Cat PL161 device enables attachment tracking by smartphone, tablet
Don McLoud | April 12, 2019
Cat PL161 attachment tracking

Small enough not to interfere, rugged enough for construction, the PL161 will let you know where this bucket or attachment is at all times.

Having trouble finding attachments…again?

Caterpillar feels your pain and has come up with the PL161 attachment locator as part of its Cat Product Link line.

This small device allows contractors and fleet managers to keep up with their buckets, grapples and other attachments online and through their smartphones and tablets. It can track location and utilization across multiple jobsites as well as help you plan for attachment maintenance and replacement, all while 

The system leverages cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity through the user’s smartphone or tablet and transmits data to VisionLink (Cat’s proprietary telematics program) and My.Cat applications. Purchase of the PL161 comes with a subscription to VisionLink for the life of the battery-powered locator, which is about two years, Cat says.

The lightweight 2-inch-by-1.5-inch Bluetooth locator device can be fastened to an attachment or other nonpowered asset and is used with the Cat App, which can be downloaded at the App Store or Google Play Store.

Cat PL161

The PL161 can be installed by customers but will soon be factory standard on excavator attachments.

The device comes with mounting hardware of two bolts, two washers and a steel weld plate, and with safety films. The module can also be mounted with adhesive. Cat says the locator module is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of a construction site.

Customers can install the PL161 themselves, but it will be available from the factory on select attachments and factory installed on all excavator attachments starting in mid-2019. Retrofit kits are available for older machines.

The PL161’s Bluetooth range is up to 100 feet. When a device with the Cat App is within range of the PL161, the attachment’s location will be logged automatically.

The PL161 can also be used with Cat’s other PL Series scanning devices on its Next Generation excavators. Cat says retrofits are available for older machines.

The PL161 locator is also available from the factory on certain Cat attachments and will be factory-installed on all its new excavator attachments starting in mid-2019, Cat says.

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