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Caterpillar (Cat) has celebrated the production of its 50,000th wheel excavator, a Cat M318 next generation model.

Caterpillar and Eder and Zeppelin Baumaschinen, Cat’s dealer in Germany, originally introduced a new wheeled excavator line that offered four models under the Cat Eder brand in 1984.

By 1992 the line became a 100 per cent Cat product with a designated wheel excavator team. In 2012, Cat celebrated production of its 25,000th wheel excavator. The Cat wheel excavator line now includes eight models.

Europe and South Korea were among the first adopters of the Cat M318 next generation model. Since then, the line has grown in popularity in markets such as China, southeast Asia, the Middle East, North America due to its speed, power, versatility and ability to operate a wide range of hydraulic tools.

To celebrate the production of the 50,000th wheel excavator, a ceremony was held at the Cat facility in Grenoble, France on June 22 where Cat and Zeppelin representatives presented the 50,000th commemorative Cat M318 to Wolff & Müller representatives, a privately owned construction company and a long-time customer of Cat.

Caterpillar vice president of product management for the excavation division Brian Abbott reacted to the significant milestone.

“Offering quick movement on the job site and from site to site without damaging the ground, the wheel excavator proved to be a game changer for contractors working in congested areas and markets with mature infrastructure,” Abbott said.

“The advanced hydraulic design, plumbed differently than conventional excavators, allows them to go beyond digging to operate a range of hydraulic work tools to increase application flexibility. We are pleased to present our 50,000th production wheel excavator to our long-time customer, Wolff & Müller.”

Wolff & Müller head of logistics service unit Torsten Schuckert said he is pleased to expand upon a 70-year partnership with Cat and Zeppelin.

“The reasons for the good cooperation are, in addition to the innovative machine technology, the excellent nationwide service and, above all, the appreciative, personal contact with each other,” Schuckert said.