New Cat® D9T Dozer Delivers Enhanced Productivity, Operator Safety and Serviceability and Meets Latest Emissions Standards
April 17, 2014
The Cat® D9T Dozer—with a proven reputation for reliability and long-term durability in the most severe applications—has new features that enhance performance, productivity, operator convenience and safety, and serviceability. The new dozer features a Cat C18 ACERT™ engine, which meets Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emissions standards, and delivers 436 net horsepower (325 kW) at 1,800 rpm. High torque rise of 36 percent enables the dozer to power through tough material. A new high-efficiency cooling package, advanced electronic controls for the power train and implement hydraulics, quieter cab with enhanced information monitoring, and safety and serviceability refinements define the new D9T.
The new D9T combines these design enhancements with its predecessor's premium features—a durable mainframe with cast steel main case; pivot shaft that transfers blade loads directly to the mainframe; modular drive train with three-speed power-shift transmission and differential steering system; heavy-duty undercarriage with track roller frames and bogie-suspended rollers; a wide selection of blades; intuitive controls; and expansive visibility. The previous D9T model is still available in less regulated countries and can achieve emissions levels equivalent to Tier 2 and Tier 3 standards.
A new aluminum bar-plate radiator combines enhanced cooling efficiency with added durability and increased resistance to corrosion. In addition, a new air-to-air aftercooler cools combustion intake air to increase combustion efficiency and fuel economy, and a new air-to-oil hydraulic cooler precisely modulates temperatures for optimum performance and component longevity.
The new Advanced Productivity Electronic Control System (APECS) is designed to improve transmission shifting performance, providing a higher level of comfort for the operator and increasing productivity. APECS works in conjunction with the Enhanced Auto-Shift system, which automatically selects the optimum gear/engine-speed match, based on load and ground speed, to increase productivity and fuel economy. In addition, the transmission features an electronically controlled main relief valve to reduce pressure during idling to save fuel.
Available blade-control technology—assisting the D9T's productivity and simplifying the operator's job—includes Automated Blade Assist (ABA), which allows operators to select pre-set blade-pitch positions for the dig, carry, and spread portions of the cycle. ABA is standard with the D9T dual-tilt dozer blade option.
Autocarry automates blade lift during carry segments longer than 100 feet (30.5 m), and it automatically positions the blade to minimize track slip. Enhancing Autocarry is the Adaptive Load Select system, which automatically adjusts blade load based on factors such as soil type, moisture content and track performance. In addition, an available Automatic Ripper Control adjusts ground speed and ripper depth to minimize track slip. And for ultimate blade control, the Cat Grade Control 3D system provides precise, automatic positioning of the cutting edge and requires no blade-mounted masts and cables. The system reduces the need for grade staking and grade checking, which reduces the need for people on the ground and consequently enhances safety while lowering costs.
Operator environment, safety, service
A new multi-color, touch-screen Information Display allows the operator to monitor machine performance and adjust machine parameters to tailor performance to the task. The Work Monitor screen, within the Information Display, provides real-time data about machine performance to optimize productivity. New for the D9T is a seatbelt reminder that illuminates an in-dash icon when the machine is started, and it adds an audio reminder if the machine is placed in gear without fastening the belt.
Sound suppression packages are available to reduce average sound pressure at the operator's ear to 74 dB(A) and spectator levels to 110 dB(A).
To enhance work site safety, a number of lighting packages are available, including halogen, high intensity discharge and LED. Access and egress lighting controls are conveniently positioned and allow lights to be programmed to best suit the situation. A ground-level service center provides easy access to the electrical disconnect switch, which has built-in lockout/tag-out capability, the engine shut-down switch and jump-start receptacle. The D9T also has strategically placed anchorage points to help service personnel work safely when performing repairs and maintenance.
To further simplify routine service, the end-pin bearings on the equalizer bar now accept grease and are serviced from one convenient location. The new bearings are designed to significantly extend component life and lower maintenance costs.
NASA/Caterpillar Collaboration for Technology Advancement
April 15, 2014
As forward-thinking research powerhouses, Caterpillar and NASA both continuously work to develop next-generation technologies. Both are also home to some of the greatest engineering minds on the planet, so joining forces in collaborative research was a logical step. This collaboration delivers value to Caterpillar customers here on Earth and to NASA’s future space explorers.
Caterpillar’s relationship with NASA began about a decade ago. In January 2004, the federal government announced a new program to develop technologies that would eventually lead to a permanently-manned base in space. These technologies were to be tested on the Moon prior to being used in missions to Mars. The use of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)—meaning living off the land instead of shipping supplies (water, air, etc.) from Earth—represented an integral part of the plan. This would require resource extraction from the Moon or Mars for converting ice to water and splitting the water for oxygen to be used in life support systems and in rocket fuel. The program also contained plans for infrastructure development like landing pads, roads and buried habitats for protection from radiation.
To that end, NASA expressed interest in mutually beneficial technology development programs. Caterpillar’s Research & Advanced Engineering (RA&E) team in the Product Development & Global Technology division reviewed their technology-development priorities and, discovering significant alignment with NASA’s goals, welcomed the collaboration.
RA&E Director Dr. Lou Balmer-Millar said, “Our two teams had many common technology objectives, so a joint effort to make those objectives a reality more than made sense.”
Of this collaboration, Caterpillar Engineering Manager and NASA liaison Eric Reiners said, “NASA, Caterpillar and many people benefit from this relationship. For Caterpillar, the joint research has resulted in machinery and tool advancements that offer added value for our customers around the world. NASA is using the research to adapt technologies for space environments. So, the advancements generated in our work together hold great value for our customers on Earth and potentially for pioneers in future planetary explorations.”
The joint research efforts focused on the areas of robotics and semi-autonomous/remote-operator systems, both of which minimize the danger humans might face in hazardous environments on Earth or in space. The teams developed technologies for planetary infrastructure development with remote operators and positioning technology that supplies location information without the use of GPS, among other collaborations.
These research programs concluded successfully in 2013. NASA and Caterpillar remain in contact, exploring ideas for their next collaboration opportunity. In addition to these technology development programs, Caterpillar also works closely with NASA on educational outreach through the NASA Robotic Mining Competition.
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