Cat R1700 handles the highest payload of 15 t for a loader in its class, outdoing its predecessor R1700G, although the machine dimensions have not been changed. In a head-to-head test and multiple trials, the new R1700 loaded trucks much faster thanks to its payload advantage and speeded up the load and carry operation substantially. It is then all the more remarkable that it consumes considerably less fuel per hour in the process.
Even during filling of the loading bucket, the R1700 has an edge – thanks to its high break-out forces and with the help of the new traction control that limits tyre slip as the machine enters the material pile. This advanced technology results in fast loading cycles, good bucket filling and lower tyre wear. In the same category come the excellent weight distribution and the electrohydraulic braking system. Both features play their part in the machine‘s exemplary performance in load and carry operation.
There are some good reasons for the fuel efficiency of the new R1700: the powerful hydraulic system, the temperature-controlled cooling fan and excellent efficiency of the Cat C13 diesel engine. The EU Stage V six-cylinder engine with turbocharger and air-to-air aftercooling outputs 257 kW (350 hp). Aftertreatment for the Stage V engine configuration is chassis-mounted for convenience. Diesel and AdBlue® tanks are both sized for 12-h operation. Alternatively, the engine can be supplied as a Stage IIIA configuration.
To achieve an additional boost in productivity, a key aim during the entire development phase was optimum compatibility with the latest technology. Both new and experienced operators can profit from the Autodig automatic bucket filling system that reduces the physical strain on the operator and speeds up the loading cycle. The underground version of MineStar Command permits remote control with a practicalharness console and from a remote control booth. What is still being intensively trialled for road traffic is already reality for Caterpillar underground – driverless vehicles. Thanks to its integrated, modular extendible technology, the new R1700 is already able to be operated semi- or fully autonomously.
The R1700 takes operator comfort and machine operation to an exceptionally high level in underground mining. The response behaviour of the loader during filling and dumping also goes down well with operators as the bucket movement can be very sensitively controlled. The pilot-controlled steering system enables precise manoeuvring in tight spaces. The hydraulic vibration damping (Ride Control) has now been integrated completely in the hydraulic system of the machine and engages automatically when the machine travels above 5 km/h. Both cylinders are fitted with electronic snubbing that gives the R1700 balanced driving behaviour. As soon as the operator lifts his foot off the throttle, the auto-retarding system is hydraulically actuated. The system permits higher speeds on downhill grades so that cycle times are shortened.
For easier maintenance, in the development of the R1700, several modular components were chosen. In addition, all service and maintenance points are centralized on the cold side of the diesel engine. The swing-open guard allows direct access to the radiator and oil coolers and batteries are easily accessed just under the service points.
The entire underground loader line can now be equipped with bolt-on half-arrow ground engaging tools (GET) for bucket edges. The system is designed for high-abrasion applications where weld-on GET experience high wear rates. The bolt-on GET offer more wear material than standard weld-on GET, and the bolt-on design enables fast and easy removal and replacement. Despite additional wear material, the low-profile front edge eases pile penetration and promotes fast bucket loading.