For a guy who spends his time behind the wheel of a car going upwards of 200 miles per hour, you might wonder what else it takes to get NASCAR driver Ryan Newman’s adrenaline pumping. Apparently it’s operating a massive Cat® mining machine.
Newman, who races the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, remotely operated a D11T Dozer from a trailer at the Phoenix International Raceway on November 13. The 230,000-pound machine (one of the largest in the world) was at the Caterpillar Tinaja Demonstration & Learning Center in Tucson, Arizona.
While the concept seems like something a kid would dream up, the need for remote machine operation is very real (and for good reasons). It’s a way to make sure that the work still gets done while keeping operators safely out of harm’s way. Mining can be a dangerous business, with exposures to hazardous environments as well as vibration and sound in the cab. Putting operators in a comfortable office-type environment allows them to work safely and productively.
The technology that makes autonomous dozing possible is called Command for dozing. With it installed on the D11T, Newman (along with his crew chief Luke Lambert) had access to every feature and function available to a traditional in-cab operator from their comfortable and safe environment.
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