Next Generation Cat® Mini Excavators Designed for Optimum Customer Value

For Release in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands: November 2018  
Release Number: 596PR18

Five new models in the Cat® mini hydraulic excavator lineup, engineered and manufactured by Caterpillar, are designed to provide users with the best performance, versatility, safety, operator convenience—and affordability— in the smallest possible packages for 1-to-2-ton class machines. This customer-centered approach to engineering results in the new models incorporating industry-first standard features, such as joystick steering (Stick Steer), a tilt-up canopy or cab, automatic two-speed travel as well as new options, including air conditioning, expandable undercarriages across the range and Bluetooth enabled push-to-start.

The new model range allows customers greater choices for matching machine capabilities and features to applications:

301.5 (1.5-ton class, standard tail swing, with canopy)

301.6 (1.6-ton class, standard tail swing, with cab)

301.7 CR (1.7-ton class, compact radius, with canopy)

301.8 (1.8-ton class, standard tail swing, with either canopy or cab)

302 CR (2.0-ton class, compact radius, with either canopy or cab)

Minimum operating weights (approximate) for the new models range from 1,575 to 2,045 kg with weights increasing to 1,760 to 2,200kg depending on specific machine configuration. Standard dig depths are 2,340mm to 2,370 mm depending on the model, and an available long stick increases depth 2,540 or 2,570 mm). Rubber track undercarriages are standard, with steel tracks available for all models.

All the new models use the Cat C1.1 engine, a three-cylinder diesel rated at 19.2 net horsepower (14.3 kW), and 21.6 gross horsepower (16.1 kW) meeting Tier 4 Final/Stage V emissions regulations. The C1.1 features a power-dense design and delivers consistent performance through a wide speed range. The cat C1.1 provides a significant increase in engine power and performance over previous models. Fuel efficiency is enhanced with engine idle control and automatic shutdown systems.

Premium features

The new Next Generation mini excavators use an efficient, fuel saving, load-sensing hydraulic system with an electronically controlled variable displacement piston pump capable of oil flows to 66 L/min. Flow rates, coupled with high main-relief pressures, provides new models with the hydraulic capacity to generate high digging and lifting forces, as well as manage powered attachments.

For added versatility, the standard auxiliary hydraulic system (complete with quick disconnect lines) provides one way, two way and continuous flow. All new models can be fitted with a Cat manufactured manual coupler together with a wide selection of Cat manufactured buckets including General duty digging, wide mud and tilting ditch cleaning. Other readily-available Cat attachments include Augers, Hammers and Compaction Wheels. In addition, all models are equipped with factory-installed brackets to allow for easy thumb installation and come with a certified lifting eye. The Cat coupler design also allows operators to reverse attachments for front shovel operation, a capability that lends an extra measure of precision when digging around utilities.

The expandable undercarriage (standard for all models) narrows to allow the new machines to enter work sites through restricted access points, then extends to provide a stable work platform. Undercarriages for 301.5, 301.6, 301.7 and 301.8, expand from 990mm to 1,300mm. The 302 CR expands from 1,090mm to 1400mm.

Each model features a dozer blade that further expands the machines capability of the new models which, when combined with stick-steer function allows the machine to handle backfilling and grading tasks with ease. The blade features ample travel, above and belowground level, has a float function and is designed to allow "dig-to-blade" operation for more efficient handling of loose materials.

Operator environment

The design of the new Next Generation mini excavators emphasizes comfort, convenience, and operator safety. The cab; standard on the 301.6, and optional on both the 301.8 and 302 CR, is pressurized and sealed to minimize dust intrusion and operator sound levels. It also creates an efficient in-cab cooling environment. The front window slides upward and stores overhead, and large glass areas on the sides and rear of the cab, plus a skylight, provides all around visibility. The operating consoles feature adjustable wrist rests, and an optional suspension seat. A retractable, 3-inch-wide seat belt is both comfortable to wear and comes in high-visibility orange.

Controls are designed to be intuitive, with a pattern changer that allows operators to select their preferred system between Excavator and Backhoe pattern.  A machine security system is standard on all models: a key combined with operator pass code or an optional push-to-start button with Bluetooth enabled fob for automatic key recognition.

The Next Generation models come with LCD monitor provides easy-to-read machine information and features a jog dial for easy navigation and interaction with the monitor.

Stick Steer – A new way to Move.

An exclusive feature for the new Next Generation models is the standard Stick Steer system built into all models. This allows the operator to control tracks using the left-hand joystick control at the touch of a button.  Stick Steer provides the benefit of less effort combined with improved operator control.  Complementing stick-steer functionality is an automatic two-speed travel that significantly speeds up machine positioning and control.

Safety and service

Protective structures (ROPS, TOPS, and Top Guard—Level I) are designed to promote a safe working environment for operators. All controls are protected via a hydraulic lock out, and boom lights help illuminate the work area. Optional LED lights, front and rear, help to further enhance visibility. The easy-to-transport Next Generation models also feature tie-down points on the track frames to facilitate securing the machine.

Routine maintenance check points are accessible at ground level through the side doors, and the battery is maintenance-free. The exclusive tilt-up cab allows access to major hydraulic components with a simple process that can be completed in under five minutes. 


Product Specifications




301.7 CR


302 CR

Min. weight, kg






Max. weight, kg






Tail swing






Operator station






Dig depth, std., mm






Dig depth, long, mm






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Note to Editors: Caterpillar rolls out products and services in each of its territories at different time intervals. Although every effort is made to ensure that product information is released only after Caterpillar has received confirmation from our dealer network, our plants, and our marketing subsidiaries that products and services are available in the relevant region, editors are kindly requested to verify with their local dealer for product availability and specifications.

CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow” and the “Power Edge” trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.

©2018 Caterpillar All Rights Reserved


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