Mixer Match


Caterpillar has made initial deliveries and commenced full production of its second heavy-duty truck, the CT681, first shown at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014. The set-forward axle model is a companion to the CT660, a set-back axle workhorse whose ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 debut served as the company’s Class 8 on/off-highway truck series gateway.INNOV-CatII-335

Extensive CT681 testing as part of Caterpillar’s field follow program brought the equivalent of more than three years’ use. “This process provides a crucial feedback loop between our customers and vocational truck product team, identifying any required changes to design and production,” says Global On-Highway Truck Product Manager Dave Schmitz. “Customers who have tested the truck tell us it drives well, it’s powerful, it’s quiet and their drivers enjoy getting behind the wheel.”

With 28-in. bumper-to-front axle spacing and overall 114-in. bumper-to-back of cab length, the CT681 suits ready mixed producers and dump truck operators in bridge formula states. Mixer installation is simplified, owing to vertical tie-in plates mounted behind a spacious, ergonomic cab.

Global On-Highway Truck Product Manager Dave Schmitz is no stranger to concrete, growing up in a family with deep ties to the Milwaukee ready mixed market.

The truck’s interior helps reduce driver fatigue, enhance safety and boost productivity, engineers note, adding that the dashboard and center stack feature easy-to-read gauges that can be viewed through the steering wheel. Easy-to-reach side compartments, back-panel storage and oversized side pockets provide space for paperwork, log books and more. Furthermore, a tuned cab air suspension system, premium grade sound insulation, plus tight fitting components and trim deliver a smooth, quiet ride.

The CT681 affords expansive road visibility thanks to a curved, sloped, wraparound windshield in a one- or two-piece design, sealed-beam halogen headlights, and LED park/turn lights. 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 help ensure safe entry and exit.

The standard Cat CT Series Vocational Truck Engine has 365- to 430-hp and 1,250 to 1,550 lb.-ft. peak torque ratings. The engine features a Selective Catalytic Reduction solution to meet emissions standards, with upgraded in-cylinder technology and proven aftertreatment. A compacted graphite iron block reduces engine weight by as much as 200 lb. compared to standard iron. A single Electronic Control Module and streamlined electrical connections help reduce diagnostic and maintenance time, while a fluid-free head gasket eliminates the risk of coolant leaking into engine oil or exhaust gases entering the cooling system.

With its set-forward axle, the CT681 allows customers affected by bridge law formulas in their states or on the interstate highway system to maximize loads. It also suits operators prefer a longer wheelbase truck for better ride quality on long hauls or rough haul roads.

Performance-matched with the engine is the optional Cat CX31 Automatic Transmission. With six forward speeds and one reverse, it is built to complement CT Series engines’ torque output. The CX31 features what company engineers note is the industry’s highest power-to-weight ratio, full power shifting, and quick acceleration. Other options for the CT681 include a variety of manual transmissions and the Eaton Ultrashift Plus.

Standard on the CT681 is Product Link, a proprietary Cat telematics system that collects data from on-board systems and transmits it via satellite and cellular networks to a secure Internet site. Using Product Link and its easy-to-use web interface, VisionLink, truck owners and fleet managers can access accurate, timely data about how, when and where trucks are being used. Like the CT660, the new model is backed by bumper-to-bumper service at 400-plus Cat dealer locations with over 2,300 service bays in North America. — www.drivecat.com


The truck’s 114-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab provides more room and flexibility to install bodies behind the cab, and an optional Front Frame Extension. Mixer installation is also simple, thanks to vertical tie-in plates mounted behind the cab. Under the hood, the CT681 is powered by a Cat CT Series Vocational Truck Engine with horsepower ratings from 365 to 430 and peak torque ratings from 1,250 to 1,550 lb.-ft. Caterpillar has equipped the power package with Selective Catalytic Reduction solution for diesel emissions treatment. Multiple transmission options are available, including the Cat CX31 Automatic Transmission—a reliable performer in global vocational applications since 2004.