Caterpillar has continued to invest in the development of new and upgraded models of compact hydraulic excavators specially designed for tunnelling applications. The Caterpillar 328DL CR now succeeds the widely accepted 36t Cat 325C CR. The new model has an improved working ‘envelope’ (working area and height of the boom and stick upgraded for reach and minimum dimensions). It has gross power of 140kW and a tail-swing radius of only 1.9m.

Stability is enhanced by an oversize (330) undercarriage and heavy-duty dozer blade. Three ‘sticks’ of 2.5m, 3.2m and 4m are available, giving a maximum forward reach of 8300mm from the pivot. Tunnel heights up to 9.5m, depending on the tool employed, can be excavated yet the travelling height is only 3.06m. Other features include up to five hydraulic settings for tools and attachments including a hydraulic tilt device, a high-pressure water mist fire suppression system, additional protection for the operator and components, and a diesel engine particulate filter.

A front shovel version of the smaller Cat 321C CR, launched last year, has also been introduced. The 1.8m³capacity version has a maximum forward reach of 6350mm, a maximum digging height of 7630mm, maximum digging depth of 2040mm and a maximum dump height of 7630mm. The 321C CR is a 25-27t machine with buckets of capacities 0.8-1.8m³. Its tail swing radius is only 1.68m.


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CAT’s 325CCR