Caterpillar produced its 312 B hydraulic excavators for use by the construction and mining industries. These companies use the powerful swing arm and deep buckets of hydraulic excavators to demolish buildings, dig foundations, dredge rivers, and engage in open-pit and other types of mining, among other functions. The company has since retired this model.
The Caterpillar 312 B hydraulic excavator consisted of the house, or cab, the carriage, or tracks that it rode on, and one of three Boom/Stick arms. The top of the cab on 312 B rested 9.1 feet above the ground. Its rear counterweight had a ground clearance of 3 feet and a swing radius of 7 feet.
The tracks spanned a length of 9.1 feet and the skid plate on the undercarriage had a ground clearance of 1.4 feet. Each shoe on the tracks measured 19.7 inches wide and the two tracks together had a gauge of 6.5 feet, which represented the distance between the center of each track under the carriage. The distance from the outer edge of the left track to the outer edge of the right tracks spanned 8.2 feet. Caterpillar equipped each model with a 66-gallon fuel tank.
The 312 B had a model 3064T, 259-cubic-inch turbocharged, four cylinder diesel engine. This engine had a bore of 4.02 inches and a stroke of 5.12 inches. It produced 91 horsepower at 1,900 rpm.
The hydraulic system in this excavator produced all the power to move the boom, house (cab) and bucket. This 42.8-gallon oil system pumped at a rate of 63.4 gallons per minute and achieved a maximum travel pressure of 4,980 psi. Its three separate systems included one to maneuver the boom, one to operate the bucket or any other attachments and one in the house for the pilot to operate the controls.
The hydraulics to operate the boom had a bore of 4.3 inches and a stroke of 40 inches. Its system generated 3,340 psi. The hydraulics operating the bucket had a bore of 4 inches and a stroke of 37.5 inches. Its system produced 4,340 psi.
Caterpillar's 312 B moved at a maximum speed of 3.4 mph and had a maximum drawbar pull of 22,930 pounds. The cab swung on the carriage at a maximum rate of 12 rotations per minute and had a torque of 22,422 foot-pounds.
The company sold a number of boom attachments for the 312 B. A HEX 1 Boom/Stick option gave the 312 B a maximum digging depth of 16.8 feet and a maximum horizontal reach of 25.6 feet. Operators could raise this stick to a height of 27 feet or use it to dig inside a vertical wall with a depth of 14.5 feet.
Caterpillar's HEX 3 Boom/Stick option increased the digging depth to 19.8 feet or 17.5 feet for a vertical wall and extended the horizontal reach to 28.3 feet and the cutting height to 28.5 feet.
Crews attached a bucket to the arm that had a minimum capacity of 0.6 cubic yards and a maximum capacity of one cubic yard.
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