|Caterpillar 797 Series|
|Production||September 22, 1998-present|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear wheel drive|
|Transmission||Seven speed planetary gearset|
The Caterpillar 797 is a series of off-highway, ultra class, two-axle, mechanical powertrain haul trucks developed and manufactured in the United States by Caterpillar Inc. specifically for high-production mining and heavy-duty construction applications worldwide. In production since 1998, the 797 series represents Caterpillar’s largest, highest capacity haul trucks. The current, third-generation model, the 797F, offers one of the largest haul truck payload capacities in the world, up to 400 short tons (363 t) and has the highest payload capacity among mechanical drive haul trucks.
In 1997, Caterpillar decided to begin development of a 360 short tons (327 t) payload capacity haul truck to meet the demand from large-scale mine operators wanting to reduce operating costs at mines using 80 to 90 short tons (73 to 82 t) per pass shovels. Engineers at Caterpillar's Mining & Construction Equipment Division in Decatur, Illinois, created a new design for the 797 using computer-aided design technology. This was the first time CAD tools had been used extensively to design a Caterpillar truck.
Caterpillar first unveiled a completed 797 on September 29, 1998, at its assembly plant in Decatur, Illinois.
The first two 797s produced were transported to Caterpillar's Arizona proving grounds for testing. In the second quarter of 1999, the third and fourth 797s produced were the first to be placed in service with a customer at the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. Caterpillar put 18 additional 797s into service with mine operators worldwide as production development units.
Full worldwide marketing
Caterpillar introduced the 797B in spring of 2002, replacing the first-generation 797. Caterpillar increased the power output of the Cat 3524B engine to cope with the 797B's higher payload capacity of up to 380 short tons (345 t), a 20 short tons (18 t) improvement over the 797. The first 797B units entered service with customers in October, 2002.
797F (2009 onwards)
Caterpillar introduced the latest 797 in the series, the 797F, at MINExpo International in September 2008. When Caterpillar began full production of the 797F in late 2009, the 797F replaced the 797B.   The 797F comes equipped with a new, more powerful and more efficient Cat C175-20 engine and an increased payload capacity of up to 400 short tons (363 t).
The Caterpillar 797 series trucks employ mechanical drive powertrains in contrast to the diesel-electric powertrains of similar haul trucks offered by competitors. During initial development in 1997, a diesel-electric powertrain was considered for the 797, but this powertrain configuration was not developed because Caterpillar considered a mechanical drive powertrain more appropriate for market conditions at that time.
A gross 3,400 hp (2,535 kW) [net 3,211 hp (2,394 kW)] Cat 3524B HD EUI 24-cylinder, displacement]], electronic unit injection, quad single-stage turbocharged, liquid aftercooled, four-stroke diesel engine powers the 797. The Cat 3524B HD engine is a tandem unit consisting of two 12-cylinder Cat 3512B HD engine blocks coupled to operate as a single engine with a combined displacement of 106 liters (6468 cubic inches).
A gross 3,550 hp (2,647 kW) [net 3,370 hp (2,513 kW)], quad turbocharged Caterpillar 3524B engine powers the 797B. The power rating of the 3524B is valid up to an elevation of 8,500 ft (2,591 m) or 15,000 ft (4,572 m) with a high altitude arrangement.
A gross 4,000 hp (2,983 kW) [net 3,793 hp (2,828 kW)] Cat C175-20 ACERT single block, 20-cylinder, electronic common rail injection, quad turbocharged, air-to-air aftercooled, four-stroke diesel engine powers the 797F. The power rating of the C175-20 is valid up to an elevation of 7,000 ft (2,134 m) or up to 16,000 ft (4,877 m) with a high altitude arrangement.
The 797 series haul trucks are equipped with a rear-axle-mounted, computer-controlled, seven-speed planetary transmission with a separate lock-up torque converter. Both transmission and torque converter use a common powertrain oil.
Wheels and tires
Each 797 wheel is attached to the axle using 54 - 36-mm nuts that are torqued to 2,300 lb⋅ft (3,118 N⋅m). A size 55/80R63 radial tire was developed by Michelin in conjunction with Caterpillar specifically for the first generation 797. The Caterpillar 797B and 797F run 4.028 m (13.22 ft) tall, 5,300 kg (11,680 lb) Michelin 59/80R63 XDR. Most first generation 797s have been retrofitted to use the 59/80R63 tires as well. Six tires are required per truck at a cost in 2009 of approximately US$42,500 per tire.
Manufacturing and assembly
Major components of the 797 are manufactured and assembled at seven Caterpillar or supplier facilities located throughout North America, then shipped to the customer site for final assembly by Caterpillar technicians.
