Caterpillar Announces
Electric Drive Track-Type Tractor


Caterpillar introduces the D7E - the first electric drive track-type tractor using modern technology. The electric drive system gives the D7E an optimum balance of power, efficiency, control and maneuverability. The system delivers higher productivity, reduced fuel consumption, reduced operating costs and longer drive train component life compared to other tractors in its size class.

The D7E is in the 27 000 kg weight range and is powered by a Cat® C9 engine producing 235 hp. Compared to the Caterpillar® D7R Series II, the D7E will deliver 25% more material moved per gallon of fuel, 10% greater productivity and 10% lower lifetime operating costs. Caterpillar plans to commercially introduce the D7E in select markets during 2009.

In the D7E, the diesel engine drives a generator to produce electricity that ultimately powers two AC electric drive motors, which are connected to a differential steering system. A traditional mechanical transmission is not needed, because the variable speed electric motors serve the function of a continuously variable transmission. The electric drive train has 60% fewer moving parts compared to previous D7s. The electric system also provides power to auxiliary components so that no engine belts are needed.

Furthermore, the electric drive train makes operator training easier, because there are no gears to shift. Noise levels in the cab also are reduced by half.

A single, larger blade lift cylinder replaces the traditional dual cylinders. It provides the power and stability of a dual-cylinder system but with less than half the parts - for reduced maintenance. It also aligns with the center post of the cab to enable enhanced visibility.

The C9 engine with ACERT® Technology meets U.S. Tier 3 emissions standards, and the tractor has been designed with Tier 4a in mind.

The available SystemOne undercarriage reduces undercarriage operating costs by 35 to 70%.

Optional AccuGrade grade control system can cut job costs significantly. Every D7E will come Grade Control Ready, which allows installation of the AccuGrade Attachment Ready Option at the factory or at the dealer.

Additional information about the D7E will be announced in 2009 when the electric drive tractor nears commercial availability.

Source: Caterpillar

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