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Heavy-haul workhorse caps charter Caterpillar Class 8 truck series

Sources: Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.; CP staff

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. The company unveiled it at a late-April dealer meeting in Texas, and announced formal launch two weeks later at the Tinaja Hills demonstration facility outside Tucson, Ariz.Cat i400

On hand for the launch were representatives from the CT680’s field test operator, Springfield, Mo.-based J&L Contracting LLC, which has deployed a tractor version with aggregate dump and equipment trailers since late last year. The CT680 joins 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 according to two exterior trim levels. The CT680L (shown above in tractor version at the Tinaja Hills debut) 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 (shown below in truck version during road test) 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. Where tractor operators might favor the L chrome package, Caterpillar officials note, the LG will tend more to dump truck operators.

Catii 400Powering 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, to be followed later this year with a 15-liter option. Current 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.

Caterpillar has scheduled CT680 for mid-year production. 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- and 22,000-lb. ratings; factory-installed lift axles; low ride air suspension; and, two paver brakes.

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