The tires are manufactured by Michelin North America at the US7 Earthmover Manufacturing plant in Lexington, South Carolina, and are shipped to the customer site.
The driver's cab is manufactured by Bergstrom Climate Control Systems' Contract Assembly division in Joliet, Illinois. Each cab is assembled by one person and requires forty hours to complete. The cab is shipped to the customer site.
The dump body is composed of five components: the floor, the two sides, the front wall and the canopy. The dump body is manufactured at Caterpillar Mexico in Monterrey, Mexico, as well as at least to a limited degree by WesTech of Casper, Wyoming in the western United States and shipped in component form to the customer site where it is assembled and welded into a monolithic structure before being joined to the frame during final assembly.
The frame is created from nine individual metal castings manufactured by Harrison Steel Castings Co., in Attica, Indiana and by Amite Foundry and Machine, Inc., in Amite City, Louisiana. The smallest casting weighs 500 lb (230 kg) and the largest casting weighs 12,000 lb (5,400 kg). The rough castings are shipped to the Caterpillar Decatur, Illinois, assembly plant.
At Caterpillar's assembly plant in Decatur, Illinois, the frame is assembled and the powertrain is installed and tested.
The nine castings that compose the frame are machined to provide clean welding surfaces. The castings are placed in a jig and are initially joined by human welders. The frame is moved to a second welding station for further welding by robots. The third and final welding stage is completed by human welders. To ensure quality, welds are tested using an ultrasonic flaw detector. In total, 275 lb (125 kg) of welding wire is used to join the individual castings into a monolithic frame.
After the frame assembly is completed, production workers attach hydraulic lines and electrical wiring to the frame before installing the engine and rear axle. The frame/powertrain assembly is tested and then partially disassembled to facilitate shipping from Caterpillar's Decatur, Illinois assembly plant to the customer site.
The engine, frame, axles and differential requires six to seven semi-trailer truck loads, the cab requires one semi-trailer load, the six tires require two semi-trailer loads and the dump body requires four semi-trailer loads. In total, one 797 requires 12 to 13 semi-trailer truck loads that originate at various manufacturing facilities and deliver to the customer site. If a 797 must be moved from one job site to another for any reason, it can not be driven on public roads due to its exceptional size and weight. Moving a 797 requires dis-assembly, loading onto semi-trailer trucks, transport and re-assembly at the new location.
Final assembly of the 797 is completed by Caterpillar field mechanics at or near the customer site. Before the dump body can be joined to the frame, the dump body components must be assembled and welded together by a dedicated team, requiring seven to ten days per dump body. Final assembly of one 797 requires a team of seven mechanics working in three shifts around the clock, for 20 days, in addition to the time required to assemble and weld the dump body.
All major components of the 797 can be serviced or replaced during the useful life of the truck, except for the frame. The overall service life of the truck is therefore dependent upon the durability of the frame which Caterpillar estimates to have a twenty-year service life.
The Liebherr T 282 B and Bucyrus MT6300AC both match the Caterpillar 797F's 400 short tons (363 t) payload capacity, but employ diesel/electric powertrains in contrast to the 797F's diesel-powered, mechanical powertrain. Both fall short of the BelAZ 75710's 500 short ton capacity, the largest of any haul truck in the world, which also employs a diesel/electric powertrain. Depending on customer requirements, lower payload capacity 360 short tons (327 t) products such as the Komatsu 960E-1 and Belaz 75600 may also place competitive pressure on sales of the 797F.
|Introduction to Service||1999||2002||2008|
|Nominal Payload Capacity||360 short tons (327 t)||380 short tons (345 t)||400 short tons (363 t)|
|Engine Power||3,211 hp (2,394 kW) net||3,370 hp (2,513 kW) net (SAE J1349)||3,793 hp (2,828 kW) net (SAE J1349)|
|Engine Model||3524B High Displacement EUI||Cat 3524B High Displacement EUI||Cat C175-20 ACERT|
|Engine Arrangement||V-12 x 2||V-12 x 2||V-20|
|Top Speed (Loaded)||40 mph (64 km/h)||42 mph (68 km/h)||42 mph (68 km/h)|
|Gross Machine Operating Weight||1,230,000 lb (557,900 kg)||1,375,000 lb (623,700 kg)||1,375,000 lb (623,700 kg)|
|Overall Height to Top of ROPS (Empty)||23 ft 8 in (7.21 m)||24 ft 11 in (7.59 m)||24 ft 5 in (7.44 m)|
|Overall Height (Body Raised)||49 ft 3 in (15.01 m)||50 ft 2 in (15.29 m)||51 ft 6 in (15.70 m)|
|Overall Length||47 ft 7 in (14.50 m)||47 ft 5 in (14.45 m)||49 ft 6 in (15.09 m)|
|Overall Tire Width||30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)||32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)||31 ft 3 in (9.53 m)|
|Fuel Tank Refill Capacity||1,000 US gal (3,785 l)||1,800 US gal (6,814 l)||2,000 US gal (7,571 l)|
- "Off-Highway Trucks from Caterpillar". Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
Developed specifically for high production mining and heavy-duty construction applications ...
