Caterpillar is in the process of building the first new D9 large track-type tractors for the international market as you read this, with the popular mining dozer set to benefit from significant upgrades.
Nearly half of all Cat large dozers sold are D9s, with many of these workhorses regularly on show at mine operations across the globe. They compete in the same 400 horsepower (298 kWh)/50-ton (45-t) size class as the Komatsu D275 and Liebherr PR766/PR764.
Reviewing machine updates during a press event in late March, Todd Cole, Cat’s D9 Dozer Cat Application Specialist, listed off several reasons why miners might want to consider buying a machine for their earthmoving needs:
A 5% reduction in fuel consumption, as much as a 4% cut in maintenance and repair costs, a newly integrated Caterpillar AutoLube system, a quick opening hinged door for radiator access, safer underside maintenance inspections…the list goes on.
Many of these benefits, when combined, account for an up to 3% lower overall cost per unit in terms of bank cubic metres.
A 10-in cab display interface with HD multi-colour touchscreen enables users to navigate through various machine diagnostics, plus monitor the action of the ripper behind. There is also an optional four-camera system offering 360-degree view around the machine to further enhance operating safety.
Numerous grease point eliminations on the D9, compared with the D9T predecessor, further improve operational longevity and operating costs.
The fuel consumption benefits are felt thanks to a stator clutch torque converter that, according to Cole, frees up when torque multiplication is not needed (when tramming, for instance). This improved drivetrain efficiency and leads to less fuel consumption, which, when combined with a fuel tank that has 6% extra capacity over its predecessor, means the dozer runs for longer.
In terms of the undercarriage, customers can select from not one, but three factory-fitted link assembly options.
The Cat Heavy Duty Extended Life (HDXL) Undercarriage System with DuraLink™ is field proven to deliver 20-40% longer wear life in moderate- to high-impact applications such as hard rock, landfill and forestry, according to Cat. The Heavy Duty (HD) and General Duty links provide further options for less abrasive conditions.
The new dozer features the Cat C18 engine, which has a range of exhaust after-treatment solutions available that brings it in-line with US EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V regulations, and configurations equivalent to US EPA Tier 2 and Tier 3.
With remote control operation also in the works for the new dozer, according to Cole, expect to see even more D9s running around mine sites in the next few years.