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Pipelayers(Non Current)

Cat Pipelayers have been the standard of the pipelining industry for decades. A worldwide network of Caterpillar dealers, in tune with the special high production needs of pipeliners, supports these durable, dependable machines.

561M Pipelayer

The 561M Pipelayer is built using elevated sprocket design and is the standard of the pipeline industry.

  • Specification Summary

  • Engine Model3116
  • Flywheel Power82.0 kW
  • Net Power – ISO 924982.0 kW
  • Lift Capacity18145.0 kg
  • Operating Weight16240.0 kg

Product Details


Engine Model 3116
Flywheel Power 82.0 kW
Net Power – ISO 9249 82.0 kW

Pipelaying Equipment

Lift Capacity 18145.0 kg


Operating Weight 16240.0 kg


Length 3730.0 mm
Shipping Height 3124.0 mm
Shipping Width 3193.0 mm

Power Train

Perfectly matched power train. From the powerful and fuel-efficient 3116 DIT engine to the durable power shift transmission, all Caterpillar components work together to deliver responsive power when you need it.

Cat 3116 Engine

Caterpillar 3116 engine performs at full-rated net power of 82 kW (110 hp) at 2100 rpm with high torque rise of 36%. High horsepower, combined with high torque rise, give the 561M the durability needed on the challenging jobs. Moreover, this engine meets all the latest emission regulations around the world.


Turbocharging improves response and performance at low to medium engine speeds.

Fuel System

Direct unit injection fuel system eliminates external high pressure fuel lines and provides excellent control of injection timing with individually metered, high-pressure, direct-injection of fuel. Result is improved engine response and reliability plus low fuel consumption and emissions.


Resilient engine mounting for quieter operation and less vibration.


Long-life design
  • One-piece, stress relieved, cast iron cylinder block for increased rigidity.
  • High-strength, one piece cylinder head with replaceable stainless steel intake valve seat and nickel alloy exhaust valve seat.
  • Optimized camshaft location, short pushrods and roller followers to reduce flexing.
  • Full-length, water-cooled cylinders for maximum heat transfer.
  • Large engine oil cooler to with forged steel crown for added durability.
  • Low-mounted oil pump maintain optimum engine oil temperature.
  • Main and rod bearing surfaces increased for better wear life.
  • Two-piece articulated piston for quick start-up lubrication.


Easy maintenance. The engine can be rebuilt for a second life. Caterpillar remanufactured parts are available to economically replace many components. Some innovative maintenance features of the 3116 engine:
  • Parent-metal cylinder block can be rebored twice and dry-sleeved.
  • Connecting rods can be removed through the tops of the cylinders.
  • Camshaft followers and pushrods can be easily replaced without removing the camshaft.
  • Water pump can be serviced as a unit or rebuilt.

Radiator (IMRM)

Improved multiple row modular radiator efficiently cools the engine for optimum engine performance in tough environments and applications.


Drivetrain components are matched and balanced to deliver exceptional performance and durability.

Torque converter

Torque converter responds to changing load conditions by providing torque multiplication for increased drawbar pull while protecting the drive train from shock loads.


Power shift transmission. Proven planetary design delivers fast, smooth speed changes while distributing loads over multiple gears for long life. Perimeter-mounted clutches provide superior heat dissipation and a large contact area for long service life.

Clutches and Brakes

Separated clutches and brakes. Oil-cooled, hydraulically actuated multiple-disc clutches and brakes for smooth, precise turns.

Final drives

Final drives. Precision, high load capacity gears and bearings give long-lasting performance and durability.


Mainframe is designed and built for durability using the latest technology in engineering and manufacturing. It provides solid support and perfect alignment for major components.


High strength steel mainframe. The 561M mainframe absorbs high impact shock loads and twisting forces.


Structural testing analysis is used to verify and ensure integrity of the mainframe.

Robotic welding

Robotic welding provides deep penetration and consistency for long life.


Precision top level machining for perfect alignment of bores and surfaces.

Roller Frames

Roller frames are tubular, to resist bending and twisting, with reinforcement where operating stresses are the highest.
  • Non-oscillating roller frames for greater stability in pipelaying applications.
  • The recoil system is sealed and lubricated.
  • Improved pipelayer structure mounting.


The elevated sprocket moves the final drives above the work area, isolating them from ground impact for long power train component life.

Final Drives

Final drives and associated power train components are raised above the work area, isolating them from the ground-induced impact loads, as well as pipelayer loads, extending power train component life.

