Cat Unveils Redesigned 317, 317 GC Excavators That Lower Maintenance Costs by Up To 20%

Cat 317 GC excavator moving dirt

The Cat 317 GC has two engine power modes: smart, which automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to the job; and eco, designed for fuel economy.

Standard features on the new 17-ton-class Cat 317 and Cat 317 GC Next Gen excavators can boost operating efficiencies by up to 45% compared with previous models, says Cat, all while lowering maintenance costs by up to 20%.

Operating efficiencies are achieved through the standard Cat Grade Assist — which automates boom, stick and bucket movements — and Cat Grade with 2D, which automatically guides depth, slope and horizontal distance to grade. The system can be upgraded to Cat Grade with Advance 2D or Cat Grade with 3D.

Two engine modes on the Cat 317 GC — part of Cat’s value-priced excavator offering — help operators match power to the job: smart mode, which automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to working conditions, and eco mode, designed to minimize fuel consumption on less demanding jobs. The 317 also has a power mode, which provides maximum power for more demanding tasks.

A new main hydraulic valve control eliminates the need for pilot lines, reduces pressure losses and lowers fuel consumption, Cat says. Standard Cat Advansys bucket tips offer increased life and material retention along with fast changes.

Real-time Cat Payload weighing technology is standard on the Cat 317. Payload summaries, fuel usage and fault codes are captured by the standard Product Link technology and accessed via Vision Link and the Cat App.


Cat Remote Services technologies on the 317 support uptime by reporting machine operating data to a Cat dealer. Remote Troubleshoot analyzes this data, allowing dealer technicians to remotely run diagnostic testing and pinpoint issues without the need for a service trip. Remote Flash updates the machine with the most current version of on-board software.

Cat 317 excavator moving dirt

Remote Services technologies on the Cat 317 support uptime by reporting operating data to a Cat dealer.

Both models have a new hydraulic oil filter with a 3,000-hour change interval, which is 50 percent longer than previous models. New anti-drain valves keep the hydraulic oil clean during filter replacement. Filter life and maintenance intervals can be tracked on the in-cab LCD monitor.

In addition to ground-level maintenance checkpoints, a second engine oil dipstick can be accessed while working on top of the excavator. All Cat S·O·S oil sample ports are at ground level.

In the cab

Low-profile design cabs on the two models feature large front, rear and side windows, significantly improving visibility compared to the F series models, Cat says. The 317 GC comes standard with the Cat comfort cab, while the 317 offers the choice between deluxe and premium cab designs.

Rearview and right-hand sideview cameras are standard, and the 317 can be upgraded to 360-degree visibility, allowing a single view of objects and personnel around the excavator. Also standard is the radio’s Bluetooth connectivity.

The two models are part of Cat’s offering in the 16- to 19-ton weight class, which according to Equipment World’s 2020-21 Spec Guide also includes the new 16.2-ton Cat 315, the 17.6-ton Cat 316F and the 18.8-ton 318F. Basic specs are below:

Cat 317 and Cat 317GC Specs