Cat’s new material handlers designed to lower costs by 20%

By Jenny LescohierMay 03, 2021

Caterpillar introduces two new tracked materials handlers designed to reduce owning and operating costs

Caterpillar introduces its MH3250 and MH3260 tracked material handlers built for longer maintenance intervals and improved fuel efficiency to decrease owning and operating costs up to 20%.

Replacing the Cat 330D MH and 345 C MH models respectively, the Next Generation MH3250 and MH3260 are based on Caterpillar’s Next Generation excavator platform. 

“These 50- and 60-metric-ton tracked material handlers have proven components, lower fuel and maintenance costs, as well as superb operator comfort,” said Vincent Migeotte, Caterpillar global product marketing and application specialist.

Performance and productivity

The MH3250 and MH3260 deliver increased capacities when working at their respective 52-ft 6-in and 59-ft 1-in maximum reach, reducing the number of times the material handler has to be repositioned at the yard to increase productivity.

The machines’ new fuel-efficient engines meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards and can run up to B20 biodiesel.

Operating weights for these machines come in at 101,000 and 127,000 lbs, depending on the configuration, said Rich Knudson, Caterpillar product application specialist, noting, “Through the use of the Cat C9. 3B and C13 engines, we’re able to produce 311 and 424 horsepower, respectively.”

He added, “You have more power versus the previous series, which allows you to cycle faster and move more material. Reaching and stacking height are real important to material handlers because that’s what they do all day long.”

Migeotte said, “Our customers like to move a lot of scrap as quickly as possible, as safely as possible. To reach that performance goal, we based these material handlers on the base of the Next Generation platform, which means that these machines are electrohydraulic and share a lot of design philosophy with Cat earthmoving excavators.”

Three different power modes – Power, Smart and Eco – fine tune power requirements to the job, so the new MH3250 and MH3260 use less fuel than their predecessors without sacrificing machine performance, according to Caterpillar. Smart Mode automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to working conditions to reduce fuel consumption, while Power Mode provides maximum power to optimize productivity.

“Knowing that operating costs are the name of the game, if you can produce more by using less fuel, it’s all profit for the operator,” noted Migeotte. “We reach that goal by using the latest engine design and fully electrohydraulic control of the machine. That not only gives us a lot of savings and efficiency, it increases the cycle time for the machines and opens the door for future development.”

The new MH3250 and MH3260 come with new mechanical variable-gauge undercarriages that flexibly improve machine transportation without sacrificing lifting performance. The track gauge retracts to 10-ft 7-in to lower transport costs and make moving the material handlers more efficient. When at the yard, the gauge extends to 12-ft 2-in wide to increase stability and maximize lift capacities.

Meanwhile, a range of attachments and reach options are available for varied applications to increase operating flexibility. Increasing the MH3250’s versatility, it can be equipped with the ex-factory 25 kW generator for magnet operation. Customers can choose from a range of Cat Work Tool attachments in different sizes to meet the site’s material handling and production needs.

“We not only have these purpose-built material handlers, but also the matching purpose-built Caterpillar work tools for optimum performance,” Migeotte said. “That’s a key differentiator.”

Service simplified

Synchronized service intervals and extended filter replacement schedules reduce maintenance time and costs for the new Cat MH3250 and MH3260 material handlers.

All fuel filters feature a coordinated 1,000-operating-hour change interval, and the new air intake filter with precleaner lasts up to 1,000 hours to reduce maintenance requirements.

A new hydraulic oil filter improves filtration and increases change intervals to 3,000 operating hours, a 50% longer service life than previous filter designs. New anti-drain valves keep the hydraulic oil clean during filter replacement to improve system longevity.

Cabs built for comfort

The Next Generation MH3250 and MH3260 feature an entirely new cab concept that’s meant to elevate operator comfort throughout the shift to increase productivity.

Featuring sound suppression for interior noise reduction and rubber cab mounts to reduce vibration feedback, all controls in the Next Generation cab are positioned in front of and within easy reach of the operator to avoid unnecessary movements. The left-hand console tilts up to offer easy cab entry and exit. Maintaining operator comfort throughout the entire shift in a variety of climates, the premium air-suspension seat is heated and ventilated.

A 10-in high-resolution touchscreen monitor with jog-dial offers simple navigation of the operator controls. Using the new Operator ID function, different machine operators can store their specific joystick and preferred power mode settings, and the machine automatically recalls the settings based on the ID.

Improving highwall trailer loading/unloading and shredder loading efficiency, the hydraulically controlled cab rises to a maximum elevation of 19 ft 9 in.

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