New Cat Pipelayers Boost Lift Capacity And Performance

January 2012, Vol. 67 No. 1

The new Cat Pipelayers (models PL83 and PL87) retain the basic design of their predecessors, while answering customer needs for increased lift capacity, enhanced slope capability, ease of operation, performance and transportability.

The PL83, replacing the 583T, has a rated lifting capacity of 160,000 pounds—a 14 percent increase over the previous model. The PL87, replacing both 587T and 587R, has a rated lifting capacity of 214,000 pounds, for a 6 percent boost in lifting capacity.

Both new models use the Cat C15 ACERT engine, with a net horsepower rating of 310 hp in the PL83 and 366 hp in the PL87. Both retain the field-proven Cat drive train, including a rugged 3F/3R powershift transmission, high-efficiency torque divider, elevated final drives and the exclusive Cat differential steering system.

Lift system enhancements
The increased lifting capacity for the PL83 and PL87 results from undercarriage and counterweight changes. The track roller frame on both machines has been lengthened and the rear idler repositioned, yielding higher lift capacity and enhanced stability when the machines work on slopes.

In addition, counterweight packages have been reconfigured to improve weight distribution for increased lifting capacity and to provide a reduced profile for even better forward and right-side visibility. Counterweight segments (13 for the PL83 and 15 for the PL87) are splined to counterweight assembly for positive retention and ease of removal.

A new low-profile, heavy-duty Pullmaster winch in the hook draw works simplifies transport and aids visibility. Improved hydraulics offer greater response and more precise control for greater machine productivity. Boom and hook draw works use independent winches with oil-disc brakes that ensure smooth operation and secure retention of position.

Boom choices for the PL83 and PL87 include 24-foot and 28-foot versions, each fabricated with high-tensile-strength steel for durability to handle added payload. A new block-set design enhances sightlines to the pipe, and a new bolt-on block horn on the frame of the tractor's radiator guard secures the block for transport.

Operator station refinements
The PL83 and PL87 feature well-appointed operator stations with a redesigned joystick that places all boom, hook and counterweight functions in a single right-hand control lever. Two push buttons at the top of the joystick also allow adjusting engine speed up or down in small increments for precise control. Both machines are available with either an open-ROPS or enclosed cab.

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