CAT’s new wheel loaders in the spotlight
At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, Caterpillar's booth drew many miners' attention. One of the main reasons behind the buzz was the company's recently launched command for loading remote control for the 988K wheel loaders, which is available as a retrofit kit for machines already in the field.
According to Praveen Mallu, CAT's Product Application Specialist for Large Wheel Loaders, the new system features a console that matches the controls in the cab. Supported by a shoulder harness, the console is aimed at mitigating workers’ effort and risk exposure.
Speaking to MINING.com’s Michael McCrae, Mallu also explained that the wireless command allows operators to maintain line-of-sight control of the wheel loader from as far away as 400 meters.
Since the controls are integrated with the machine's electronics, operators also receive notifications of critical machine health parameters. They can also activate safety features when needed, although some of them go off automatically as soon as the 988K "perceives" something unusual. "If the operator console bends more than 60 degrees, the machine will shut down because that could indicate that the operator has fallen," Mallu added.