Crawler Tractors and Sidebooms: Caterpillar PL61

January 2010 Vol. 65 No. 1

The Caterpillar PL61 Pipelayer provides 40,000 pounds of lift-capacity.

The PL61 features a Cat C6.6 ACERT engine, closed-loop hydrostatic drive system, oval-track SystemOne undercarriage and an electronically enhanced operator station. The pipelayer also maintains hydrostatic draw-works, two-speed load line and extendible counterweight. Available with either a canopy or an optional enclosed cab, the PL61 operator station features a pair of seat-mounted, electro-hydraulic joysticks designed for intuitive control of travel and lifting functions.

The operator station provides clear lines of sight to all work areas, including the boom and upper block, which are visible through a new roof-mounted skylight. For added control, a combination decelerator/brake pedal can be configured to slow the machine with or without a reduction in engine speed.

The 18-foot boom is constructed of high-tensile-strength steel, allowing a robust box-section design that is durable, yet lightweight to optimize payload capacity. The hook and cable-controlled boom are raised and lowered by independent hydraulic winches designed for smooth operation and infinite speed adjustment through their working range. Two-speed operation of the load-line winch provides high speeds for overall productivity, but lower speeds for precise positioning. Oil-disc brakes in the winches positively retain selected boom and hook positions. www.cat.com.