The Caterpillar 966M, 966M XE, 972M, and 972M XE wheel loaders have Tier 4-Final ACERT engines and XE advanced power trains, which Cat says results in 25 percent lower fuel consumption on average over traditional torque converter machines.
The XE power train also features a two-pedal configuration, and the 972M XE is designed to be a 3-pass match for many of the larger on-highway trucks used in North America.
The 966M and 972M power trains have also been improved with the addition of lock-up clutch torque converters. In addition, the torque converters have been matched with the engine power and hydraulics. Their planetary transmissions also have a new split-flow oil system and use multi-viscosity oil, which improves fuel economy, according to the company. The new features and further axle and hydraulic improvements result in 10 percent lower fuel consumption on average compared to the predecessor models, 966K and 972K.
In addition to aggregates, sand and gravel and batch plants, these models are commonly used in heavy construction applications where poor underfoot conditions make traction difficult. The new disc-type differential locks is said to improve tractive ability in these applications. 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 axles contribute to lower fuel consumption due to lower oil levels and bevel gear shrouds that reduce churning losses from rotating components. They also have 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 966M, 966M XE, 972M, and 972M XE hydraulic systems also have significant design changes. The main hydraulic valve is now a mono-block with an integrated ride control section. The mono-block design reduces weight, has 40 percent fewer leak points, Caterpillar says, and is common across all M Series models. The ride control system now has two accumulators, enabling it to be more effective over a greater payload range. Auxiliary third and fourth hydraulic functions can be added at the factory or in the field with the addition of a second remote valve.
Caterpillar 966M/966M XE, 972M/972M XE Specifications
- Engine: Cat C9.3
- Horsepower: 277
- Operating weight range: 49,560-56,637 pounds
- Bucket capacity range: 3.25-12.0 cubic yards
- Bucket pin height (std. lift): 167 inches
- Engine: Cat C9.3
- Horsepower: 300
- Operating weight range: 53,495-57,122 pounds
- Bucket capacity range: 3.75-13.0 cubic yards
- Bucket pin height (std. lift): 176 inches