Caterpillar said the new R2900 XE diesel-electric underground loader has a faster, more efficient and powerful design than predecessor competition. The high-efficiency electric drive system cuts fuel consumption while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and total cost of ownership.

Based on one of Cat’s most popular underground loaders, the new unit has an optimized lift arm and plus-load-sensing hydraulics to improve breakout force by 35% over the Cat R2900G. It delivers 52% quicker acceleration and improved machine response. Variable piston pumps deliver higher flow rates for faster hydraulic cylinder cycle times and powerful lift forces.

With an 18.5-metric ton (mt)-payload capacity, the R2900 XE offers a 3- to 4-pass match to the Cat AD63 truck. Buckets are available in four sizes with capacities ranging from 7.5 to 9.8 m3. Available Cat ground engaging tools include Modular Weld-on, Bolt-on Half Arrow and Durilock mechanically attached shrouds.

The 335-kW Cat C15 engine offers a variety of emission reduction and after-treatment options, including an EU Stage V/U.S. EPA Tier 4-Final configuration and diesel particulate filter. The loader also has a proven switch reluctance electric drive system, Caterpillar said. Its continuously variable speed control delivers improved power and cycle times.

The frame, powertrain, engine and components are built to be rebuilt allowing mines to take advantage of multiple lives of like-new performance to lower operating costs, Cat said.