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Caterpillar unveil more new M-Series wheel loaders

Cat 972M wheel loader

Latest Cat 966M, 966M XE, 972M and 972M XE models all feature Stage IV ACERT engines

CATERPILLAR have added four new models to their M-Series wheel loader range. The latest Cat 966M, 966M XE, 972M and 972M XE medium wheel loaders all meet Stage IV emission standards and have been designed to provide greater productivity, reduced fuel consumption, improved operator efficiency and Cat Connect features.

Caterpillar’s XE advanced powertrain, which was first introduced on the 966K XE, now continues with the new 966M XE and 972M XE models. The XE technology is said to reduce fuel consumption by 25% on average compared with machines with traditional torque converters, and simplifies operation with a two-pedal design while providing performance at all speeds.


The 966M and 972M powertrains have also been improved with the addition of lock-up clutch torque converters. These new torque converters have been matched with the engine power and hydraulics to improve performance and fuel efficiency and are another example of ‘deep system integration’.

The rugged planetary transmissions also have a new split-flow oil system and use multi-viscosity oil, which improves fuel economy. According to Caterpillar, the new features and further axle and hydraulic improvements result in 10% lower fuel consumption compared with the 966K and 972K machines.

The new disc-type differential locks improve tractive ability in applications such as quarrying and heavy construction, while delivering increased productivity. All four models come standard with front axle differential locks, which are manually activated by a switch on the floor.

Optional fully automatic front and rear axle differential locks operate by measuring differences in axle speeds and require no operator intervention to activate. The disc-type differential locks reduce tyre scuffing compared with other traction aids.

The new M-Series wheel loaders are equipped with new external caliper disc parking brakes mounted to the input shaft of the front axles. Caliper parking brakes have higher capacity than the drum brakes used on the 966K and 972K.

Since they are external, they do not have the inefficiencies of enclosed wet parking brakes due to brake discs running in oil nor is there any oil to change. The results are reduced fuel and maintenance costs. External caliper parking brakes are also easily accessible for inspection and service.

Elsewhere, the 966M, 966M XE, 972M and 972M XE hydraulic systems have significant design changes and customer value improvements. The main hydraulic valve is now a mono-block with an integrated ride control section.

The mono-block design reduces weight, has 40% fewer leak points and is common across all M Series models. The new ride control system now has two accumulators enabling it to be more effective over a greater payload range, increasing productivity and operator efficiency. Auxiliary third and fourth hydraulic functions can be easily added at the factory or in the field with the addition of a second remote valve.

Improving operator efficiency was a key design goal on the 966M, 966M XE, 972M and 972M XE units. A switch has been added to the electronic service centre for unlatching the door remotely. A gas strut swings the door open all while the operator is safely on the ground.

The angle of the steps up to the cab has also been increased to an optimal 15 degrees, which enables operators to walk up as if they were using stairs rather than climbing more vertically. Grab handles have been repositioned so a secure three points of contact can be maintained at all times. New larger convex mirrors improve visibility to the rear and integrated spot mirrors provide visibility close to both sides of the machine.

The new Cat Connect Solutions allows operators and managers to access machine operating data, including total fuel consumption, average fuel rate, total idle time and fuel consumed at idle, total operating hours and several other machine data. A new Caterpillar Production Measurement app option is integrated in the new touch screen display and now provides payload information.

These new technologies and services help provide an increasing ability for customers to monitor, manage and enhance operations, gain more control of their jobsites, and reduce costs and increase profits. 


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