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Cat ups the ante with introduction of AD63 underground truck

Caterpillar has released a new underground articulated truck that, it says, features increased payload, advanced emissions controls, enhanced comfort and serviceability.

The new Cat® AD63, the largest underground truck in the Caterpillar product line, features a 5% increased payload and more torque for enhanced production capabilities, compared with its predecessor, the AD60. The new AD63 also can be configured to meet the strictest diesel engine emissions regulations – for both regulatory compliance and improved underground air quality, the company says.

Additional new features enhance operator ergonomics, maintenance access and safety, and data collection for machine health monitoring, according to the company.

The new model will be available in late 2020, according to the company.

The AD63 is powered by the Cat C27 diesel engine, which produces 588 kW, meets EU Stage V emission standards and is approved by CANMET for use in underground mines, the mining OEM said. The truck does not require diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) to meet these standards, with the emissions control system maintaining the ability to use diesel particulate filters, such as the Cat Wall Flow Filter, to further reduce particulate emissions.

The AD63 powertrain also features a new torque converter gear ratio to increase peak torque and improve gear retention on variable grades, according to Cat. “The optimised transmission shift strategy results in smoother uphill driving and greater operator comfort,” it said. “The new torque converter also increases rimpull when driving away from a stop.”

The AD63 engine package has extended altitude capability – from negative 3,048 m to positive 1,524 m – while the new engine cooling package maintains capabilities at high ambient temperatures. A new design and routing for cooling air, meanwhile, improves serviceability, and the radiator core has serviceable tubes for fast repairs.

In the AD63 cab, the ducted ventilation and air conditioning system gives the truck operator full control with nine adjustable louvres for comfortable cooling and efficient defogging. The HVAC system is powered by a battery electric system so it can be operated when the engine is not running, which pays off in less engine idling and lower operating costs, according to Cat.

The new cab arrangement features a forward-facing trainer seat offering increased space and comfort for the trainer, Cat says. The tilt cab feature gives maintenance personnel the ability to tilt the cab for access to the cab side of the engine for easier and faster access to components. And, outside the cab, a redesigned access ladder and fold-flat handrails enhance safety during maintenance

The new AD63 incorporates Product Link Elite™ as standard equipment to enable data collection and equipment health monitoring. “The system enables sharing data across multiple destinations, reduces gaps in data or lost data due to network issues, and has direct connectivity to Caterpillar and Cat dealers for remote support and services, such as condition monitoring,” the company said.

The AD63 also has external displays showing the weight of the truck contents to the loader operator. “Instant feedback for the loader operator enables more efficient passes and optimum truck loads,” the company said, which added that displays are on both sides of the truck.

In addition to new technology, Caterpillar has added the option of a new lightweight dump body, with 38.3 m³ capacity. The AD63 also maintains commonality with other AD60 bodies.