2011 CAT 314 DLCR
One of the most interesting excavators in the fleet, the 2011 CAT 314 DLCR is what is called a zero-turn machine. Instead of the usual set up for an excavator, which has its counterweight bulge out that back of the machine, the 314 DLCR shifts the counterweight to under the machine. With this configuration, this excavator’s back won’t hang past the tracks as it turns. This is very useful in congested or tight work areas, where there is a risk of hitting things with the back end. It is also useful in that it gives the 314 DLCR a lower center of gravity, making it more balanced.
This means that an operator can track up to a wall, and then not hit it when working up close. This also goes for other delicate objects in close quarters—trees, conduit, and other vehicles. One operator loves that the 314 DLCR “can work right up the yellow line [in the road] without shutting down the other lane of traffic.” It can also squeeze into buildings and crevices that other machines of its class can’t.
Another handy thing is that it can more easily move from job site to job site, since it’s not over width. This means it can travel at times that other, wider pieces of equipment can’t—in other words, we can use this machine to come to the rescue!
With a reach of almost 25 feet—massive for its size—, a blade to help keep surfaces smooth, and a quick connect bucket set up (which allows it to use a Hammer or Clean-up Bucket), this excavator is able to do it all.
There are, however, some small downsides. Because of the zero-turn configuration, the cab is a bit more cramped. Also, since everything is so compact, it can be very hard for our mechanics to work on it, and thus can be expensive. But these are small prices to pay for the benefits we get with the 314 DLCR!