Caterpillar Track Loaders Increase Horsepower

By Mike Anderson, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010
Caterpillar 963D
At 189 net horsepower, the Caterpillar 963D track loader offers 25 percent more engine output compared to the C-Series model it replaces.

Double-digit percentage increases in horsepower represent only half of the story for Caterpillar's new full-sized D-Series track loaders.

"There are two things you can do to make your machine more efficient and productive — one is to increase the horsepower and the second is to use this energy more efficiently. In this case, we made both changes," says Cedric Gold, who represents track loader and wheeled excavator marketing with Caterpillar's North American Commercial Division.

Editors who gathered recently in Peoria, Ill., for equipment rollouts covering various Caterpillar product lines were introduced to the 953D and 963D track loaders, powered by 6.6-liter, six-cylinder Cat ACERT engines offering net horsepower increases of more than 15 and 25 percent over the comparable C-Series models. At 148 and 189 horsepower, respectively, the new 953D and 963D loaders enhance that output even further via the use of a new load-sensing hydraulic implement system that delivers only the required hydraulic oil flow to the work tool and lift arms, working in conjunction with electro-hydraulic implement controls.

"If you're just traveling with the machine, and the operator is not demanding any hydraulic flow from the system, the pump is simply going to destroke," says Gold. "You're going to then increase your fuel efficiency, because you're not wasting energy pumping oil through the valve back to the tank. The same principle applies during pushing applications — all the power is available to the tracks since the load-sensing system is again avoiding unnecessary pumping of the oil."

Further enhancing the efficiency of the hydrostatically driven 953D and 963D track loaders is the use of position sensors on the lift and bucket cylinders, allowing the operator to set kickouts with a switch from the cab.

A choice of joystick or two-lever control is available for bucket lift and dump, as part of a new sealed, pressurized cab featuring an adjustable, vibration-isolated, air-suspension seat. A hydraulic demand fan provides lower sound levels and improved fuel economy, as well as optimum cooling performance.

As an option, the Caterpillar Messenger system is avail-able to the D-Series track loaders. This electronic operator interface displays full text and machine health information, and allows drive train and implement response adjustments.

With their ability to cover territory wheel loaders cannot, track loaders are designed to work in a wide range of general and building construction, solid-waste handling, demolition and industrial applications.

Basic Specs: D-Series Track Loaders
953D 963D
Engine Model 6.6 ACERT 6.6 ACERT
Net Power (hp) 148 189
Operating Weight (lb.) 34,881 45,128
GP Bucket Capacity (cu. yd.) 2.42 3.2
Digging Depth (in.) 5.2 5.4
Reach at Full Lift Height (in.) 47 54
Bucket Hinge Pin Height (in.) 142.1 155.1
Overall Machine Length (in.) 245 273.3