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New Cat "D" Series

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by durallymax, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    As many know by now the Cat "D" series is launched and making its way to dealer lots.

    This series of machine is not to be confused with the previous "D" series that consisted of the 299D, 299D XHP, 272D and 272D XHP. Those machines have been updated to the new D series as well.



    As a Cat owner myself this series overall has impressed me and I am excited to demo one in the following weeks. It will probably be spring time before our 262C2 will be traded on a 262D and next summer before the 242B3 will be traded. Although I am undecided on whether or not it will get traded on a 242D or 246D. Our other 242B3 that we had was traded on a 226B3 back in august. It will be two years before that machine is traded and at that time it will most likely get traded on a 236D.



    The most obvious thing you notice instantly is the boom on this series. I talking with the engineers they had hinted at a much smaller boom with better side visibility as well as better visibility to the attachment plate. Anyone who ran a B series vertical lift machine knows how big and bulky that boom was to the sides and anyone who ran a C series has strained their neck trying to see the plate when hooking up.



    They also followed many other manufacturers designs and put the auxiliary hydraulics in the boom finally. Just looking at our machines and how many times they have been smashed into barn rafters or had bales dropped on them, this will be a nice improvement. They also collected debris along the top of the boom that could abrade through the lines over extended periods of time without proper cleaning. We like to clean our machines often and trade at 2000-2500hrs/2yrs so we haven't had any failures due to bending at the couplers or debris abrading through the lines, but I could see it being an issue in the long run, its nice that the new series addressed this. We did have issues on the B series machines with the coupler bracket hitting the door when opened if the couple bracket was bent over.



    The massive rear end is another thing you notice right away. I haven't had a chance to get in one of these machines yet but from the few people I have talked to that have run them they all say the rear visibility is worse than the C series which was already bad enough. To combat this though Cat has added a backup camera option providing you get the advanced display in the cab. While it is kind of a bandaid, in my opinion for our operation this will be a good thing. On our dairy farm as well as many other dairy farms, the operators are of a much lower skill level, not many of them look behind themselves to begin with and some of the larger operators just physically cant. Some of them do use the rearview mirror in our machines, but in some of our applications its nearly impossible to keep the rear window clean and daily maintenance on that window is not easy from ground level, thus it rarely gets done. While I feel there will still be a couple operators that will not use the camera, I do feel the ones that currently make an effort to be cautious will like it very much and I also feel a few of the other operators may start to use it since it will be handy and convenient. If I ever get my performance bonus system in place I think a lot of them will start using it to avoid deductions. The camera can be turned on manually inside the cab with the push of a button or it can be set to automatically turn on when the stick is pulled backwards. One member on here (DigDeep) recently got to operate a D series machine. He did not say what size it was but being from WI I know there was a 262D and 242D supposedly at one of our dealers locations, possibly it was one of them. He noted that the wide angle camera offered clear sight lines beyond the towers and as close as 2' behind the door and 2' off the ground which he felt was better than simply looking out the back of most modern SSL's.



    One thing I like a lot about the massive rear end though is the new cooling system. Up top its the same side by side cooling Cat has always had but they no longer draw the air in from the sides of the machine behind the cab. The entire compartment is now sealed and all air is drawn in through the rear door which has a fine mesh louvered design. This should help keep the engine compartment much cleaner especially in Ag settings where we deal with a lot of straw and corn stalks. I feel the rear door may fill up a bit with large debris but its much easier to wipe it off once and awhile versus having to drop the belly pan and flush the engine compartment. In addition to this they have also moved the AC condensor to the rear door, this is a godsend IMO. The B and C series machines were a PITA to clean with the fans in the way on one side and the hydraulic tank in the way on the other side. This should help improve the AC performance a lot. It can be cleaned on the door or removed by removing 3 bolts.



    As far as the rest of the serviceability, from what I can tell in pictures and in the video its about the same. I like the new fuel filter being an element instead of a canister and I like that they kept it self priming. The Hydraulic filter is in a less ideal place then before but not terrible. The hydraulic fill has been moved to a much better place for those performing maintenance. Its now on the right side of the machine just underneath the cab. Those who operated B series machines know that it was not in a terrible location but for those trying to pour from pails and such it was less than ideal. The C series you technically were supposed to raise the cab to get to the tank fill, but you could add a quart through the hydraulic cooler. Personally I use a 5 gallon pail pump on the pails that has a gooseneck on the end so the B series fill was fine with me and the C series I could get my long skinny fingers up in there and remove the cap without flipping the cab. The D series looks like a lifesaver for many however it comes with one major downside, the B series machines were always filled with fuel from a similar location. Bobcat owners had issues with operators getting fuel and hydraulic oil mixed up in the past and I see this as being an issue for the D series machines, however not as severe. Those who are used to the C series being filled from the rear shouldn't have an issue. Personally I will be padlocking all of the hydraulic fills when we make the switch to the D series unless Cat comes out with a locking cap by them (which I had mentioned to them). I like that the battery has been moved to the rear again like the B series versus under the cab like the C series but at the same time its not that often that you have to change them out. It appears from looking at pictures of the engine and comparing to picture of the rear of the machine that the oil filter is right next to the battery behind the plastic cover as is the alternator. The starter is behind the battery it appears. Air filter has stayed in the same place and I hope they have made some improvements to help keep it cleaner. Removing the snorkel on the C series machines helped, and if they still have that snorkel it may need to be removed on the D series as well, and with the sealed engine compartment it should stay much cleaner without the snorkel.



