Making the best, better

Caterpillar's D11 dozer.

Caterpillar’s release of the new D11 is an improvement on what is already a market-leading dozer for Cat dealer, Hastings Deering. Australian Mining writes.

For contractors and mining companies alike, the news of Caterpillar upgrading its beloved D11 dozer was accompanied by a strong sense of anticipation.

The piece of equipment that is synonymous with moving millions of tonnes of material at mine sites has, after all, built a strong reputation in the industry.

It explains why Hastings Deering is already seeing a spike in interest ahead of the Cat NextGen D11 entering into the company’s territory.

Given the plethora of upgrades, the slogan being used to market the D11 ­– ‘all about making the best better’ – hardly misses a beat, according to Hastings Deering General Manager – Mining and Pacific Islands, Jason Smith.

“The previous D11 is a market leader by a long way in our territory,” he tells Australian Mining.

 “This is because it’s a good and proven product that is well supported by the Cat dealer network.”

Indeed, Hastings Deering, which is one of the largest Cat dealerships in the world, perhaps epitomises the extensive supply network that has been built.

With operations throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory, and the Pacific, Hastings Deering has leveraged off the glowing reputation the D11 has and continues to build on this through the new and improved model.

It does quite literally, make the best, better.

Upgrades in productivity, fuel efficiency and safety mean the improved D11 can perform its job with less of a burden on operators and mining company profits.

“The D11 can be used in many applications, one of the most common being in dozer push applications, to move high volumes of material into a pile or over an edge into a void,” Smith explains.

A 10 per cent increase in reverse drawbar power is particularly enticing for mining companies. By reducing the unproductive time when reversing coupled with other efficiency enhancement features has resulted in a productivity is boost of around eight per cent.

Improved durability is attributed to the redesigned ‘case and frame’ of and larger equaliser bar the D11 features, also lead to reduced maintenance costs.

A all new load sensing hydraulic system is one of the major drawcards of the D11’s upgrades. The new system has resulted in faster cycle times and greater fuel efficiency, according to Smith.

“From a maintenance perspective, there has been some key changes,” Smith says.

“The oil pan is 30 per cent larger than the previous model, meaning that engine oil servicing only needs to take place in greater than 500-hour intervals – double the previous model.”

The larger oil sump capacity naturally leads to reduced downtime of equipment and with other initiatives a lowering of costs up to five per cent for maintenance.

Downtime is also reduced through improved push-arm trunnions, redesigned pin joints, continuous fluid monitoring and a factory fitted autolube system.

In line with an industry-wide focus on enhancing safety at mine sites, the D11 offers several improvements to operator welfare.

“The key change for operators is the new cabin design, which has a 360-degree view camera meaning better visibility than the previous model which is a great safety feature,” Smith says.

Operator access has been enhanced by changing the cabin door layout to better align with the factory supplied powered access system. The new door layout provides safer access into the cabin.

The all new cabin layout with enhanced ergonomics, intuitive dashboard displays, reduced noise and vibrations, makes the upgraded D11 further enhances an already ‘operator-friendly’ dozer.

Like its predecessor, the new D11 also has the ability to keep pace with the rapid introduction of automation on mining equipment.

It features automated operations in rip, grade and carry, while also offering remote and semi-autonomous operations alongside onboard guidance and feedback.

As the upgraded D11 enters into Hasting Deering’s territory, excitement is already building as the supplier prepares to roll out the machine to some of its biggest customers.

The demand is highlighted by the plethora of pre-sale orders received from Hastings Deering, which it anticipates, is only a sign of things to come.

This article also appears in the November edition of Australian Mining.

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