On-Site Magazine

Cat introduces 326 Excavator for increased digging and lifting performance

By Megan Hoegler   

Construction Equipment


Caterpillar has released the new Cat 326 Next Gen, designed with efficiency and increased performance in mind.

The 26-ton 326 excavator operates up to 45 per cent more efficiently than previous models, delivering improved fuel savings, lower maintenance costs and improved operator comfort with all-new cab designs. The new excavator offers high reliability at a low cost-per-hour performance.

The 326 excavator features remote start using a Bluetooth key fob or the unique Operator ID along with an 8-inch (203-mm) high-resolution touchscreen monitor. A Cat 7.1 engine efficiently powers the 326 excavator with up to 15 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to the F Series. The new Cat model features three selectable power modes and one-touch low idle with automatic engine speed control. It also boasts a standard high-ambient temperature operating capacity of 125 F and standard cold start capacity of 0 F (-18 C).

The advanced hydraulic system gives the operator complete control of excavating precision. The machine’s 12 per cent improvement in swing torque makes the machine easier to swing, especially on inclines with fully loaded buckets. SMART-mode operation automatically matches engine speed and hydraulic power to digging conditions, while offering an additional five per cent fuel savings without impacting productivity.

The optional Smartboom feature allows the boom to lower freely without using pump flow, saving fuel. Advansys bucket tips are quickly changed with a lug wrench versus a hammer or special tool to improve safety. The versatile excavator features auxiliary hydraulic options for using a wide range of Cat attachments.

Ultimate comfort and safety

All new cab designs for the Cat 326 Next Gen excavator feature advanced viscous mounts to reduce cab vibration up to 50 percent over previous models, significantly reducing operator fatigue. Contractors have a choice of Comfort, Deluxe and Premium cabs — all with automatic climate control — and the tilt-up console standard on Deluxe and Premium designs improves cab entry/exit by 45 per cent. Bluetooth compatibility with the standard radio offers the ability to connect personal devices and make hands-free calls.

Small cab pillars and large panoramic windows, new lower profile right-hand side fuel tank, deliver exceptional visibility into the trench, in each swing direction and to the rear of the machine. Standard rearview and right-view cameras further enhance visibility and safety while operating the 326 excavator and can be upgraded to offer 360-degree visibility.

An anti-skid punch plate prevents slipping when accessing the machine’s new right service platform while a ground-level shut-off switch prevents accidental restarts while servicing the machine.

The 326’s fuel filters have a synchronized 1,000-hour change interval, doubling the filter life of the 326F. The 326 Next Gen’s air intake filter with precleaner delivers up to a 1,000-hour life, a 100 per cent increase over previous filters. Improved hydraulic filter performance combined with anti-drain values to keep the oil clean during filter replacement result in a 3,000-hour filter replacement interval.


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