    The big news for the D series is the engines. The Bigger models (272D and 299D ) will continue to use the 3.8L from Kubota at their respective horsepower levels as before (99 standard models, 110hp XHP), the rest of the lineup from 236D through 262D will all use a 74hp 3.3L Kubota engine. As many know Bobcat recently dropped the Kubota engine in favor of their inhouse Doosan motors. Judging by the past success with Kubotas in Bobcats I think this will work well for Cat however the Mitsubishis were never really terrible engines yet the Perkins had its issues. From the looks of it the Kubota motor has EGR on it (look for the plate that says "Hot" in the video, its behind that) and the exhaust has been routed to behind the cab making me think any sort of DOC is mounted there if it was needed. I cannot confirm if they have one though however he does hint at higher exhaust temps. The new stack is a venturi style stack and the new location is nice for those of use working closely around flammable items like bales of staw and such.


    The Cab's have also been changed. You can see many of the pieces have been changed to help achieve the higher level of pressurization and sound deadening that these machines have. The HVAC system is no longer mounted to the chassis underneath the operators feet, it is now attached directly to the cab and lifts up with the cab eliminating joints and seals. It also makes the machine easier to work on and you no longer have to worry about washing debris into the HVAC when cleaning the machine with the cab raised. They now offer a high back heated air ride seat that you can get in either cloth or vinyl, the vinyl seat can still be heated. The joysticks are still mounted to the seat and the rest of the cab is fairly similar to the C series. The main thing that is new is the optional advanced display. Its a 5" LCD screen that lets you control a lot of preferences as well as set operator codes and limits. You can also go back and see how many hours an operator spends in the machine and if any codes were set with them operating it. This screen also serves as the backup camera screen. You can set the ride control speed setting now from the screen as well. When you activate creeper mode it will automatically come up on the screen and allow you to adjust the speed setting.



    They have also added bluetooth to the machines but retained the poor radio location. My guess is simply due to them wanting to stay with a Single DIN radio and the back of the cab being the only place with enough room for it. The bluetooth microphone is located under the display.



    They brought the new electronic throttle over from the larger D series as well. This throttle allows the pedal to be turned into a decelerator pedal when at full throttle. The pedal also has throttle smoothing. The other features they brought over from the larger D series is electronic dual self leveling, work tool positioner, return to dig and hydraulic snubbing. They have also gone to electronic quick couplers it seems.





    Overall I like what they have done with operator comfort and the advanced display is something many have been waiting for for a long time. Its far from being a perfect machine but is a big improvement over the past machines. Rear visibility and radio location along with the hydraulic fill are really the few things that I would change if possible. Until I operate one its hard to critique them any more.



    Here are a few videos on them.



    Series overview





    Advanced Display
     
  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    video did not post
     
  3. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

  4. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    should work now
     
  5. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    I have never heard of this, can you shed some light on it please. Thanks
     
  6. FinerCuts

    FinerCuts Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 85

    Haha they look expensive!
     
  7. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Its the plastic piece that runs into the boom and attaches to air filter housing. Just remove it.
     
  8. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Yes but every other brand has jumped a lot in price as well. The Cat's were much cheaper than other colors in our area previously.
     
  9. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    I know where/what it is, I've just never heard of any problems with it.
     
  10. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    One our dairy we operate in dusty conditions all day. bedding and other chaff settle inside the boom, flow through the snorkel and plug up the air filter quickly.
     
  11. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    Gotcha, thanks.
     
