Cat AP600F, AP655F pavers feature increased technology, quick-heating screed

Caterpillar's new AP600F and AP655F pavers include an integrated generator to speed up screed heating time and updated operator controls for improved productivity.

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Intuitive, accessible technology and a quick-heating screed system that increases production while reducing crew idle time are key features of the new Cat AP600F and AP655F Pavers.

The AP600F is a wheeled paver. The AP655F is a rubber track paver that is equipped the exclusive Mobil-Trac Undercarriage.

The pavers come equipped with new screed platforms, available in vibratory only, or vibratory and tamper bars: the SE50 V, SE50 VT and SE60 V.

Fuel Efficiency
Several features help enhance the pavers’ fuel economy while maintaining high performance levels. Engine performance is aided by the 173 hp (129 kW) Cat C4.4 ACERT engine, which meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emissions standards. 

Fuel-saving Eco-mode is standard on the AP600F and AP655F pavers. When used with automatic engine speed control, Eco-mode efficiently manages engine RPMs to optimize fuel economy, reduce sound levels and keep the paver running smoothly. The control automatically adjusts RPMs when the engine reaches a high load threshold or needs additional cooling.

Integrated Generator and Screed Heating System
An integrated generator, the power behind a new screed heating system, is another fuel-saving enhancement. Exclusive to Caterpillar, the generator used on F-Series pavers was developed by the same team that designed and engineered the highly innovative Cat D7E electric-drive dozer.

The integrated generator is directly connected to the paver engine, and operates as a core part of the machine. The refined heat distribution of the SE50 and SE60 combine with the generator to bring the screed to the proper temperature in approximately 15 minutes, compared with the previous 30 to 45 minutes.

The pavers run at about 1,300 RPMs while pre-heating, compared with the more common 2,200 RPMs of some competitive machines. The lower paver engine RPM requirement reduces sound levels and can lead to earlier paving start times in residential areas.

Touchscreen displays provide increased flexibility for operating and adjusting the machine. The color displays offer high visibility and more user-friendly options. Controls for new technology features are accessed through the touchscreen. The most frequently used functions are still controlled by switches.

The new single-switch auto-fill feeder system simplifies setup and helps provide consistency for operators of varied experience and skill levels.

The screed-heating system diagnostics enable uninterrupted paving in the event a screed temperature sensor fails. The system automatically compensates, allowing consistent, uninterrupted paving.

Ratio control for the conveyors can now be controlled from the screed. Previously only the tractor operator could control conveyor ratio. Likewise, the tractor operator can now adjust mix height for increased flexibility. A new pendant control that enables the screed operator to stand alongside the machine is also available.

Operating Consoles
The operator console features enhanced functionality. Controls are as simple as contractors need, and as flexible as they want. Crews who prefer limited options have an organized, efficient control system at their fingertips—and mostly in the same locations as on earlier models. Those who want to utilize more functions can do so by accessing various menus through the touchscreens.

Exclusive propel and feeder system settings transfer between stations with the touch of a single switch. Speed, as well as operation and travel modes, are automatically adjusted at both stations.

Paver operators can make various screed adjustments without leaving their seats. Cat Grade Control now can be operated from the tractor consoles if desired. A single-button autofeeder system does the work of four switches. An auto-fill button alternates between running the augers and conveyors, helping operators build a proper head of material from the start.

A warm-up/cleanout mode runs the feeder system at a reduced speed, enabling the operator to more efficiently perform wash-down duties. It also automatically lifts the auger for simplified transport. If a crew doesn't want to utilize all controls and the associated technology, “lockouts” are provided on the screed to prevent accidental access.

Mobil-Trac Undercarriage
The AP655F includes innovative features on undercarriage options. Fully-bogied support rollers maintain contact with the surface regardless of irregularities. The oscillating bogies minimize deviations and tow-point movement, leading to smoother mats.

The Mobil-Trac System (MTS) features oscillating bogies and a rubber belt. The rubber belt is friction-driven, and is available with treaded or smooth tracks. MTS enables travel speeds that match the pace of wheeled pavers. The system essentially combines the traction of track pavers with the speed and mobility of wheeled pavers. Enhanced maneuverability is another key benefit.

Wheeled Undercarriage
The wheeled AP600F offers six-wheel drive as an option. Six-wheel drive utilizes enhanced hydraulics to optimize traction and provide 200 percent more front pull force over previous models. A front-wheel assist or four-wheel drive option increases front-wheel pull-force by 50% over previous models. A new radial tire offers increased traction.

Screed Options
The SE50 V, SE50 VT and SE60 V screeds deliver excellent ride and mat qualities, while providing versatility in urban areas. The SE50 V and SE60 V are the vibratory options, while the SE50 VT provides vibration and tamper bars. The SE50 V offers a maximum paving range of 6.5 m (21.3 ft.), the SE50 VT is 8 m (26.3 ft.), and the SE60 V is 7.65 m (25 ft.).

Quick-change screed extensions make it easy to maximize lift widths. Slotted mainframe extensions and strike-off plates enable single-person assembly. Integrated hooks assist with extension assembly and alignment. Power controls leverage hydraulics to easily attach and remove the self-latching screed extensions.

Screed plate life is extended with the utilization of abrasion-resistant steel that is proprietary to Caterpillar. Screed extensions are equipped with exclusive two-speed proportional control for enhanced responsiveness near obstacles and more precise control on highway applications. A pendant control adjusts the height of optional hydraulic end-gates, as well as extender width and tow-point height. The control provides the screed operator with much more flexibility regarding their locations.

The addition of a machined screed frame eases installation of the screed plates, which bolt flat to the frame.