New Cat 16M3 grader is a mean machine

By: Brad Lockyer

Presented by
  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

The new Cat 16M3 motor grader is bigger and stronger than its predecessor and comes packed with features aimed at boosting fuel economy, simplifying maintenance and increasing operator safety.

New Cat 16M3 grader is a mean machine
The new Cat 16M3 grader.

The updated successor to the 16M grader, the 16M3 has an operating weight of just over 32 tonnes and has been primarily designed for building and maintaining mine haulage roads used by trucks of 136 tonnes or smaller.

The grader is powered by a 216kW Cat C13 ACERT engine which is available in three emissions configurations – Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4.

A number of automated systems keep the engine working in top order, Cat says.

The ‘OK to Start’ system automatically checks engine coolant, engine oil and hydraulic oil levels when the key is turned. These levels are also monitored constantly during operation and the driver is alerted if levels drop too low.

The engine also features ECO mode, an operator-selected mode that optimises engine speed and which, Cat says, can deliver fuel savings of up to five per cent.

The grader has a Cat direct-drive, power-shift transmission that has eight forward and six reverse gears and incorporates the Cat ‘Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy’ (APECS), an automated system that regulates gear changes for peak performance.

Cat also reports that the 16M3 features a 15 per cent increase in dynamic breaking torque over the 16M. This was achieved by increasing the brake disc diameter and piston area.

The 16M3 is more robust than the 16M, with the hitch area and front and rear frames designed to cope with the new model’s added weight and power.

The center-shift section is now a heavy-duty steel casting, the rear frame has been lengthened and now includes two bumper castings for added counterweight, and the hitch plates (at the articulation joint) are 50 percent thicker than before.

Inside the cab, a full-colour touchscreen gives automatic readouts of engine performance and gives the operator the ability to change settings to suit different conditions and see service information.

A new keypad with one-touch buttons replaces the previous three-position switches, improving ease-of-use for the operator.

A rear-view camera comes standard on the 16M3, with images delivered to the information display in the cab or to an optional LCD screen above the rearview mirror.

A new seatbelt indicator also improves operator safety by alerting the driver if the seatbelt is not secured properly, and even logs the incident as a fault.

On the outside, an optional ‘enhanced access’ platform adds ladders, walkways and handrails that allow access to the cab from either side of the vehicle.

Engine maintenance and servicing should be a less-regular occurrence, with Cat claiming that the service intervals of the main hydraulic, pilot and transmission filters in the 16M3 has doubled from 500 to 1000 hours. A higher clearance inside the engine enclosure allows injectors, compression brakes and valves to be serviced without the need to remove any major parts.

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