Instead of continuing to stretch out its existing large wheel loader models, Caterpillar is filling a product-line gap with an entirely new model.
On what was described as a "historic" day at the company's Aurora, Ill., factory, Caterpillar gathered equipment end-users, dealers and trade press for the Sept. 27 debut of the all-new 25-ton-payload 993K wheel loader. At a bucket range of 16 to 19 cubic yards, the 993K will serve market needs between the established 992 and 994 models. The 992, for which a K-Series model will follow immediately upon the 993K's early 2008 production start, had crept up to the 15- to 16-cubic-yard market with the most recent G-Series. The 994F, the product line's granddaddy, is normally in the 18.5- to 25-cubic-yard market, but will handle as much as 47 cubic yards of material when equipped with a coal bucket.
Featuring Z-bar linkage, the 993K generates 20 percent more breakout force than the 992G.
"This fills the gap," says Randy Aneloski, Caterpillar senior sales engineer for large wheel loaders. "This is going to be a good machine for mining applications — which are typically hard digging applications — and for large quarries."
At four and six passes, respectively, the Caterpillar 993K wheel loader will match to the 100-ton-payload 777F off-highway truck and 150-ton-payload 785C mining truck.
"Typically, we have two different wheel loaders that will load the same truck," says Aneloski. "The 993K High Lift will load a 785, and that will give you X percent of production. The 994 Standard Lift will also load the 785, and it will produce more. So, the customer there has a choice: 'How much production do I need?'"
The 993K wheel loader is powered by the Cat C32 ACERT engine, which at 950 net horsepower delivers 19 percent more power than the 3508B engine used in previous Caterpillar mining loaders. As with other 993K components such as brakes, final drives and differentials, the C32 engine is used on other Caterpillar mining machines as well, thus simplifying parts inventory management.
According to Cat, the all-wheel-drive 993K's positive flow control hydraulics represents the next generation of load-sensing hydraulics, with additional sensors at the pumps creating enhanced responsiveness for the operator.
For safe machine access, the 993K has wide stairs on the left and right sides, as well as a window washing platform. A rear-access egress system is an option.
With its tough digging ability, the Caterpillar 993K wheel loader crosses nicely from a quarry machine to a mining machine, says Aneloski.
"If you can use the production capability of it," says Aneloski, "this is going to be a very good machine for you."
|Basic Specs: 993K Wheel Loader|
|* Equipped with 17-cubic-yard bucket|
|Engine Model||Cat C32||Cat C32|
|Flywheel Power||950 hp||950 hp|
|Operating Weight||294,670 lb.||296,800 lb.|
|Loader Payload||25 tons||25 tons|
|Bucket Capacity||16–19 cu. yd.||16–19 cu. yd.|
|Reach at Full Lift||8′2″||8′6″|
|Static Tip Load||161,687 lb.||134,639 lb.|
|Breakout Force*||159,562 lb.||159,416 lb.|