Caterpillar has launched the new Cat 303E CR mini hydraulic excavator which has been designed for users looking for productive and reliable performance in a functional design, at a low cost per hour.
With a maximum operating weight of 3,530 kg, a width of only 1,550 mm across the blade, and a compact radius design that limits the tail swing to 127 mm, the Cat 303E CR is described as being ideal for working effectively and safely on width restricted job sites.
The new model’s 17.5 kW Cat C1.3 engine is fuel efficient and combines with the load-sensing hydraulic system to provide smooth and precise operation. Also, the 303E CR’s operator environment is spacious and uncluttered with easy to use controls and the robust and simple instrumentation provides all vital operational information.
A Cat spokesman says: “All operator stations, in cab or canopy configurations, are ROPS (roll over protection system), TOPS (tip over protection system, and Top Guard Level One certified, and the Cat interlock system, which prevents hydraulic movement when the safety bar is raised, adds further to operational safety, as do the standard travel alarm, automatic swing brake, and retractable seatbelt.”
An automatic two-speed travel system enhances overall machine efficiency and ease of operation, and an automatic engine-idle system conserves fuel and reduces sound levels.
The 303E CR’s hydraulic system uses low-effort, pilot-operated joysticks that provide more precise, more consistent control than mechanical-linkage controls. For operator convenience, auxiliary-hydraulic controls are integrated into the joysticks, making the 303E CR work-tool ready with both a one-way-flow circuit for tools such as hydraulic hammers and a two-way-flow circuit when using work tools with cylinders or bi-directional motors.
To increase operator productivity and efficiency, the 303E CR’s bucket can rotate 200 degrees, providing excellent material retention at the top of the lift cycle when loading trucks and allowing for deeper flat-back trenches without repositioning the machine.
Also adding to the 303E CR’s versatility is its ability to use the bucket in a front-shovel configuration, an advantage for such tasks as installing utility pipe, cleaning material from inside truck bodies, or filling a hopper next to a wall. When digging in confined spaces or against obstructions, the 303E CR’s offset boom provides added flexibility.
In addition, an optional lifting eye on the front linkage provides a secure attachment point for rigging.
For added convenience, a float function for the dozer blade allows the blade to follow the ground contours and create smooth finish grades, reducing the job time even for inexperienced operators.
To increase the 303E CR’s overall versatility, a mechanical quick coupler is available for accommodating work tools such as augers and hydraulic hammers, and a thumb-ready stick is standard. An accumulator in the auxiliary hydraulic system smoothes hydraulic action, prevents damaging pressure spikes, and releases pressure through the pilot system to help work tool changes.
Auxiliary lines are mounted low on the stick, close to work tools, eliminating the need to use long hoses, vulnerable to damage, to reach work tools. Quick-disconnect couplers provide easy, spill-proof connections with work tools, and for added utility, the 303E CR accepts all Cat 303.5 and 304 E Series mini excavator work tools.
Steel tracks are available for the 303E CR, as an alternative to the standard rubber tracks, for use in applications that require higher resistance to sharp debris.