Next Generation series Cat machine designed for fuel efficiency, low operating costs, operator productivity, safety and versatility
In a global online event that saw it launch several new excavator models in various capacity-classes, Caterpillar has introduced the new Next Generation 345 GC excavator, which is designed to deliver a balance of performance, reliability and low-cost operation for Tier 3 markets such as the Middle East and Africa.
According to the global equipment giant, the new Cat 345 GC excavator increases fuel efficiency (cubic metres/tonnes per unit of fuel) up to 25% and lowers operating costs up to 30% compared to the previous Cat 349D2. In addition, the new model incorporates significant engineering advances for safety and operator convenience.
A statement from Cat said the 345 GC’s fuel efficiency comes primarily from electronically controlled main pumps and valve to ensure more work gets done with each unit of fuel. “Plus, two operating modes help you more actively manage fuel consumption: Smart mode automatically matches engine speed and hydraulic power for the highest fuel efficiency as working demands change; Power mode delivers maximum productivity in high-demand applications such as truck loading and trenching,” said the statement.
According to Cat, extended maintenance intervals and easy access to consolidated filter locations combine to lower maintenance costs, while hydraulic, air and fuel filters have increased capacity for longer life. Service intervals for fuel filters extend from 500 to 1,000 hours and from 2,000 to 3,000 hours for the hydraulic return filter.
The 345 GC’s overall efficiency is further enhanced with telematics technology. Product Link, the 345 GC’s on-board telematics system, automatically collects machine information, including location, hours, fuel usage, idle time, maintenance alerts, diagnostic codes, and machine health — all of which can be viewed online through web and mobile applications. VisionLink provides online access to Product Link data, which allows users to make informed decisions that help increase productivity, lower costs, simplify maintenance, and improve job site safety and security. Subscription options, including cellular or satellite (or both) reporting, allow you to configure telematics data to specific requirements.
Cat added that the 345 GC’s cab environment is designed to reduce effort with all controls placed in front to eliminate twisting in the seat. The ISO-certified, sound-suppressed ROPS cab is sealed and pressurized with large glass areas enhancing all-around visibility. Narrow pillars at the front corners of the cab further contribute to forward visibility. A standard rearview camera extends rearward visibility.
Most machine settings are controlled through the high-resolution 203 mm touchscreen monitor, and a jog dial and shortcut keys are positioned on the right console. In addition, joystick function can be customized through the monitor to match operator preference, including operating pattern and response rate. All preferences are saved with the Operator ID and restored at log in.
Safety and security are enhanced by enabling routine maintenance checks to be performed at ground level with access to the air pre-cleaner, fuel water/separator, fuel tank and water/sediment drains, and coolant level check.
The 345 GC is available with multiple boom-and-stick combinations, including a 6.9m reach boom with a choice of 2.9m or 3.35m sticks. The 6.5m mass excavation boom can be paired with either a 2.5m or 3.0m stick, said Cat, adding that the 345 GC’s utility can also be expanded with a variety of attachments, such as Cat buckets, hammers and couplers.