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Cat’s Largest Backhoe Offers Greater Digging Depth, Force

Fri August 15, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Caterpillar 450E backhoe loader delivers increased performance, enhanced operator comfort and controllability, emissions regulations compliance, easier maintenance, and new, functional styling when compared to the 446D, which the machine replaces. The 450E is in the 17-ft. (5.2 m) dig depth class and is the largest backhoe loader in the Caterpillar line.

The 450E has 124 net hp (92.5 kW) and a backhoe digging depth of 17 ft. 3 in. (5.26 m) when equipped with a standard stick. The extendible stick pushes the 450E digging depth to 21 ft. 4 in. (6.50 meters). The 450E has greater dig depth and greater digging forces than the model it replaces. Those changes combined with the new pilot operated joystick control system boost productivity significantly, according to the manufacturer.

Loader productivity also is greater than the previous model due to a larger bucket, increased hydraulic flow and stronger rimpull for faster cycle times. The general-purpose loader bucket is 1.75 cu. yd. (1.34 cu m) capacity.

The 450E offers many standard features that increase productivity and expand versatility. The high rotation backhoe linkage eliminates the need to change pin position when moving from loading trucks to vertical wall trenching. Four-wheel drive improves traction and machine balance. Ride control improves operator comfort at all speeds and reduces spillage when the bucket is full. Thumb-ready sticks allow easy thumb installation for handling irregularly shaped objects with the backhoe.

New combined function auxiliary hydraulic lines on the backhoe enable the 450E to support all one-way and two-way hydraulic work tools, such as hammers, compactors, thumbs, augers and tilting couplers.

High Performance Hydraulics Get Stronger

The variable displacement piston pump and closed-center, load-sensing hydraulics provide quick implement response and speed as well as high forces at any engine speed. The new flow-sharing hydraulic valves ensure proportional hydraulic flow to all implements and improve multi-function performance. The system improves the capabilities of less skilled operators and allows veteran operators to perform at high levels with less effort.

The 450E features a 10 percent increase in backhoe and swing forces due to the enhanced hydraulics and new backhoe geometry, as compared to the previous model. The 450E offers aggressive trenching performance and fast backfilling capability. On the loader end, truck-loading performance is improved through pump torque limiter changes and improved balance of power distributed to the drive train and hydraulics, according to the manufacturer.

New Cab, Redesigned Operator Station

The new cab with curved glass and contoured fenders gives the 450E a distinct new look, improves serviceability and provides enhanced visibility. The low hood enhances sight lines to the loader, and the hood tilts forward for easy access.

The redesigned operator station maximizes operator comfort and productivity. Standard pilot operated joystick controls are easy to use, and they reduce operator fatigue and increase efficiency. Auxiliary backhoe hydraulic functions such as extendible stick or hammer operation are controlled with convenient thumb rollers. Roller switches eliminate the need for foot pedals and create more room in the cab.

Other features in the E-Series include a narrowed front dash, foot operated tilt steering, and in-cab control pattern changer. Additionally, a new air conditioning system produces 20 percent more airflow. The intake for the system has been relocated for cleaner air, and access to filters is easier.

New Engine, Enhanced Drive Train, Travel Performance

The Cat C4.4 engine is electronically controlled and meets all u.s. EPA Tier III/EU Stage III emissions requirements. The engine is a four-cylinder diesel with 4.4 L displacement. Compared to the previous model, the engine has 21 percent more hp and 10 percent more torque, which powers the high performance of the 450E. Service intervals are 500 hours, and daily service points are easily accessed.

New Cat axles and a modified transmission increase top travel speeds 25 percent to 25 mph (40 kmh). The all-new mainframe is designed for added durability and machine stability. The 450E has power assisted brakes with improved control feel. The stronger brakes increase slope holding capabilities. Outboard rear brakes, planetary gears and brake wear check ports allow easier service.

Extendible Stick, Bucket Thumbs

The extendible stick has an external slider design for enhanced performance, digging forces and versatility. The outer slider protects the inner slider from damage and debris. A new wear pad design increases life and simplifies service.

With the introduction of the E-Series backhoe loaders, Caterpillar started offering factory-installed thumbs. The new thumbs are available in both hydraulic and stiff-link versions and are compatible with all bucket and coupler combinations. The thumbs expand backhoe versatility by enabling the operator to handle irregularly shaped objects more easily.

Enhanced Onboard Electronics

The 450E is available with Product Link, a management tool that allows customers to collect and track multiple types of information about their machines via wireless communication. Managers can monitor machine location and service meter hours as well as machine health and productivity.

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