In 1999 the first Cat® 797 large mining haul truck was put into service in the Canadian Oil Sands, hauling overburden in one of the most challenging mining environments in the world. More than 20 years later, that same truck is still at work.
While today’s 797s boast new features and enhancements that make them more productive and reliable than their predecessors, they have one very important attribute in common with that first truck: their longevity.
In the last two decades, Caterpillar has produced over 1,000 797s —and the majority are still on the job. The first 797 has logged more than 130,000 hours and there are countless others well on their way to achieving even higher hours.
Development of the 797 began in 1997 as Caterpillar worked to meet the demand from large-scale mine operators looking for ways to lower operating costs through larger payloads. The 797 is the largest mechanical-drive truck in the Caterpillar lineup and offers one of the highest payload capacities in the world at 363 tonnes (400 tons).
The extended durability delivered by the 797 helped the truck become a mainstay in oil sands operations. But in the past 20 years the breadth of applications has grown to include copper, coal and iron ore mines. The largest populations of 797s are working in North America, South America and Australia.
Making the best better
Every Cat 797 has been manufactured in Decatur, Illinois, where Caterpillar makes all of its large mining trucks. Since the first 797 rolled off the assembly line there, Caterpillar has continued to build on its success and find ways make it even better.
The newest model, the 797F, is powered by the 20-cylinder, quad-turbocharged Cat C175 engine, which produces 4,000 hp (2983 kW) of power for fast acceleration, fast speed on grade and high productivity. For applications that don’t require the highest power, such as the flat hauls found in many coal and iron ore applications, a 3,550-hp (2647-kW) setting is available.
A variety of fuel maps are available to balance productivity and fuel consumption, and a Tier 4 configuration is available to meet North American exhaust emissions standards. As with all Cat large mining trucks, the 797 features a complete power train designed and manufactured end-to-end by Caterpillar.
The newest 797s have been enhanced to lower costs through:
· Significant engine life increase
· 26 percent lower maintenance costs
· 20 percent lower operating costs
· 36 percent lower oils & lube costs
· Greater than 90 percent availability
· 5 percent tire life improvement
· Major drive train component life improvement
· Up to 10 percent lower fuel costs
A number of optional features further reduce the truck’s cost per ton, from a simplified High Altitude Arrangement for elevated mine sites to a High Performance body with a lower empty weight.
Combined with class-leading productivity, the 797F is the industry benchmark for lower cost per ton in its size class. And when it reaches the end of its first life, it’s designed to be rebuilt for a second life of like-new performance.