Caterpillar unveils powerful new Cat 352 hydraulic excavator

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Caterpillar’s new 352 hydraulic excavator has been unveiled, promising to combine more power and a heavier counterweight to work with larger tools. The result is improved production for more profit potential.

The 352 excavator offers a choice of fixed or variable gauge undercarriage. The variable gauge undercarriage retracts to a 2390mm (7-ft, 10-in) width, making it much easier to transport. When expanded, it is 150mm (6 in) wider than the fixed gauge undercarriage for greater stability.

Above: the 352 excavator offers a choice of fixed or variable gauge undercarriage

“Built for big jobs, the 352 delivers unmatched performance in its size class,” said Brian Abbott, Caterpillar global product manager for large hydraulic excavators. “It can be equipped with high-capacity buckets to dig and load tons of material in fewer passes or large hammers to work in demanding quarry applications.”

Different cab trim level options are available. The Deluxe cab option comes with a heated air-suspension seat. The Premium cab option comes with a heated and ventilated air-suspension seat. Both have a tilt-up left-hand console for easier access in and out of the machine. Optional Cat Stick Steer makes for easy excavator maneuvering through one-hand operation and includes cruise control for even easier traveling.

The 352 features keyless pushbutton start with an available Bluetooth key fob. Engine ignition can also be accomplished through an Operator ID passcode. The unique Operator ID can quickly save and restore joystick button, response, and pattern preferences for individual operators. The high-resolution touchscreen monitor offers quick navigation through machine controls and provides easy access to the digital operator’s manual.

Smart technology

Standard Cat Grade technology boosts excavator productivity up to 45 percent. Cat 2D Grade indicates depth and slope on the in-cab monitor with auditory alerts, while standard Cat Grade Assist allows the excavator to stay on grade with single-lever digging. Upgrading to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or Grade with 3D offers the ability to create and edit designs and efficiently complete more complex grading applications. All Cat Grade systems are compatible with radios and base stations from top third-party technology suppliers.

Above: Cat 2D Grade indicates depth and slope on the in-cab monitor with auditory alerts

Operators can store up to four depth and slope offsets to quickly cut to grade without a grade checker. Providing real-time weight estimates without swinging the boom, Cat Payload on-board weighing helps achieve precise payload targets to improve operating efficiency. It can be combined with VisionLink® to remotely manage production targets. Cat Swing Assist automatically stops excavator swing at operator-defined setpoints in truck loading and trenching applications, increasing safety and conserving fuel. Auto hammer stop warns operators after 15 seconds of continuous firing and then shuts off the hammer after 30 seconds to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.

The 330-kW (443-hp) engine and electrohydraulic system efficiently power through difficult materials. Auto dig boost increases bucket penetration by 8% when encountering resistance in the cut, and auto heavy lift increases lift capacity by 8%, which comes in handy when picking up heavy loads like sandboxes and pipe. Auxiliary hydraulic options allow the use of a wide range of Cat attachments for greater versatility.

Three engine modes match excavator power to the demands of the job. Smart mode automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to digging conditions to lower fuel consumption. Power mode delivers maximum power to meet the most demanding tasks. Eco mode reduces engine speed to a constant 1500 rpm to minimize fuel consumption.

Reliable performance, easy maintenance

The 352 offers reliable performance in virtually any environment. Remote troubleshoot and remote flash let dealers connect with the machine before traveling to a jobsite to diagnose fault codes and update operating software. Product Link automatically collects vital machine operating information like location, hours, fuel usage, idle time, maintenance alerts, diagnostic codes, and machine health and shares it through web and mobile applications.

The excavator offers high ambient temperature capability of 52˚ C (125˚ F), cold-start capability at -18˚ C (0˚ F) and can work at up to 4500 m (14,764 ft) above sea level. Prolonging the life of machine components, auto hydraulic warmup gets the machine to work faster in cold temperatures.

The air intake filter with pre-cleaner features high dust capacity, and a high-efficiency hydraulic fan cools the engine on demand to reduce fuel consumption. Long-life fuel, oil, and air filters combine with synchronized 1,000-hour oil and fuel filter service intervals to reduce downtime. The extended intervals eliminate labor cost for nine oil and fuel filter changes and parts cost for 27 oil and fuel filters over 10,000 machine operating hours compared to many competitive models in its class.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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