Heavy Duty Extended Life undercarriage, HDXL with DuraLink. Not only does the fully suspended undercarriage help reduce operating costs with heavier bushings, but can offer up to 25 per cent more wear life, especially in high abrasion conditions