Latest Caterpillar Next Generation Excavators Match Productivity & Cost Targets

30-ton size class 330 and 330 GC and 36-ton size class 336 and 336 GC Next Generation excavators offer unique combinations of features designed to match productivity and cost targets

Caterpillar 330
Caterpillar 330

The 30-ton size class 330 and 330 GC and 36-ton size class 336 and 336 GC Next Generation excavators from Caterpillar increase operating efficiency, lower fuel and maintenance costs and improve operator comfort compared to previous models. Their unique combinations of features are designed to match contractors’ productivity and cost targets.

[VIDEO] Caterpillar 330 and 330 GC Next Generation Excavators

Delivering high-production performance, the 330 and 336 feature standard integrated Cat Connect technology and more power and lift capacity than their GC counterparts. The 330 also has a larger, 14,770-lb. counterweight, which enables it to lift nearly 10% more than its predecessor, the 330F, and up to 15% more than the 330D2. With increased swing pressure, a larger swing drive, and larger swing bearing, the 330 delivers 5% more swing torque , making backfilling and lifting on slopes easier.

The 330 GC and 336 GC combine the right balance of productivity features with reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs for high reliability and low cost-per-hour performance.

Caterpillar 336Caterpillar 336According to Brian Stellbrink, excavator market professional for Caterpillar, GC models are targeted to customers whose applications don't typically max out the machine's capabilities."They’re maybe lower utilization, medium-duty applications. It’s matching the performance level of those machines to what the customer really needs and is looking for," he states.

At the other end of the spectrum are the high-performance 330 and a 336. "This is about increased horsepower – the highest horsepower in the class," says Stellbrink. "In those production applications, that translates into giving our customers fast cycle times under load; more lift capability – a 10% increase on the 330, for example; the ability to handle larger work tools and larger buckets. So this maximizes performance for those users that are pushing the limits of production and looking for something in a certain size class [that is] able to do the work of a slightly larger machine.” 

Technology Boosts Efficiency

The new Cat 330 and 336 have the industry’s highest level of standard factory-equipped technology to boost productivity. Integrated Cat Connect Technology increases operating efficiency by up to 45% over traditional grading operations.

“We continue to push performance on the machines, but also make sure that the operators of today are able to utilize that," Stellbrink comments. "This gets into the technology – having technology that allows them to get to grade more quickly.”

Cat 336 Hex Qg7 A2468The standard Cat GRADE with 2D system provides guidance for depth, slope, and horizontal distance to grade through the standard touchscreen monitor, making operators more accurate. The system is readily upgradable to Cat GRADE with Advanced 2D or Cat GRADE with 3D. Standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick, and bucket movements so operators can effortlessly stay on grade with single-lever digging.

Cat Payload delivers precise load targets and increased loading efficiency. With on-the-go weighing and real-time payload estimates, Payload helps prevent truck over/underloading. The new Lift Assist feature helps the operator safely pick up heavy objects without tipping. Visual and auditory alerts indicate whether the load is within the excavator’s working limits.

E-fence prevents the excavator from moving outside operator-defined set points. The system is particularly useful when working beneath structures or near traffic.

Cat LINK hardware and software connect jobsites to the office and provide managers with machine-critical operating information.

Lower Fuel and Maintenance Costs

Caterpillar 336 GCCaterpillar 336 GC

"We are trying to drive down the operating cost for the user of the product,” says Stellbrink. "How are we doing that?"

By design, Cat Next Generation excavators consume less fuel per unit of work than the models they are replacing — up to 20% for the 330 compared to the 330F and as much as 15% for the 330 compared to the 330D2. The 336 offers up to a 15% fuel savings.

New Smart mode operation automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to digging conditions, optimizing both fuel consumption and performance. To further reduce fuel usage, engine speed is automatically lowered when there is no hydraulic demand. 

With a new electrohydraulic system, the excavators feature a main control valve that eliminates the need for pilot lines, reduces pressure losses, and lowers fuel consumption. Fewer hydraulic lines on the excavators result in less oil required, lowering long-term operating costs. 

The new cooling system on the 330 and 330 GC employs auto-reversing electric fans, which independently monitor hydraulic oil, radiator and air-to-air aftercooler temperatures to deliver the exact airflow required. On the 336 and 336 GC, the cooling system includes a new on-demand fan to keep the excavator working at the correct operating temperature for maximum efficiency. 

Offering extended and more synchronized maintenance intervals, the excavators reduce maintenance costs by 15% to 20% over the previous series.

The new Cat air filter with integrated pre-cleaner and primary and secondary filters has double the dust holding capacity of the previous design. The new Cat hydraulic return filter has a 3,000-hour service life, a 50% increase over the previous filter.

Fuel system filters are synchronized for service at 1,000 hours, a 100% increase over the previous filters. The fuel system water and sediment drains and hydraulic system oil level are positioned close together at ground level, making routine maintenance faster and safer.

New Cab Enhances Operation

Cat 336 Hex, Cab Qg7 A3606With a choice of Comfort or Deluxe cab packages, or a Premium package in some regions, all Next Generation Cat excavator cabs come equipped with standard features like keyless push-button start, large touchscreen monitor with jog dial keys for control, and sound-suppressed rollover protective structures to offer the next level of operator comfort and safety.

A tilt-up console for the Deluxe and Premium cab designs affords easy cab entry and exit. New advanced viscous mounts reduce cab vibration by up to 50% over previous models.

Large front, rear, and side windows enhance visibility; optional 360° visibility (330 and 336 only) combines images from multiple machine-mounted cameras to enhance the operator’s view in all directions. Programmable joystick buttons for response and pattern allow the operator to “dial in” productivity settings.

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