The new Cat 326D2 ... powerful.

The recently launched Cat 326D2 boasts heavy-duty structures, powerful hydraulics, a fuel-saving design and optimum operator comfort.

The hydraulic excavator delivers value by combining high productivity, versatility and low operating costs with exceptional reliability, according to a spokesman for Caterpillar.

With a maximum operating weight of 26,345 kg, the 326D2 uses the Cat C7.1 engine, which is rated at 140 kW. It meets exhaust emissions equivalent to US EPA Tier 2, EU Stage II, and China Tier 2 emission regulations and is equipped with a three-stage fuel-filtration system for optimum protection of fuel-delivery components.

Among its premium features, says the spokesman, are its cross-sensing hydraulics for greater efficiency, robust major structures for long-term durability, ergonomic cab for increased productivity, and simplified routine maintenance for reduced operating costs.

Providing further details of the 326D2, the spokesman says: “The Cat C7.1 engine features a robust common-rail fuel-injection system protected by a three-stage filtration system for optimum reliability. An electric fuel-priming pump simplifies filter changes.”

He says fuel-saving features include automatic engine speed control that reduces rpm during no-load/light-load conditions and an eco mode that tailors the machine for exceptional fuel economy. The high horsepower mode delivers maximum power for demanding tasks.

The 326D2 pilot-operated hydraulic system provides 35 MPa main pressure and flow rates as great as 494 litres per minute for optimum hydraulic power in difficult applications.

Furthermore, depending on the region, the excavator is available with a standard undercarriage, designated the 326D2, or a long undercarriage, designated the 326D2 L, says the spokesman.

“The massive, X-shaped, box-section carbody provides resistance to stress as it transfers working forces from the rugged upper mainframe to the high-strength track-roller frames. Structural welds are 95 per cent robotic, achieving three times the penetration of manual welds. Both the standard and long undercarriages feature heavy-duty components, with sealed-and-lubricated track rollers and grease-lubricated/sealed track chains,” he says.

Also depending on the region, both the standard 5.9-m and heavy-duty 5.9-m reach booms have two stick options (2.95 m and 2.5 m) to tailor the front linkage to the task, and a mass-excavation 5.3-m boom with its mass 2.5-m stick, delivering superior digging forces and permitting the use of a larger bucket. In addition, a super long reach front linkage features a 10.2-m boom and 7.85-m stick. All booms and sticks use box-section construction with high-tensile-strength steel to provide optimum digging forces, combined with optimum digging envelopes, for a range of excavating applications.

Cat buckets and ground-engaging tools for the 326D2 are designed to optimise production and reduce fuel consumption. Buckets include general-duty units for low-impact, moderately abrasive materials; heavy-duty for mixed materials and cohesive soils; severe-duty for highly abrasive materials; and extreme-duty for exceptionally abrasive conditions. Work tools include shears, grapples, hammers and compactors.

Meanwhile, an ergonomically designed cab features low-effort joysticks, large glass areas to enhance all-around visibility, automatic bi-level air-conditioner with defroster, and a full-colour LCD monitor, which is 40 per cent larger compared to the previous monitor, has enhanced resolution and serves as the display for an available rear-view camera system.

Mechanical or suspension seats are available and can be adjusted to accommodate operator size and weight. For operator convenience, joystick consoles are adjustable and viscous-rubber mounts between the cab and frame minimise sound and vibration.

To enhance serviceability, filter- and fluid-change intervals are displayed on the main menu of the monitor, and most routine service points are located at ground level, including access for cleaning to the radiator, oil cooler and charge-air cooler. An easy-access, remote-greasing block on the boom delivers lubrication to difficult-to-reach components, promoting safety and ensuring that all linkage points are serviced to reduce wear and to extend component life. Scheduled oil sampling (SOS) ports allow technicians to collect reliable samples of hydraulic oil, engine oil and coolant for analysis, and the Caterpillar Electronic Technician service tool is conveniently connected behind the cab.

The manufacturer has made available a number of Cat Connect technologies to enhance excavator operation and management: Product Link provides essential machine operation data through VisionLink software; factory-installed Grade technologies combine digital design data, in-cab guidance and automatic machine control to help operators attain grades faster; and the dealer-installed AccuGrade system provides an easy-to-read display for real-time cut/fill data, whether depth and slope guidance for simple 2D planes and slopes or GNSS (global navigation satellite system) for complex 3D designs.