When designing the new Cat® M318F and M320F wheel excavators, Caterpillar solicited customer input for characteristics considered important. Heading the list were initial quality and reliability, low operating costs, operator comfort and safety, simplicity of operation and maintenance, durability, and environmental friendliness. The new models are designed around those goals, while retaining the best features of predecessor models, including the Cat Smartboom™, ride control, load-sensing hydraulics, dedicated swing pump, hydraulically driven cooling fan, large working envelope, and configuration/work-tool versatility.
The exterior of the new models has been completely restyled, including for example a larger door with added glass, new windshield with parallel wipers, new mirrors (with a heated option), and a standard rearview camera housed in the redesigned counterweight as well as a right-side camera with a separate in-cab monitor.
Inside the cabin, the left-hand console tilts to facilitate entering and leaving the seat, and the console includes an integral safety lever. Also new is the steering wheel, which is height adjustable and features a tilting column. The new cabin has an interior sound level of just 71 dB (A), and vibration levels have been reduced.
The standard lighting package for the new model includes a counterweight light (enhancing the rearview camera function at night), three cabin-mounted lights, and light on the boom. Standard LED lights replace the previous halogen lighting for enhanced illumination, lower power consumption, and longer life.
An automatic system, when enabled by the operator, senses machine parameters and locks the axle-oscillation function and sets the service brakes, readying the machine to dig. This feature reduces operator fatigue by removing the need to constantly press the brake pedal and results in added productivity. Brake and axle lock are automatically released when the operator presses the travel pedal again. Also, a new travel-lock system, engaged via the switch panel, combines implement-stop and swing-lock functions. For further convenience, cruise control is a standard feature allowing the operator to choose the very speed he wants and can be activated via the Quick-Access button on the monitor.
The M318F and M320F also incorporate a PIN-code anti-theft system. For operator convenience during short breaks in production, the system remembers the last code entered before engine shutdown and allows that code to remain active for a period of time.
The Cat C7.1 ACERT™ engine is rated at 169 HP (126 kW), meets USA EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards and integrates now an emissions after-treatment system, which requires no attention other than periodically replenishing the diesel-exhaust-fluid (DEF) tank. Emissions technology includes the Cat NOx-reduction system, selective catalytic reduction, diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter (DPF), and high-pressure/common-rail fuel system. The DPF passively regenerates (burns away collected soot), requiring no intervention by the operator and causing no interruption in the work cycle.
An engine-idle shutdown system saves fuel by shutting down the engine when it has been idling for a preset amount of time. In addition, Eco Modes have been refined and reduce the engine speed with no reduction of power providing reduced fuel consumption with no compromise in performance.
The design of the engine and the after-treatment system results in low fluid consumption for new models, conserving both fuel and DEF to lower operating costs. Depending on the application, fuel consumption for the new models can be as much as 10 % lower than that of predecessor models.