Caterpillar Inc. unveiled the next generation of mining trucks at MINExpo 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. Along with improved safety features, Tier 2-compliant engines and new integrated technologies in the existing Cat mining fleet, the company has developed electric-drive mining trucks.
"When our customers asked us for improvements to our mining trucks, we responded by making a record investment in every single truck in our line, as well as the increased capacity to produce more of them," said Caterpillar Group President Stu Levenick. "New technologies have allowed us to make trucks more reliable, easier to maintain and more friendly to the operator and to the environment".
While Caterpillar believes mechanical drive is the best solution for the vast majority of situations, the company listened to its customers and explored the situations and conditions where electric drive would be the preferred option. As the only manufacturer of 200-ton and above mining trucks with both drives, Cat is able to offer trucks that address all of its customers' preferences.
"Cat will produce mining trucks for every application -- uphill, downhill, flat or extreme conditions -- and now with electric as well as mechanical drive," said Chris Curfman, president of Cat Global Mining & vice president of Caterpillar Inc.
At MINExpo 2008 Caterpillar introduced four new trucks: the 793 series in the 240- to 250-ton class will be available in both mechanical (793F) and electric (793F AC) versions; the 345-ton 795F AC, a new size for Caterpillar, will be available in electric drive only, while the flagship 797B is replaced by the new 797F mechanical drive, maintaining its 380- to 400-ton target payload; the 797F and 795F AC, along with the recently introduced 777F; and new versions of the 785 and 789 mechanical drive trucks, upgraded to meet customer requirements for safety, serviceability, operator comfort and emission standards.
The next generation of trucks will be phased into production over the next two years, with the Cat AC drive models expected to go into production in late 2010.