Innovative Iron Awards: Cat Command’s Remote Control Operations for Skid Steers and Track Loaders

Cat Command

The Top Construction, Landscape and Rental Equipment Launched in 2022

Throughout 2022, the Compact Equipment crew traveled the countryside (tradeshows, product launches, zoom interviews, operation opportunities) to analyze and catalog every model of compact machinery released into the wild. Looking back, the last 12 months saw the introduction of an impressive array of off-highway construction equipment and OEM systems, but a certain set of equipment stood above the rest. We call them the Innovative Iron Award winners, and these particular units are, in our humble opinion, the best compact equipment released in 2022. Here comes a winner right now. See them all right here.

Cat Command Includes Non-Line-of-Sight Operation

Cat Command

Remote control operation for compact machines is not new, but remote control without line of site is totally awesome and new. Caterpillar announced in January the expansion of Cat Command for Loading to its D3-Series skid steers and track loaders. A dealer-installed field kit makes any Cat D3 skid steer or compact track loader model Command-ready, allowing it to be operated comfortably from a safe location when the machine is working in hazardous environments, while also delivering maximum efficiency. The non-line-of-sight system includes indicator lights, microphone, wireless receiver, and antennas with front, rear and side cameras for 360-degree viewing, all installed on the cabin roof. A command activation switch is mounted behind a lockable door with ground-level access. The non-line-of-sight system is also operated via the sweet Command station pictured up top.

Cat Command for Loading for skid steer and compact track loaders will be available in two configurations — line-of-sight at the jobsite and non-line-of-sight operating via a remote station located off-site. By allowing the user to comfortably control the machine from a safe location, Command maintains high machine productivity in difficult operating environments such as stevedoring, steel mill blast furnaces, industrial and waste, demolition and site decommissioning. Since Command controls are integrated with machine electronics, users experience the same control response as they would operating inside the cab, allowing for productivity to be maintained from a distance.

Flexible Remote Configurations — Console

Line-of-sight Command for Loading operation comes complete with a lightweight, compact control console supported by a comfortable shoulder harness. Machine controls such as machine startup/shutdown, bucket rack/dump and lift/lower, rpm, horn, creep control and auxiliary hydraulic functionality are easily accessed through the ergonomic Command console control layout.

Two different line-of-sight consoles will be available to meet customer needs, each providing different levels of functionality and control with complex hydromechanical attachments. Operating range for both line-of-sight Command consoles extend up to 984 ft to allow for convenient remote operation.

To ensure the user maintains machine control at all times, integrated Cat electronics activate several safety features to stop all machine movements if: the All-stop switch is pressed; Command stop switch is activated; wireless communication is lost; a severe fault is detected; or the Command console is tilted more than 60 degrees from normal operating position.

Customized Command Station

The non-line-of-sight Command for Loading solution includes a modular, customized Command station that positions users in a familiar and comfortable seated position that simulates traditional machine control. One user can connect to multiple machines from a single station, controlling one machine at a time. The station is also compatible with other Command offerings for Cat equipment, such as excavators, dozers and small wheel loaders.

Station components include machine joystick and foot pedal controls for all the company’s Command technology capable machines. A touchscreen mount is incorporated in the station design for machine control, while universal screen mounts are included for camera displays of the skid steer or compact track loader. An emergency remote shutdown switch is located on the Command station to quickly halt all machine movements. At the jobsite, an optional remote All-stop switch control is available for site personnel working around non-line-of-sight Command skid steer or compact track loaders.

Keith Gribbins is the publisher of Compact Equipment.

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