Wood Business

New Gear Harvesting New Gear
Cat meets emission standards with new models

Oct. 4, 2016 - Caterpillar has announced the launch of two new Cat Forest Machine models, the 538 and the 558. They are the first models in the 500 series to meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards.

October 4, 2016  By Cat Forest Products

Cat Forest Products new 538 forest machine configured as a log loader.

Both machines were unveiled at Demo International in Maple Ridge, British Columbia Sept. 22-24, and feature outstanding fuel efficiency and optimized work tools while increasing horsepower and swing torque.

“We are delighted to bring the new 500 series models of the Cat Forest Machine to the marketplace,” said Kevin Thieneman, president of Caterpillar Forest Products. “The Cat 538 Forest Machine and Cat 558 Forest Machine underscore Caterpillar’s commitment to research and development to enable the forest products industry to move forward.”

“Loggers need machines that will make them money,” he continued, “and we are committed to supplying them with equipment that helps them profit from their work. We do this by designing and building forestry equipment that lowers their ownership and operating costs and increases their production.”

“These two new forest machines deliver on this commitment,” said Thieneman. “They are designed for maximum efficiency and maximum productivity in order to provide more profit potential to loggers.”

Cat Forest Machines are versatile, purpose-built track machines that can be customized to perform a complete range of tasks for forestry operations. First introduced in the 1990s, this family of machines has become the industry standard in many logging applications.


Like other Cat Forest Machines, the 538 is available in a general forestry version for road building, stroke delimber applications, grapple applications, site preparation and processing. Both the 538 and the 558 are available in a log loader configuration for log loading, shovel logging, butt-n-top/power clam applications, and millyard activities.

The Cat 538 and Cat 558 feature a new machine design, new engine, and optimized components and work tools to provide exceptional fuel savings and also excellent productivity. Machine and hydraulic performance are boosted by increased engine horsepower.

Both models boast rock-solid stability, and the 538 features a wider track gauge and heavy-duty counterweight to maximize stability and operator experience in diverse logging conditions.
Application versatility is enhanced with a purpose-built boom and stick arrangements and new grouser options.

The new machines are engineered for durability and reliability with proven Cat components, purpose-built upper and lower frames, and increased cooling capability to maximize machine uptime.

The heart of the Cat 538 is the 164 hp (122kW) Cat C7.1 ACERT Tier 4 Final engine. The Cat 558 is more powerful, equipped with the 239 hp (178kW) Cat C7.1 ACERT Tier 4 Final engine, a twin-turbocharged power plant. Both larger engines generate increased horsepower, providing the power for strong multi-functioning and improved implement performance – and more production.

Both models feature uniform speed control to maintain a constant engine speed regardless of load. The result is unprecedented fuel economy. Other features contribute to fuel economy, too. For example, with automatic engine speed control the machines will revert automatically to a lower idle speed when there is a lull in operation. Also, the operator can choose from three power modes, depending on the work tasks or application.

“The hydraulic system delivers a higher level of efficiency and power,” said Jared Dunn, the Caterpillar Forest Machine Application Specialist. “Pumps are upsized to increase hydraulic flow, so while the engine can run at a lower rpm, burning less fuel, the Cat 538 and Cat 558 have more power and perform more work.”

The main pumps, control valves, and hydraulic oil tank are located close together to allow for shorter tubes and lines between components, reducing friction and pressure drops. Updates to the hydraulic system translate to an impressive boost in performance: maximum horsepower, greater swing torque, and added lift capacity. The increases mean improved implement performance, lifting bigger payloads with better control – and more production.

In addition, an electronic boom regeneration valve minimizes pump flow when the boom lowers by regenerating oil from one end of the boom cylinder to the other, saving energy and improving fuel efficiency.

The engines feature an improved side-by-side cooling system with increased cooling capacity for both models. The radiator package has been updated, and fin spacing has increased 25 percent to improve airflow and cooling capability. A standard auto-reversing fan with optimized fan blade pitch increases service intervals and maintains proper engine operating temperature.

Machine width and track length are designed for maximum machine stability for increased lift and swing capabilities, and the 538 features a heavy-duty counterweight while the 558 features a fuel tank counterweight.

The purpose-built forestry machine hydraulics and new boom and stick configurations are capable of operating a wide range of work tools. New grouser options increase machine applicability on the job site, and ground saw hydraulics are available from the factory.

The Cat 538 and Cat 558, optimized and integrated for SATCO and Cat work tools, were designed with the customer and service technician in mind and to be easy to maintain. Many service locations are readily accessible at ground level; critical maintenance can be completed quickly and efficiently.

The cab is designed and purpose-built for tough forestry work. LED lights are standard along with a heated and cooled seat that maximizes operator comfort. Spacious, quiet, and comfortable to ensure high productivity all day, the cab is pressurized and features an updated bi-level air conditioner, heater, and defroster to keep the operator comfortable in any weather. Other features include satellite radio, auxiliary audio port for MP3 players, and 12-volt power supply sockets for charging.

In addition, the Cat 558 and an existing model, the Cat 568, are now available with a rear entry cab option for log loader configurations. The option, available on machines in North America and Australia and New Zealand, offers unparalleled operator experience with safer access, improved operator comfort, and increased visibility. A patented cab lock down system reduces transport time.

Product Link, Caterpillar’s machine monitoring system, is standard on both the Cat 538 and the Cat 558 Forest Machine. The user friendly technology enables remote monitoring of equipment.

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.

For more information, contact your nearest Cat dealer or go to www.cat.com/forestry 

Caterpillar Forest Products is a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of timber harvesting, millyard, road-building and land management equipment. Products are marketed under the Cat, Prentice and CTR brand names through a global independent dealer network. Caterpillar Forest Products is a unit of Cat Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com. For more information on Cat, Prentice and CTR products, visit www.cat.com and www.prenticeforestry.com

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