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C-Series Skid Steer Loaders Provide Advanced Control

Wed November 05, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Four new Caterpillar C-Series skid steer loaders — 246C, 256C, 262C, 272C —feature electrohydraulic joystick control of the hydrostatic drive system and electronic torque management for smooth operation and high productivity.

Operator comfort, too, is upgraded with features such as an optional sealed and pressurized cab and an optional air suspension seat.

Additional options, such as High Flow XPS hydraulics on each of the models, expand versatility and enable customers to equip C-Series machines specifically for the types of work they do.

With a rated operating capacity of 3,250 lbs. (1,474 kg), the 272C is the largest capacity skid steer loader Caterpillar has produced. The vertical lift 272C is joined by the smaller 262C, which has an operating capacity of 2,700 lbs. (1,225 kg) and also features vertical lift for enhanced truck loading capabilities. The 246C and 256C are radial lift machines with rated operating capacities of 2,150 lbs. (975 kg) and 2,350 lbs. (1,066 kg), respectively.

Power for Performance

C-Series machines deliver greater lift and tilt forces when compared to equivalent B-Series models. Hydraulic cylinders are strategically placed to maximize lifting capability. The result is aggressive digging performance and solid lifting performance for increased productivity in all types of tasks, according to the manufacturer.

The Cat 3044C DIT engine powers high performance in all four models. The 3.3-L engine is turbocharged for a wide power range. At 90 net hp (67 kW), the 272C is the most powerful skid steer Caterpillar has ever offered. Both the 262C and 256C deliver 82 net hp (61 kW), and the 246C generates 73 net hp (54 kW).

The Caterpillar high-flow, high-pressure hydraulic system, High Flow XPS, is available on all C-Series skid steers. The option enables customers to equip any size C-Series machine for use with work tools requiring high flow and pressure, such as landscape rakes and cold planers. The High Flow XPS system uses a load sensing variable displacement pump to deliver a maximum of 33 gal. per minute (125 Lpm) flow and a maximum of 4,061 psi (28,000 kPa) pressure.

Controlling the Power

The electronic torque management system maximizes power to the ground and prevents the engine from stalling in tough digging and dozing applications for maximum productivity. The system allows for part throttle operation, which provides smooth machine operation and reduces fuel consumption. The system enables the operator to focus on the work rather than on managing the machine.

C-Series machines also feature increased drawbar pull compared to the B-Series. The hydrostatic drive system is engineered to provide the proper balance between power and speed for optimum machine performance when digging or dozing.

An optional performance package includes a speed sensitive ride control system and a two-speed travel system. Ride control cushions the load being carried for a smoother ride on uneven surfaces. The system allows higher speed operation and ensures better load retention for increased productivity and improved operator comfort. The two-speed travel system provides a top speed of 11.9 mph (19.3 kmh) in the three smaller loaders and a top speed of 10.0 mph (16.1 kmh) in the 272C. Faster travel is especially useful when moving around large job sites.

The optional Advanced Machine Information and Control System (AMICS) provides the operator the ability to select the level of implement responsiveness for more precise control in demanding and delicate tasks. AMICS also enables the operator to select from 10 work speed settings. This feature is useful in operations such as trenching and cold planing, which require precise control at relatively slow and constant speeds.

Productivity Enhancing Operator Station

The C-Series cab is a sealed and pressurized unit that provides a cleaner and quieter working environment. Ventilation air is filtered to keep dust out and clean air in. The cab is wide and spacious, and the uncluttered floor provides more leg room. Optional high-efficiency air conditioning and heating provide greater comfort when operating in extreme temperatures.

The C-Series machines are designed for easy entry and exit. The large doorway and low threshold create a large opening, and the tilt cylinders, now located under the lift arms, do not interfere with access.

The C-Series offers an optional air ride seat, similar to seats used in large Cat machines.

Seat-mounted, independently adjustable joystick controls allow a wide range of positions to suit the operator and maximize comfort and productivity. The C-Series hydrostatic drive control system is electrohydraulic, which provides a feedback system for enhanced machine control and performance. The system adjusts to deliver straight line tracking through the entire speed range.

The C-Series design features improved lines of sight from the operator’s position. The wide, curved-glass cab opening and large frameless door provide visibility forward. The new lift arm configuration provides good lines of sight to the tires, and the large canopy window increases upward visibility to aid truck loading and material handling tasks. The angled radiator design, large rear window and standard convex rear view mirror give the operator a panoramic view to the rear.

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