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The Cat 301.6 mini excavator is a new Next Generation mini excavator from Caterpillar. Unveiled at the National Construction Equipment Convention (NCEC) in November 2018, it’s clear that Caterpillar have been working hard to design a machine that ticks all the boxes.

And we think they’ve come pretty close to achieving this. They really have thought of everything when it comes to the performance, operation (experience) and serviceability.

The Cat 301.6 mini excavator is one of 5 models in the Next Generation from Caterpillar. It is a 1.6-tonne class, with standard tail swing and comes with a cab. It’s the second smallest machine in the series, but don’t let that fool you! It is small but it is powerful.

Industry-First Standard Features for Cat 301.6 Mini Excavator

  • Tilt-up canopy/cab for easy maintenance
  • Stick Steer control
  • Automatic two-speed travel

And there are some new optional extras you can add:

  • Expandable undercarriage (from 990mm to 1300mm)
  • Air conditioning
  • Bluetooth-enabled push-to-start function

A quick overview:

  • Dig Depth (Standard): 2340mm
  • Dig Depth (Long): 2540mm
  • Min. Weight: 1755kg
  • Max. Weight: 1960kg

For full dimensions and specs, see below.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this machine, starting with the cab.

In the Cab

Cat mini excavator

Source: Supplied

The cab is where all the work happens, so you want to be sure you’re comfortable! Caterpillar have clearly made comfort a large focus for this series. And the 301.6 model is no different. A sealed and pressurised cab with air conditioning (an industry-first) and adjustable wrist rests help you work in comfort. The Stick Steer system allows for joystick operation—you have more control with less effort.

While comfort is important (it has been proven to help with operator productivity), safety is also a huge factor when it comes to new machinery. Here’s how the Caterpillar team have increased safety for their mini excavators.

Safety

Fully certified with ROPS, TOPS and Top Guard, the Cat 301.6 is safe for operators. To further increase operator safety, Caterpillar have added extra work lights and a fluro seat belt. They have even introduced tie-down points on track frames to help secure the machine for safe transport.

Operation

You spoke, they listened. Caterpillar asked their customers what they wanted in mini excavators. One resounding answer was to get the job done faster. So, Caterpillar added these features to the 301.6 (and all other new Next Generation models):

  • Stick Steer control, which gives you more control for less effort
  • Auto idle, auto engine shutdown & efficient hydraulics lower your operating costs
  • Next Generation LCD screen is easy to read for critical machine info
  • Better hydraulic capacity to dig & lift with more force

Under the Cab

Next, let’s look at the Cat 301.6 mini excavator performance.

All models in the Next Generation 2018 series use the Cat C1.1 3-cylinder diesel engine. So you can be sure your 301.6 can handle digging and lifting jobs with ease. It can also handle some backfilling and grading tasks thanks to the dozer blade. Pair this with the Stick Steer function and operating this machine is easier than ever before.

Maintenance

Seems like Caterpillar have thought of everything. The new Next Generation designs include easy access for service techs, effectively minimising downtime and any costs associated with it. Here’s how:

  • Gas strut ensures accessibility is fast (under 5 minutes) & requires just 1 service tech
  • Routine check points accessible at ground level
  • Unique tilt-up canopy gives access to hydraulics

Cat 301.6 Mini Excavator Specs

Engine Weights
Engine Model C1.1 Minimum Operating Weight with Canopy* 1755 kg 3869 lb
Net Power @ 2,400 rpm Maximum Operating Weight with Canopy** 1960 kg 4321 lb
ISO 9249/EEC 20/1269 14.3 kW 19.2 hp * Minimum Weight is based on rubber tracks, canopy, operator, fixed undercarriage and full fuel tank.
Gross Power ** Maximum Weight is based on steel tracks, canopy, operator, expandable undercarriage and full fuel tank.
ISO 14396 16.1 kW 21.6 hp
Bore 77.0 mm 3.0 in Weight Increase from Minimum Configuration Cab
Stroke 81.0 mm 3.2 in Long Stick 10 kg 22 lb
Displacement 1.1 L 69.0 in3 Steel Tracks 57 kg 126 lb

Download the full list of specs for the Cat 301.6 mini excavator.

Have you had a chance to check out the Caterpillar 301.6? Tell us about it below or take a look at mini excavators for sale.


Read more about the Next Generation Caterpillar mini excavators, or check out their other models:

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