Cat launches new series of mini excavators

By: Ron Horner

Presented by
  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Caterpillar has just released a whole new series of Next Generation mini excavators, which will soon be heading out on the road. Ron Horner was fortunate to be offered the opportunity of viewing and reviewing the new machines at the Hastings Deering Brisbane Yard

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The five Caterpillar "Next Gen" Minis on offer have certainly thrown down the gauntlet to other manufacturers in what they have to offer the discerning excavator buyer.

The four "industry firsts" have put the new range of Cat mini excavators right up there to challenge for the top spot in sales throughout Australia and, to prove how confident Caterpillar are with the Next Generation mini excavators, their Qld distributors Hastings Deering are taking five of the new fleet on a South East Queensland road trip and bringing the fleet to you.

Dates set for mid-February/March will witness the fleet of diggers atop the Caterpillar Logo Prime Mover heading off to a field day where you, the operator or fleet owner, can get your bums in the seat, dig away to your heart’s content and discuss anything from production, maintenance, performance or finance with a fully qualified representative from Hastings Deering.

The South East Queensland regions fortunate to be chosen for the road trip are Toowoomba, Bundaberg, North Brisbane, Brisbane Metro and Gold Coast.

Although dates and exact locations in each town are yet to be formalised at time of printing, you can be guaranteed this opportunity to demonstrate the new range of Caterpillar diggers in your own backyard will be a must to attend.

Fantastic air-conditioned cabin on a 2-tonner


The Next Generation Mini Excavators are models 301.5, 301.6, 301.7, 301.8 and 302.

All are available in several optioned packs and all have a certain degree of high technology incorporated into the design, including the following.

The Caterpillar Stick Steer option enables the operator to bypass the traditional two-lever track drive controls and revert to a single lever four-in-one travel control located on the left hand side of the operator’s seat. This lever control also operates the slew and dipper arm, but with the flick of a switch can be converted to the travel control.

The screaming hot conditions associated with this crazy Australia summer has had operators begging for that ‘air-con cab’… well beg no more. Caterpillar has designed the industry’s first two-ton mini excavator to be fitted with a fully integrated air conditioned cabin.

All the machines are also fitted with an LCD monitor that displays all the information one could require to run and maintain a hi-tech excavator of this era, including a pin code for security, and incorporates a keyless start procedure.

In another first, Caterpillar has done it again by introducing the first ever cruise control into the Next Generation mini excavator fleet.  

With a flick of a switch the operator will no longer be committed to pushing forward on the travel levers located at knee height, instead they can switch to operating the single stick travel control and press a button to engage cruise control. This will free up the hands and is a perfect opportunity for the operator to catch up on Facebook and his social media postings if ever I have seen one.

Of course this is only a briefing on what you can find when you rock up to the Caterpillar/Hastings Next Generation mini excavator road trip demonstration day coming to South East Queensland.


Qld demo days:

Brisbane — March 5

North Brisbane — March 7

Bundaberg — March 12

Towoomba — March 19

Gold Coast — March 26



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