New Cat GRADE with ASSIST enables semi-autonomous grade control

Now available on the 323F L Hydraulic Excavator, Cat GRADE with ASSIST automates grade adjustments to ensure accurate grading while also improving grade time by as much as 45%.

Cat GRADE with ASSIST on HEX C10693003 564b60f1939ba
Caterpillarinc 10055173

Cat GRADE with ASSIST delivers efficiency and productivity gains to the Cat 323F L Hydraulic Excavator. This system is the first operator ASSIST feature with semi-autonomous grade control available on Cat excavators. GRADE with ASSIST automates grade adjustments that are typically achieved by the operator using manual controls. Operators at all experience levels can reach target grade as much as 45% faster than traditional grading.

Optimized for Cat Excavators, this new technology is easy to use from the start. Integration with the familiar Cat GRADE system, display and joysticks enables the operator to easily create simple 2D designs in the cab, press the auto button and get to work. Operators can take advantage of the guidance features built into the base system without the need for data transfer infrastructure. For example, grade indication and audible alerts function while using ASSIST technology to perform precision work — without the need for infrastructure.

Integration with the machine and hydraulics delivers full power to the cutting edge with precise control throughout the cut, enabling the operator to create fast, accurate grades with less effort. System flexibility enables customers who work with complex grade plans to add Cat AccuGrade for additional 3D capability. 

Automatic assistance and protection features

ASSIST technology goes to work when the cutting edge gets within 4 in. (10 cm) of target by locking onto grade and automatically adjusting boom up/down and bucket in/out movements. The operator simply controls stick speed using a single lever — significantly reducing manual inputs. The system also automates bucket movements to maintain a constant bucket angle, which is operator adjustable to match cutting angle to digging conditions and can be automatically recalled for next pass. To eliminate the chance of overcutting, a grade protection feature prevents the cutting edge from penetrating below grade — saving contractors the time and cost of rework, additional fuel, grade checking, labor hours and fill material.

In addition to helping customers speed grading, PROTECT features safeguard the operator and machine when working near obstacles and around utility hazards. Ceiling and Floor PROTECT prevent any part of the boom, stick or bucket from going above or below a pre-set elevation — enabling the machine to excavate in areas with low ceiling heights such as indoors and under over-passes, and near above- and below-ground utilities. Operators can quickly disable AUTO control with an override trigger at their fingertips.

Features and functions

Intelligent control and protection features assist contractors in getting more work done. Functions include:

  • GRADE with ASSIST – automatically adjusts boom up/down and bucket in/out to maintain constant grade.
  • Operator ASSIST – operator controls stick speed using a single lever with one hand.
  • Bucket Angle ASSIST– automates adjustments to maintain a constant bucket angle.
  • Grade PROTECT – prevents the cutting edge from penetrating below grade.
  • Ceiling PROTECT + Floor PROTECT– prevents any part of the boom, stick or bucket from going above or below a pre-set elevation.
  • Operator OVERRIDE – enables the operator to override AUTO functionality.
  • 2D and 3D Control – works with existing 2D grade indication system; can be upgraded to AccuGrade for 3D positioning and elevation guidance.