The CT660 model is the first vocational truck built by Cat for the American market. Caterpillar has already a solid experience in building construction equipment and despite the fact that many people still consider its new model just an International with a new hood and another badge, the CT660 is able to make a compelling case for itself.
Available with a wide range of specifications, it can be configured to match almost any vocational application required as it’s ready to go head to head with the toughest jobs as a dump truck, concrete mixer, waste carrier or all-around heavy hauler.
The truck is priced at $157000 and is offered with a choice of two CAT CT engines based on MaxxForce units which develop between 330 – 475 hp.
Arguably, the truck’s design is pretty catchy and can be considered at the same level with Mack’s models. We like the clean aerodynamic lines and the imposing black grille which gels seamlessly with the hood giving the truck a solid stance.
The curved hood is slightly raked to improve the driver’s visibility, while the oversized wheel arches follow the same line of the hood forming a well put together design. The fender extensions are made of a tough rubber-composite that gives them extra flexibility to be able to endure any punishment without backing down.
The three piece front bumper is also nicely integrated into the front fascia and copes great with the grille. We especially ike the sharp light clusters which are among the best looking units in the business. Moreover, they are fitted with halogen bulbs which produce a higher-quality light and illuminate the roadway better than sealed beams. To match the heavy duty character of the truck, the headlight covers are impact resistant, to be protected against damage caused by road debris.
The truck also features two huge vertical exhaust pipes mounted behind the cabin which further enhance its purposeful look. The aluminum alloy cab is anti corrosive and keeps the overall weight to a minimum, thus maximizing the payload capacity.
Thanks to the generous door opening, three-point grab irons and the skid resistant steps you can get in and out of the cab pretty easy. If many people still argue about the exterior design of the CAT 660, they all agree about one point: the interior is top notch. Once you’ll step inside, CAT’s struggles to make this cabin a nice place to be in can be seen in every detail.
Take for instance the squared dashboard which is slightly angles towards the driver for enhanced convenience. It is fitted with a bunch of controls which have a logical layout that won’t leave you confused like other truck in the segment. Cat says that all controls, levers, switches and gauges are positioned to maximize safety and minimize fatigue, and we’ll have to agree with them, as the company’s engineers did a great job in the ergonomy department.
The instrument cluster is also one of the most modern in its class. The primary gauges are easy to read through the steering wheel, while the big rocker switches are also easy to reach and offer a “soft touch” tactile feedback when pushed. All the gauges feature a black dial face, white font and red needles which makes them easy to recognize. For a less cluttered design the speedo and tachometer are combined into a single large gauge, while the different warning signals feature bright indicator lights and audible alarms.
We also like the seats which are with at least a class above many units in the segment. They are air suspended and can be fully adjusted to fit almost any size and shape. There are also available comfortable armrests which fold out of the way for enhanced versatility. CAT also offers optional high seat-back units which offer additional head and neck support, and the company’s Comfort seats which come with extra thick, contoured cushions.
Needless to say, that the all-round visibility is brilliant thanks to the raked hood and generous windshield. We won’t complain about the large power mirrors which are heated and feature integrated turn signals for extra safety, offering an adequate side view.
Engines and transmissions
The CAT CT660 is powered by Cat’s CT11 (330-390 hp) and CT13 (410-470 hp) engines. The engines feature a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) block that saves up to 500 pounds of weight compared to conventional units. The engines also incorporate an EGR system with capable common-rail fuel injection technology, air management systems, piston combustion bowl design and electronic controls. Dual sequential turbochargers and a high-pressure injection system deliver broad peak torque at relatively low rpms.
To be able to deal with a wide range of heavy duty vocational applications the truck is also offered with a rear power take off system which sends power from the engine directly to the requested attachments.
The CAT CT660 is equipped with a 6 speed CX31 automatic transmission which was already highly tested in different vocational applications. The transmission is a power shift unit, similar with the Allison’s automatic. Compared to the Allison transmissions however, the CX31 is louder and the shifts changes are far from being smooth. Other than that, it performs pretty well and you won’t have any problems with it. Other transmission options include the manual and Ultrashift Plus vocational transmissions from Eaton.
CAT CT 660 Engines specifications
Ride and suspensions
The truck chassis features a set-back axle, with both 116-inch and 122-inch bumper to back of cab lengths available. Thanks to these configurations, the CAT CT660 is fairly easy to maneuver and features an extra tight turning radius.
CAT is already known for its capable suspensions and the company put all that knowledge into the new CT660. At the front the truck comes with multi leaf suspensions which include shackle type, single or two-stage springs and slipper type, with compatible shock absorbers, while at the rear comes with either Hendrickson or Chalmers suspensions.
Thanks to the tuned cab air suspension system, the ride is fairly comfortable and the truck can deal even with the toughest roads without sending the bumps or other unpleasant vibrations inside the cabin. The body roll is pretty well controlled too, while the steering is well weighted and responsive.
The Cat CT660 was built using the company experience in the construction industry and it shows. The build quality is bullet proof and the cab is one of the best in the business. We also like its exterior design which combines pretty well the utilitarian nature of the truck with a modern and aerodynamic style.
The engines are fairly strong and can tackle even the toughest jobs. The 6 speed CX31 transmission may not be the smoothest or the most reliable in the business, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not able to do its job with dignity.
We also like the tough chassis which is highly versatile and is able to suit a wide range of vocational applications.
Video: CAT CT660