Caterpillar motor grader now offers control options

caterpillar motor grader

Customers in the market for a new Cat motor grader now have two control options for the machine.

The new Cat 120 motor grader offers the option of either joysticks or traditional steering wheel and lever controls.

In 2007, Caterpillar introduce its M-Series motor graders equipped with joystick controls. In 2016, Cat sold a small number of K-Series graders with steering wheel and lever controls in North America to test market demand.

“It was just to test the market and see if North America truly wanted this product,” said Eric Kohout, Cat’s product application specialist for motor graders. “Overwhelmingly, from both the dealers and the customers, we heard ‘yes, we needed that’.”

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With 45 years of refinement, the traditional lever and steering wheel controls are familiar. With the option to integrate automatic grade control switches and buttons on the levers, full control is within arm’s reach.

Joystick controls reduce hand and arm movement up to 78 per cent. Operators are able to work without the fatigue of added arm movement using joystick controls. As well, technology options are integrated into the joysticks to make it a seamless motion. The angled joystick cab provides extra blade visibility.

“A lot of people are more comfortable in certain applications using that steering wheel. And a lot of people have embraced what the joysticks bring,” Kohout said. “We are now able to cover more customers and choose what is best for their operators.”

cat graderNew motor grader cab

The new cab includes an innovative connecting rear window design for better visibility, which can be supplemented with the Cat Detect Vision System. The motor grader is equipped with a 25-cm colour touchscreen monitor, while seat upgrades include air suspension, heated and cooled with air-adjusted side bolsters.

“What this machine provides is a new operator experience. It’s a brand-new ground up operator station,” Kohout said.

With HVAC ducts now located at the top of the cab, the heating and cooling system dehumidifies and pressurizes the cab, while circulating fresh air, sealing out dust and ensures windows are clear.

“Your ducts are now above you and (operators) can focus them on the windows or themselves,” Kohout said.

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The Cat C7.1 engine uses up to 15 per cent less fuel when paired with the standard Eco mode. As well, the new filtration system reduces typical operating expenses up to 15 per cent. The motor grader filters are also grouped together for easy access to complete preventive maintenance quickly and move on to the next task.

Cat 120 motor graderThe circle drive slip clutch protects the pinion drive and circle teeth from potential damage.

“If you catch something on the corner of the blade, it allows that blade to relieve so you don’t damage the machine,” Kohout said.

Furthermore, daily greasing requirements, and repairs to the circle and pinion, are reduced with the Circle Saver options.

“The Circle Saver goes over the pinion. It’s like a grease bucket. We’re trying to make it easier for folks to maintain that pinion,” Kohout said.

The all-wheel-drive system, which assists with traction and maneuvering in loose material, also provides a front wheel only creep mode for precise grading. The all-wheel drive option.

“This 120 is the new benchmark when it comes to graders,” Kohout said.

Cat 140 motor graderThe Cat 140 motor grader

Caterpillar has also introduced the new high-production 140 motor grader.

The new model offers an all-wheel-drive system option with a standard operating weight of 19,198 kg and a 3.6 metre mold board. The 140 is powered by Cat C9.3 engine and equipped with the 8F/6R direct-drive power-shift transmission. When operating in the standard Eco mode, fuel consumption is reduced up to 10 per cent in certain applications.

“There’s a lot of legacy built into this machine. It’s got all that Cat DNA,” Kohout said. “We’re sharing a lot of components that are proven over the years.”

The all-wheel-drive option provides added performance in rough terrain or poor underfoot conditions and the VHP system regulates power output between 176 to 270 horsepower. Optimized machine balance ensures maximum drawbar power to the ground.

“We’re doing really well to balance the weight and horsepower on these machines,” Kohout said. “More horsepower equals wheel slip, causing tire wear and excessive fuel burn. But if you can get the right balance and get as much of that power to the ground, then the machine can perform like its designed to.”

Extended maintenance intervals provide significant reductions, saving up to 20 per cent in fluid and filter costs. Now, filters are changed at 1,000 hours, instead of 500. Hydraulic oil, engine air and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) filters are also grouped together in a central location for easy access and preventative maintenance.

“What that does for the customer is less cost to maintain the machine and more uptime because it’s not a having maintenance done on it,” Kohout said.

The cab

Optimum placement of the motor grader steering wheel and levers reduce operator effort and strain, promoting a safe, comfortable and productive working environment. The redesigned, ISO-certified ROPS cabin is sound-suppressed and sealed against dust intrusion.

An adjustable control console promotes comfort, and the display screen keeps the operator informed about machine functions, while also integrating with Cat Connect Technology.

Large, floor-to-ceiling windows ensure all-around visibility, which gets a boost from an available rear-view camera system.

The Comfort Cab option adds an air-suspension seat, rear wiper and defrost fans. Halogen lighting is standard, while LED lights are optional. In addition, a canopy-type operator’s station is available. For added operator safety, the standard secondary-steering system automatically activates should main-pump pressure drop.