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News Items

New Cat PL83 and PL87 Pipelayers Feature Enhanced Performance

by Dawn Rivera | Aug 11, 2015
August 6, 2015 - PipeLine Machinery International (PLM) announces the release of the Cat® PL83 and PL87 Pipelayers, corporate press release by Caterpillar® made the announcement today.

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM) announces the release of the Cat® PL83 and PL87 Pipelayers, corporate press release by Caterpillar® made the announcement today. The PL83 and PL87 Pipelayers—long the standard in the pipe-laying industry for powerful performance, reliability, and durability—feature an integrated, all-Cat power train with differential steering and an electronically controlled hydraulic system that places total control of lifting functions into one single joystick. Independent, variable-speed winches for the boom and hook provide precise control, and the enhanced counterweight system ensures a low center of gravity for optimum performance. A new Roll-over Protection Structure (ROPS) provides added safety for both open and enclosed operator’s stations. The new, purpose-built Pipelayer cab is now pressurized and incorporates new operator-comfort and convenience features.

The new Cat Pipelayers are designed to meet the demands of the pipeline industry for increased lift capacity, enhanced slope capability, ease of operation, performance, and transportability. Rated lift capacity (at tipping point) for the PL83 is 170,000 pounds (77 111 kg) and 216,000 pounds (97 972 kg) for the PL87. A non-suspended, elevated-sprocket undercarriage provides ample track-on-ground for added stability, and the new models’ massive mainframes and main cases resist operating stress.

The Cat C15 ACERT™ engine in the PL83 and PL87 has a maximum power rating of 363 horsepower (271 kW); all engines meet U.S. EPA Tier 4-Final/EU Stage IV emissions standards. The new models feature Cat’s torque divider and electronically controlled 3F/3R power-shift transmission.

Additional features include:

  • New electronic kick-out switch for the PL83 and PL87 ensures that counterweights are retracted to the correct position.
  • The new PL83 and PL87 now use two booms in common, 24-foot (7.31-m) and 28-foot (8.53-m) configurations.
  • The short-profile block set enhances visibility to the work area and extends the working range of the boom.
  • A wide-angle rearview camera enhances visibility to the work area, and 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.
  • A dash-mounted LCD display provides on-board diagnostic information for the operator, allows operators to create individual profiles and operational settings, and provides access to multiple switch-controlled functions.
  • Factory equipped to accept a load-monitor indicator (LMI), with new hydraulic circuitry, integrated mounting hardware, and ready-mount power supply to facilitate installation.

PL83 and PL87 Specifications







Net Power (Rated), hp (kw)

319 (238)

319 (238)

Lift capacity, lb. (kg)

170,000 (77 111)   

216,000 (97 976)

Operating weight, lb. (kg)

111,316 (50 492)

121,795 (55 426)

Maximum hook speed, ft/min. (m/min.)

72 (22)

50.8 (15.5)


The company’s worldwide activities are currently supported through the corporate office in Cypress, Texas, USA; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; The Hague, Netherlands; Beijing, China; and Melbourne, Australia.

For further information regarding this news release, contact PLM-Cat Marketing & Communications Manager, Dawn Rivera, at or by telephone +1-713-939-0007.  Additional information is available on PLM website at