Cat PL87 Pipelayer

PL87 Pipelayer

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Flywheel Power 319 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Bore 5.4 in
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Displacement 928 in³
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Engine Power (Maximum*) - ISO 14396 359 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Engine Power (Maximum*) - ISO 14396 (DIN) 364 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Engine Power (Maximum*) - SAE J1995 363 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Net Power (Maximum*) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 345 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Net Power (Maximum*) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 DIN 350 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Net Power (Rated**) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 319 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Net Power (Rated**) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 (DIN) 323 HP
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV: Stroke 6.75 in
U.S. EPA Tier 3/EU Stage IIIA Equivalent - Net Power - ISO 9249 329 HP
U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV - Net Power - ISO 9249 319 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Bore 5.4 in
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Displacement 928 in³
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Engine Power (Maximum***) - ISO 14396 361 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Engine Power (Maximum***) - ISO 14396 (DIN) 366 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Engine Power (Maximum***) - SAE J1995 366 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Net Power (Maximum***) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 343 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Net Power (Maximum***) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 DIN 347 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Net Power (Rated****) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 329 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Net Power (Rated****) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 (DIN) 333 HP
Tier 3/Stage IIIA Equivalent: Stroke 6.75 in
1 Forward 2.1 mile/h
2 Forward 3.8 mile/h
3 Forward 6.6 mile/h
1 Reverse 2.8 mile/h
2 Reverse 5 mile/h
3 Reverse 8.8 mile/h
Drawbar Pull - 1 Forward 148 lbf
Drawbar Pull - 2 Forward 81 lbf
Drawbar Pull - 3 Forward 44 lbf
Track Gauge 8.3 ft
Ground Contact Area 9920.1 in²
Grouser Height 3.6 in
Length - Track on Ground 12.2 ft
Width - Standard Shoes 34 in
Shipping Weight 90600 lb
Operating Weight 121795 lb
Pipelaying Equipment
Lift Capacity 216000 lb
Pipelayer Equipment
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Boom and Cables, 7.3 m (24 ft) 180.5 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Boom and Cables, 7.3 m (24 ft) Extended 242.8 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Boom and Cables, 8.53 m (28 ft) 205 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Boom and Cables, 8.53 m (28 ft) Extended 282.8 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Drum Diameter 10 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Drum Length 14 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Flange Diameter 20 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Boom: Wire Rope Diameter 0.75 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Boom and Cables, 7.3 m (24 ft) 375 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Boom and Cables, 7.3 m (24 ft) Extended 375 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Boom and Cables, 8.53 m (28 ft) 407.5 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Boom and Cables, 8.53 m (28 ft) Extended 407.5 ft
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Drum Diameter 10 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Drum Length 14 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Flange Diameter 20 in
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Hook Speed - Raise (8 part line) 50.8 ft/min
Pullmaster Hydraulic Winches - Hook: Wire Rope Diameter 0.75 in
Service Capacities
Fuel Tank 109.6 gal (US)
Cooling System 20.3 gal (US)
Engine Crankcase - With Filter 11.4 gal (US)
Final Drive - Each 3.4 gal (US)
Hydraulic Tank Oil 26.4 gal (US)
Power Train Oil System 50.2 gal (US)
Diesel Engine Fluid (DEF)* 4.5 gal (US)
Recoil Spring Compartment 19.5 gal (US)
Winch Case - Boom 3 gal (US)
Winch Case - Hook 4 gal (US)
Lift Capacity
Lift Capacity at Tipping Point - ISO 8813 216000 lb
Hydraulic System
Counterweights - Gear 34.3 gal/min
Implement Pump Output - Maximum - Closed Loop 83.8 gal/min
Steering Pump Output - Closed Loop 86.7 gal/min
Variable Charge Pump Output - Maximum - Open Loop 62.6 gal/min
Fan Pump 35.7 gal/min
Operating Specifications
Lift Capacity at Tipping Point - ISO 8813 216000 lb
Extended Boom 3458 lb
Hook Block 708 lb
Load Block 519 lb
Lower Boom Block 246 lb
Removable Counterweight (14 plates) Single Plate 1711 lb
Standard Boom 3148 lb
Total Removable Counterweight* 23950 lb
Upper Boom Block 246 lb
Dimensions (Approximate)
Boom Height (at SAE 1.22 m [4 ft] Overhang) 7.31 m (24 ft) Boom 26.3 ft
Boom Height (at SAE 1.22 m [4 ft] Overhang) 8.53 m (28 ft) Boom 30.3 ft
Drawbar - Height 1.4 ft
Ground Clearance - SAE J1234 1.6 ft
Grouser Height 3.6 in
Height - Machine - Cab and ROPS 11.6 ft
Length - Track on Ground 12.2 ft
Machine Height - Top of Counterweight 11.2 ft
Operating Length 17.9 ft
Track Gauge 8.3 ft
Width - Tractor - Counterweight Extended 20.8 ft
Width - Tractor - Counterweight Retracted 14.2 ft
Width - Tractor - Counterweight/Boom Removed 13.3 ft
Width - Tractor - Standard Shoes 12.7 ft



