Caterpillar raised the bar within the hydraulic mini excavator category when the industry giant released their latest 308CR Fixed-Boom hydraulic mini excavator. Based on feedback from operators during a showcase held recently, it is evident that the 308CR delivers optimal power without compromising performance. This latest release supersedes its predecessors in terms of efficiency associated with a wide range of applications within confined space. The reason as to why this particular model excels in confined spaces according to a senior marketing personnel who declined to be named, ‘the secret is in the fixed boom’ which delivers ‘compact radius design’ which limits overhang whilst working parallel or working towards the sides. In contrast to swing boom design machines, fixed boom provides an enhanced vertical wall dig ability and dump height apart from enhancing lifting ability at close radius or proximity to the excavator. The development team according to a senior spokesperson followed the Caterpillar Next Generation line concept for the 308 CR which sports a Fixed Boom which delivers enhanced solutions related to excavating issues which are within the scope of 8-tonne requirements. It brings about numerous firsts in the industry in relation to performance that is coupled with unparalleled operator experience with ease of servicing to boot. The longer stick length increased from 1670mm to 2210 mm effectively extends dig depth by 540 mm with a maximum reach extended by 510 mm. Powered by the robust and reliable 51.8-kW CATC3.3B engine which meets the EU Stage V emissions standards from all perspectives, this machine is above expectations as far as operators are concerned. The enhancements made to the hydraulic system according to design specialists is also an industry first and the standard auto idle and auto engine shutdown adds to the level of machine efficiency significantly all while reducing the operating costs and optimise affordability.
The enhancements collectively adds approximately 20% to the machine’s capacity towards vertical wall digging depth in comparison to the previous 308CR Swing Boom. This is actually a simple concept says the regional marketing director, “the 308 CR Fixed Boom in essence requires lesser repositioning” for trenching which again boils down to efficiency and lower fuel consumption. The machine still maintains the same familiar control layouts as previous Cat mini excavators which make adapting to this new machine quite simple and the latest LCD monitor’s intuitive control system offers unprecedented user friendliness owed to a jog dial for screen navigation and a control-pattern changer system that enables operators to recalibrate the joystick movement according to their personal preference. Other features accorded to Caterpillar’s latest ‘masterpiece’ hydraulic excavator include a load-sensing hydraulic system attached to a variable displacement pump and an electro-hydraulic operating system that allows operator to change settings quickly according to their taste or application. The quick-disconnect lines coupled with the standard auxiliary components allows three flow options (one-way, two-way or continuous flow) which again adds to the efficiency level of these machines.