CAT has a long history behind and the company is famous thanks o its strong engines and the heavy duty working vehicles that were designed to tackle the harshest construction sites without thinking twice. Recently, the company decided to try its luck in the transport industry and allied with Navistar to launch its first highway truck.
At the moment, the CAT CT630 is sold mainly on the Australian market and was developed especially for highway operations. Except for a few small differences, the truck shares the same design with the International ProStar , but is powered by a CAT C15 engine which develops 550hp. The CT630 also features a roomy cabin and an aerodynamic exterior design that was developed to enhance its fuel efficiency.
The CAT CT630 has a conventional cab configuration and looks almost identical with the International PayStar . As it was design especially for highway applications, the CAT CT630 features an aerodynamic design which is enhanced by a long nose and the raked windscreen.
At the front, the truck received the typical CAT radiator grille which has a thick chromed border and bares the company’s logo in its center.
The roof was designed to offer high aerodynamic performances and optimizes slope, while the bumper is also slightly curved in order to keep the drag coefficient to as low as possible. Furthermore the truck received full length chassis skirts and aerodynamically shaped mirrors. All this work at the aerodynamics is translated in a better fuel economy which is up to 7% lower than other similarly spec’d trucks.
The oversized wheel arches are nicely integrated into the overall design and underline the dynamic character of the vehicle. We also like the sleek headlights as they give the truck a modern look and make it stand out from the crowd.
Compared to the smaller the CT610, the CT630 features a bigger and more comfortable cab. While the dashboard looks pretty similar with the one from its brother, the materials seem of a better quality while the fittings are also well done and everything looks durable. Overall the cabin is a nice place to be in and we also like the color scheme selected as it offers an airy and relaxing feel.
The dashboard is fitted with a bunch of different controls and thanks to the wraparound design everything is within easy reach. The instrument cluster is organized in an intuitive manner and its big gauges can be seen even from a mile away. Besides the conventional round gauges, the instrument cluster is also equipped with a rectangular information display which keeps you posted on different vehicle stats.
Apart from the easy to reach controls, the pedals and gear knob fall easy into hand, but we find the two spoke steering wheel a bit dated for today’s standards and spoils all the good impression made by the ergonomic dashboard. The good part however, is that it can be adjusted for both reach and rake, hence you’ll find your favorite driving position fairly fast. The steering wheel is also fitted with different buttons for the cruise control, headlights, audio system and air horn.
Inside, there is a fair amount of leg and head room for both the driver and passenger. Talking about the driver, the captain’s seat is pretty comfortable and offers proper back support with plenty of adjustments to help you find a comfortable position.
Needles to say that the all round visibility is among the best in the segment thanks to the panoramic windshield and the generous mirrors while the storage department is also pretty well represented with plenty of cup holders, cubby holes and various useful consoles.
Engines and Transmissions
The CAT CT630 is powered by a C15 diesel engine which was especially developed for heavy duty applications. The C15 unit is able to meet current emission requirements without the need for EGR or SCR system integration.
The engine is rated at 550hp and offers a maximum torque of 2509Nm. Thanks to its generous power and the massive torque it can move the 58 tonnes truck effortless as the peak torque is achieved from as low as 1100 rpms.
Moreover you won’t need to push it hard to extract a proper amount of power and the engine can cruise all day long with 100 kmph at 1500 rpms.
The engine is mated on an 18 speed Eaton Fuller transmission which is able to deal with the huge amount of power without too much fuss offering smooth changes and an adequate fuel consumption. Typically gearing will be between 1400 and 1650 rpm, depending on application.
CAT CT630 Engine Specifications
Ride and handling
The truck is available in 4x2 and 6x4 axle configurations and the front axle can take up between 12,000 – 14,000 lbs, while the rear one can deal with a maximum load of up to 46.000 lbs.
The Cat CT630 is fitted with front parabolic leaf suspensions combined with shock absorbers for a better ride quality. Luckily, the truck won’t make you angry at every bump of the road, as the four point cab suspension is able to deal well with difficult roads and offers a smooth ride.
The steering is also up to the task and rewards you with a good handling thanks to its sharp response. Moreover, the front axle is pretty wide giving a relatively short turning circle.
The cabin is also pretty quiet at high speeds and the wind noise is kept outside. However, some engine noise still makes its way into the cab, especially on the highway.
The CAT CT 630 has anything it needs to make a compelling case for itself. It features a good build quality, which is combined with strong axles and capable suspensions. The interior is fairly comfortable and offers everything you need to have a relaxing and safe ride.
Furthermore, the CAT engines are able to tow massive loads and won’t let you down in any situation as they offer enough punch to keep you satisfied. We also like the ride and handling, as the truck is more agile than you’d expect.