Cat introduces three mini excavators to 2.7- to 3.5-tonne class

By Jenny LescohierJune 21, 2021

New 2.7- to 3.5-tonne class machines - models 302.7 CR, 303 CR and 303.5 CR - are built on the Next Generation platform

Caterpillar’s three new mini excavators feature exclusive stick steer, cruise control, operator adjustable settings and a tilt-up canopy or cab as standard equipment.

The new 2.7- to 3.5-tonne class machines - models 302.7 CR, 303 CR and 303.5 CR - are built on the Next Generation platform that offers a consistent operator experience through the 1.5- to 10-tonne range. Expanded use of common parts throughout the line, plus a damage-resistant exterior construction, are designed to help to reduce parts inventory investment and lower repair costs, the company said.

An industry-exclusive, the Cat Stick Steer System simplifies machine control, and, at the touch of a button, the operator can switch from conventional lever/foot-pedal steering controls to low-effort joystick operation.

The new machines have two travel ranges with speeds reaching 2.8 mph, and standard cruise control to minimize operator interaction when traveling longer distances between work locations.

Unique to their respective classes, the new excavators offer the choice between canopy or cab enclosure. The sealed and pressurized cab offers a clean and quiet environment for the operator and can be equipped with heating and/or air conditioning for all-weather climate control. With a front window that slides upward to store overhead, the cab’s large glass areas plus skylight afford all-around visibility.

Daily maintenance checks are made from ground level through side doors, while the tilt-up cab design offers access to components for servicing. When combined with increased service intervals, these features are designed to deliver total ownership costs that Caterpillar said are 5% lower than previous models.

At the same time, design enhancements deliver up to 10% more performance in travel and trenching, according to the company. Hydraulic system upgrades improve lifting performance and cycle times, while customizable operator settings improve efficiency.

The turbocharged Cat C1.1 Turbo engine powers the 302.7 CR and 303 CR models, while the Cat C1.7 anchors the powertrain for the 303.5 CR. Both engines meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emissions standards and offer 23.6-hp net power. Standard auto idle and auto engine shutdown help to conserve fuel usage at the site for more affordable operation.

The new mini hydraulic excavators feature a compact radius swing that reduces overhang when working to the side. Fixed undercarriage widths for the 302.7 CR, 303 CR and 303.5 CR of 59.1, 61.0 and 70.1 inches, respectively, deliver a balance of job site accessibility and stability for lifting performance.

An expandable undercarriage option for the 302.7 CR allows the operator to hydraulically retract track width to 53.3 inches for fitting into confined spaces, and then expand width to 70.1 inches for digging and lifting stability.

Interchangeable counterweight packages enable customers to tailor machine weight to job requirements, balancing low ground pressure and lifting performance. The “light” counterweight option adds 221 lbs to machine weight, while the “extra” adds 551 lbs.

All three Next Gen models offer both standard- and long-stick configurations for increased machine versatility. Standard digging depths range from 96.5 to 110.6 inches, while the long stick configuration allows the machines to reach from 104.3- to 122.4-inch depths.

The standard dozer blade allows above- and below-grade travel and has a standard float function for easy clean-up. An angle blade option on the 303.5 CR gives further flexibility in backfilling applications.

Efficient load-sensing hydraulics with variable displacement pump provides oil flow reaching 26 gal/min while saving fuel. High main-relief pressures, coupled with flow rates, is designed to generate the hydraulic capacity for high digging and lifting forces and more efficient use of a range of attachments. The standard auxiliary system, complete with quick-disconnect lines, provides the choice of one-way, two-way or continuous flow.

The new 302.7 CR, 303 CR and 303.5 CR offer the large Next Generation touchscreen display designed to provide intuitive machine function control and easy monitoring of critical operating parameters, such as fuel level, coolant temperature and maintenance records.

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