The new Cat 558 next-generation forest machine features several design upgrades that are sure to lift the production of seasoned loggers and even those with less time in the woods.
“The previous 558 was the best in its class for moving timber with power and reliability,” said Brent Uitermarkt, vice president for Caterpillar’s forestry products. “The new 558 next gen machine builds on that by being even more productive. Plus, it has added benefits of greater comfort and safety, and owners will spend a lot less time and money on maintenance.”
Available in Log Loader and General Forest configurations, the new 558 is powered by a proven Cat 7.1 engine that generates 25% more power than the previous series. Add in the machine’s new electrohydraulic control system that produces 30% more swing torque and 15% more travel power and tough, hilly work becomes easier to accomplish.
RELATED: New Cat 352 excavator brings the power needed for big jobs
Smart mode automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to working conditions to help do that work with maximum fuel efficiency. Also, with cold-start capability of -25˚ F (-32˚ C) and high ambient temperatures reaching 126˚ F (52˚ C), the machine can work year-round.
Safety and comfort
The new Certified Forestry cab with its reinforced structure and large 1.25-in (32-mm) thick polycarbonate windshield enhances operator safety. Available in a choice of rear or side entry, the cab’s interior space is 25% larger, allowing most operators to stand without hitting their head. Field of view from the standard heated and cooled seat is 50% better due to narrower cab pillars, larger panoramic windows, and a flat engine hood. A standard rearview camera enhances visibility as do three available cab risers – 22 in (559 mm) fixed and 48 in (1219 mm) and 72 in (1829 mm) tilt. The available Cat easy lock cab tilting system on the Log Loader configuration makes for much easier transport.
Ingress and egress are easier due to the cab’s wider and taller door and tilt-up console on the operator’s seat for the side-entry cab. The machine’s new dual HVAC system keeps operators comfortable regardless of working in the summer heat or during subfreezing ambient winter temperatures. Its specially insulated roof and improved window and door seals keep in-cab noise levels low.
Operators have multiple options for starting the 558’s engine, including an easy-to-reach push button, Bluetooth key fob, or unique Operator ID function; Operator ID allows each operator to quickly program and store their own machine settings and attachment function preferences. The large 10-in (254-mm) high-resolution touchscreen monitor delivers intuitive navigation and includes a digital version of the operator’s manual for quick reference. The available Cat® PL161 attachment locator assists in finding work tools within a range of 200 ft (60 m), even if covered by overgrowth or debris.
Lower maintenance costs
Compared to the previous model, the 558 next generation forest machine will consume 50 fewer filters over the course of 12,000 hours, which contributes to lowering maintenance costs by up to 15%.
“We improved our filters and our service intervals, and we improved ground-level access to service points to make daily maintenance quick and safe,” said Uitermarkt. “Our new electrohydraulic control system eliminates the need for a pilot filter and pilot oil altogether.”
Fuel filters feature a synchronized 1,000-hour change interval – double the service life of the previous model. A new hydraulic oil return filter improves filtration and delivers a 3,000-hour service life, which is 50% longer than previous designs. The high-efficiency cooling fan runs only when necessary, and reversing intervals are programmable to enable the fan to keep the radiator cores clean without interrupting work.
Product Link™ technology captures critical operating data, fault codes, and machine location information to boost fleet management efficiency. When within cell coverage, the machine’s new remote troubleshoot feature analyzes the data captured by Product Link and can share it with the Cat dealer to help save a service trip to the jobsite. Owners can also be sure the 558 is operating with the most current version of software with standard remote flash, which updates machine software around the owner’s production schedule.
“The new 558 is perfect for moving logs more efficiently, comfortably, and safely,” said Uitermarkt. “When you add in a Cat dealer network committed to forestry, you get a winning combination of machine and support that simply can’t be beat.”