Cat’s new 326 excavator is up to 45 per cent more efficient

Paired with integrated simple-to-use technologies, Caterpillar’s new 326 excavator boosts efficiencies up to 45 percent over previous models.

The 26-ton class machine delivers improved fuel savings, reduced maintenance costs and improved operator comfort with an all-new cab design.

Key to the design of the new Cat 326 is operating simplicity. From remote start using a Bluetooth key fob or the unique operator ID function, to operator-specific programming of power mode and joystick preferences, the excavator is easier to operate than ever before.

The machine’s 20 cm high-resolution touchscreen monitor delivers intuitive navigation through the menus and includes a digital version of the operator’s manual.

As well, the 326 is powered by the Cat 7.1 engine, which meets stringent emissions standards, and efficiently powers the excavator with up to 15 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to the F Series.

The new Cat model features three selectable power modes and one-touch low idle with automatic engine speed control. It also boasts a standard high-ambient temperature operating capacity of 52 degrees Celsius and standard cold start capacity of -18 degrees C.

The 326 excavator hydraulic system

The advanced hydraulic system of the new Cat 326 excavator provides a balance of power and efficiency, while giving the operator complete control of excavating precision. The machine’s 12 per cent improvement in swing torque makes the machine easier to swing, especially on inclines with fully loaded buckets.

SMART-mode operation automatically matches engine speed and hydraulic power to digging conditions, while offering an additional 5 per cent fuel savings without impacting productivity.  

The optional Smartboom allows the boom to lower freely without using pump flow, which in turn saves fuel. It can also be used when hammering to apply just the right amount of down force.

Advansys bucket tips are quickly changed with a lug wrench versus a hammer or special tool to improve safety. Furthermore, the excavator features auxiliary hydraulic options for using a wide range of Cat attachments.

Tech heavy

A host of standard, simple-to-use Caterpillar tech is integrated into the new 326 excavator to improve operating efficiency, lower operator fatigue and improve machine productivity.

The standard Cat Grade with 2D system allows operators to reach desired grade quickly and accurately by guiding depth, slope and horizontal distance grade. As well, contractors are able to upgrade the standard 2D system to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or 3D to fit application needs.

Standard Grade Assist allows operators to stay on grade with the use of a single lever, while Bucket Assist automatically maintains the angle in sloping, levelling, fine grading and trenching applications.

Innovative Swing Assist automatically stops excavator swing at predefined set points for truck loading and trenching to reduce effort and fuel consumption.

Cat Payload

Achieving precise load targets is simplified with the standard Cat Payload on-board weighing system. Payload increases loading efficiency by providing on-the-go weighing and real-time estimates of the bucket’s payload, helping the operator to avoid truck under/over loading. VisionLink allows companies to remotely manage production targets through data gathered by Payload and offers the ability to download production data to a USB stick. 

New 326 excavator cab

All new cab designs for the Cat 326 Next Gen excavator feature advanced viscous mounts to reduce cab vibration up to 50 per cent over previous models, significantly reducing operator fatigue.

Contractors have a choice of comfort, deluxe and premium cabs – all with automatic climate control – and the tilt-up console standard on deluxe and premium designs improves cab entry/exit by 45 per cent. Bluetooth compatibility with the standard radio offers the ability to connect personal devices and make hands-free calls.

More news from Caterpillar:

Small cab pillars and large panoramic windows, new lower profile right-hand side fuel tank, deliver more visibility into the trench, in each swing direction and to the rear of the machine.

Standard rearview and right-view cameras further enhance visibility and safety while operating the 326 excavator, and may be upgraded to offer 360-degree visibility.

Anti-skid punch plate prevents slipping when accessing the machine’s new right service platform. A ground-level shut-off switch prevents accidental restarts while servicing the machine.

Synchronized maintenance

The Cat 326 Next Gen excavator boasts up to 20 per cent lower maintenance costs than the 326F.

All daily maintenance checks are quickly and safely performed at ground-level, including a ground-level dipstick to easily check the engine oil. Operators can monitor filter life and maintenance intervals via the in-cab monitor.

All fuel filters have a synchronized, 1,000-hour change interval, doubling the filter life of the 326F. The 326 Next Gen’s air intake filter with precleaner delivers up to a 1,000-hour life, a 100 per cent increase over previous filters.

Improved hydraulic filter performance combined with anti-drain values to keep the oil clean during filter replacement result in a 3,000-hour filter replacement interval, 50 per cent longer than previous designs.