Hydraulic Excavator


Since its introduction in the 1990s, the 300 Series family of excavators has become the industry standard in general, quarry, and heavy construction applications. The all-new E Series and the 312E/312E L will continue that trend-setting standard. It is also built with several new fuel-saving and comfort-enabling features and benefits that will delight owners and operators. If you are looking for more productivity and comfort, less fuel consumption and emissions, and easier and more sensible serviceability, you will find it in the all-new 312E/312E L and the E Series family of excavators.









Reduced emissions, economical and reliable performance

Cat® C4.4 ACERT™ Engine

The Cat C4.4 ACERT engine delivers the same level of performance using significantly less fuel than the previous series engine.

Emissions Solution

Equipped to meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Interim emission standards, the 312E’s C4.4 ACERT engine features an aftertreatment regeneration solution that ensures the machine works as normal with no operator intervention needed.

Biodiesel-Ready Fuel System

The C4.4 ACERT engine is equipped with an electronic-controlled high-pressure fuel system that includes an electric priming pump and three-layer fuel hoses to allow the use of biodiesel (meeting ASTM 6751 or EN 14214) up to B20 (biodiesel 20% mixture).

Cooling System

The cooling system features an air-to-air aftercooler and A/C condenser that tilt up and swing out of the way for easy servicing.


Speed and Power Control

The 312E features speed control to maximize performance while minimizing fuel consumption. Two different power modes are offered: high power mode when you need maximum production; economy mode when you need performance with the lowest fuel consumption. The operator can easily change between modes through the console switch panel to meet the needs for the job at hand - all to help manage and conserve fuel.

Operator Station

Comfort and convenience to keep people productive


The seat range includes air suspension, heated, and air cooled options. All seats include a reclining back, upper and lower seat slide adjustments, and height and tilt angle adjustments to meet operator needs for comfort and productivity.312E-operator


The right and left joystick (1) consoles can be adjusted to meet individual preferences, improving operator comfort and productivity during the course of a day. With the touch of a button, one-touch idle reduces engine speed to help save fuel; touch it again or move the joystick and the machine returns to normal operating level.


The 312E is equipped with a 7" LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitor (2) that is 40% bigger than the previous model’s with higher resolution for better visibility. In addition to an improved keypad and added functionality, it’s programmable to provide information in a choice of 44 languages to support today’s diverse workforce. An “Engine Idle Shutdown” setting accessible through the monitor, allows owners and operators to specify how long the machine should idle before shutting down the engine, which can save significant amounts of fuel. The image of the rearview camera is displayed directly on the monitor, which will help keep you focused on the job at hand.

Power Supply

Two 12-volt power supply sockets are located near key storage areas for charging electronic devices such as an MP3 player and cell phone.


Storage spaces are located in the front, rear, and side consoles. A dedicated space near the auxiliary power supply holds MP3 players and cell phones. The drink holder accommodates large mugs with handles, and a shelf behind the seat stores large lunch or toolboxes.

Automatic Climate Control

The climate control system features five air outlets with positive filtered ventilation, which makes working in the heat and cold much more pleasant.


Power to move more dirt, rock, and debris with speed and precision

Main Control Valve and Auxiliary Valves

The 312E uses a high-pressure system to tackle the toughest of work in short order. The machine features a highly efficient and simple main control valve to improve fuel consumption; it also allows for greater tool versatility.


Electric Boom Regeneration System

The 312E regenerates the flow of oil from the head end of the boom cylinder to the rod end of the boom cylinder during a boom down operation to save energy, which helps improve fuel efficiency. It is optimized for any dial speed setting being used by the operator, which results in less pressure loss for higher controllability, more productivity, and lower operating costs.

Structures & Undercarriage

Built to work in rugged environments


The upper frame includes reinforced mountings to support the Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS) cab; the lower frame is reinforced to increase component durability.


Long undercarriage supports various work applications. The track rollers are a double solid-pin-type design to improve reliability compared to the single solid-pin-type design. A segmented two-piece guiding guard is now offered to help maintain track alignment and improve performance in multiple applications.



Built with an integrated rearview camera housing, the counterweight comes with integrated links to enable easy removal for maintenance or shipping.


Fast, easy and safe access built in

Service Doors

Wide service doors feature sturdier hinges and latches and a new screen design to help prevent debris entry; a one-piece hood (1) provides easier access to the engine and cooling compartments.



The radiator (2), pump (3), and air cleaner compartments provide easy access to major components. The fresh air filter is located on the side of the cab to make it easy to reach and replace as needed.

Other Service Benefits

The water separator with water level sensor has a primary fuel filter element located in the pump compartment near ground level; the electric priming pump is mounted before the primary filter base and is easy to service compared to a traditional hand-priming pump. The fuel tank features a remote drain cock located in the pump compartment to make it easy to remove water and sediment during maintenance. The engine oil check gauge is situated in front of the engine compartment for easy access, and a uniquely designed drain cock helps prevent spills.

