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CAT Excavator Size Guide

CAT Excavator Size Guide

Caterpillar, commonly known as CAT, has been around since 1925 and is the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.

With $41.7 billion in sales and revenues for 2020, CAT manufactures a wide variety of heavy equipment for virtually any job site. Caterpillar excavators provide both durability and versatility. They are worth considering for landscaping, construction, trenching, and a host of other heavy-duty tasks.

Some moderate or smaller jobs may be better suited to a backhoe, which offers more mobility and can be driven on roads to get from one work site to another. Both are easy to rent once you decide whether you need an excavator or a backhoe.

This article offers a rundown of CAT’s excavator models, examining their size, horsepower, digging depth, and other factors to consider in an excavator rental.

Excavator Sizes

Caterpillar offers four sizes and four types of excavators. You will want to consider the size of your job, the configuration of your job site, the amount of horsepower you need, and how deep you need to dig, among other factors, when deciding which one to choose.

CAT excavator sizes

Mini Excavators (2,061-22,451 lbs)

Caterpillar offers nearly two dozen CAT mini excavators that range in size from 1 to 10 metric tons and come in standard or compact radius (CR mini) models. The smallest models offer 13 horsepower engines and a digging depth of more than 5½ feet. The biggest engine mini hydraulic excavators can give you nearly 70 hp of net power and the ability to dig nearly three times as far: more than 15 feet.

Mini excavators are an excellent choice when working in cramped spaces or on crowded job sites such as parking lots and indoors. With reduced or zero tail-swing, they’re easier to navigate around obstacles and in tight quarters.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: Where applicable, dimensions refer to the standard stick model. Unless otherwise noted, height refers to boom height in the shipping position. Length refers to the overall undercarriage length. Unless noted, width refers to overall track width.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
300.9D 13 hp 2,061 lb 68 in 2.4 ft 4.94 ft 4 ft
300.9D VPS & HPU300 13 hp 2,399 lb 68 in 28 in 59 in 108 in
301.5 21 hp 3,913 lb 100 in 39 in 42.9 in 57.5 in
301.7 CR 21 hp 4,222 lb 100 in 39 in 42.9 in 62.6 in
301.8 21 hp 4,473 lb 101.2 in 11.8 in * 61.4 in 79.1 in
302 CR 21 hp 4,987 lb 101.2 in 42.9 in 42.1 in 72.8 in
302.7 CR 23.6 hp 6,703 lb 106.7 in 11.8 in * 61.4 in 79.1 in
302.7D CR 20.7 hp 6,239 lb 108 in 5.5 ft 7.9 ft 79 in
303E CR 23.5 hp 7,204 lb 117 in 60 in 63 in 82 in
303 CR 23.6 hp 7,817 lb 116.1 in 61 in 63 in 81.5 in
303E2 CR 23.5 hp 8,209 lb 125 in N/A N/A N/A
303.5 CR 23.5 hp 9,239 lb 122.4 in 11.8 in * 59.8 in 87.4 in
304 45 hp 9,867 lb 138.2 in 67 in 63.8 in 87 in
304E2 CR 40.2 hp 8,996 lb 135 in 77 in 58 in 87 in
305 CR 45 hp 1,2688 lb 144.5 in 78 in 69 in 101.8 in
305E2 CR 40.2 hp 11,443 lb 144 in 78 in 69 in 102 in
305.5E2 CR 44.1 hp 11,958 lb 152 in 78 in 69 in 102 in
306 CR 55.9 hp 15,766 lb 146 in 78 in 69 in 102 in
307.5 54.8 hp 17,905 lb 161.4 in 86.6 in 100 in ** 108.7 in
308 CR 69.5 hp 20,077 lb 182.8 in 90.6 in 100 in ** 113.4 in
309 CR N/A 21,091 lb 182.8 in 97.2 in 100 in ** 126 in
309 CR VAB 69.5 hp 20,385 lb 150.2 in 97.2 in 100 in ** 126 in
310 69.5 hp 21,191 lb 182.8 in 97.2 in 100 in ** 126 in

* indicates rack belt/shoe width. ** indicates cab height. N/A indicates figure not available.

Small Excavators (30,400-40,200 lbs)

Small CAT excavators are designed for fuel efficiency to reduce operating costs and emissions. They can be equipped with a variety of attachments for different kinds of jobs. Caterpillar excavator attachments include hammers, shears, demolition and sorting grapples, compactors, pulverizers, couplers, and thumbs.

Small excavator engine models start where minis leave off, with the smallest providing 73 hp of power, ranging up to the largest at 130 hp. Their hydraulic systems allow you to dig deeper than a compact excavator can, as well: between 19.6 and 21 feet, depending on the model you choose.

