The new, factory-built Caterpillar‘s D3K2 Mulcher combines the solid foundation of the D3K2 dozer with the ruggedly designed Cat HM518 mulcher to take on a mix of small-to-medium-diameter material in a wide range of applications, including right-of-way construction/maintenance, site development, tree management, and fire-break clearing. Available with either a conventional long (XL) undercarriage or a low-ground-pressure (LGP) undercarriage, the new model works efficiently in soft underfoot conditions, on slopes, and in rough terrain. For added utility, the mulcher can be removed and an optional Cat VPAT (variable-pitch/angle/tilt) blade installed.
The width of the HM518 mulcher, featuring a 72-inch-wide drum, is matched to the operating width off the D3K2 for optimum efficiency and productivity. Finished debris size depends on the type of material being processed and the time allowed for multiple passes.
Operator safety and comfort are priorities in the design of the D3K2 Mulcher. The pressurized cab, with 360-degree visibility, is fitted with screens and “poly-carb” windows for added protection when mulching. The pressure gauge mounted to the mulcher frame allows the operator to easily monitor mulcher performance, and the hydraulically adjustable push guard and hydraulically operated front hood provide an added measure of safety. An air suspension seat (with seat-mounted controls) reduces operator fatigue and promotes high production.
Caterpillar markets the D3K2 Mulcher as a complete model configuration, and the HM518 mulcher cannot be retrofitted to standard D3K2 dozer models. The new model does provide an added choice—in combination with the Cat 299D XHP skid steer and 586S site-prep tractor.