  12. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Got a chance to Demo a 262D for a few days, figured I would post some of the things I noticed with it now that I got a chance to actually see one in person and use it.
    [​IMG]

    From looking at one from a distance, you notice the new boom design and rear end design but they do not appear to really be drastically different from the C/C2 series unlike the obvious difference between a C and B series. The new boom design does give you better visibility and has some nice features, but I agree with every other person around here that has seen it when it comes to “looks”. It looks like something straight off the prototype table. The old booms were nice and sculpted and overall most OEM’s booms have an “appealing” design to them. The Case alpha’s are a good example of extra work taken to make the machine simply look nice although I would not want to make the boom thicker to make it look nice like they did. The D series boom’s main reason it looks “cheap” or like a prototype is due to it being a big pipe. It looks like they took a big pipe, then welded some brackets to the outside and presto, new boom. Usually the straight angles and unrefined look is what you see on a prototype then the finished product has some changes to make it look pretty. Pretty doesn’t make it go though so it’s not an issue for most people and doesn’t effect my decision either. Some people think it looks “modern”. IMO it could be worse, its not terrible and it really distinguishes them from the previous series. As long as it works that’s what matters.
    The redesign to the rear looks nice and takes a lot of design cues from the rest of Cat’s product range.
    [​IMG]
    The rear end appears taller than before, I don’t have our 262C2 here to measure but the 262D is 5’ at the furthest back point. As the pictures below will show, the visibility isn’t the greatest, at the level where my eyes would be at simply by turning in the seat and not straining I could just see the grey area on the camper behind me which measure 3’ high. That means the point on the ground that you would see would be 20’ behind the machine. Sounds like a lot, not sure how it compares with other brands but wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the worst or close to it. I guess I would opt for the camera as it provides better visibility than anything available.
    [​IMG]
    The functionality of it is what I like most though. Cat kept the nice big heavy rear bumper as they have used in the past. For our environment this is nice, as you can see in the picture the door sits back slightly so the bumper hits everything down low and the upper bar for the vertical lift hits things up high. Surprisingly we never seem to have anything that is strong enough to dent the door that will not hit one of those two points first. We’ve scratched the sticker many times but never hurt a door yet. Our NH doors would always get destroyed as they were the first line of defense just like a Bobcat door.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    The entire engine area is now sealed and the air is drawn through the rear door then out through the coolers on top. The mesh on the door is fine enough to keep a lot of debris out but the door is still sturdy, the backup camera mounts to the side of the Cat logo on the rear door. In our environment the new air flow path will be very nice, ours get filled up with chaff very quickly right now. The A/C condenser mounted to the door is much nicer to clean than being mounted behind the cab. Might help a lot of people keep their A/C running better in the summer. One thing they ditched though now was the nice filter locations. Hydraulic filter is no longer out on the door and the fuel filter got moved in some. Not terrible to change either one of them just not as nice as before. Both are cartridge style filters now though which I personally prefer but not everybody does. The battery is moved to the rear again instead of under the cab. Not the end of the world to have it under the cab in the old ones, but I am sure some people will prefer it in the back. It’s location with the new Kubota motor is an issue though. You will need a strap wrench to remove the oil filter, it is rear facing and there is not enough room on either side of it to fit your hands or a wrench unless you removed the battery. A strap wrench should do it though. The engine cover on the rear now has quarter turn fasteners instead of cap screws.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    They coolers no longer swing up and out of the way easily like before, but they are setup to be swung up after removing two bolts. There is more room between them and the engine though compared to the C series.

    [​IMG]
    This photo shows the hydraulic filter and you can also see the DPF peeking from behind the motor. The exhaust now exits right behind the cab which is a safer position for it if you work around flammable stacks of bales and such. Looks like DPF removal would not be too exciting as it appears it has to come out through the rear of the machine. Service interval is 3000hrs on it but as with any DPF that can vary drastically. For an active regen they use a late injection event in cylinder once parameters are met. If you are operating it and it wants to do an active regen the light will flash to notify you. At that point you just need to keep the RPM’s in the green range on the dial and it will perform the regen, once you go under the light will start flashing again. Until you complete the regen this cycle will continue. If you stop at any time, reduce the engine to idle and set the parking brake it will fluctuate the RPM’s on its own to continue the regen or you can do this when the light first comes on and just do a parked regen.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Hydraulic fill is now on the right side of the machine with a dial gauge next to it. This is nicer than under the cab, but I am sure a lot of people will need to put padlocks on them to keep people from putting fuel in there.
    [​IMG]

    The new boom has a lot of nice features. Aside from slightly better side visibility, it also has much nicer cleanouts on it. Ours get full of debris quickly, these look like they should stay cleaned out much better.
    [​IMG]
    The new boom lock is nice too, finally one person can do it without getting in and out of the cab multiple times, just remove the pin and lift the boom then it falls into place, the little lever on it is for when you want to lower the boom, just flip it down and when you lift the boom up then back down it will kick the lock up and over the ram so you can lower the boom.
    [​IMG]
    The hydraulics are all inside the boom now which seems to be the trend, and Cat now uses push to release pressure couplers. No more switch in the cab you have to hold with the machine on and off etc.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    The new attachment plate looks fairly nice, it’s a much simpler design than before and utilizes one ram to actuate the pins like most other brands do. Cat calls it an “electric coupler”, but its still hydraulic. The pivot levers are painted yellow so you can watch them from in the cab. They also have a spot that appears to be for a 3/8” ratchet to fit into them if the hydraulics ever fail, Kind of like Bobcat but without having to have those big levers in the way all day. Finally you can step on the plate too.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    From the cab, the plate visibility is better than the C series but still has room for improvement.
    [​IMG]

