Caterpillar recently introduced an integrated Remote Control System for the D10T, D11T and D11T CD Track-Type Tractors. The new Cat system is another important technology in the evolution to autonomous mine sites. It meets ISO15817 and AS/NZS4240 safety standards and permits miners and other large-tractor users to work safely, productively and economically in a broader range of applications.
With an integrated Remote Control System, equipment owners can work in hazardous environments, meet regulatory requirements and reduce liability, while protecting operators from excessive noise, dust, vibration and other potential threats to health and safety.
The Caterpillar system will be commercially available in 2009. It differs from aftermarket add-on systems because it is fully integrated with the Cat-designed components, systems and electronic control modules (ECMs) found on the D10T, D11T and D11T CD. Integration reduces complexity and cost and allows the system to deliver higher performance, better reliability and longer life.
The basic system features a remote console from which an operator can safely perform virtually all machine functions including engine startup, acceleration, deceleration and shutdown; shifting, steering, directional control and braking; blade and ripper control; and auxiliary functions such as lights and horn. Critical information normally displayed in the cab (in gauge clusters and on display panels) is replicated on the remote console. The console incorporates a shoulder harness for convenience and portability.
In addition to the remote console, the basic system includes these key components: a primary transceiver and antenna, a Cat-designed remote control ECM, a relay block from which auxiliary functions are controlled, an in-cab emergency shutdown switch, an in-cab remote control mode indicator and an on-cab beacon that indicates when the machine is under remote control. A ground-level service center is also included in the basic system. It mounts on the ripper or counterweight and features two switches: one for selecting either remote or manual control, the other for emergency shutdown.