The new Cat 326 excavator delivers premium performance with integrated simple-to-use technologies boosting efficiencies up to 45 percent over previous models. This 26-ton-class model delivers improved fuel savings, lower maintenance costs and improved operator comfort with all-new cab designs. The new excavator offers high reliability at a low cost-per-hour performance.
Key to the design of the new Cat 326 is operating simplicity. From remote start using a Bluetooth key fob or the unique Operator ID function to operator-specific programming of power mode and joystick preferences, the excavator is easier to operate than ever before.
The machine's 8-inch (203-mm) high-resolution touchscreen monitor delivers intuitive navigation through the menus and includes a digital version of the operator's manual.
Meeting the most stringent emissions standards, the field-proven Cat 7.1 engine efficiently powers the new excavator with up to 15 percent lower fuel consumption compared to the F Series. The new Cat model features three selectable power modes and one-touch low idle with automatic engine speed control. It also boasts a standard high-ambient temperature operating capacity of 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius) and standard cold start capacity of 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C).
High digging and lifting performance
The advanced hydraulic system of the Cat 326 provides the optimum balance of power and efficiency, while giving the operator complete control of excavating precision. The machine's 12 percent improvement in swing torque makes the machine easier to swing, especially on inclines with fully loaded buckets. SMART-mode operation automatically matches engine speed and hydraulic power to digging conditions, while offering an additional 5 percent fuel savings without impacting productivity.
Optional Smartboom allows the boom to lower freely without using pump flow, therefore saving fuel. It can also be used when hammering to apply just the right amount of down force.
Advansys bucket tips are quickly changed with a lug wrench versus a hammer or special tool to improve safety. The versatile excavator features auxiliary hydraulic options for using a wide range of Cat attachments.
Technology drives efficiency
A host of standard, simple-to-use Caterpillar technologies integrated into the new 326 excavator improves operating efficiency to lower operator fatigue and improve machine productivity.
Standard Cat Grade with 2D system allows operators to reach desired grade quickly and accurately by guiding depth, slope and horizontal distance grade. Contractors can upgrade the standard 2D system to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or 3D to fit application needs.
Standard Grade Assist allows operators to effortlessly stay on grade with the use of a single lever, while Bucket Assist automatically maintains the angle in sloping, levelling, fine grading and trenching applications.
Innovative Swing Assist automatically stops excavator swing at predefined set points for truck loading and trenching to reduce effort and fuel consumption.
Achieving precise load targets is simpler than ever with the standard Cat Payload on-board weighing system. Payload increases loading efficiency by providing on-the-go weighing and real-time estimates of the bucket's payload, helping the operator to avoid truck under/over loading. VisionLink allows companies to remotely manage production targets through data gathered by Payload and offers the ability to download production data to a USB stick.
Ultimate comfort and safety
All new cab designs for the Cat 326 feature advanced viscous mounts to reduce cab vibration up to 50 percent over previous models, significantly reducing operator fatigue. Contractors have a choice of Comfort, Deluxe and Premium cabs - all with automatic climate control - and the tilt-up console standard on Deluxe and Premium designs improves cab entry/exit by 45 percent. Bluetooth compatibility with the standard radio offers the ability to connect personal devices and make hands-free calls.
Small cab pillars, large panoramic windows and a new lower profile right-hand-side fuel tank, deliver exceptional visibility into the trench, in each swing direction and to the rear of the machine.
Standard rearview and right-view cameras further enhance visibility and safety while operating the 326 excavator and can be upgraded to offer 360-degree visibility.
Anti-skid punch plate prevents slipping when accessing the machine's new right service platform. A ground-level shut-off switch prevents accidental restarts while servicing the machine.
The Cat 326 Next Gen excavator boasts up to 20 percent lower maintenance costs than the 326F. All daily maintenance checks are quickly and safely performed at ground-level, including a ground-level dipstick to easily check the engine oil. Operators conveniently monitor filter life and maintenance intervals via the in-cab monitor.
All fuel filters have a synchronized, 1,000-hour change interval, doubling the filter life of the 326F. The 326 Next Gen's air intake filter with precleaner delivers up to a 1,000-hour life, a 100 percent increase over previous filters. Improved hydraulic filter performance combined with anti-drain values to keep the oil clean during filter replacement result in a 3,000-hour filter replacement interval, 50 percent longer than previous designs.
Searching for the best-performing excavator? Your search ends here. We tested the Volvo EC350E and EC380E against a leading competitor in three different tests: trenching, truck loading and lifting capacity at reach. The results show a 20% difference in cost-per-ton, a 15% difference in tons-per-hour and a 12% difference in both operating costs and lifting capacity. See the results and put an end to your search for the best excavator.