Cat’s new 14M3 motor grader is sized to carry out haul road maintenance for operations using smaller trucks as well as for mine construction projects. Improvements over earlier models include a larger engine, increased fuel efficiency, improved machine balance, enhanced transmission performance, advanced electrohydraulic steering, more powerful telematics and operator-safety/convenience features. The Cat C13 ACERT engine replaces the C11 engine in earlier models and has an ECO mode to boost fuel economy by limiting the engine’s high-idle speed to 1,750 rpm in working gears, while maintaining machine power. ECO-mode savings are especially significant, according to Cat, when working at high idle in light to moderate applications in gears 3R to 5F. The C13 engine is available in three versions to suit emissions standards in the area of use.
The 8F/6R power-shift transmission is enhanced by an Advanced Productivity Electronic Control System (APECS) that improves range-to-range shifting by maintaining consistent torque flow and smoothing shift points. The Shuttle-Shift feature enables directional shifts without slowing engine speed or using the inching pedal, and an available Autoshift system allows programming shift points to best match requirements of specific applications. An engine over-speed protection system prevents downshifting at excessive ground speeds, and the standard automatic differential lock disengages during turns and re-engages during straight travel, simplifying operation and protecting the power train.
A 14-ft (4.3-m) moldboard is standard on the upgraded version; a 16-ft (4.9-m) version is optional. A range of cutting edges and bits are available, as are a three-shank ripper, scarifier, and snow plow and snow-wing options. The scalable, factory-integrated Cat GRADE with Cross Slope system allows operators to easily maintain desired cross slope by automatically controlling one side of the blade. Its Stable Grade technology detects and reduces machine bounce during operation while Auto Articulation improves maneuverability and performance in tight working spaces and enhances operator comfort. Cat Advanced Control Joysticks, optional with Cat GRADE with Cross Slope, allow the operator to configure auxiliary hydraulic functions safely and effectively without removing either hand from the controls, which results in decreased operator fatigue and increased productivity.
The 14M3’s front frame is a single, heavy-duty steel casting and the rear frame features two bumper castings and thick hitch plates. A series of “top-adjust” wear strips and wear inserts ensure that drawbar-circle-moldboard components maintain tightness and an adjustable circle drive also assists in maintaining assembly tightness while reducing service needs. Hydraulically actuated oil-cooled disc brakes at each tandem wheel feature larger brake discs and piston areas, compared with predecessor models. Separate oil supplies for braking and implement systems eliminate cross-contamination, reduce heat and extend component life. An available compression brake improves stopping power.
The 14M3’s Cat Product Link telematics system allows remote monitoring of machine location, fuel usage, machine performance and fault codes via the secure VisionLink user interface.