Caterpillar scraper milestone
By Chris Sleight21 August 2014
Caterpillar has marked a milestone with the production of the company’s 75,000th wheeled tractor scraper. The historic machine, an open-bowl, twin-engine 627K rolled off the production line at Cat’s Decatur, Illinois, US facility.
Scrapers were one of three product families, along with dozers and graders, upon which Caterpillar built its business following World War II. The company said that as the US economy boomed and populations began migrating from cities to suburbs, housing and infrastructure construction exploded, spurring demand for high-volume earthmoving tools like the wheeled tractor scraper.
“Just about any major infrastructure project undertaken in the past 70 years, anywhere in the world, you can bet Cat scrapers played a role,” said Sankar Kurumbail, wheeled tractor scraper product manager at the Caterpillar Decatur plant. “When it comes to high-speed, high-volume earthmoving, it can be hard to find a more economical option. They’re some of the most durable products in our line, too; it’s not unusual to see a scraper from the 1970s still working hard today.”
The current K Series models feature automated cycle functions, high-pressure steering, engine-overspeed protection, fuel economy mode, payload monitoring and other innovations that simplify operation, reduce maintenance and boost fuel efficiency.
“Scraper sales have been rebounding steadily in North America since the last downturn,” said Caterpillar mining products vice president Tom Bluth. “And with our new K Series machines, we’re in a great position to win business outside North America as construction investment recovers.”