Sprocket Position

Sprocket position keeps sprocket teeth, bushings and final drives away from the abrasive materials and moisture, resulting in longer final drive gear and seal life.

High Flange

High flange improved track rollers (optional) combined with center or full length roller guards attachments greatly improved track guiding for demanding side slope conditions.

Track Shoes

Track shoes are 510 mm (20”) single grouser shoes made from heat-treated, rolled steel for added strength. Long track frame and wide gauge enhance track contact area, providing a very stable working base.

Heavy Duty Sealed and Lubricated

Permanently coats the track pin with a sealed-in lubricant, minimizing metal-to-metal contact.
  • Virtually eliminates internal pin and bushing wear.
  • Lubricant is held in a reservoir in the track pin.

Operator Station

Ergonomically designed for maximum productivity and comfort. Controls are intuitive, low-effort and easy to reach, viewing area is excellent, instrument panel is easy to read and informative, and storage space has been increased.


Operator’s station provides excellent comfort and convenience. The new counterweight design provides improved viewing area from the machine.


Pipelayer steering clutch levers are easy-to-reach, low-effort controls. They are independently actuated for sure, precise steering.


The seat is ergonomically designed and fully adjustable for maximum comfort. The seat cushion reduces the pressure on the lower back and thighs while allowing unrestricted arm and leg movement.

Instrument Panel

Instrument panel is the Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) for monitoring critical machine functions. There is also a gauge group displaying fuel level, coolant, and power train oil temperatures.


Separated brakes are independent of the steering clutch function to give the machine precise steering control.


Pipelayer controls are low effort and allow simultaneous, precise positioning of the load line and boom.

Load Line Speed

Load line speed range is controlled by a push-pull knob that allows the operator to select high or low.


Counterweight control adjusts the position of the counterweight for added machine stability.


Simplified entry by adding a ladder on the right rear side of the machine.


Hydraulic load line and boom winches provide excellent speed capability. Counterweight and frame design provides excellent stability while offering increased viewing area.

Winch and Boom

Winch and Boom
  • Independent hydraulic winches drive boom and hook drawworks.
  • Oil-disc brakes provide smooth operation, positive retention of boom and hook positions.
  • Modular design allows fast replacement, easy field service, and testing.
  • Infinitely variable speed controls for both boom and hook allow precise control.
  • Tubular, cast-steel boom is rugged, delivers better fatigue life.
  • Replaceable boom-mount bearings.
  • Symmetrical boom simplifies installation.
  • Emergency free-fall function on load line control allows the operator to drop the load quickly.

Counterweight and Frame

Counterweight and Frame
  • New counterweight design offers improved viewing area while traveling or working.
  • Main frame consists of box-section frame welded to cast bevel gear case.
  • Counterweight is extended hydraulically for improved load balance, visibility, and clearance.
  • Service latch mechanically locks counterweight in extended position.


  • Upsized.
  • Larger jaw opening and pin diameter.
  • Able to tow wider range of attachments.


Major modular components are designed for excellent serviceability and allow fast in-field component exchange.

Modular Design

Modular design of power train components permits fast removal and installation.

Modular Testing

Pre-testing modular components before installation or after repair assures high quality.

Service Points

Group service points and excellent access to service areas make routine checks fast and convenient.

Quick Service

Quick, easy service access and inspection of daily maintenance items.

Pressure Test Points

Pressure test points for powertrain and hydraulic systems are provided.

Electrical Diagnostic

Electrical system diagnostic connector enables fast troubleshooting of starting and charging problems.

Cooling System

Modular cooling system, with individual core assemblies, provides improved serviceability, reduced replacement costs, and improved durability.

Caterpillar Remanufactured

Caterpillar Remanufactured starters, alternators, cylinder heads, short blocks, engines, oil pumps, and final drive hubs are available for fast, economical repairs.

Ecology Drains

Ecology drains provide an environmentally safer method to drain fluids. They are included on the radiator, hydraulic tank, and major power train components.

Customer Support

Excellent parts availability and the best service capability help increase productivity.

Total Support

Your Cat dealer offers a wide range of services that can be set up under a customer support agreement when you purchase your equipment. The dealer will help you choose a plan that can cover everything from machine and attachment selection to replacement, to help you get the best return on your investment.


Selection. Make detailed comparisons of the machines you are considering before you buy. How long do components last? What is the true cost of lost production? Your Cat dealer can give you precise answers to these questions.


