Case Construction Equipment recently introduced long-anticipated compact track loaders at its San Antonio dealer, Texana. Rusty Schaefer, marketing manager, explains that the target was to reduce undercarriage costs and provide a long life, a comfortable ride and simplicity of maintenance.
The resulting undercarriage is a unique Case design, with the undercarriage mounted rigidly to the chassis to keep maintenance costs to a minimum. Proven technologies were adapted from Case medium and large dozers and excavators.
For example, a tapered design frame cover combined with steel mud scrapers help keep water, mud and debris from damaging the track area. Track components are protected by a large spring mounted to the front idler and track tension is adjusted with a grease zerk.
Dual-cone face seals are intended to decrease the operating costs over the life of the machine and four triple-flange rollers, combined with single-flange front and rear idlers, maintain track alignment while operating on side slopes.
Built on skid-steer chassis
The first two Case compact track loaders to be introduced are the 445CT and the 450CT. These units share the same chassis with the 400 Series skid steers, with the undercarriage design adding approximately 1,000 lbs. to the compact track loaders vs. the skid steers with equivalent engines.
The 445CT offers 74 net hp with a lift capacity of 3,500 lbs., while the 450CT produces 82 net hp with a lift capacity of 3,857 lbs. Adhering to the conventional Case labelling systems (machines with model numbers ending in 0 are radial lift machines and units ending in 5 are vertical lift machines), the 445CT offers power reach vertical lift, while the 450CT has a power cycle radial arm configuration for high-production digging and faster cycle times.
Articulated truck line expands
Case also expanded its articulated dump truck lineup, adding two larger models to the existing 325 and 330 models. The 335 has a rated operating load of 35 tons with 380 net hp available, and the 340 has a rated operating load of 40 tons with 426 net hp.
These articulated dump trucks retain the wide frame and low dump body used on the other 300 Series trucks. This provides a lower center of gravity and room for the four-stage lift cylinders to be housed inside the frame, where they are protected from damage and the elements.
The front driveline on the 335 and 340 features an integrated transmission-mounted differential that transfers power directly from the transmission to the wheel ends, eliminating a driveshaft. Case claims it also increases tractive effort to the front wheels while reducing noise and vibration.
This front driveline is mounted directly under the center of the cab and equipped with a new front suspension system to absorb shocks from rough terrain. "The suspension system makes for a more comfortable cab and a truck that is easier to operate," says Dave Wolf, brand marketing manager.
Other unique features include a warm-up circuit that uses the transmission retarder to warm hydraulic oil. This warm oil reduces pressure on seals, thereby increasing hydraulic component life and performance at startup.
A remote-start control lets the operator start the machine from ground level, without a key. This initializes the warm-up circuit, which idles the engine and allows the hydraulic oil to reverse flow through the transmission retarder. Once the warm-up is complete, the operator inserts the key in the switch and turns it to the start position.
Daily maintenance on the trucks is minimal. An automatic lubrication system is standard. The system continually greases all lubrication points from a central distribution block. A digital display in the front console indicates the major fluid levels and temperatures.
The vehicles also feature tilting cabs for access to the transmission, hydraulic valves and lines.