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Cat unveils new Multi-terrain Loaders. (Construction Equipment).

In a move designed to further broaden its line of compact construction equipment, Caterpillar has introduced the first two machines in its Multi-terrain Loader (MTL) line. The new 267 and 277 loaders are the first of five models to be introduced by Caterpillar, with three additional models, the MTL 247, 257 and 287, set for introduction and production later this year.

When fully introduced, the Caterpillar MTL product line will include three radial lift models (the 247,267 and 277), as well as two vertical lift machines (the 257 and 287) on two frame sizes.

The new skid-steer loader-based (SSL), rubber-tracked MTL machines are designed for versatility, flotation, traction and stability. The MTL machines feature a suspended track undercarriage that allows the machine to work in a broader range of applications and terrain conditions than a skid-steer loader, according to Caterpillar.

The new MTL machines are designed to be productive in soft, wet underfoot conditions and on sloped terrain, places that can give skid-steer loaders problems. Also, the high traction and low ground pressure of the MTL enable the loaders to work on sensitive surfaces, such as turf, without causing significant damage, Cat said. The multi-level suspension system is designed to minimize shocks transferred to the machine and the operator for improved load retention and a comfortable ride.

The 267 and 277 MTL combine the upper portion of the Caterpillar 236 and 246 skid-steer loaders with an updated Maximum Traction and Support System undercarriage from ASV Inc., an affiliate of Caterpillar.

"These machines are virtually identical to the skid-steer loaders," said Reid Waitt, SSL product manager for the Building Construction Products Division of Caterpillar. "They use all the same components in seven key areas, the upper chassis, operator station, loader arms, engine, cooling package, coupler, and work tools. The only differences are the rubber-tracked undercarriage instead of wheels, the suspension, the primary applications and the price.

"We see the new MTL machines as being complimentary to the SSL product line," Waitt added. "Many applications are the same as a skid-steer loader. However, there are many applications which suit the MTL and not a skid-steer loader."

According to figures from Caterpillar, the skid-steer marker has been growing by about 10 percent per year since 1992. However, there are applications for which an MTL is better suited. There is a price premium for the MTL versus the SSL products.

According to Caterpillar, industry figures suggest that the MTL market growth rate will exceed that of the skid-steer loader. The MTL market is expected to be between 20 and 30 percent of the skid-steer loader market. These markets include building and construction, specialty trades, agriculture, landscaping, underground construction concrete and other miscellaneous markets.

The new 267 MTL is powered by the naturally aspirated, water-cooled, four-stroke four-cylinder Caterpillar 3034 diesel engine. The engine has a gross rating of 63 hp and net power of 59 hp at 2600 rpm. The 277 MTL is powered by the 3034T, a turbocharged version of the 3034 engine rated 80 gross hp and 74 net hp at 2600 rpm. Both engines meet the EPA and projected EU Stage I emissions requirements through 2004, Cat said.

Both MTL machines feature dual, closed-loop, variable speed axial piston hydrostatic pumps driven directly off the engine. The pumps provide pressure and flow to two fixed displacement radial piston motors which drive the undercarriage tracks. The system features a single pilot-hydraulically operated joystick to control speed and direction. The system includes an anti-stall device which is designed to maximize torque to the tracks without stalling the engine. Hydrostatic service brakes are used and a multi-disc, spring-applied hydraulically released parking brake is also included.

The loader hydraulic systems feature an open center, fixed displacement design pump. Output at 2600 rpm and 3300 psi is 22 gpm with SAE 10W oil at a temperature of 15[degrees]F. The system is controlled with a pilot-hydraulically operated joystick to activate the lift, lower and tilt functions of the bucket.

To extend the versatility of the MTL machines even further, an integral mechanical quick coupler is standard on each machine. All Caterpillar work tools incorporate an interface that matches the coupler. This allows the operator to change quickly from one tool to another, including buckets, blades, forks, augers, brooms, tillers and rakes.

Another fixed displacement gear pump provides flow for the hydraulically driven engine cooling fan as well as hydrostatic pump charge and pilot controls.

The undercarriage, or maximum traction and support system (MTSS) is designed and built to provide high floatation, superior traction, low ground pressure, smooth operation, and low maintenance. The system transfers machine weight to the ground through 48 wheeled contact points for even distribution of weight, stability and low compaction.