- "Mining Trucks from Caterpillar". Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- "Caterpillar 797F Mining Truck Product Brochure (AEHQ6039)" (PDF). Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. September 2009. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
Nominal payload capacity...400 tons
- Mercer, Mike (June 1999). "A look at Cat's new 797 haul truck - Caterpillar Inc". Diesel Progress North American Edition. CBS Interactive Inc. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
Caterpillar designed the truck in response to mining companies seeking a means to reduce cost per ton ...
- Orlemann, Eric C. (2003). "Chapter 9 - A New Generation". In Steve Gansen (ed.). The Caterpillar Century. United States of America: Motorbook International. p. 319. ISBN 0-7603-1882-4. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
"Caterpillar 797F, 795F-AC & 793F Mining Trucks". Mining Top News Website. 2008-10-06. Archived from the original on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
At MINExpo 2008 Caterpillar introduced four new trucks.... the new 797F mechanical drive ...
"Release Number: 231PR09 - Caterpillar Moves Forward with New Large Mining Trucks" (Press release). Caterpillar Inc. July 2009. Archived from the original (Microsoft Word 97-2003 Document) on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
… go into full production…late this year.
"Viewpoint: Perspectives on Global Mining" (Issue 4). Caterpillar Inc. 2008. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
... the flagship 797B will be replaced by the new 797F ...
- Orlemann, Eric C. (2002). "Chapter 2 - The World's Largest Mechanical Drive Truck - 797 Haul Truck". In Kris Palmer (ed.). Colossal Caterpillar: The Ultimate Earthmover. United States of America: MBI Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 0-7603-0874-8. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Mercer, Mike (March 1999). "New era of mine haul truck giants". Diesel Progress North American Edition. CBS Interactive Inc. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
... diesel engine, which features electronic unit injection, an ADEM II electronic controller, aftercooling and four single-stage turbochargers.
- "Products " Machines " Off-Highway Trucks " Mining Trucks " 797B Benefits & Features Powertrain - Engine". Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
The 3524B engine is a tandem unit consisting of two 3512B HD engine blocks ...
- "Caterpillar 797B Mining Truck Product Brochure (AEHQ5511)" (PDF). Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. December 2003. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
Gross Power 2648 kW 3550 hp Flywheel Power 2513 kW 3370hp
- "Caterpillar 797B Mining Truck Product Brochure (AEHQ5511)" (PDF). Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. December 2003. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
... 3524B begins derating at 2591 m altitude .... Optional High Altitude Arrangement does not derate between 3048-4572 m ...
- "Caterpillar 797F Mining Truck Product Brochure (AEHQ6039)" (PDF). Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. September 2009. pp. 1, 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
Gross Power - SAE J1995 2983 kW 4,000 hp .... The Cat C175-20 quad turbocharged and air-to-air aftercooled diesel engine...is a 20 cylinder, single block, four stroke design ...
- "Caterpillar 797F Mining Truck Product Brochure (AEHQ6039)" (PDF). Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. September 2009. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
No low altitude arrangement (LAA) engine derating required up to 2134m (7,000 ft) altitude. No high altitude arrangement (HAA) engine derating required up to 4877 m (16,000 ft) altitude.
- "Caterpillar 797B Mining Truck Product Brochure (AEHQ5511)" (PDF). Caterpillar Website. Caterpillar Inc. December 2003. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
The Cat seven-speed planetary power shift transmission ...
- Executive Producer: Madeline Carter (2008-01-28). "Caterpillar". Ultimate Factories. Season unknown. Episode 10. National Geographic Channel.
- Mercer, Mike (June 1999). "A look at Cat's new 797 haul truck - Caterpillar Inc". Diesel Progress North American Edition. CBS Interactive Inc. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
This new tire was developed in conjunction with Caterpillar for this application.
- "Michelin Factbook - 2007 Edition". Michelin Corporate Website. Manufacture Française des Pneumatiques Michelin. 2007. p. 15. Archived from the original (Shockwave Flash Presentation) on 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
59/80 R 63 Michelin XDR Diameter: 4,028 meters...Weight: 5,300 kg ...
- "Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Firestone, Taylor OTR Tires". Global InfoMine Website. InfoMine Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
6 59/80R63 Michelin XDR B $255,000.00
- "Big Wheels Keep on Turning". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 16 March 2015.