|The mechanical-drive version of the 240- to 250-ton class 793F will have an electric-drive counterpart. Caterpillar is also introducing other, larger electric-drive trucks.|
Caterpillar Inc. will unveil new electric-drive mining trucks, along with improved safety features, Tier 2 compliant engines and new integrated technologies in the existing Cat mining fleet, at MINExpo 2008 in Las Vegas, NV (22-24 September).
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. Cat is the only manufacturer of 200-ton and above mining trucks with both drives.
Cat will produce mining trucks for every application—uphill, downhill, flat or extreme conditions—and now with electric as well as mechanical drive.—Chris Curfman, president of Cat Global Mining & vice president of Caterpillar Inc.
At MINExpo 2008, Caterpillar will introduce 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, will be displayed on the exhibit floor. Completing Caterpillar’s new mining truck line will be new versions of the 785 and 789 mechanical drive trucks, upgraded to meet customer requirements for safety, serviceability, operator comfort and emission standards.
In the late 1960s Caterpillar was one of the first manufacturers to commercialize electric-drive trucks but elected to focus its design and development efforts on mechanical drive. With advances in AC drive technology, coupled with proven components and technologies from existing Caterpillar products, the company concluded it was the appropriate time to make electric drive available to its customers as a complement to its mechanical drive..
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.