Work Tools

You can dig, hammer, rip, and cut with confidence.

You can extend the versatility and performance of your machine with the full lineup of Cat work tools. Each tool equips your machine to perform many different tasks found at a variety of job sites.


Couplers: Quick Tool Changes

Imagine the productivity you’ll achieve with a quick coupler. Combine a robust coupler with a common work tool inventory that can be shared between same size machines and you’ll get performance and flexibility on every job. The Cat Center‑Lock™ pin grabber coupler features a patented locking system and highly visible lock. You can clearly see when the coupler is engaged or disengaged from the attachment.

Work Tools: Cut, Crush, Pulverize and Load

No matter your specialty, Caterpillar provides tools that are perfectly matched to get the most out of your Cat machine - quickly and efficiently. Field-installed hydraulic kits are uniquely designed to integrate any Cat work tool with your 312E.

Buckets: Dig, Move, Load

Cat buckets are designed to fill efficiently so you notice a fast, smooth cycle, which means high productivity each time you dig. Wear characteristics of general duty, heavy duty, and severe duty buckets give you solid performance in a wide variety of material abrasions. Ditch cleaning and other specialty buckets are available when needed.

Integrated Technologies

Solutions that make work easier and more efficient

Cat® Grade Control Depth and Slope

This optional system combines traditional machine control and guidance with standard factory-installed and calibrated components, making the system ready to go to work the moment it leaves the factory. The system utilizes internal front linkage sensors - well protected from the harsh working environment - to give operators real-time bucket tip position information through the cab monitor (1), which minimizes the need and cost for traditional grade checking and enhances job site safety. It also helps the operator complete jobs in fewer cycles, which means less fuel use. Cat dealers can upgrade the system to full three-dimensional control by adding proven Cat AccuGrade™ positioning technologies, including GPS and Universal Total Station (UTS).

Cat Product Link

This optional system is deeply integrated into the machine monitoring system and is designed to help customers improve their overall fleet management effectiveness. Events and diagnostic codes as well as hours, fuel consumption, idle time, machine location, and other detailed information are transmitted to a secure web based application (2 and 3) called VisionLink™, which uses powerful tools to communicate to users and dealers.

Front Linkage

Made for high stress and long service life

Booms and Sticks

The 312E is offered with a reach boom and three stick configurations: R2.5 m (8'2"), R2.8 m (9'2"), and R3.0 m (9'10"). Also, a new thumb-ready stick with factory brackets and structural reinforcement to attach a Cat hydraulic thumb to the machine is an available option. Each boom and stick is built with internal baffle plates for added durability, and each undergoes ultrasound inspection to ensure weld quality and reliability. Reach configuration balances digging force and bucket capacity. It covers all applications this size of machine was designed to take on such as digging, loading, trenching, and working with hydraulic tools. Large box-section structures with thick, multi-plate fabrications, castings, and forgings are used in high-stress areas such as the boom nose, boom foot, boom cylinder, and stick foot to improve durability. Also, the front linkage pins’ inner bearing surfaces are welded with a self-lubricated bearing used to extend service intervals and increase uptime.



Features to help protect people


The ROPS-certified cab (1) allows an Operator Protective Guard to be bolted directly to it.

Sound Proofing

Improved sealing and cab roof lining lower noise levels inside the cab significantly during machine operation.

Anti-Skid Plates

The surface of the upper structure and the top of the storage box area are covered with anti-skid plates to help prevent service personnel and operators from slipping during maintenance.

Steps, Hand and Guard Rails

Steps on the track frame and storage box along with extended hand rail and optional guard rail to the upper deck enable operators to securely work on the machine.

Time Delay Lights

When the light switch is on, cab and boom lights will illuminate to enhance visibility after the engine start key has been turned off.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights

Halogen lights are standard, but they can be upgraded to HID for greater visibility.


The 70/30 split configuration features an upper window equipped with handles on the top and both sides so the operator can slide it to store in the ceiling. The lower window is removable and can be stored on the left wall of the cab shell. The large skylight provides great overhead visibility, excellent natural lighting, and good ventilation. The skylight can be opened completely to become an emergency exit.

Wiper System

A lower wiper is available as an option to maximize visibility in poor weather conditions. The lower wiper motor is integrated to the upper frame so it doesn’t obstruct the forward view.

Monitor Warning System

The machine features a buzzer in the monitor that tells customers when critical events like plugged filters or low hydraulic pressure need to be immediately addressed.

Rearview Camera

An optional rearview camera (2) is housed in the counterweight. The image projects through the cab monitor (3) to give the operator a clear view of what is behind the machine.