To maximize contact with the ground, the MTSS has multiple levels of suspension. Each track assembly is mounted to the chassis through a set of flexible torsion axles and each assembly can flex independently of the other. Three sets of bogey wheel carriages are on each assembly and each wheel carriage has six rubber wheels. Each wheel carriage can move independently of the others which enable the tracks to crawl over obstacles and uneven terrain without losing contact or traction.

The durable, molded rubber track is designed for optimal traction with minimal ground disturbance. High tensile strength cords are rugged, yet lightweight. No steel is used in the track, which eliminates corrosion. Each track is 18 in. wide and the track on ground is 81 in.

The MTSS has an internal positive drive system for smooth operation. Two rows of rubber lugs on the inside of each track engage steel roller sleeves on each drive sprocket. The mechanism is smooth and generates little noise. The entire undercarriage is low maintenance and requires no daily procedures other than inspection. There is no need for regular track tension adjustment.

The 267 MTL has an operating capacity of 2030 lb. at 35 percent of its tipping load and 2900 lb. Operating capacity at 50 percent of its tip load. The 277 MTL has an operating capacity of 2065 lb. at 35 percent of its tip load and an operating capacity of 2950 lb. at 50 percent of its tip load.

Operating weight of the 267 loader is 9088 lb. while the 277 loader has an operating weight of 9126 lb. Both machines have a ground pressure of 3.1 psi from a ground contact area of 2898 The overall width of both machines is 6 ft. 3 in. and the length from rear to coupler face is 9 ft. 7 in. Bucket breakout force for the lift cylinder is 4399 lb. and 5259 lb. for the tilt cylinder on both machines. The Dump clearance is 10 ft. 2 in. for both machines.

As with the Caterpillar skid-steer loaders, the MTL machines are designed for ease of service. The rear engine compartment door opens 90[degrees] degrees for access to both sides of the longitudinally mounted engine. The hydraulically driven fan swings out of the way with the radiator. Maintenance points are grouped in accessible locations and sight glasses show hydraulic oil and radiator levels. No daily maintenance is required on the undercarriage.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Work Tools For Tracked Loaders

To go along with its new MTL compact equipment product line, Caterpillar has introduced several new work tools designed to make them even more versatile.

The work tools include a Caterpillar backhoe and snowblower as well as four new tools manufactured by ImpleMax Equipment Co. Inc., including a vibratory plow for installing silt fence, a sod layer for installing turf, a grapple/winch combination and a rake grapple The new work tools fit skid-steer loaders (SSL) and can be used with the appropriately matched Cat SSL machines.

"When designing the work tools Caterpillar looks at it from a system solution and application solution standpoints," said Joe Rice, Caterpillar's product manager for work tools and services. "We look at the task that our customers are trying to perform design a tool that can help with that task and then adapt it to the machine."

The work tools are designed to provide jobsite flexibility, increase machine utilization, increase revenue opportunities and improve the customers return on investment.

The new Caterpillar BH30W backhoe features a digging depth of 9 ft. 8 in. and a frame that allows a manual side shift capability left or right of center to enhance sight lines and allow work alongside structures and foundations. The Caterpillar 302.5 Mini Hydraulic Excavator and BH3OW Backhoe share a common quick coupler and work tools. Auxiliary hydraulic lines are standard on the backhoe stick.

The Caterpillar SR2 snowblower is designed to deposit snow as far as 40 ft. away The direct-drive impeller anti the auger design minimize plugging and allow the operator to operate at a high ground speed. The ImpleMax SF12c silt fence installer is a vibratory plow with a patented Blade-Loc blade designed to install Fence-Loc material to collect silt carried in water runoff. The unit is designed to quickly couple to the front of the Caterpillar MTL and SSL machines.

The ImpleMax S148m Sod Layer is designed to reduce the labor required for laying large amounts of sod. The sod layer handles rolls as wide as 48 in. and as big in diameter as 50 in. The ImpleMax 4836Lw Pro Grapple/Winch combines the speed and ease of operation of a dangling grapple and the utility winch. The winch is hydraulically powered and has a maximum line pull of 9000 lb. The ImpleMax RG84 rake grapple is a tool designed to separate soil and small materials from debris encountered in construction site preparation and cleanup as well as in brush removal, log handling, recycling and solid waste sorting. The rake grapple is 84 in. wide and has an opening of about 32 in. by 68 in. The capacity is 1.0 to 3.0 cu.yd.
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Title Annotation:Caterpillar introduces new machines
Author:Mercer, Mike
Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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