Caterpillar is now offering Hand and Foot Controls as an option on 14 Cat D Series skid steer, multi terrain and compact track loader models. Here, Cat compact construction product specialist JEFF BROWN answers some of the top questions about the controls from equipment owners and operators.
Does this mean you are no longer offering your original ‘one-hand drive’ joystick controls?
Caterpillar continues to offer the ‘one-hand drive’ joystick controls. The new Hand and Foot Controls are just one of three control options on the Cat D Series models. These are:
- ISO pattern controls, which employ one-hand drive and one-hand operation of the implements.
- H-pattern controls which employ two-hand drive and two-hand operation of the implements.
- Hand and Foot Controls, which employ two-hand drive and two-foot operation of the implements.
What makes this new option different from traditional hand and foot lever operation controls? And what are the advantages?
We began the design process by gathering extensive input from operators who use Hand and Foot Controls. From this, we found that it was essential to design controls that offer a feel operators are familiar with, while also incorporating features to reduce fatigue.
Single-axis joysticks were chosen in order to provide the fore/aft movement operators are used to, as well as components that provide the resistance and feel of traditional hand and foot lever controls.
However, the shorter joystick travel compared to traditional hand levers allows operators to fully use the armrest to increase their comfort level and reduce fatigue. Adjustable recessed foot pedals are also designed to provide operators with a relaxed and ergonomic operating angle.
Additionally, the controls can be customised to the operator’s preference, allowing them to tailor the drive and implement response to their experience level or task — a feature that is not found in most competitive hand and foot operation control systems.
Why did Caterpillar develop this new operation controls option?
We recognised that there is a group of customers that prefers the hand and foot operation control pattern. Therefore, we wanted to provide the opportunity for any customer to be able to operate our machines.
On which machine models will the new Hand and Foot Controls be an option?
The Cat Hand and Foot Controls option will be available for the 226D, 232D, 236D, 242D, 246D and 262D skid steer loaders; for the 257D, 277D and 287D multi terrain loaders; and for the 239D, 249D, 259D, 279D and 289D compact track loaders.