Purchase. Look past initial price. Consider the financing options available as well as day-to-day operating costs. This is also the time to look at dealer services that can be included in the cost of the machine to yield lower equipment owning and operating costs over the long run.


Operation. Improving operating techniques can boost your profits. Your Cat dealer has training videotapes, literature, and other ideas to help you increase productivity.

Machine Management Services

Machine management services -
Cat dealers help manage equipment investments with:
  • Custom Track Service.
  • Effective preventive maintenance programs.
  • Diagnostic programs like Scheduled Oil Sampling and Technical Analysis.
  • Information to make the most cost-effective repair option decisions.
  • Customer meetings, training for operators and mechanics.


Replacement. Repair, rebuild, or replace? Your Cat dealer can help you evaluate the cost involved so you can make the right choice.

Product Support

Product support. You will find nearly all parts at our dealer parts counter. Cat dealers utilize a worldwide computer network to find in-stock parts to minimize machine down time. Save money with remanufactured parts. You receive the same warranty and reliability as new products at cost savings of 40 to 70 percent.
  • Air cleaner, dry-type, with precleaner
    • Air cleaner service indicator
      • Air intake heater
        • Alternator, 70-amp
          • Back up alarm
            • Blower fan
              • Boom, 5.48 m (18 ft)
                • Brake system, service, parking and emergency
                  • Counterweight, extendible segmented 3270 kg (7208 lb)
                    • Decelerator
                      • Diagnostic connector (starting and charging system)
                        • Diagnostic pressure taps
                          • Drawbar, rigid
                            • Dual fuel filters
                              • Ecology drains
                                • Electric hour meter
                                  • Electric starting, 24-volt direct
                                    • Electronic Monitoring System
                                      • Engine, 3116 turbocharged diesel
                                        • Engine enclosures, lockable
                                          • Front pull device
                                            • Fuel gauge
                                              • Fuel priming pump
                                                • Gauge package, temperature
                                                  •  Coolant
                                                  •  Power train oil
                                                • Guards
                                                  •  Center track guiding guards
                                                  •  Crankcase, normal service
                                                  •  End guide
                                                  •  Fuel tank
                                                  •  Instrument panel
                                                  •  Radiator, hinged
                                                  •  Rear
                                                • Center track guiding guards
                                                  • Crankcase, normal service
                                                    • End guide
                                                      • Fuel tank
                                                        • Instrument panel
                                                          • Radiator, hinged
                                                            • Rear
                                                              • Horn
                                                                • Hydraulics, pipelayer system
                                                                  • IMRM radiator
                                                                    • Lifetime Lubricated rollers and idlers
                                                                      • Lockable storage compartment
                                                                        • Muffler
                                                                          • Precleaner
                                                                            • Seat, vinyl suspension, with adjustable armrests
                                                                              • Seat belt
                                                                                • Segmented sprocket
                                                                                  • Single key start
                                                                                    • Steering system
                                                                                      •  Lever steering
                                                                                    • Track
                                                                                      •  Adjusters, hydraulic
                                                                                      •  Carrier rollers
                                                                                      •  Heavy Duty Sealed and Lubricated
                                                                                      •  Two piece master link
                                                                                    • Adjusters, hydraulic
                                                                                      • Carrier rollers
                                                                                        • Heavy Duty Sealed and Lubricated
                                                                                          • Two piece master link
                                                                                            • Transmission, power shift
                                                                                              • Vandalism protection
                                                                                                • Water separator
                                                                                                  • Fan, reversible
                                                                                                    • Guards
                                                                                                      •  Crankcase extreme service
                                                                                                      •  Precleaner
                                                                                                      •  Radiator, heavy duty, hinged grill
                                                                                                      •  Radiator core protection grid
                                                                                                      •  Track roller, length
                                                                                                    • Crankcase extreme service
                                                                                                      • Precleaner
                                                                                                        • Radiator, heavy duty, hinged grill
                                                                                                          • Radiator core protection grid
                                                                                                            • Track roller, length
                                                                                                              • Lighting system, four lights
                                                                                                                • Precleaner with prescreener
                                                                                                                  • Starting aids
                                                                                                                    •  Ether starting aid
                                                                                                                    •  Heater, engine coolant choice of 120 or 240 volt (dealer installed)
                                                                                                                    •  Heavy duty batteries
                                                                                                                  • Suspension seat, vinyl, low back
                                                                                                                    • Tool kit (dealer installed)
                                                                                                                      • Track rollers, high flange

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