A boost to swing torque: Cat unveils two new forestry machines

caterpillar forestry

Caterpillar has announced the launch of two new Cat forestry machine models — the 548 and the 548 LL — with increased horsepower, swing torque, lift capacity and tractive effort.

The new Cat forest machines are versatile, purpose-built track machines that can be customized to perform a complete range of tasks for forestry operations and contractors.

The Cat 548 forestry excavator is configured for forestry tasks ranging from road building and site preparation to processing logs roadside or at a landing. The Cat 548 LL is configured as a log loader and can perform log handling tasks, such as shovel logging, loading, power clam/butt-n-top applications and millyard activities.

The machines are equipped with an enhanced hydraulic system to deliver more power. Upsized pumps, the layout of components, and back-to-back main control valve all optimize hydraulic oil flow.

The hydraulic updates enable the 548 and 548 LL engine to run at a lower steady state rpm while maximizing power. Operating at a lower rpm saves fuel and lowers operating costs.

At the same time, the Tier 4 Final engine and features like a variable pitch fan, variable power modes, automatic engine speed control, one-touch idle and boom and stick regeneration valves also assist with fuel conservation. With automatic engine speed control, the machines will revert automatically to a lower idle speed when there is a lull in operation. Regeneration valves minimize oil required from the pump to maximize efficiency.

The 548 and 548 LL are powered by a Cat 204 hp C7.1 ACERT engine with increased horsepower that maintains maximum performance under load.

Strong hydraulic horsepower allows the 548 and 548 LL to handle a variety of work tools.

An almost 20 per cent boost in swing torque, depending on the model, provides more power to move trees, increasing production and efficiency. Heavy lift mode and other updates enable greater lift capacity to handle larger payloads with improved control, and tractive effort has improved by as much as 13 per cent to allow efficient manoeuvring when working away from the road.

With boom arrangements and hydraulic systems for specific applications, the 548 and 548 LL are optimized for road building, loading, processing, shovelling or millyard unloading and stacking.

New track options meet shovel logging and low ground pressure application requirements, while ground saw hydraulics are available for log loader applications.

In addition to the standard cab, a purpose-built processor cab option is available for both models, and two premium rear entry cab choices are available for the 548 LL.

The Forest Machine cabs have features designed to reduce fatigue and keep operators working comfortably all day.

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An air ride seat, which is fully adjustable, includes heating and cooling capability, and a bi-level air conditioner, heater and defroster keep the cab at a comfortable temperature. Other features include a satellite radio, 12-volt power supply socket for charging, a larger monitor and LED lights.

Standard tool control software enables quick, efficient selection and swapping of tools.

New rear entry cab options provide convenient access on a fully lit platform through the use of a key fob. For these rear entry cabs, a new cab forward riser and optimized window design improve visibility for shovel logging and other applications, while a cab lock down system increases machine uptime by increasing cab tilt efficiency and minimizing transport time.

For serviceability, a one-piece engine hood design with two opening angles allows easy access to engine and cooling compartments. The side-by-side engine and hydraulic coolers are convenient for cleaning due to a cooler that hinges out of the way, and fewer cooling fins improves debris flow-through and reduces clogging. Plentiful storage space at ground level allows operators easy  access to tools, equipment and supplies that are used on the job daily.

Cooling capability is increased 12 per cent for trouble-free operation, and the variable pitch, reversing cooling fan maintains optimum fluid temperature.

The purpose-built upper frame, high-wide carbody, linkage configurations and enclosures feature thick doubler plates, extra gussets and other weldments and reinforcements.