With the addition of the 18M3 Motor Grader to the Caterpillar line-up, mining operations using trucks with capacities to 172 tonnes can now choose the workhorse of the industry, the 16M3, or if more capability is required, the more productive 18M3.
The new 18M3 features an average of 5% greater power in each gear as compared to the 16M3 and the new motor grader is equipped with a 5.5-metre moldboard as compared to the 4.9-metre moldboard of the 16M3. More power and greater coverage per pass increase productivity.
The added blade length also can be used to grade with a more aggressive blade angle of about 8 degrees. The increased angle reduces blade loading and combines with the additional power and weight and refined balance of the 18M3 for highly productive cutting passes.
The 18M3 is equipped for mining operations. Front axle and transmission guards protect key machine components against heavy debris and rocks, and all required provisions and brackets are in place to install most major fire-suppression systems without compromising machine components and structures. The fire-suppression-ready system complies with the guidelines of major system providers.
The 18M3 is powered by a Cat C13 ACERT engine, which uses the Caterpillar Optimized Variable Horsepower (VHP) system, designed to deliver optimum power in each gear for the operating situation. To enhance fuel efficiency, ECO mode limits engine speed to 1900 rpm in working gears during light to moderate load applications. This operator-selected feature maintains peak performance in lower gears and automatically disengages in gears 6F-8F and 4R-6R.
The Cat direct drive, power shift transmission, with eight forward and six reverse gears, uses the Cat Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy (APECS) system for smooth shifting and extended component life. The heavy-duty modular trans-axle has a standard automatic differential lock that engages and disengages as required.
The hydraulic brakes use large discs and pistons to provide a high dynamic braking torque, and a new manual brake wear indicator simplifies disc wear measurement, eliminating the need to remove the brake pods to check wear.
The front frame is fabricated of continuous top and bottom plates, and the centre-shift section is a heavy-duty steel casting that effectively distributes stress in this highly loaded area of the mainframe. The long rear frame uses two bumper castings and thick hitch plates for long term durability. The front axle is designed for extended cylinder bearing life. Standard equipment for the 18M3 includes a ripper and front counterweight.
The 18M3 features the Cat load sensing hydraulic system with advanced Proportional Priority Pressure Compensating electrohydraulic valves. The system provides precise implement control and continuously matches hydraulic flow and pressure to power demands for added fuel savings and reduced heat generation.