The CAT 315, for instance, can dig 19.6 feet and dig, swing, and dump within a working space of under 13 feet. Auxiliary hydraulic options can accommodate a wide variety of attachments, and the engine meets EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: Dimensions listed are shipping height to top of cab, shipping length, and transport width.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
313 GC 73 hp 30,400 lb 19.8 ft 8.1 ft 9.2 ft 25.5 ft
313 108 hp 30,400 lb 19.8 ft 8.1 ft 9.2 ft 25.5 ft
315 GC 98 hp 34,000 lb 19.6 ft 8.8 ft 9.2 ft 24.6 ft
315 108 hp 34,000 lb 19.6 ft 8.1 ft 9.2 ft 24.7 ft
317 130 hp 40,200 lb 21 ft 8.8 ft 9.6 ft 28.1 ft
317 GC 119 hp 38,100 lb 21 ft 8.5 ft 9.6 ft 28.1 ft

 

Medium Excavators (48,281-77,000 lbs)

Medium excavators allow you to dig deeper — up to nearly 24 feet with some models — supplying significantly more power than small excavators can provide, with up to 273 hp. Their operating weight is heavier, too: up to 77,000 pounds for the largest, compared with half that for the heaviest small excavator.

Like other excavators, these can be equipped with a variety of work tools: attachments that allow you to perform a variety of tasks, from digging to loading to compacting. Jobs well-suited for a medium excavator include sloping, leveling, fine grading, and trenching. They can also be used for demolition projects, drilling shafts, and fairly large-scale industrial projects.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: Dimensions listed are shipping height to top of cab, shipping length, and transport width.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
320 GC 146 hp 48,281 lb 22 ft 10.4 ft 9.7 ft 31.3 ft
320 172 hp 50,265 lb 22.1 ft 9.8 ft 9.8 ft 31 ft
323 172 hp 56,200 lb 22.1 ft 9.9 ft 9.9 ft 31.3 ft
325 172 hp 49,604 lb 22 ft 9.8 ft * 10.1 ft 29.2 ft
326 201 hp 57,100 lb 22.38 ft 10.5 ft 9.84 ft 33 ft
330 GC 202 hp 67,700 lb 23.8 ft 10.5 ft 10 ft 34.2 ft
330 273 hp 68,100 lb 23.8 ft 11.1 ft 10.1 ft 34.2 ft
335 273 hp 77,000 lb 22.11 ft 10.11 ft 10.9 ft 32.2 ft

* indicates 24-inch shoes.

Large Excavators (80,500-207,300 lbs)

Large excavators can weigh as much as 207,300 pounds (103.5 tons) and pack horsepower ranging from 273 to 542. If you’re planning excavations and have room to accommodate these machines, they can be a valuable asset, with a capacity to dig 27 feet to nearly 32 feet down.

These excavators are crawlers, running on tracks rather than wheels. The largest new CAT in this class, the 395, is a next-generation model that’s up to 10% more productive than its predecessor, the 395F. It comes equipped with USB ports and Bluetooth technology, as well as advanced viscous mounts that reduce cab vibration by as much as 50% compared with earlier models.

Large excavators can be used for grading hilly areas, mining, and lifting heavy debris and soil. Because of their size, they need plenty of room to operate and are best suited to outdoor jobs on open worksites.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: Dimensions listed are shipping height to top of cab, shipping length, and transport width.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
336 GC 273 hp 80,500 lb 27 ft 10.8 ft 10.4 ft 36.7 ft
336 311 hp 81,900 lb 26.9 ft 11.3 ft 10.4 ft 36.7 ft
349 424 hp 105,200 lb 25.1 ft 11.9 ft 10.6 ft 39.1 ft
352 424 hp 110,500 lb 23.2 ft 9.8 ft 11.1 ft 39 ft
384 484 hp 158,200 lb 28.1 ft 11.1 ft 11.8 ft 44.9 ft
395 542 hp 207,300 lb 31.9 ft 12.9 ft 11.6 ft 49.6 ft

 

Excavator Types

In addition to deciding how big your excavator needs to be, you’ll also want to choose the right type for the job you’re about to undertake. CAT offers four types of excavators specifically designed for different tasks: demolition, long reach, wheel, and frontless excavators.

types of CAT excavators

Demolition Excavators (88,500-151,483 lbs)

Demolition excavators are designed to help you raze structures on a site. CAT offers three types with different reaches. The 340 Straight Boom is good for demolition and excavation projects at ground level. It’s a relatively lightweight (for its class) machine that provides 314 horsepower.

