Remote-control option expands to Cat 374, 395 excavators

By |  December 2, 2021
Photo: Caterpillar

Cat Command for Excavating allows operators to control excavators remotely on-site or miles away. Photo: Caterpillar

Caterpillar’s Command for Excavating, which enables remote-control operation, is now available for the company’s 374 and 395 large hydraulic excavators.

The technology aims to eliminate safety risks and reduce injuries by offering remote machine operation, removing operators from potentially hazardous jobsite conditions. Users control dig, lift and tracking functions from outside the cab using line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight operating options. The technology also allows production to restart immediately following disruptive processes, such as blasting in quarry applications, Cat says.

In addition, Command for Excavating aims to present a solution to workforce shortages and training advantages for newer operators, opening opportunities to those with physical limitations that prevent them from climbing into the equipment, according to the company.

Line-of-sight control

The Command console offers quick transition to line-of-sight machine control at the jobsite through a lightweight, compact console, supported by a shoulder harness. With no on-site communications infrastructure required, it is ideal for temporary or emergency remote operation, Caterpillar says.

Using either a 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz frequency communications protocol, the console offers a machine control range reaching up to 437 ft., managing excavator functions with virtually no response delay. If the remote shutdown switch is pressed, wireless communication is lost or the console is tilted more than 45 degrees, built-in safety features stop all excavator movements.

Non-line-of-sight control

The Command station provides non-line-of-sight operation from an office on-site or miles away, as distance is limited only by the capabilities of the wireless network, according to the company. The Command station seats the operator in a customized “virtual cab” with familiar controls and machine displays.

Users can control up to five different machines from the same or different locations, reducing downtime for shift changes or the need to travel to the jobsite. Touchscreen monitors similar to the in-cab display offer precise machine control, Cat says, while screen mounts positioned in front of the user provide a view of the excavator’s camera feeds.

Command controls are integrated with the excavator’s electronics to give users the same machine response experience as if they were operating from inside the cab. Grade assist, swing assist, e-fence and other machine technologies are set, activated and deactivated remotely without being set manually from inside the cab.

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Carly Bemer

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is a former Associate Editor for Pit & Quarry.

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