Caterpillar has introduced the new 345D L hydraulic excavator, featuring a variety of upgrades including more available power, efficient hydraulics with heavy-lift mode and hydraulic cross sensing, and a comfortable, expanded operator station. With a long undercarriage, 6.9-m (22.6-ft) heavy-duty reach boom, and 750-mm (30-in) track shoes, the 345D L is a direct replacement for the 345C L.
Powered by a 12.5-L turbocharged Cat C13 engine with ACERT technology, the 345D L delivers 380 hp (283 kW)—10% more than its predecessor—yet consumes approximately the same amount of fuel for tough digging, heavy duty cycle applications, according to the company. Compliant with U.S. EPA Tier 3 and EU Stage IIIA emissions regulations, the C13 engine features high-pressure, mechanically actuated fuel injection for finer fuel atomization, more complete combustion, and lower particulate emissions. Cat’s ADEM A4 electronic control module manages fuel delivery and provides flexible fuel mapping, which allows quick response to varying application needs. Rubber-isolating engine mounts help to reduce engine noise and vibration.
Hydraulic flow has been increased by 2% compared to the previous model, and the main implement pump has been redesigned. The main pumps, control valve, and hydraulic tank are located as close together as possible so that tubes and lines between the components can be minimized, reducing friction losses and pressure drops. A pilot pump that is independent of the main pumps controls the front linkage, swing, and travel operations.
A heavy-lift mode allows the operator to boost lifting capability for better control of heavy loads. A hydraulic cross-sensing system allows the excavator’s two hydraulic pumps to be used to 100% of engine power under all operating conditions, facilitating faster implement speeds and quicker pivot turns.
Stick and boom regeneration circuits provide improved cycle times and higher fuel efficiency. Automatic priority function is provided for boom-up and swing operations, eliminating the need for work-mode buttons. To cushion shocks and extend component life, snubbers are incorporated at the rod-end of the boom cylinders and both ends of the stick cylinders.
Track links have been redesigned to extend service life, and a new carrier roller design improves reliability. Drive power is provided by two-speed axial piston hydraulic motors, and the straight-line travel circuit is incorporated into the hydraulic system for low-speed, straight-line travel. Final drives are a three-stage planetary reduction.
The GLT4 grease-lubricated and sealed track is standard for the 345D L, as are the idler guard and bolt-on center guard, which are designed to help maintain track alignment while traveling or working on slopes. The track link has been redesigned to minimize stress concentrations and their negative impact on durability and reliability. For extreme underfoot conditions or jobs requiring significant travel, a cast idler and Positive Pin Retention 2 track are available as attachments. A standard 9.0-t (9.9-ton) counterweight enhances machine stability and lifting performance.
Three undercarriage arrangements are designed to match varying application and transportation requirements: fixed gauge for narrow transport and weight-sensitive areas; variable gauge for increased clearance and over-side lift; and wide variable gauge for significantly increased over-side lift. The car body features a columnless design, and the main frame has been redesigned for maximum durability.
Redesigned for operator comfort, the 345D L’s workstation incorporates ergonomic controls and a high-back, heated, adjustable air-suspension seat with wide, adjustable armrests and a retractable seatbelt. The pressurized cab is attached to the frame with viscous rubber cab mounts that damp vibrations and noise for a more comfortable operator environment. The cab also features positive filtered ventilation and an enlarged skylight with sunscreen for extended visibility and ventilation.
A full-color LCD display screen with operator keypad shows machine maintenance, diagnostic and prognostic information in 27 languages, and a master caution lamp blinks a warning for critical conditions including low engine oil pressure, high coolant temperature, and high hydraulic oil temperature. An optional rearview camera and Work Area Vision System enhance visibility, productivity, and job site safety.
Centrally located, easy-access service points have been designed to facilitate routine maintenance, and a concentrated remote greasing block on the boom delivers grease to limited-access areas.
Engine oil and engine oil filter maintenance intervals have been extended to 50 h for the 345D L. To improve access, the secondary fuel filter was moved to the battery compartment, which is also the location for a new electric priming pump.
A new 24-V power port in the battery compartment accommodates service lights and other electrical equipment, and Cat’s Product Link, a system to streamline asset tracking and maintenance management, comes standard on the 345D L.
An extensive selection of work tools is available for the new D-Series excavator, which has been designed to work with C-Series buckets to maximize versatility and reduce costs. An optional Tool Control System lets the operator pre-set flows and pressures for as many as 10 work tools using the in-cab monitor, and the hydraulic Pin Grabber Coupler enables a machine operator to change work tools in seconds without ever leaving the cab. The coupler also allows a bucket to be attached in reverse mode for trench finishing.
The new, second-generation AccuGrade system is available on the 345D L. AccuGrade, a fully integrated, sensor-independent system, automatically controls blade lift and tilt to facilitate faster, safer, more accurate grading. The newest version of the system features an electronic cab avoidance function that prevents damage resulting from contact between the cab, front linkage, and bucket. An e-ceiling function protects the machine from interference with overhead obstacles.
Additional options include high-intensity-discharge lights with a time delay function and a machine security system.