The much-anticipated arrival of the new 4-tonne, Cat® 304, and 5-tonne, Cat 305 CR,Next Generation Mini Hydraulic Excavators are arriving to Australian shores. This completes Caterpillar’s Next Generation line-up of their mini-excavators, now offering 15 separate models starting from the Cat 301.5 at 1.7-tonnes up to the Cat 310 at 10-tonnes.
The new Cat 304 and 305 CR delivers more power to the pumps, higher bucket breakout forces and deeper standard digging depths to increase performance by up to 20% over their previous E2 series models. Their industry-leading grease intervals and extended filter service life, combined with common components throughout the line-up together with flat, easy-to-replace side panels that promise to deliver up to 10% lower owner and operating costs.
The new 304 and 305 CR models are the final machines to be released with a complete new design from the ground up to the Cat next generation mini hydraulic excavator line concept. From the 1.5- to 10- tonne class models, all 15 Cat mini hydraulic excavators in the range offer common features and consistent control layouts to simplify training and operator adaptation.
New 304 increases stability
Built with a new reduced radius design, the 304 features a 1700mm track width, 254mm slimmer than the 304 E2, for more versatility and access to confined spaces. While narrower, the new 304 design also increases performance, balance and stability of the 4-tonne class model. Caterpillar have achieved this by moving from a compact to reduced radius counterweight that allows for greater stability, both in 360-degree operation and when travelling with loads, while its extra counterweight option takes the model to an even higher level of stability.
Compact performance of the 305 CR
The new engine on the 5-tonne class Cat 305 CR Excavator delivers nearly 9% greater power to increase machine performance. Hydraulic system improvements provide higher breakout forces – 49.2 kN, bucket, 28.3 kN with standard stick and 25.2 kN with long stick – to improve digging efficiency in hard rock applications. It also offers 140mm deeper dig depths than the 305 E2, giving it more application flexibility. Its compact radius swing reduces overhang when working to the side, while its 1980mm (78-in) track width and new extra counterweight option help to optimise stability and lift performance in confined spaces.
Both excavator models now offer an angle dozer blade option to optimise machine flexibility in backfilling and finish grading applications. In addition to offering ample above- and below-grade travel with standard float function for easy clean-up, the angle blade moves 45 degrees left or right of centre. Increasing efficiencies and reducing operator interaction with final grading, angle blade movement is controlled by the right-hand joystick, while the left joystick handles machine drive.
Tailoring machine weight to job requirements, interchangeable counterweight packages offer the balance between low ground pressure and lifting performance. Their industry-exclusive Cat Stick Steer System simplifies machine control by allowing the operator to switch from conventional lever/foot-pedal steering controls to low-effort joystick operation. Two travel speed ranges and standard cruise control facilitate moving around the jobsite with minimum operator interaction.
Meeting U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage V emission standards, the turbocharged Cat C1.7 Turbo engine delivers higher power than the previous C2.4 engine. Standard auto idle, auto engine shutdown and efficient load-sensing hydraulics with variable displacement pump help to lower fuel usage at the site for more affordable operation. High mainrelief pressures, coupled with flow rates, generates the hydraulic capacity for high digging and lifting forces and more efficient use of a range of attachments. Complete with quick-disconnect lines, the standard auxiliary system provides the choice of one-way, two-way or continuous flow.
Next generation comfort, savings
Common to all cab version Cat next generation mini hydraulic excavators, the sealed and pressurised cab enclosure is available with heating and air conditioning for all-weather climate control. The cab’s large glass areas plus skylight afford allaround visibility. The large display with advanced touchscreen option provides intuitive machine function control and easy monitoring of critical operating parameters. A canopy option is available in some regions.
Daily maintenance checks for the 304 and 305 CR are quickly made from ground level through side doors. Expanded use of common parts throughout the line plus their damage-resistant exterior construction help to reduce parts inventory investment and lower repair costs. Increased service intervals mean these excavators spend more time on the job and less time in the shop.
Offerings may vary by region. More information on the new Cat 304 and 305 CR Mini Hydraulic Excavators can be found by contacting the local Cat dealer or visiting: www.cat.com/catmini-au