If you need to demolish tall structures, the 340 UHD and 352 UHD are heavier machines with better reach. The 340 UHD can extend up to eight stories high. The 532 UHD is a heavier machine at 75.7 tons with greater horsepower (425) that can reach up to nine stories high.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: SB = Straight Boom. Dimensions listed are cab height with FOGS (Falling Object Guard), shipping length, and transport width. Digging depth is maximum digging depth.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
340 SB 314 hp 88,500 lb 21.8 ft 10.5 ft 11.5 ft 37.4 ft
340 UHD 314 hp 128,000 lb 19.75 ft 9.83 ft 11.75 ft 59.6 ft
352 UHD 425 hp 151,483 lb 16.9 ft 9.83 ft 11.75 ft 61.75 ft

 

Long Reach Excavators (96,700-128,200 lbs)

Long reach excavators can dig at target areas far away from the cab and can go much deeper than other excavators: nearly 43 feet.

CAT offers two models. The lighter 311 hp 340 Long Reach can hit targets up to 60 feet away. The heavier 352 LRE provides added counterweight for long-reach digging. Both are good choices for getting at hard-to-reach dig sites and can be used for projects like breaking down walls that are over bodies of water.

Attachments can allow them to perform jobs such as crushing, cutting, and shearing.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: Dimensions listed are shipping height to top of cab, shipping length, and transport width.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
340 LR 311 hp 96,700 lb 42.8 ft 12 ft 11.2 ft 50.2 ft
352 LRE 424 hp 128,800 lb 42.8 ft 13.2 ft 11.1 ft 54 ft

 

Wheel Excavators (34,811-52,911 lbs)

CAT’s wheel excavator line includes 11 models that run on wheels rather than tracks. Ranging in size from 36,400 to 46,407 pounds, different models can dig to a variety of depths, with horsepower ratings of 134 to 174.

Their wheels make them easier to maneuver but not as well suited to rough terrain as track excavators, or crawlers. Wheel excavators also have a tighter turning radius, making them ideal for small job sites and road construction.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: Dimensions listed are shipping height to top of cab, undercarriage length, and transport width. Some model weights listed are for the upper end of a weight range.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
M314 134 hp 39,683 lb 13.9 ft N/A N/A 26.9 ft
M315 148 hp 39,680 lb 15 ft N/A 10.9 ft 25.1 ft
M315F 150 hp 36,972 lb 18.25 ft * 8.33 ft. N/A 26.75 ft
M316 148 hp 36,400 lb N/A N/A 10.5 ft N/A
M317F 150 hp 38,691 lb 18.67 ft * 8.33 ft. N/A 27.57 ft
M318 174 hp 43,980 lb 15.1 ft N/A 11 ft 27.8 ft
M319 174 hp 46,407 lb 14.6 ft N/A 10.7 ft 26.6 ft
M320 174 hp 46,740 lb 13.9 ft N/A 11 ft 29.3 ft
M320F 169 hp 45,525 lb 18.2 ft ** N/A N/A N/A
M322F 169 hp 49,229 lb 20.5 ft ** N/A N/A N/A
M322 174 hp 52,911 lb 21.8 ft N/A 11 ft 31.1 ft

* indicates 8-foot stick length. ** indicates one-piece boom with 8-foot, 2-inch stick. N/A indicates figure not available.

Frontless Excavators (165,721-190,204 lbs)

CAT’s line includes two frontless excavators: the smaller 374F OEM at 472 hp and 165,721 pounds, and the larger 390F OEM at 190,204 pounds.

Frontless excavators can be used for a variety of jobs including railroad maintenance and dredging.

Models (net power, weight, digging depth, and dimensions)

Note: N/A indicates figures not available.

Model Net Power Weight Digging Depth Width Height Length
374F OEM 472 hp 165,721 lb N/A N/A N/A N/A
390F OEM 524 hp 190, 204 lb N/A N/A N/A N/A

 

How To Pick the Right Excavator for the Job

There are eight different types of excavators from which to choose, with your selection depending on the size and nature of your job and worksite.

The smallest CAT excavator, at just 13 hp and 2,061 pounds, can dig to a depth of less than six feet. It’s compact to fit in tight spaces and can even be used indoors. The largest, the 395, provides more than 41 times as much horsepower as the smallest mini and can dig 32 feet deep.

Long-reach excavators can go even deeper, and demolition excavators are perfect for knocking down structures to clear the way for new construction.

Conclusion

CAT offers excavators in more than 40 sizes and nearly 20 types. When you add to that a variety of different attachments, you’ve got a large number of options from which to choose.

What kind of lift capacity do you need? What’s your budget? Do you need to dig deep? How many obstacles are on your worksite? These are among the questions you’ll want to ask yourself in choosing the proper machine for your job.

You can rent excavators to dig, demolish, tunnel, and perform a number of other functions. Be clear about what you want to accomplish, and choose the one that’s right for you.

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