Caterpillar rounds out Class 8 truck offering with heavy-haul CT680

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The CT680 premiered at the Tinaja Hills, Ariz., demonstration facility in two exterior trim packages, L (above) or LG (opposite page, lower right). Standard power is the Cat Vocational Truck Engine, a 13L model with advanced air management and high-pressure, common-rail fuel systems; dual sequential turbochargers; and, high-pressure injection system.
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The CT680L features Metton hood, chrome bumper and chrome stainless steel grille surround, whose modular, three-piece construction enables individual section replacement. Engineers have incorporated easy-access service points, including to air filters; no tools are required for headlight bulb or wiper blade replacement.
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An alternative to chrome, with trim better suited to job site, quarry and other off-road conditions, the CT680LG features a one-piece fiberglass hood; three-piece black bumper; integrated fiberglass grille surround; sealed-beam halogen headlights; and, LED park/turn lights.

A 124-in. bumper to back of cab (bbc), set-forward axle model suited to heavy-haul or other extreme conditions commanding big bore power, the CT680 completes Caterpillar’s initial on-highway truck series—joining the CT660 (120-in. bbc, set-back axle) and CT681 (114-in. bbc, set-forward axle) models introduced at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 and 2014, respectively.

The newest workhorse is available in tractor or straight-truck versions; equipped with an aluminum alloy cab, premium sound insulation, tuned cab air suspension system and parabolic taper leaf spring suspension; and, designated by L or LG exterior trim levels. The CT680L features Metton hood, chrome bumper and stainless grille surround, each of three-piece design, along with composite halogen headlights and incandescent park/turn lights. The CT680LG sports a one-piece fiberglass hood, three-piece black bumper and integrated fiberglass grille surround, plus sealed-beam halogen headlights and LED park/turn lights. While tractor owners might favor the L chrome package, Caterpillar officials note, the LG tends to be favored more by dump truck operators.

To keep service time to a minimum, the CT680’s modular components—including the grille, grille surround, bumper and fender extensions—can be replaced individually. Key service points like coolant, washer reservoirs and air filters are easy to access, and customers can quickly replace headlight bulbs and windshield wiper blades without tools. In the truck’s wide, spacious interior, an ergonomic dashboard and center stack make it easy for drivers to read gauges through the leather-wrapped steering wheel, mounted on a tilting, telescoping column. Easy-to-reach side compartments and pockets, plus back-panel storage afford ample room for paperwork. Overhead, under-dash and adjustable map lights illuminate work areas, and HVAC controls and vents are easy to access and positioned for optimum air flow.

A curved, sloped, wraparound windshield, in a one- or two-piece design, offers CT680 drivers an expansive road view. Large, heated, cowl-mounted mirrors with integrated turn signals also enhance all-around visibility. A generous door opening, three-point grab irons and skid-resistant steps allow for safe entry and exit. Drivers can choose the Cat Comfort Seat or other seat options.

Powering the CT680 is a Cat CT Series Vocational Truck Engine of 410-, 430- or 475-hp and 1,450, 1,550 or 1,700 lb-ft peak torque ratings. The truck has debuted with a 13-liter engine; a 15-liter option is forthcoming. Initial options include a dual external air cleaner for efficient air management in dirty, dusty applications.

Hood/trim and higher rated engines aside, the CT680 shares upwards of 90 percent component and parts commonality with the CT660 and CT681—topped by the standard Cat CX31 Automatic Transmission, with six forward speeds and one reverse gear. Various manual models are also available, along with the Eaton UltrashiftPlus automated manual transmission.

CT SERIES PRODUCTION

The CT680 entered full production in fall 2015. Like the CT660 and CT681, the new model is sold through Cat dealers, which provide bumper-to-bumper service. Concurrent with the CT680 debut are CT660 updates and new options: parabolic taper leaf suspension in 13,000-lb. and 22,000-lb. ratings; factory-installed lift axles; low ride air suspension; and, two paver brakes. Transitioning from contract production with Navistar International Corp., Caterpillar will design and manufacture the CT series trucks at a three-year old hydraulic excavator assembly plant in Victoria, Texas.

“The on-highway vocational truck product family is important to our product line; customers want to include them in their fleets in a variety of heavy duty applications such as dump trucks, mixers, haulers or one of the other configurations we offer,” says Caterpillar Global On-Highway Truck Group Director Chris Chadwick. “To continue to provide the best solution for customers, we will bring [CT truck] design and manufacturing into Caterpillar … Our updated strategy reaffirms our commitment to grow and develop our presence in the vocational truck industry. As we look to future launches, [it] will better position us to help provide our customers with the best products and services for this market.”

Production in Victoria is expected to begin in the first half of 2016. The plant will continue to produce excavators and add upwards of 200 staff for the CT series.