Caterpillar has introduced the new F2-Series range of machines, building on its highly successful range of F-Series backhoe loaders.
The new models – 422F2, 428F2, 432F2, 434F2, and 444F2 – feature an all-new operator’s environment, and engine technology that enhances machine performance and saves fuel. The cab has been restyled for a more modern look and has been designed throughout with the operator in mind, including enhanced visibility to the loader attachment when at full height, says a company spokesman.
“Depending on the model, engine-power choices include 56.5 kW, 68.5 kW, 70 kW, or 74.5 kW configurations,” he says.
An upgraded hydraulics system provides improvements in hydraulic oil flow for optimum hydraulic performance: 422F2 from 125 to 132 litres per minute; 428F2 and 434F2 from 125 to 160 litres per minute; and the 432F2 and 444F2 from 158 to 163 litres per minute.
“If low fuel consumption is important, the operator can elect Eco mode, enabling proficient performance and controllability at a fuel-saving lower engine speed. For added convenience, a remote jump-start system is standard equipment,” says the spokesman.
The F2-Series also sees the introduction of a six-speed automatic gear box for improved fuel efficiency and increase average speed when roading. Machine-control ergonomics on the new range have also been improved with a new telescopic/tilt steering column, and the differential-lock control has been repositioned to the loader controller.
“Pilot-operated machines feature new multi-positional excavator controls that enable operators to adjust to the most comfortable operating position, reducing fatigue. A forward/reverse controller is built into the loader controller for added convenience and improved efficiency,” says the spokesman.
The cab features a new step design with reduced height for added cab access/egress safety and a bottom step that is resiliently mounted to prevent damage from debris. An air-suspension seat provides all-day comfort, especially when using the optional heated version in cold weather. A new LCD (liquid crystal display) provides information needed to monitor machine performance, new switches feature improved backlighting for easy use in all ambient-light conditions, and longer-life LED (light-emitting diode) rear lights are now used.
The new pantograph front-screen wiper increases the swept area for enhanced forward visibility and is complemented with a full-width, perforated sun visor. Except for the curved front window, all other glass areas are flat, enabling quick, low-cost replacement.
The F2-Series provides an available radio with bluetooth connectivity, facilitating communication with job-site personnel.
“A new keypad security system provides added protection for the machine, and a choice of cellular or satellite technology is available for use with the ProductLink telematics system for tracking machine location and operating parameters,” he explains.
“Caterpillar is celebrating 30 years of backhoe loader production this year, having produced more than 300,000 machines that are working globally. The introduction of the F2-Series ensures future success, with innovative changes that enhance operator comfort, meet the applicable emission standards, improve productivity, and reduce owning and operating costs,” concludes the spokesman.