Proven heavy-duty winch design works with updated electro-hydraulic control for more precise implement control. Boom and hook winches are driven by independent hydraulic winches. Oil-disc brakes provide smooth operation and positive retention of boom and hook positions. A modular pin-on design allows for fast removal and easy field service. Interchangeable parts between hook and boom winch assemblies help reduce cost and downtime. The winch profile is compact and enhances visibility.
New counterweight profile adds weight where you need it most to provide you the needed lift capacity for your application. Segments are contoured to help lower the machine center of gravity and are extended hydraulically for improved load balance and clearance. An electronic counterweight kickout switch has been added to limit the retraction of the extendable counterweight to the correct, retracted position.
The lightweight, durable boom features high tensile strength steel construction for narrow structures and maximum visibility to the work area. Replaceable boom-mount bearings aid serviceability and long life. New PL87 now utilizes common 7.31 m (24 ft) and 8.53 m (28 ft) booms.
Blocks and Hook
Short profile block set enhances visibility to the work area and helps maximize the working range of the full length of the boom. The heavy-lifting components include hook and boom blocks with sleeve bearings, a forged hook with latch and serviceable handle, and ductile iron sheaves. A bolt-on block horn mounted to the front of the machine allows for convenient storage of the block set during transport.
Pinned Pipelayer Frame Structure
Heavy duty pipelayer frame structures are designed to be easily pinned together to provide robust strength and durability in addition to improved serviceability.

Operator Station

The latest PL87 Pipelayer offers operators added comforts like a quieter cab, adjustable armrests and heated/ventilated seat options. A seat belt indicator light helps remind you to work more safely.
  • A new Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) provides added operator protection for open or enclosed operator stations.
  • A durable access ladder aids with access/egress to the operator station, and can be removed to minimize the machine shipping envelope. The new ladder system also features a grated top step, to provide added visibility to the trench.
  • Additional mirrors further enhance the operator's visibility around the machine.
  • Ergonomically designed seat is positioned for enhanced visibility to the working area and for convenient access to the machine control lever, switches and pedals.
  • LCD Dash Display provides added machine diagnostics to the operator, in addition to allowing operators to create a personalized profile and operational settings.
  • New HVAC system provides heat from ducting and dash vents to the operator for Open Cab (OROPS).

Enclosed and Pressurized Cab

The new, optional enclosed cab is designed by Caterpillar specifically for demanding pipeline applications. The cab height meets shipping requirements and may be shipped by truck without removing the cab and Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS). The cab is fully sealed, filtered, and pressurized for harsh environments.
Glass area is maximized and visibility improved for better sight lines around the machine and to the trench. A large skylight window with sliding shade has been incorporated to provide a clear view from the seat to the boom and blocks.

