Several features of Caterpillar's new F-Series pavers help improve fuel economy. Engine performance is aided by the 167 kw (225 hp) Cat C7.1 ACERT engine, which meets European Stage IV and U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emissions regulations without sacrificing power. On some F-Series models, a Cat C7.1 engine is also available that meets emissions equivalent to U.S. EPA Tier 3 and E.U. Stage IIIA. It provides power of 186 kW (249 hp).
Eco-mode is standard on F-Series pavers. When used with automatic engine speed control, Eco-mode efficiently manages engine rpms to optimize fuel economy, reduce sound levels, and keep the paver running smoothly. The control automatically adjusts rpms when the engine reaches a high load threshold or needs additional cooling.
An integrated generator, the power behind a new screed heating system, is another fuel-saving enhancement. Exclusive to Caterpillar, the F-Series generator was developed by the same team that designed and engineered the innovative Cat D7E track-type tractor.
The integrated generator is directly connected to the paver engine, and operates as a core part of the machine. The SE60-Series screeds’ refined heat distribution combine with the generator to bring the screed to the proper temperature in approximately 15 minutes, compared with the previous 30-45 minutes.
The F-Series pavers run at about 1300 rpms while heating, compared with the more common 2200 rpms of some competitive machines. The lower rpm requirement lessens sound levels and can lead to earlier start times in residential areas.
Touchscreen displays provide increased flexibility for operating and adjusting the machine. The color display offers high visibility and more user-friendly options. New feature controls are accessed through the touchscreen. The most frequently used functions are still controlled by switches.
The new single-switch auto-fill feeder system simplifies setup and helps provide consistency for operators of varied experience and skill levels.
The screed-heating system diagnostics enable uninterrupted paving in the event a screed temperature sensor fails. The system automatically compensates, allowing consistent, uninterrupted paving.
Ratio control for the conveyors can now be controlled from the screed. Previously only the tractor operator could control conveyor ratio. Likewise, the tractor operator can now adjust mix height for increased flexibility. A pendant control that enables the screed operator to stand alongside the machine is now available.
The operator console features enhanced functionality. Controls are as simple as the contractor needs, and as flexible as they want. Crews who prefer limited options have an organized, efficient control system at their fingertips—and mostly in the same locations as on earlier models. Those who want to utilize more functions can do so by accessing various menus through the touchscreens.
Exclusive propel and feeder system settings transfer between stations with the touch of a single switch. Speed, as well as operation and travel modes, are automatically adjusted at both stations.
Paver operators can make various screed adjustments without leaving their seats. Cat Grade Control now can be operated from the tractor consoles if desired. A single-button autofeeder system does the work of four switches. An auto-fill button alternates between running the augers and conveyors, helping operators build a proper head of material from the start.
A warm-up/cleanout mode runs the feeder system at a reduced speed, enabling the operator to perform wash-down duties. It also automatically lifts the auger for simplified transport. If a crew doesn't want to utilize all controls and the associated technology, “lockouts” are provided on the screed to prevent accidental access.
The F-Series pavers feature innovative undercarriages. Fully-bogied support rollers maintain contact with the surface regardless of irregularities. The oscillating bogies minimize deviations and tow-point movement, leading to smoother mats.
The Mobil-Trac System (MTS) features oscillating bogies and a rubber belt instead of the standard steel track. The rubber belt is friction-driven, and is available with treaded or smooth tracks. MTS enables travel speeds that match the pace of wheeled pavers. The system essentially combines the traction of track pavers with the speed and mobility of wheeled pavers. Enhanced maneuverability is another key benefit.
Wheeled F-Series pavers offer six-wheel drive as an option. Six-wheel drive utilizes enhanced hydraulics to optimize traction and provide 200% more front pull force over previous models. A front-wheel assist or four-wheel drive option increases front-wheel pull-force by 50% over previous models. A new radial tire offers increased traction. When testing on compacted gravel base and asphalt, the tire provided 20% more pull force over existing radial sand-rib tires.
Three screed options are available: SE60 V, SE60 V XW and the SE60 VT XW. The XW models share common frame structures, with the V XW providing vibratory only and VT XW offering vibratory and tamper bars.
Screed plate life is extended with the utilization of abrasion-resistant steel that is proprietary to Caterpillar. The same steel is used in motor grader cutting edges as well as the AS3301C, AS3251C, and AS4252C screeds.
Screed extensions are equipped with exclusive two-speed proportional control for enhanced responsiveness near obstacles and more precise control on highway applications. A pendant control adjusts the height of optional hydraulic end-gates, as well as extender width and tow-point height. The control provides the screed operator with much more flexibility regarding their location. The addition of a machined screed frame eases installation of the screed plates, which bolt flat to the frame.
The SE60 V screed delivers excellent ride and mat qualities, while providing versatility in urban areas, thanks to its smaller footprint and lighter weight. This screed replaces the current AS3301C vibratory screed.
The SE60 XW-Series screeds deliver extremely tight mat textures, with higher densities. The XW-Series also features full hydraulic control of crown, extension slope, and extension height at the full width of 10 m (33 ft). This is particularly important in wide-width paving applications to ensure optimal mat texture and density.