Caterpillar has continued the expansion and improvement of its hydraulic excavator range with the introduction of the new Cat 311F LRR.
Powered with a 52-kW (ISO 9249) Cat C3.4B engine that meets EU Stage IIIB emissions standards, the new excavator features a reduced radius that limits over-the-side tail swing to just 508 mm, making it ideal for space-restricted job sites and enabling it to fit on most European road lanes. A massive 2 450-kg counterweight gives it the stability and working capacity of conventional excavators, and the unique design allows for use of a full-sized rollover protective structure (ROPS) cab. The machine’s compact size is complemented with fuel-saving features and an efficient hydraulic system that powers through tough digging and easily handles a range of work tools.
Emissions control is transparent to the 311F LRR operator, requiring no intervention and causing no interruption of work cycles. There is no need for diesel exhaust fluid either. Other advantages include the very low operating cost due to minimal fuel consumption. Fuel economy can be further enhanced through the Eco Mode and the engine idle shutdown feature, which automatically stops the engine after a pre-set period of idling. The latter feature also lowers accumulated hours on the machine, increasing resale price and lengthening maintenance intervals. Biodiesel blends up to B20 can also be used to add more potential savings.
The powerful hydraulic system places major components in close proximity, which helps reduce frictional losses and pressure drops. The system responds proportionally to control lever movement and delivers flow precisely where and when it is required, which reduces pump loads and saves fuel. Further fuel savings result from regenerating boom and stick cylinder oil—transferring oil from the head end to the rod end of the cylinders without wastefully flowing back to the tank.
The 311F LRR can be equipped with the Caterpillar Tool Control, including 10 pre-programmed tools, precisely limiting flow and pressure at the touch of a button. The combination of auxiliary hydraulic systems and couplers allows the use and quick change of a variety of work tools, for greater machine versatility and productivity.
Major structures for the 311F RR are designed for durability. The upper frame incorporates special mountings to accommodate the heavy-duty ROPS cab, and the standard long undercarriage uses high-tensile-strength steel components for long service life in a wide range of applications. The reach boom and stick use internal baffle plates for added strength and are ultrasonically inspected to ensure weld quality. In addition, box-section multi-plate fabrications use high strength castings and forgings in high stress areas such as the boom foot, boom nose, cylinder mounts, and stick foot.
In the cab an automatic climate control system with multiple vents provides filtered air, and seat choices include air suspension, heated, and cooled options. Joystick control consoles can be adjusted to operator preference; the right-hand controller incorporates a “one touch” button for reducing and resuming engine speed. The LED monitor can be programmed in 42 languages and displays critical operating information as well as images from the standard rearview camera.
The full-size Cat excavator cab features ample, flat glass for excellent all-around visibility. The cab also provides easy access and plenty of foot room. Halogen lights illuminate the work area, and they can be programmed to stay on for as long as 90 seconds after the engine shuts down.