Tech boost for Cat’s new 326

By Mike Hayes13 November 2019

Cat 326 excavator

Cat’s recently-launched 326 excavator

Cat’s latest excavator launch is the 26 tonne-class 326, which promises a combination of operating simplicity and advanced technology.

The machine’s 7.1 litre Cat engine has a power output of 151kW, while its maximum digging depth is 6.82m and its maximum loading height is 6.62m.

The machine also features an enhanced hydraulic system, which, according to Cat, balances power and efficiency, with a 12% improvement in swing torque and a Smart-mode operation that automatically matches engine speed and hydraulic power to digging conditions. Cat says the system can result in fuel savings of up to 5%.

As an optiona, Smartboom allows the boom to lower without pump flow – again, with fuel-saving potential. The 326 also has auxiliary hydraulic options, enabling the use of a wide range of Cat attachments.

While Cat Grade with 2D comes as standard with the excavator, there is an option to upgrade to Advanced 2D or 3D systems.

Other onboard tech includes: Grade Assist, allowing for single-lever grading operations; Bucket Assist, which maintains the angle for sloping, levelling, fine grading and trenching applications; and Swing Assist, which stops the excavator swinging at predefined points, to allow for truck loading and trenching.

For the operator, the new cab design features advanced viscous mounts to reduce vibration by as much as 50%, compared with previous models. The choice of cab includes Comfort, Deluxe and Premium, but all boast climate control and Bluetooth capability that allows operators to connect personal devices and make hands-free calls.

The operator experience is enhanced by the reduction in the size of the cab pillars and subsequent introduction of large panoramic windows. Right-hand fuel tank has been given a lower profile, improving visibility to, for example, a trench, in each swing direction, as well as to the rear of the machine.

Rearview and right-view cameras are standard, with an upgrade option offering 360-degree camera visibility.

Cat says customers buying the new 326 will benefit from a reduction in maintenance costs of up to 20%, with synchronised 1,000-hour change intervals for all fuel filters, and the same life expectancy for the air intake filter.

Cat says its improved hydraulic filter performance, combined with anti-drain values to keep the oil clean during filter replacement, result in a 3,000-hour filter replacement interval, which is approximately 50% longer than previous designs.

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