Caterpillar has made a new addition to its motor grader range with the 18M3. Mining operations using trucks with capacities up to 172 tonnes now have the option of using the 16M3 or 18M3.
Compared to the 16M3, the 18M3 has greater capabilities and productivity yields. It averages five per cent more power in each gear, and features longer a longer mouldboard and blade length. The increased blade length allows the ability to grade more acutely at an eight degree angle, reducing blade loading. Combined with the 18M3’s greater power, weight and balance, this results in highly productive cutting passes.
Designed with mining conditions in mind, the 18M3 is built with a front axle, transmission guards and fire transmission systems to protect against debris and combustion. Its front frame is fabricated of continuous top and bottom plates, and the centre-shift section is a heavy-duty steel casting that effectively distributes stress to the mainframe. The long rear frame uses two bumper castings and thick hitch plates for long term durability.
The 18M3 is powered by a Cat® C13 ACERT™ engine which uses the Caterpillar Optimized Variable Horsepower system to deliver optimum power in each gear. The engine is available in three configurations to satisfy global emission standards, enhancing fuel efficiency. Its ECO mode limits engine speed to 1,900rpm during light to moderate load applications.
The motor grader is built with the Cat direct driver, power shift transmission with eight forward and six reverse gears, and the Cat Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy to enable smooth shifting and extended component life.
The 18M3 uses hydraulics to operate its brakes and load sensing system. Its hydraulic brakes use large discs and pistons to provide a high dynamic braking torque, and a new manual brake wear indicator simplifies disc wear measurement, eliminating the need to remove the brake pods to check wear. The Cat load sensing hydraulic system has advanced Proportional Priority Pressure Compensating electrohydraulic valves that provide precise control with continuous measurement of hydraulic flow and pressure, allowing the 18M3 to monitor power demands for added fuel savings and reduced heat generation.
Operation of motor graders has been enhanced with the 18M3’s full colour touchscreen display which monitors machine performance, sets operating parameters and accesses service information for initial troubleshooting. The display features Cat Grade Control Cross Slope and DEF level readings, navigated by Advanced-Control joysticks and a lighted, one-touch button keypad.
The 18M3 also comes with Cat’s advanced telematics system, Product Link™ Elite, which enables improved fleet management via the VisionLink® online interface. New capabilities include global 3G-cellular-network and lower-latency satellite connections.
Safety functions like a rear-view camera, speed-sensitive steering and a seat belt indicator are inbuilt to the 18M3. It also comes with grab handles, non-slip steps, French-door-type panels on the engine enclosure that facilitate easy access to service points, and two large LED lights that illuminate the engine compartment. Ground-level engine shut-off and electrical-disconnect switches are also featured, along with a new modular cooling package, which aids removal and installation of components in the cooling system. There is also an option for enhanced-access platform that provides a second access path to the engine compartment and cab.
Caterpillar’s motor grader range now includes three models: 18M3, 24M and 16M3.
The introduction of the 18M3 follows the launch of Caterpillar’s Cat S40 rugged smartphone, and its announcement to potentially reduce its workforce by 10,000 workers in three years.C