Excavator grading technology optimizes slab, bedding material estimates

Caterpillar’s Next Generation Hydraulic Excavator series has debuted with the 20-ton 320 GC, 320 and 323 machines, each engineered to increase operating efficiency, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and improve operator comfort compared to previous models. The new models offer unique combinations of purpose-built features designed to match customers’ productivity and cost targets.



The 320 and 323 have 50,100- and 56,200-lb. operating weights, 162-hp Cat C4.4 and C7.1 engines, and maximum digging depth just over 22 feet.

Technology standard on the excavators enables contractors to increase accuracy of slab and drainage structure grading and site preparation, thereby pinpointing more precisely the volume of ready mixed concrete and bedding stone to order. Offering guidance for depth, slope and horizontal distance to grade, the Cat Grade with 2D system helps operators reach desired grade quickly and accurately. Using the system’s E-fence feature equips the machine to work safely under structures or near traffic by preventing any part of the equipment from moving outside operator-defined set points. Standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick and bucket movements, so operators stay on grade simply and effortlessly with single-lever digging. Factory-integrated Cat Payload on-board weighing for the Cat 320 and 323 delivers precise load targets and increased loading efficiency with on-the-go weighing and real-time payload estimates.

The efficient Next Generation machines consume 20 to 25 percent less fuel than previous, corresponding models. New Smart mode operation automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to digging conditions, optimizing both fuel consumption and performance. Engine speed is automatically lowered when there is no hydraulic demand to further reduce fuel usage. All daily engine oil, fuel water separator, fuel tank water and sediment, and cooling system level checks are performed from ground level, making the routine faster, easier and safer. Consolidated filter locations reduce service time.