Caterpillar has announced the launch of 16 new skid-steer loader (SSL) and compact tracked loader (CTL) models, which advance the manufacturer’s small loader models to the D3 Series.
A statement from Cat said the new D3 Series machines advance the reputation of their predecessors – the D and D2 Series – for quality, comfort and performance by delivering improvements in operator experience and track loader stability.
The D3 Series models also support a line of new ‘Smart Attachments’, which is an industry first, Cat says. This advanced machine technology recognises certain attachments and tailors the controls and operator information to match the tool and the task.
The statement added that the new D3 models provide easier ingress and egress, with a wider opening cab door for enclosed cabs. Additionally, the distance between joystick pods has increased by 76mm, offering extra space for the operator inside the cab to deliver a more comfortable experience.
The new Cat D3 Series CTLs deliver improved operating stability while handling heavy loads, grading or truck loading, Cat said, with changes to the undercarriage frame and torsion axles reducing machine pitching and rocking while still offering superior ride comfort.
The D3 Series CTLs feature standard two-speed travel for better performance at job-sites and are geared to deliver high torque digging performance as well as high top-end travel speed. The Cat 279D3 and 289D3 loaders have ground speeds of 13.6kph, a 20% increase over their D Series counterparts. The 239D3 and 249D3 models now have two-speed transmission as standard, versus the previous single speed, increasing travel speed by 9% and aligning these models with the rest of the two-speed equipped CTL model range.
Cat added that the D3 Series models are equipped with Smart Technology for better integration with the new ‘Smart Attachments’. This advanced attachment technology allows the D3 Series models to automatically recognise an attachment and convert machine controls to align with the operational and informational needs of that attachment.
Among the advanced control features offered in the new De Series models are Return-to-Dig and Work Tool Positioner to assist operators with repetitive tasks like grading, digging, and loading. These are now bundled together with a dual-direction, self-level feature to enable even more operators to take advantage of features that automate machine functions to enable these tasks to be completed with less user interaction and expertise.
With the introduction of the D3 Series, the previous XHP performance model identifier used with the 272 and 299 models has been replaced with XE badge, said Cat, making the 272D3 XE and 299D3 XE models the most advanced in the Cat SSL and CTL line.