Caterpillar is preparing for its largest exhibit to date at ConExpo 2023, which includes a 70,000 square foot demonstration arena, known as Operator Stadium, located in the trade show’s Festival Lot.
The extensive Caterpillar equipment display includes more than 30 machines, including model unveilings and battery-electric model prototypes with charging stations.
As well, visitors will see two main equipment demonstrations each day; one focused on the latest Cat Technology, and one that will highlight the company’s full equipment line up. Caterpillar will also provide daily spotlight demonstrations that dive into key industry topics, including:
- Improving fuel efficiency
- Improving jobsite efficiency
- The evolution of technology
- Convenient, scalable solutions for all customers
The new Cat 950 medium wheel loader is one of the more than 30 machines on display. The loader offers premium performance and simple-to-use technologies to help boost operator efficiency and increase productivity, while extended service intervals help lower maintenance costs. As well, visitors will be able to see a preview of the Next Generation Cat 926, 930 and 938 small wheel loaders – slated for production in late 2023.
For paving contractors, Caterpillar has entered into an agreement with construction solutions supplier, Axenox, Inc., to acquire the intellectual properties of two of the company’s asphalt paving screed products. Under the agreement, three-dimensional screed plates and the modular screed plate fastening system will be available options exclusively for Cat asphalt paving customers.
The Axenox screed plate design includes a three-dimensional, angular design. The added dimension delivers lateral compaction confinement to asphalt material. The kneading action helps aggregate to interlock more efficiently than with flat screeds, increasing mat and joint density along with improving mat smoothness.
The Caterpillar Technology Hub
The Caterpillar Technology Hub in the Festival Lot will offer attendees the ability to experience a range of new and existing Cat technologies, including:
- Cat Command
- VisionLink Productivity
- Cat Detect
- Cat Grade
- Cat Payload
Its centerpiece exhibit, the Looking Glass cube, displays and interactively showcases the five key capabilities of the new Cat VisionLink application – geofence and location, fuel theft alerts, diagnostics, idle time/fuel burn, and maintenance. An interactive wall invites visitors to explore the full suite of VisionLink capabilities for both Cat and non-Cat equipment and non-machine assets.
The hub’s multiple Cat Command stations allow attendees to remotely operate Cat machines located more than 640 km away at the Tinaja Hills Demonstration and Learning Center. They are positioned to allow attendees to better experience and learn more about the Command for Dozing, Excavating and Loading technologies. One of the Command stations allows visitors to try the “Strike Pay Dirt Challenge,” where participants remotely control an excavator to win a prize.
The Sustainability Hub
The Caterpillar Sustainability Hub will highlight fuel efficiency and alternative power sources; technologies to fit every operation and budget; and parts and service designed to make uptime fast and easy. As well, visitors will learn about sustainability benefits they can choose today and plan for tomorrow.
Outside the Sustainability Hub, exhibit attendees can view components of Caterpillar’s total site solution for the energy transition, including four battery-electric machine prototypes:
- Cat 301.9 mini excavator
- 320 medium excavator
- 950 GC medium wheel loader
- 906 compact wheel loader
- AC and DC charging solutions
The Caterpillar-designed batteries powering these battery-electric machines are built on lithium-ion Cat technology with a modular design that offers flexible configurations across multiple applications.
Global Operator Challenge
With the quest to prove they are the best, more than 10,000 operators representing more than 32 countries around the world registered to compete in the 2022-2023 Global Operator Challenge.
From 3,500 participants in the first round of local competitions to 84 advancing to the regional semifinals, nine of the world’s best equipment operators will demonstrate their advanced skill, precision and stamina in hopes of being named the Global Operator Challenge Champion. The nine finalists competing in Operator Stadium at ConExpo are:
- Pontus Eriksson, representing Zeppelin Sweden
- Sebastian Behr, representing Zeppelin Germany
- Łukasz Mokrzyński, representing Bergerat Monnoyeur Poland
- John Schiedeck, representing Holt Cat (Texas, USA)
- Matt Ferris, representing Empire Cat (Arizona, USA)
- Fernando do Nascimento, representing PESA (Brazil)
- Masato Imai, representing Nippon Caterpillar (Japan)
- Patrick Doheny, representing William Adams (Australia)
- Nick Thompson, representing CavPower (Australia)
The Operator Challenge finals kick off on Tuesday, March 14, immediately following the expo’s grand opening ceremonies. Throughout the competition, the skills of the finalists will be put to the test in three identical challenges – excavating, loading, and hauling/maneuvering the equipment through a variety of obstacles.
The champion is set to be crowned on the afternoon of March 14.