Caterpillar, last week, invited dealers and key clients from across Australia and New Zealand to a special showcase event for its latest wheel loaders, articulated trucks and a range of other equipment.
The machines were put through their paces at Quarry Farm, south of Perth, in Western Australia, with 2019 national Load and Haul Event centred around Cat’s new XE range including the Cat 988K XE and 972M XE wheel loaders.
Cat said: “The XE range is proving incredibly popular for a broad range of applications across construction, earthmoving and smaller mining operations, and is closely based on the popular predecessor models with additional features providing greater productivity, efficiency and even better all-round performance.”
The new Cat 988K XE is the first large wheel loader offered by Caterpillar with a high-efficiency electric drive system, delivering 25% greater overall efficiency and up to 10% more productivity in load-and-carry applications than the 988K loader, according to Cat.
“Delivering high-production in all loading applications, the 988K XE is recommended for demanding job sites where fuel efficiency makes a difference in the machine’s total cost of operation,” the company said.
The new loader features switched reluctance technology and leverages more than 15 years of Cat electric drive experience as well as more than four years of stringent testing in a range of applications, according to the company.
The Cat C18 ACERT™ engine, mechanical dropbox, driveline and axles from the legacy of the 988K remain in this electric drive machine, providing a consistent, trouble-free operation, Cat says.
Cat’s 972M XE wheel loader, meanwhile, features a continuous variable transmission that results in smooth shifts, fast acceleration, and speed on grade, while also delivering exceptional fuel economy, Cat says.
“While designed with the construction sector demands in mind, these characteristics will make the 972M XE a popular choice in quarry and mining operations with the need to deal with steeper grades, tighter loading areas, and greater pressure on cost per tonne,” it said.
Among other recent additions on display was the 986K wheel loader, 6015B hydraulic shovel, and the 745 and 740 GC articulated trucks.
There was a cameo appearance by the Piacentini Panther Low Loader, designed by Bunbury-based contractor Piacentini & Son, which has been developed to improve safety and efficiency when loading and transporting heavy equipment around mine sites, the company said.
Jarvas Croome, CEO of WesTrac which hosted the event and is the Caterpillar dealer for Western Australia and New South Wales, said industry would welcome the further refinement of this popular range of construction and earthmoving equipment.
“Activity is increasing across Australia with a large number of infrastructure and major construction projects underway, while there’s also a lot of movement in mining,” he said.
“The highly versatile Cat XE range is going to be a popular choice for fast, efficient operations across all sectors, not to mention providing improved environmental performance for operators.”