Multi-purpose site prep machine
CATERPILLAR MANUFACTURES a powerful, multipurpose wheeled machine for mulching or cutting vegetation that can be used for various land management applications. The Cat® 586C Site Prep Tractor may be used for processing trees and brushy vegetation into mulch or, depending on the attachment, cutting the stems.
Applications include residential and commercial development, land management, right-of-way construction and maintenance, wetlands and wildlife habitat management, plantation reclamation and management, and clearing for flood control and firebreaks.
“Anyone who needs an effective, cost-efficient machine for land management or any other high demand application should strongly consider the Cat 586C Site Prep Tractor,” said Matt McDonald, a Caterpillar production application specialist.
The Cat 586C Site Prep Tractor is powered by the C9 ACERT™ 261 kW (350 hp) engine, mounted in the rear so the weight of the tractor is distributed evenly over the axles for rock-solid stability.
Caterpillar offers two attachments for the machine, the Cat HM825 Mulcher, which can tackle trees up to 40.6 cm (16 inches) in diameter, and the Cat BR624 Brushcutter, capable of cutting through single stems up to 20 cm (8 inches). Both are available from the factory and supported by Cat dealers.
The Cat HM825 Mulcher is essentially a powerful grinding tool. It can process vegetation into mulch at rates ranging from 1/4-acre per hour to nearly 3 acres per hour, depending on the desired end product, vegetation and density, ground conditions, and operator experience. Applications include virtually any need for removing vegetation - from brushy material to trees - and processing it into mulch. Examples include creating access trails and roads, maintaining golf courses, and managing wildlife habitat and hunting land and other landscapes.
“The real heart of the Cat 586C is the PowerDirect Plus system,” said McDonald. “That allows us to over-size all the different hydraulic circuits.”
The PowerDirect Plus system monitors what the attachment is demanding, what the operator is commanding the machine to do, and the available power from the engine. The system puts power where it is needed to maximize productivity while optimizing engine performance, fuel efficiency and durability by maintaining a consistent load on the engine.
The system is an important feature, noted McDonald, because the mulching tool probably has the highest power requirement of any tool in the forestry industry. For example, a hydraulic pump powering a harvester disc saw may run at about 155 litres (41 gallons) per minute. The Cat mulching tool gets about 378 litres (100 gallons) per minute and also operates at a higher pressure than saw head pumps.
Debris management is a key consideration in site prep machines because they generate so much pulverized wood material, dirt and dust. The Cat 586C Site Prep Tractor design features pressurized compartments that keep debris out of the rear-mounted engine, hydraulics, and cooling system. The pressurization reduces downtime and maintenance - time spent blowing out debris - and enhances performance. Plus, the pressurized air flow keeps electronics, sensors and other components cool.
“We’ve got some unique things that are integrated with the air cleaning system that differentiate us,” added McDonald. Beyond the location of the engine air intake, a dust ejector chute is integrated into the precleaner, which eliminates recycling dust and debris into the pre-cleaner. A scavenger system also sucks out large debris, significantly improving air filter life.
The high capacity cooling system and on-demand reversing fan keep the machine running cool. Special attention was given to cooling the case drain oil from the HM825, ensuring a cool-running machine. The oversized, hydraulically driven fan spins at a slower speed overall and only turns as fast as needed to maintain proper hydraulic and engine temperatures.
In addition to a refined cab for the comfort of the operator, the Cat 586C Site Prep Tractor features “a lot of flexibility in various functions,” said McDonald. For example, with the adjustable creep control, engaged with a control on the joystick, the operator does not have to ‘feather’ the pedal and can leave his foot on the floor; the speed is easily adjusted with the buttons on the joystick. Similarly, the attachment float control allows the tool to follow the contours of the ground for uniform, consistent mulching; it also reduces operator fatigue because it eliminates the need for continual adjustments in rough conditions.
The Cat 586C Site Prep Tractor also is known for its easy serviceability. “One big thing is the fuel fill is at ground level as well as the electric hydraulic oil fill, which forces oil through a filter before entering the system,” said McDonald. The Cat 586C Site Prep Tractor is the only machine of its type in the industry with the fuel fill at ground level. Panels around the engine compartments open for full, easy access for preventive maintenance, and a tilting cab provides additional access.
Caterpillar customers are supported by the industry’s largest network of dealers who will keep them up and running with parts availability, field services, state-of-the art diagnostic programs, remote monitoring, and more.