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Caterpillar’s K-Family Grows by Three New Members

Tue May 13, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Caterpillar’s K-Family of track-type tractors has three new members — the D3K, D4K and D5K.

The new models feature a large, quiet cab and intuitive, seat-mounted controls to improve operator comfort and productivity. The machines can be shipped from the factory ready to accommodate the AccuGrade system, Cat blade control solution that allows fast, precise grading. They also can be equipped with SystemOne undercarriage, a Cat innovation that offers long life and greatly reduced maintenance time and costs, according to the manufacturer.

The new tractors also feature engine power increases ranging from 5 to 7 percent for higher productivity. The Cat C4.4 engine with ACERT technology powers the 74-hp (55 kW) D3K; the 84-hp (63 kW) D4K; and the 96-hp (72 kW) D5K. The engine meets U.S. EPA Tier III certification requirements while offering enhanced performance, life and fuel economy.

Operator-Friendly Work Environment Boosts Productivity

Operators work comfortably and productively in the new K-Family cab with its standard air conditioning, generous legroom, wider door openings and fully adjustable air suspension seat. An optional heated seat is available for cold climates. Sight lines to the blade have been improved dramatically and sound levels have been reduced to 80 dB(A).

Seat-mounted, intuitive, electrohydraulic controls make the operator’s job easier and less fatiguing, according to the manufacturer.

Lever efforts are decreased by as much as 90 percent compared to conventional mechanical control levers. The left joystick, which controls speed and direction, incorporates a thumb wheel for on-the-go speed adjustments, plus a speed recall button that lets the operator quickly select a pre-programmed operating speed. The right joystick controls blade movement and includes an automatic blade shake button for easy removal of excess material, as well as a thumb roller for low-effort blade angle adjustments.

A single floor pedal controls the deceleration and service brake functions. It can be programmed to control engine or transmission speed. In either configuration, pressing the pedal past the speed control detent activates the service brakes.

Drive Train Delivers Power and Control

The hydrostatic drive system has been improved to enhance power turn capability and maneuverability. The operator can execute power turns or counter-rotate the tracks using the hydrostatic control on the left armrest. Infinitely variable speed control lets the operator match speed to ground conditions. Pre-programmable speed, blade and decelerator controls help operators work safely, efficiently and productively.

SystemOne Undercarriage Reduces Operating Costs

Track frames are available in extra long (XL) and low ground pressure (LGP) configurations. The machines can be equipped with standard sealed and lubricated track undercarriage or optional SystemOne undercarriage.

SystemOne undercarriage incorporates a rotating bushing design, which increases bushing life and eliminates the need for bushing turns. This feature, combined with heavy-duty sprockets and a center tread idler, extends system life by as much as 50 percent, according to the manufacturer.

Work Tools and Optional Features

K-Family track-type tractors can be equipped with a variety of work tools including a VPAT (variable pitch, angle and tilt) blade for finish grading, a parallelogram ripper for tough ripping jobs and a hydrostatic winch with infinitely variable speed control.

Options such as the AccuGrade system improve dozing speed, accuracy and economics. All K-Family models can be ordered in an AccuGrade-ready configuration. Other attachments, including Product Link and Machine Security System, help K-Family track-type tractor users manage their equipment assets more effectively.

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