    The new cab doesn’t look that much different at first, but it actually appears they changed the majority of it. You will notice the front panel is stamped from a single piece with a groove for the door to sit in, no seems. Something Bobcat criticized them for in the Bobcat advantage video. The floor under the seat is one single formed piece as well. I am assuming all of this was to get a better seal reduced noise and probably made production a little faster. The door has been changed slightly shape wise, and the emergency release handles are now clocked vertically so they do not obstruct view. They ditched the door shock which is nice, and the wiper now parks at the top instead of the bottom which I am sure will make dirt diggers happy, we spend most of our time carrying stuff around so having it park at the bottom was actually nice. The new heated high back cloth air ride seat is very nice but the seat heater switch sticks out very far which you will see in a picture later on. They also offer a heated vinyl high back seat. Spring suspension is also available. You will notice the same radio location as well which sucks but does allow you to use any single DIN radio and now with Bluetooth at least the radio will be muted for you.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    The platform for getting into the cab is larger, but it seemed pretty slippery to me. With sno covered work boots and pallet forks on, I slipped and fell every time getting in from the side.
    [​IMG]

    The cab also has a new lock design for when you flip it which seems a bit nicer than the little latch with the ball to release it on the C series.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the cab you find the same basic dimensions as the C series and a very similar setup, just slightly tweaked. You will notice the switch to a darker shade of grey plastic and that they “finished” off the interior a little more with trim pieces where they were not before. The left pillar still has the key and park lock as well as pattern changer if equipped. The HVAC has been moved to this pillar as well now which I guess is slightly nicer than the right side. What I really like though is the cubby hole up top so you can plug your phone in and set it inside there. The C series had the 12v plug very high as well but not many phone chargers were long enough to reach the cup holder which was basically the only place you could put your phone.
    [​IMG]

    The Left side panel has fewer switches than before but is otherwise the same. The self leveling now levels both up and down which kind of screwed with my head at first as I was used to having to manually level when going down before. Still no courtesy light for getting in and out of the cab though but you will notice the window lock they have added. Previously there was no way to lock the windows at a certain opening and they would rattle loudly on some machines. Now they are silent and the locks are very nice.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    The right side hasn’t changed much either but you will notice the continuous flow switch is not on the joystick an is now up there and the creeper control is now on the joystick. The new continuous flow setup is nicer than before. You used to have to roll the thumbwheel to where you wanted then press the continuous flow on the left stick then release the thumbwheel then release the continuous flow switch. Now you just push the rocker switch, the icon will flash, roll the wheel to where you want the flow and hold it there for a few seconds until the icon lights up solid and it will be locked on.

    [​IMG]

    Then theres the right pillar which has the new optional LCD display. Below it is the new electronic throttle. The green area is where you need to run the throttle when it wants to do an active regen. When you turn the hand throttle all the way up the foot throttle becomes a decelerator. The pocket below the hand throttle is for the Bluetooth microphone

    [​IMG]

    The new display actually allows you to do quite a few things. The backup camera is integrated into it and can be set to auto or manually turned on as well. The familiar aggressiveness adjustments are in there as well as creeper speed. New for the D series though is the ride control speed. Ride control will disengage under this speed or at any time the tilt function is operated.

    [​IMG]

    If you activate the advanced security system you can set a code for every operator and a master code for you. Operators will not be able to adjust their maximum speed or view diagnostic information, but their personal settings for ride control, language, joystick response, etc will all be saved. The master can also view the hours each operator has put on and what error codes were set with each operator.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    The diagnostic capabilities are actually kind of handy, not going to fix everything but they give you some good tips before calling the dealer. The dealers number can be programmed into the welcome screen as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The footwell is pretty similar, maybe a bit larger than before. The cupholder is on the opposite side and the washer fluid tank has been changed. The electronic foot throttle is visible in this picture. No more corroded PITA throttle cables. As mentioned before this pedal doubles as a decelerator when the hand throttle is all the way up, Cat has also added throttle smoothing to try and make operation on bumps a little smoother. You can see how far out the seat heater switch sticks in this picture.

    [​IMG]



    Overall I think they made a lot of nice changes, but theres always room for improvement. I certainly don’t think it’s the end to all and after operating it for a little while, the way the new Kubota motor with electronic throttle responds is going to take some getting used to. I am used to always using the throttle to change my speed and just running the sticks mostly all the way forward all the time, with the new motor this is a lot different feeling.
     
  19. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Nice looking machine.
     
  20. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Great write up. It was mentioned at one point that they were using Kubota engines, but in the photos it looks like the Mitsu engine. Can you confirm one way or the other (if you did in your write up, sorry I may have missed it).