New Technology for Cat's Medium Loaders

By Walt Moore, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010

Caterpillar
Options for Cat's new medium wheel loaders include a rear-view camera, Autolube greasing system, high-intensity lighting, windshield-cleaning package (added steps and hand rails), and the company's next-generation Product Link equipment-management system.

Caterpillar's four newest wheel loaders — 950H, 962H, 966H and 972H — exhibit considerable technical refinement, compared to their G-Series II predecessors. At the heart of these four models are Tier-3-compliant, C-Series Caterpillar diesel engines with ACERT technology, which encompasses, says Cat, advanced electronic control, precision fuel delivery and refined air management. These new engines, designed to provide constant net horsepower throughout their operating ranges, also use Cat's Engine Idle Management system, aimed at further optimizing fuel efficiency by matching idle-speed settings to the application.

Complementing the fuel efficiency of the new ACERT engines in these machines is a load-sensing hydraulic system that yields a stated 4- to 7-percent gain in fuel efficiency, compared to predecessor models. The new hydraulic system — which reacts to changing loads by automatically adjusting hydraulic flow to exactly match the implement's requirement — also yields a substantial increase in lift force (on the order of 20 percent more, says Cat).

New controls for H-Series models include electro-hydraulic implement levers, which feature "soft detents" and kick-out settings that are adjustable in-cab. In conjunction with the new hydraulic system, the redesigned controls also allow simultaneous lift and tilt functions for more precise bucket control. If the buyer prefers, an optional electro-hydraulic joystick controller is available and provides the same features as the standard controls.

H-series models also offer the choice of a standard steering wheel or the optional Command Steering system, which provides lock-to-lock steering through a steering arc of only 140 degrees. The optional system, says Cat, is a boon to operators in steering-intensive applications, such as short-cycle truck loading.

Yet another fuel-saving feature built into the new loaders is a refined cooling system, which uses an electronically controlled, hydraulically driven fan that automatically changes speed to match the machine's cooling requirements. The new system runs more quietly than conventional systems, says Cat, and also is more resistant to plugging and easier to service, thanks to a new corrugated and perforated swing-out grill. Maintenance enhancements include centralized grease-fitting blocks, remote pressure-checking ports and improved access to system filters. 

Basic Specifications
950H 962H 966H 972H
Engine Cat C7 Cat C7 Cat C11 Cat C13
Net HP 195 209 262 287
Operating Weight (lb.) 40,202 42,358 52,254 54,908
Breakout Force (lb.) 36,689 34,666 43,300 51,750
Bucket Capacity (yd3) 3.3 – 4.6 3.5 – 5.0 4.5 – 5.5 5.0 – 6.0


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