Implement and Steering Controls

Pipelayer Control
Implement joystick places all Pipelayer implement controls and functionality into one hand. Low-effort, ergonomically designed and positioned control handle allows simultaneous, precise positioning of the load line, boom, and extendible counterweight.
  • Increment/decrement buttons on the implement handle provide continuous adjustable throttle.
  • Thumb rocker controls the counterweight extension and retraction.
  • Joystick pushed forward lowers the hook and joystick rearward raises the hook. Joystick left lowers the boom and joystick right raises the boom.
  • Quick drop activation.
  • Ergonomically positioned machine control switch panel provides easy access to the multiple switch functions of the machine.
Quick Drop Control
Quick drop control, when pushed downward, will allow the load on the hook line to fall freely to the ground. This control activation is to be used only in emergency situations, where the load must be quickly released.
Dual Brake Pedal Controls
Dual brake pedal controls provide enhanced maneuverability and steering control, especially in slope applications. Brakes are electronically applied and hydraulically actuated.
Differential Steering Control
A planetary differential turns the machine by speeding up one track and slowing down the other, while maintaining full power to both. This contributes to superior maneuverability in tight areas of operation, as well as enhanced slope capability. Differential steering also aids performance in soft ground conditions, as both tracks are powered during turning. The low effort steering tiller aids in ergonomic, ease of operation.


The Pipelayer mainframe is engineered to handle the most demanding applications. The purpose-built Pipelayer mainframe is built to absorb high impact shock loads and twisting forces, and full box section frame rails are designed to keep components rigidly aligned. Heavy steel casting of the main case and pinned Ebar provide machine strength and durability. Top and bottom rails are continuous rolled sections, with no machining, that help provide superior mainframe durability. The final drives are elevated well above the ground level work area to protect them from impact loads, abrasion, and contaminants.
Caterpillar uses robotic welding techniques in the assembly and manufacturing of the case and frames. The deep penetration and consistency of robotic welding ensures quality for a long, durable life.


The PL87 Pipelayer features a non-suspended, Cat elevated sprocket undercarriage. Track roller frame length remains extended, with rear idler positioned downward, resulting in more track on the ground to enhance machine stability, especially in slope applications.
Undercarriage components are built for long life and ease of serviceability. Rollers and idlers feature Duo-Cone™ seals to help prevent oil loss and dirt entry into the system. Tubular roller frame design resist bending and twisting, with added reinforcement where operating loads and stresses are highest. Cat Tough Steel sprocket segments are precision machined after heat treat for proper fit. Segments can be removed or replaced without breaking the track.
Pipelayer track is designed for high-impact and high load applications. The Positive Pin Retention Sealed and Lubricated Track is an exclusive Caterpillar design that locks the link to the pin for enhanced service life. Track shoes help optimize the machine for performance in demanding underfoot conditions.

Engine and Power Train

A Cat C15 ACERT engine provides the power and reliability you need to get the job done. Efficient use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) improves overall fluid and fuel efficiency in Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engines.
Differential Steering
Differential steering maintains full power to both tracks for best-in-class turning, even with a loaded boom. When one track speeds up, the other slows down an equal amount, so you have better maneuverability in tight areas of operation. You also are equipped with dual brake pedal controls to provide additional maneuverability and steering control, especially in slope applications. The machine brakes are electronically actuated and hydraulically applied.
Emissions Technology
Emissions reduction technology on the PL87 is designed to be transparent, with no action required from the operator. Regeneration runs automatically in the background while you work.
Aftertreatment Technologies
Caterpillar designed Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB products with Tier 4 Final/Stage IV standards in mind for regions with Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards requirements. To meet the additional 80% reduction in NOx emissions required by U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards, Caterpillar engineers added Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to the already proven aftertreatment solution.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid
In regions requiring Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards, the Selective Catalytic Reduction utilizes Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) which can be conveniently refilled when you refuel. A gauge on the dash displays your fluid level. When the machine is turned off, a pump will automatically purge the DEF lines to help prevent the fluid from freezing in the lines and pump in colder environments. A symbol on the dash and a light/symbol on the left fender service center indicate when the purge is complete and that it is safe to turn off the electrical disconnect. If the engine/aftertreatment temperatures are high, a delayed engine shutdown will activate automatically to cool the machine and then purge the lines. For complete aftertreatment information, please refer to your machine's Operation and Maintenance Manual.

