(VIDEO) Caterpillar's new motor grader circle excels at maintaining haul roads at large mines
Caterpillar's new high-performance circle (HPC) for Cat 24 and 24M motor graders is ideal for maintaining haul roads at large mines. The HPC works to improve motor grader performance, efficiency, and uptime availability. Plus, the circle can be paired with Cat's extended life blade rail wear strips. When the blade rail strips are installed, the HPC reduces the total cost of ownership for the drawbar circle moldboard and downtime by up to 80 percent.
The new HPC provides a 16,000-hour service life and helps to reduce monthly planned maintenance for frequent inspection, wear strip replacement, and circle shoe adjustments. The HPC is designed to have tight tolerances, help ensure the drawbar, drives, and circle perfectly align and require no adjustments for the life of the grader.
Cat's planetary gearboxes with integrated forged pinion shaft and gear replace the work drive gearbox and pinion gear system. The gearboxes have sealed-for-life slip clutches that eliminate adjustments and isolate the clutches from the rest of the drive to help increase reliability. The slip clutch assemblies can be changed out in less than an hour and come adjusted from the factory. The brass circle wear strips and shim system is replaced with a sealed roller bearing.
The roller bearing has smooth blade rotation. The design eliminates daily greasing and can require no maintenance, adjustment, or replacement for 16,000 hours, depending on the application.
A new pinion gear shape with increased shaft diameter for improved durability allows drives to be removed vertically without drive adjustments. Dowel locators precisely position motors for easier servicing, optimal tooth contact and longer pinion life. Its new design improves component reliability to reduce downtime and maintenance costs.
Beyond lowering the total cost of ownership, less required circle maintenance reduces component handling to properly maintain the machine, which improves safety for service technicians. At 16,000 hours, if the circle teeth have reached their wear limit, they can be rotated 180 degrees to double the component's service life. The new HPC maintains the same machine connection interface, so it is retrofittable to all Cat 24 and 24M motor graders.
Reducing the number of passes with the Cat 24
Increased power and stronger structures for the new Cat 24 make it an ideal pairing for Caterpillar's longer 8.5-metre (28-foot) moldboard option. The grader's new Cat C27 engine has an up to 37 percent increase in torque and the new HPC is equipped to accommodate the blade's increased weight and width without slowing or bogging down the machine.
At 16 percent longer than the standard 7.3-metre (24-foot) blade, it helps improve safety at larger mines by reducing the time spent in the middle lane to clear the windrow. When used for a wider pass, it brings haul roads back to spec in fewer passes, eliminating one pass when supporting ultra-class trucks. Longer moldboard reach places the windrow farther away from the rear tandems to increase traction. It also allows the operator to use a more aggressive blade angle to reduce machine load, increase speed on passes and help improve material handling.
The moldboard option is retrofittable to existing Cat 24 motor graders. It can be connected to the machine with Cat extended life blade rail wear strips that are available for both standard and high-performance circles.
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