When it comes to farming equipment, the combine, tractor or planter is what almost always comes to mind first.
But what about the versatile skid steer? It can do just about anything, from scraping up a feed alley to helping a producer dig a trench.
“It is the most versatile piece of equipment in the Cat lineup,” says Kevin Coleman, production application expert for Caterpillar. And they’re getting smarter.
Last year’s introduction of the D3 line of skid steers and compact track loaders came with the inclusion of “smart” technology for a future line of smart attachments. Now, the company’s Smart Attachments — dozer blade, grader blade and backhoe — are available.
“No more do you have scarecrow tools” with no brain, Coleman says.
Through VCM circuitry on the skid steer and attachments, the machines recognize each other right off the bat, enabling the skid steer’s controls to act as controls for the attachments. No more additional controls needed.
SMART GRADER BLADE: The GB120 and GB124 Smart Grader Blades are available for D3 skid steers and compact track loaders.
According to Caterpillar, the control systems for the new attachments allow for easily adapting the machine’s standard controls to precisely match the recognized Smart Attachments’ control needs.
The Smart Dozer Blade attachment — available for the 279D3, 289D3, 299D3 and 299D3 XE Series compact track loaders — is designed for cutting, moving and grading nearly any material used as a base.
It features a curved moldboard that keeps material rolling and a trapezoid design with angled end bits that allow flush-cutting against vertical surfaces when the blade is fully tilted. When attached, the D3 Series’ host machine recognizes the attachment and unlocks special display screens that allow the operator to select how the blade is controlled.
The Cat GB120 and GB124 Smart Grader Blades are also available for D3 skid steers and compact track loaders. Once attached, the D3 host machine recognizes the grader blade and unlocks special display screens that provide options for attachment control, allowing the joysticks to be repurposed to perform attachment functions.
The Cat BH130 Smart Backhoe is designed for D3 Series skid steers, compact track loaders and multi-terrain loaders. The backhoe is compatible with Cat 3-ton excavator attachments, and its auxiliary-hydraulic system allows pairing with hydro-mechanical work tools, including hammers, thumbs, augers and vibratory compactors. It also hydraulically shifts side to side to allow digging adjacent to buildings and footers. Also, integrated stabilizers provide a solid digging platform.
For more information on the Caterpillar Smart Attachments, or to find a local dealer, go to cat.com.