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Construction Equipment Guide
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Fri August 15, 2008 - National Edition
Three new Caterpillar C-Series multi-terrain loaders, the 277C, 287C and 297C feature a new undercarriage designed for maximum durability, easy maintenance and a comfortable ride. A choice of single or dual level undercarriage suspension is available on all three models, and a two-speed option is available for fast movement around large sites.
The new loaders also feature electrohydraulic joystick control of the hydrostatic drive system and electronic torque management for smooth operation and high productivity. Operator comfort is enhanced 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.
The C-Series multi-terrain loaders extend the Caterpillar line. With a rated operating capacity (50 percent tipping load) of 4,233 lbs. (1,920 kg), the 297C is the largest capacity machine of its type that Caterpillar has ever produced. The vertical lift 297C is joined by the 287C, which has an operating capacity of 3,854 lbs. (1,748 kg) and also features vertical lift for enhanced truck loading capabilities. The 277C has radial lift linkage and a rated operating capacity of 3,212 lbs. (1,457 kg).
The new undercarriage design focuses on durability and reliability. Tapered roller bearings and heavy-duty metal face seals on idlers and bogies help ensure long life, according to the manufacturer.
The 18-in. (46 m) wide rubber tracks now feature three rows of lugs, which create a larger area for the track to engage with the guide system. The additional row of lugs enhances guiding when working on side slopes. Also, the track tensioning system has been simplified, which allows quicker and easier adjustments.
The open design of the undercarriage reduces material buildup during operation and minimizes the need for cleaning. When clean out is needed, the open design makes it easier. To further ease maintenance, track removal is not necessary when replacing most undercarriage components. The modular components can be replaced individually as needed. When track must be replaced, the time required to do so is reduced compared to previous models.
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 Cat 3044C DIT engine powers high performance in all three models. The 3.3-L engine is turbocharged for a wide power range. At 90 net hp (67 kW), the 297C is the most powerful multi-terrain loader Caterpillar has ever offered. Both the 287C and 277C deliver 82 net hp (61 kW). Each of the C-Series machines is equipped with a demand fan to provide maximum cooling capability only when required. Reduced fan speeds under light loads saves fuel, adds performance and reduces sound levels.
The Caterpillar high-flow, high-pressure hydraulic system, High Flow XPS, is available on all C-Series loaders. 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 part throttle operation when the operator uses the standard foot throttle.
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. The C-Series hydrostatic drive control system is electrohydraulic, which provides system feedback for enhanced machine control and performance. The system provides many benefits, such as maximum drive torque, power turn capability and straight line tracking.
An optional performance package includes a dual level undercarriage suspension and a two-speed travel system. The dual level suspension provides a smoother ride and better load retention on uneven surfaces. The two-speed travel system provides a top speed of 9.3 mph (14.9 kmh).
The optional Advanced Machine Information and Control System (AMICS) provides the operator the ability to select the level of loader arm and bucket responsiveness for more precise control in demanding and delicate tasks. AMICS also enables the operator to select from 10 work speed settings.
Productivity Enhancing Operator Station
The optional C-Series enclosed 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 legroom. High-efficiency air conditioning and heating are available.
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 larger Cat machines. Seat-mounted, independently adjustable joystick controls allow a wide range of positions to suit the operator and maximize comfort and productivity.