The first hybrid bulldozer in New Zealand, the revolutionary Caterpillar D7E, has gone to work clearing forests near Taupo.
The new D7E has been purchased from Gough Cat by Seay Earthmovers to assist with converting pine forests to dairy units for Wairakei Estates. Running a unique electric/diesel powertrain, it’s not just the first hybrid forestry machine in this country, but also the first to be used in any type of contracting work here.
The combined electric and diesel drive is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by an astonishing 25% and it also delivers more tractive power. In fact, the dozing performance of the new D7E is almost comparable to a D8, which compensates for the 10% higher purchase price against a regular D7R.
Bruce Seay, who runs the Bay of Plenty-based business with his brother Graham, says the machine is living up to its promise, even though it is very new and yet to fully bed in.
“It’s working hard – doing a fantastic job – but we’re getting great fuel consumption,” he says. “The driver is very happy with it, gives him something more interesting to work with and he loves the cab.”