At a Caterpillar media event, held two days before the doors of ConExpo opened, Paolo Fellin, VP for Global Construction and Infrastructure, expanded on the company’s latest slogan of ‘On the iron & beyond the iron’.

Introducing new hardware and software for its Cat Connect system, Fellin said visitors to the show would see how “the technology we have on our machines, on the jobsite is giving customers a tremendous opportunity to increase productivity.”

He added, “Our role and our dealers’ role is to make sure that we work with the customer to make sure the tremendous amount of technology on our machines is being fully utilised.”

According to the company, new technologies such as Cat Connect and Cat Product Link offer multiple communications channels – cellular, satellite and Bluetooth – designed to match both the machine and the needs of the user. The systems, say Cat, are designed for easy installation using plug-and-play technology and apps for mobile devices.

The product specialists who followed Fellin described systems such as Cat Grade, which assists excavator operators in digging to the right depth and slope, with automated boom and bucket movements for greater accuracy and less effort. Cat experts said grades on complex jobs could be dug to an accuracy of around 30mm, using Cat Grade with 3D.

Cat Payload technology is also now being used to ensure excavators load trucks with greater accuracy, ensuring less-over and under-filling and maximising efficiency.

In terms of the equipment itself, Fellin said Cat was now, more than ever, using technology to “design machines to meet the needs of different applications”.

During the event, there were descriptions of new machines to be showcased at ConExpo, including the 745 ADT, with innovative operator features, including fingertip control functions, located directly on the joystick. According to Cat, one study showed there were 82% fewer operator inputs required, using the new joystick features.

New tech as standard on the 745, includes Stable Blade, which uses the software many of us have to stabilise images we take on our mobile phones, to keep blades stable while on the move.

The 745 also includes a 20% increase in interior space (over the previous 745C) and a reduction of 7db in interior noise, making it, according to Cat, as quiet as a family saloon.

In his description of the vehicle, product specialist Scott Thomas elaborated on the many ways it would make the operator’s life considerably easier, including a newly-positioned exhaust stack and mirrors allowing quicker and easier manoeuvring around the jobsite.

He also described enhanced safety measures, including a new convex mirror above the windscreen, giving the operator greater visibility in front of the truck.

Other machine showcases described during the day included the new D6T dozer, which has enhanced horsepower and weight, making it, according to product specialist Sam Meeker “the most productive machine in its class”.

At the same time, he said, the D6T was up to 30% more fuel efficient, and also described an innovative extra gear, between first and second, in what he called the “sweet spot, where customers are doing a lot of work and need extra power”.

In all, Caterpillar showcased eight new machines across its two lots at ConExpo, which covered a total of over 5,500 m2.

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