Construction and earth moving equipment manufacturer Caterpillar yesterday launched in Chennai an updated version of the 424B Backhoe Loader, priced at INR 20-24 lakh on-road. The company claims that the new version gives a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
The new version of the 424B comes with major changes to the vehicle's hydraulics, structure and kinematics. Speaking to IndianAutosBlog, Vivek Chandrasekharan, director for sales & marketing, Asia Region, Building Construction Products, mentioned that Caterpillar has got its Indian R&D wing to work on specific changes to achieve the target.
Changes were made to the boom and stick of the backhoe loader and the hydraulic cylinders and pipes, along with optimisation of the linkage design, helped in reaching the fuel efficiency number.
The 424B is powered by a 76 hp turbocharged engine paired to a four-speed transmission. The backhoe loader has an operating weight of 7,700 kg.
The company's first backhoe loader in India was launched in 2003. Four years later, the 424B was launched. While the vehicle was upgraded in 2011 with improvements in various areas, along with upgrading the engine to BS 3 specifications.
Chandrasekharan also mentioned that Caterpillar would invest $150 million (Rs 893 crore) in a new engine manufacturing facility that will go on stream in Aurangabad in 2015. It will make 3,000 engines a year to begin with under the Perkins brand. These engines will be used in both Caterpillar's own gensets and be sold to other genset manufacturers.
In a related development Caterpillar’s Financial Products Division and Tata Capital Financial Services Limited (TCFSL), said yesterday that they had partnered to offer finance options to customers purchasing equipment across all dealerships in India.