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Cat 297D, 297D XHP Feature Innovative Design

The new machines excel in applications where high power, high traction and limited ground disturbance are needed.

Mon November 03, 2014 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Cat 297D and 297D XHP multi-terrain loaders feature a dual suspension undercarriage, completely new modular cab, redesigned vertical lift loader linkage with Cat intelligent leveling, larger engines and enhanced performance compared with C Series models. New electronic controls and the new advanced display enhance operator efficiency and an available industry-exclusive rearview camera enhances operator awareness. The new machines excel in applications where high power, high traction and limited ground disturbance are needed, such as residential construction, landscaping operations and snow removal work, according to the manufacturer.

Rated operating capacities (50 percent of tipping load) are 4,550 and 5,000 lbs. (2,063 and 2 268 kg), respectively. The new Cat C3.8 DIT engine develops respective net ratings of 95 and 106 hp (71 and 79 kW) and meets US EPA Tier IV Interim and EU Stage IIIB emission standards. The D Series models accommodate required emissions controls with no compromise in serviceability and with no interruption of work cycles.

Compared with the C Series models, the 297D has increases in horsepower of 4 percent, torque rise of 13 percent, and lift force of 19 percent. The 297D XHP features increases in horsepower of 17 percent, peak torque of 27 percent; lift force of 19 percent; and rated operating capacity of 10 percent. In addition, the 297D XHP incorporates an auxiliary hydraulic system featuring a relief pressure of 4,061 psi (28,000 kPa) and outputs to 40 gpm (150 Lpm), resulting in 95 hydraulic hp (71 kW) — 22 percent more than the 297C — for powering the most demanding work tools.

The one-piece D Series cab is completely new — sealed, pressurized and independent of the chassis. The new cab is spacious, quiet and available with a high back, heated, air ride seat with seat-mounted adjustable joystick controls. Heating and cooling rates are increased 50 percent, along with 20 percent more airflow and a 50 percent boost in pressurization.

The advanced display (available for the 297D, standard for the 297D XHP) integrates a security system that can accommodate up to 50 operators and uses a full color, 5-inch LCD that enables on-screen adjustment of implement response, hydrostatic drive response and creep control speed. The system also expands diagnostic capability and allows master code holders to review operator specific machine performance. An available rearview camera system uses the screen to display high resolution images to increase the operator’s job site awareness.

For optimum machine control, the Cat intelligent leveling (ILEV) system enables three production enhancing features: electronic dual self-leveling (automatically levels the load both raising and lowering); return-to-dig (automatically lowers lift arms and returns work tools to a preset angle); and work-tool-positioning (automatically returns attachments — cold planer or trencher, for example — to a preset angle after repositioning the machine).

When the new dial-type throttle in the D Series cab is paired with a foot throttle, the pedal functions as a decelerator (when the dial in the high idle position), providing an added degree of control and safety by enabling operators to quickly reduce engine/travel speed. A new throttle smoothing feature electronically “clips” the extremes of throttle pedal movement in rough terrain to yield steady, even travel speeds for operator comfort and material retention.

Design Features

The undercarriage for the 297D and 297D XHP uses a durable rubber track, which is lightweight, pliable and reinforced with high tensile strength cords. The machines exert minimal ground pressure for superior operation in soft underfoot conditions. Multiple wheels distribute the machine weight over the track, and an elevated roller sprocket ensures positive track drive.

The multi-terrain loader dual-level suspension system uses heavy duty torsion axles to attach the undercarriage to the tractor and to attach the oscillating bogie wheel frames. The shock-absorbing capability of the torsion axles and the oscillating bogie wheels, which allow the track to conform to the terrain, ensure a comfortable ride for the operator, optimum retention of bucket loads, steady traction and lower operating costs, resulting from more effectively isolating the tractor from shock loads.

A new cooling system design uses a hydraulically driven, on-demand fan to draw air from the rear of the machine and through the side-by-side radiator and hydraulic oil cooler at the top of the engine compartment. In addition, the system draws cool air from the engine compartment and mixes it with the exhaust stream to reduce temperatures at the stack outlet, and the stack is positioned to direct exiting exhaust into the fan blast to quickly dissipate heat.

Lift arms for D Series machines have been redesigned and now use one-piece tubular design that adds strength to the loader linkage and retains excellent lift characteristics while resulting in a narrower profile that improves visibility to the sides of the machine, to the work tool, and to the work tool/coupler interface. The overall advantage is increased safety, according to the manufacturer.

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.

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