Capital equipment giant Caterpillar’s Cat R1700 underground mining loader, with its completely new design, has proven its high productivity and efficiency in extended field trials and in production studies.
The R1700 carries a size-class-leading payload of 15 t (16.5 t), 20% more than its predecessor carries, yet it maintains the dimensions of the R1700G, according to the company.
“A recent head-to-head study and multiple field trials show that the machine leverages its payload advantage to deliver much faster truck loading and more productive load-and-carry operations while using significantly less fuel an hour.”
The R1700 gains cycle time advantages through fast bucket loading owing to high breakout forces and a new traction control system that limits tyre slip when the bucket enters the pile.
Caterpillar states that the result is fast loading, good bucket fill factors and reduced tyre wear. Excellent machine balance and a new electrohydraulic braking system aid load-and-carry cycles.
Meanwhile, fuel efficiency receives a boost in the new R1700 from on-demand adjustment of the cooling fan and the hydraulic system, as well as the efficiency of the Cat C13 engine. The six-cylinder engine is turbocharged and air-to-air aftercooled, and it produces 269 kW (361 hp) in standard configuration and 257 kW (345 hp) in EU Stage V compliant form.
The engine is available in three different emissions configurations – Cat Ventilation Reduction, US EPA Tier 3/EU Stage IIIA, and EU Stage V – to allow for tailoring the R1700 to the ventilation needs of the mine. Aftertreatment for the Stage V engine configuration is chassis mounted for convenience and includes a diesel emission fluid tank sized to match the 12-hour capacity of the fuel tank.
To boost productivity even further, the R1700 is designed to make best use of technology. Optional Autodig helps new operators be productive the first day and reduces fatigue for experienced operators.
Additionally, MineStar Command for underground offers a selection of control technologies, such as line-of-sight remote control, teleremote control from a distant operator station, semi-autonomous operation, and fully autonomous operation, states Caterpillar.