Caterpillar has three new Cat D Series compact track loaders and three new Cat D Series multi terrain loaders, as well as two updated D Series compact track loaders. The new and updated machines feature a completely new cab with designs that enhance operator comfort and control, new lift arm design for improved sight lines, and increased engine performance for greater productivity. The six new D Series models are replacements for their B3, C and C2 Series predecessors.
The eight D Series rubber-track loaders range in rated operating capacity (50 percent of tipping load) from 2,800 lb. (1,270 kg) to 4,650 lb. (2,109 kg). Mid-size frame models, as narrow as 66 in. (167 cm), are the 257D multi terrain loader (MTL) and 259D compact track loader (CTL). Larger frame models are the 277D and 287D MTLs and the 279D and 289D CTLs.
These six D Series models feature an electronically controlled 3.3-L engine that meets Tier IV Final (Stage IIIB) emissions standards. The Cat C3.3B engine provides 74 hp (55 kW) with 8 percent more torque and 6 percent improved fuel economy compared to the previous models.
The largest D series models, the 299D and 299D XHP CTLs, were launched in early 2012 and continue to be powered by an electronically controlled 3.8-L engine, which meets Tier IV Interim (Stage IIIB) emissions standards. The Cat C3.8 produces 98 gross hp (73 kW) for the 299D and 110 net hp (82 kW) for the 299D XHP, which powers an auxiliary hydraulic system producing as much as 40 gpm (150 Lpm) of flow at 4,061 psi (28,000 kPa) to handle the most demanding powered work tools.
The 299D and 299D XHP also receive the new cab environment and features as well as the new lift arm design.
Cat MTL and CTL models continue to feature torsion-axle suspensions to isolate their track-roller frames from the chassis, providing a smooth ride for the operator and absorbing shock loads that otherwise would be transmitted to the frame and drive components. The 277D and 287D MTL models also feature a second level of suspension with torsion-axle mounting of the roller bogie wheels, which enables greater ground contact path for increased traction and flotation as well as enhanced ride quality. Cat CTLs feature durable, steel embedded track and steel undercarriage components for maximum life in aggressive applications, according to the manufacturer.
“Cab-One” Modular Structure and Advanced Control
The D Series models introduce a new standard in sealed and pressurized cab design. The “Cab-One” operator station is one-piece modular construction instead of the two-piece cab design found on other compact loaders. The Caterpillar design provides increased sealing, which allows doubling the cab pressurization attained with the previous design. The result is a cleaner working environment. In addition, the improved HVAC system supplies 20 percent more airflow and approximately a 50 percent increase in heating and cooling rates.
The cab and operator station incorporate many new features. Seat options include a high-back, heated, air-suspension seat that incorporates integral seat-mounted joystick controls. The seat provides additional comfort via recline and lumbar adjustments. All air suspension seats feature independent arm bar/joystick control adjustments to allow the machine to be configured for different size operators and for different applications. This arrangement also allows the entire seat/joystick control package to move up and down as a unit, minimizing operator fatigue and maximizing comfort.
The standard control monitor provides a single-code security feature that helps prevent theft and unwanted operation. The advanced display control monitor expands the number of security (operator) codes to 50 and can store and recall the operating preferences for each one. These preferences include language, gauge style, ride-control setting, creep speed, top-speed limit, response for the hystat drive system and response for the implement control system. These allow the machine to be tailored to each operator's preferences, experience level and specific application. The advanced display also expands diagnostics capability by allowing the master-code holder to review operator-specific machine information.
The advanced display is video capable and supports the first integrated rearview camera ever offered on compact track loaders. The camera provides additional work site visibility to enhance safety, especially when working in tight applications.
Electronic Throttle Features
Also new in the D Series cab is an electronic dial-type throttle that permits precise rpm settings. When the dial is in the high-idle position, the foot throttles functions as a decelerator pedal. The decelerator allows an added degree of control, permitting the operator to quickly modulate travel speed during precise maneuvers or to regulate engine speed when using hydro-mechanical work tools.
A new throttle-smoothing feature monitors accelerator-pedal movement under the operator's foot when the machine is traveling over rough terrain, and it then clips the extremes of pedal travel to yield steady, even travel speeds. This feature adds to operator comfort and aids material retention when using the foot throttle.
Intelligent Leveling System
The D Series models feature the Cat intelligent leveling (ILEV) system, which provides a number of features, including dual self-leveling, electronic snubbing, return-to-dig and work tool positioning.
The dual self-leveling system electronically and automatically levels the loader linkage when raising and lowering the lift arms. The system ensures optimum material retention whether truck loading or handling palletized products. Electronic snubbing automatically cushions the descent of the lift arms, slowing downward motion just before the arms reach their stops.
The return-to-dig feature allows the operator to set the digging angle of the bucket and then to automatically recall the setting by depressing a trigger switch on the joystick as the lift arms lower. The work tool positioning feature allows the angle of the tool to be pre-set, as when positioning a trencher for the proper depth, and then to automatically recall the setting if the machine is repositioned. Both features contribute significantly to productivity.
New Lift Arms and Coupler
Lift arms for all D Series machines are a new tubular design that retains lift characteristics and strength while presenting a narrower profile. The sleek lift arm design improves sight lines to the sides of the machine, to the tires and to the work-tool/coupler interface to provide enhanced visibility and site safety.
The available automatic work-tool coupler is now electrically actuated, replacing the previous hydraulically actuated coupler. The new coupler is simpler in design, eliminating hoses and connectors, and easier to install as an accessory in the field.
D Series models accommodate required emissions controls (diesel particulate filter and diesel oxidation catalyst) with no compromise in serviceability. Unmatched ground level access to all routine service points has been maintained, including filters (engine oil, engine air, hydraulic and fuel), battery and engine oil fill and check. The air conditioner condenser is attached to the inside of the engine compartment door and is easily accessible for cleaning or service.
The new models also feature an electric priming pump with automatic air bleed for the fuel system. The priming system eases the task of replacing and priming the fuel filter/water separator.
For more information, visit www.cat.com.