In early November, Caterpillar unveiled two new products – 6020B Hydraulic Mining Shovel and 994K Wheel Loader – to trade press and customers during its Loading & Hauling Mining Focus Session at the company’s Tinaja Hills proving grounds, located south of Tucson, Ariz. Rock Products Associate Editor Josephine Smith attended the one-day event.
Despite windy conditions, the event was a success with presentations from product experts; a Q-and-A in which Anita Russwurm, new product introduction manager for the 6020B, affirmed how big of a role customers played in the machine’s design: “Every discussion, every design detail was based on the hundreds of customer comments we received;” demonstrations of the machines throughout the day; and a full line demonstration at night capped with an impressive firework display.
The Cat 6020B Hydraulic Mining Shovel is a brand new model in the extensive line of Cat hydraulic mining shovels. The clean-sheet design features a 24-ton payload and 247-ton operating weight and teams with the Cat 777G Off-Highway Truck for optimized loading and hauling.
Announced last year and, after extensive field-testing, soon to be commercially available, the 6020B is designed for simplicity and reliability without compromising safety. The 6020B features a new, state-of-the-art cab and operator station with class-leading visibility provided by the large floor window and expansive windshield and side windows.
Unrestricted lines of sight to the crawler tracks and pit floor aid the operator when repositioning the shovel and when loading trucks. The innovative cab design also includes two additional seats for a trainer and an observer. The three-seat cab design is the first in this size class of shovels.
"All the mining company operators working with our three test machines—in three different countries—adapted to the 6020B very quickly, regardless of their previous experience on other equipment,” said Steve Maloney, Caterpillar operator trainer. “The three-seat cab design allowed me to train two operators at the same time, making operator training more efficient. And the elevated trainer’s seat provides an unobstructed view of the digging area, which is crucial when training operators on new equipment.”
Modular construction with a walk-through power module enables easy access to components and superior serviceability. Additionally, modular design facilitates shipping and field assembly of the 6020B. The single-engine configuration also simplifies maintenance. The 778-kW (1,043-hp) Cat C32 ACERT engine powers advanced hydraulics, which deliver industry-leading system efficiency.
Cat also introduced the new Cat 994K Wheel Loader, the company’s largest, which handles significantly greater payload compared to its predecessor, the 994H. The result is fewer passes required to load large mining trucks, higher productivity and lower cost per unit of material moved. The standard 994K carries 45 tons per pass, and the high lift version moves 42 tons per pass – 18 percent and 20 percent more, respectively, than the previous model.
The 994K loads mining trucks in the 250, 200 and 150 short ton classes in one less pass than the previous model. The high lift configuration is a six-pass match with the popular Cat 793 mining truck, and the high lift as well as the standard configuration loads the Cat 789 in five passes. The standard configuration loads the Cat 785 in four passes. More engine power, increased hydraulic flow, greater breakout force and rimpull, and improved lateral stability contribute to high productivity.
The new 994K also offers options to expand its application range and versatility. The new high ambient package is available to equip the loader for operation in temperatures as high as 50 C, and the standard cooling package offers improved cooling compared to the previous model. An optional fuel tank holds enough fuel to operate the loader for 24 hours without refueling.
New high performance buckets in a wide range of capacities are optimized for the 994K linkage kinematics. The new bucket design has an extended floor, larger radius and angled side bars for fast loading, high fill factors and good material retention.