Caterpillar’s recently launched Cat® R1700 Underground Mining Loader has proven its high productivity and efficiency in extended field trials and in-production studies, the company says.
The completely new design R1700 carries a size-class-leading payload of 15 t, 20% more than its predecessor, yet maintains the dimensions of the R1700G.
“A recent head-to-head study and multiple field trials show that the machine surpasses its payload advantage in faster truck loading and more productive load-and-carry operations while delivering 21% less fuel consumption per hour in a recent study,” Cat says.
The R1700 comes with cycle time advantages over its predecessor through fast bucket loading. This has been enabled through high digging forces and a new traction control system that limits tyre slip when the bucket enters the pile.
“The result is fast loading, good bucket fill factors and reduced tyre wear. Excellent machine balance and a new electrohydraulic braking system aid load-and-carry cycles,” Cat says.
Fuel efficiency is improved through on-demand adjustment of the cooling fan and the hydraulic system, as well as the proven efficiency of the Cat C13, six-cylinder engine, according to the company. The engine is turbocharged and air-to-air aftercooled, and it produces 269 kW in standard configuration and 257 kW in EU Stage V compliant form.
The engine is available in three different emissions configurations – Cat Ventilation Reduction, US EPA Tier/EU Stage IIIA, and EU Stage V – tailoring the R1700 to the mine’s ventilation needs. Aftertreatment for the Stage V engine configuration is chassis mounted for convenience and includes a Diesel Emission Fluid tank sized to match the 12-hour capacity of the fuel tank.
The R1700’s productivity is boosted even further with multiple subsystems for fast technology implementation.
“Optional Autodig helps new operators be productive the first day and reduces fatigue for experienced teams. Remote machine health monitoring, payload operating technologies are available via MineStar™ Command for underground,” the company says.
During the load or dump cycle, the harder the operator pushes the controls, the faster the machine responds. The steering system is pilot-controlled to provide a more precise feel for the operator during manoeuvres in tight places.
“Ride control is now fully integrated into the hydraulic system and engages automatically as the machine goes above 5 km/h. Electronically snubbing the cylinders protects them and provides greater operator comfort,” Cat says.
The R1700 has auto retarding which is hydraulically actuated. The system comes on automatically when the operator’s foot is lifted from the throttle, with cycle times improving as operators gain confidence and become more comfortable on downhill grades at faster speeds.
For easier maintenance, the R1700 features several components that have modular designs – they can easily be removed and replaced.
In addition to modular components, all filter and key service points have been grouped into a centralised section on the cold side of the engine. The radiator guard swings open for ground-level access to the radiator, and oil coolers and the batteries are easily accessed just under the centralised service location.
For the entire underground loader line, Caterpillar now offers Bolt On Half Arrow ground engaging tools (GET) for bucket edges. The system is designed for high abrasion applications where weld-on GET experience high wear rates.
“With a proven and reliable retention system, the bolt-on GET offer more wear material than standard weld-on GET, and the bolt-on design enables fast and easy removal and replacement.
“Despite additional wear material, the low-profile front edge eases pile penetration and promotes fast bucket loading,” Cat says.