Integrated Technologies

Cat Product Link™
Remote monitoring with Product Link improves overall fleet management effectiveness. Product Link is deeply integrated into machine systems. Events and diagnostic codes, as well as hours, fuel, idle time and other detailed information are transmitted to a secure web based application, VisionLink®. VisionLink includes powerful tools to convey information to users and dealers, including mapping, working and idle time, fuel level and more.
Load Monitor Ready
The PL87 is Load Monitor Indicator (LMI) ready from the factory and can accept regional LMI systems. New hydraulic circuitry, integrated mounting hardware and ready-mount power supply makes system installation simple. The LMI ready hydraulic system enables installation without opening the hydraulic system thus preventing contamination.


  • The PL87 meets Tier 4 Final/Stage IV or Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent emission standards.
  • Efficient use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) improves overall fluid and fuel efficiency, for Tier 4 Final/Stage IV models only.
  • Longer service intervals help reduce parts and fluid consumption.
Major components are built to be rebuilt, eliminating waste and saving money by giving your machine a second – and even third – life.

Serviceability and Customer Support

Like all Cat machines, the PL87 is designed to allow you to get routine service done quickly and efficiently so you can get to work. The PL87 offers full left-side engine serviceability, including fill tube, dipstick, air cleaner, fuel filters, oil filter and coolant level check. Easy open engine enclosure doors allow you to maintain three points of contact for added safety. High speed oil change is standard and makes servicing even faster. Hydraulic and power train filters and fuel tank drain are located at the rear of the machine and are serviceable from ground level.
Pressure taps are placed within the hydraulic system to allow for quick monitoring.
Major components like the engine, transmission, and final drives are modular so they can be more quickly removed for service, saving you cost and downtime.
The radiator, Air-to-Air Aftercooler (ATAAC) and hydraulic oil cooler are packaged into a single plane, making cleanout easier. Durable aluminum bar plate construction gives you superior heat transfer and corrosion resistance. Six fins per inch core allow debris to pass through and help reduce plugging. In cooler conditions, the zero speed hydraulic fan will remain off until component temperatures require cooling, at which time the fan will begin to operate. Each pipelayer is equipped with reversing fan configuration as well.
Ecology drains provide a convenient method for draining fluids that save time and help prevent spills. They are included on the radiator (coolant) hydraulic tank, engine, transmission, and mainframe case.

Renowned Cat Dealer Support

Cat dealers excel at providing parts availability and equipment service to even the most remote areas.
With more than 10,000 service technicians employed in over 3,000 Cat dealer locations around the world, Cat parts and service resources and capabilities are beyond compare.
  • Manage costs with preventive maintenance programs like Custom Track Service, S·O·SSM analysis, and guaranteed maintenance contracts.
  • Stay productive with best-in-class parts availability.
Cat dealers can even help you with operator training to help you boost your profits.
And when it's time for machine replacement, your Cat dealer can help you save even more with Genuine Cat Reman parts. Receive the same warranty and reliability as new products at cost savings of 40 to 70 percent for power train and hydraulic components.


Job site safety is a key concern for pipeline customers, and Cat Pipelayers are designed with features to help protect people in and around the machine.
  • Convenient steps, handles and guardrail provide safe access/egress.
  • New seat belt indicator registers a fault code through Product Link if the operator fails to buckle up, helping to improve job site safety.
  • Electronic fluid level verification at startup for coolant, power train, engine oil and DEF means you can make fewer trips up and down from the operator station.
  • A standard operator presence detection system allows the machine to idle when the operator is not seated, but locks out the power train to avoid unintentional movement.
  • An optional rear vision camera is also available to further enhance visibility around the machine.

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