Tech Improving 966 and 972 Wheel Loaders

Technology continues to make worksites safer and more efficient. Getting a boost from innovation is the 966 and 972 wheel loaders.

Caterpillar says the 966 and 972 models deliver consistently high bucket fill factors to increase productivity by up to 10 percent. Makers say the next generation design extends fluid and filter change intervals to lower maintenance costs up to 20 percent when compared to the previous models.

CAT says their continuous variable transmission (CVT) of the Next Gen Cat 966 XE and 972 XE loaders improve fuel efficiencies up to 35 percent compared to the previous power shift models. Caterpillar says operating and maintenance costs are reduced as a result.

All four models feature standard CAT Payload with Assist for accurate weighing of bucket payloads, so operators can load to target. Real-time data is fed to the operator display and allows manual tip-off function to improve final bucket adjustments and truck load accuracy.

The new CAT Autodig with Auto Set Tires technology aids loading accuracy and reduces load time. Proper loading techniques is aided while tire slip and wear is reduced.

Caterpillar says operators are able to set customer-specific applications, set multiple machine parameter profiles. Selectable on-screen job aids, along with a streamlined new controls layout, facilitates loader operation, allowing operators of all experience levels to be more productive.

CAT Advanced Payload with Assist offers Tip Off Assist to automatically adjust the bucket loads. The available CAT Productivity program provides information that can be sent directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The CVT powertrain, engine, hydraulic and cooling systems are integrated as part of the Next Gen Cat 966 XE and 972 XE. Without the torque converter of mechanical drive systems, these loaders independently control engine rpm and machine speed.

The models move pretty quick, and do so smoothly for operator comfort. Machine maneuvering on grade is enhanced through speed-hold and anti-rollback features. Beyond saving fuel, the lower rated engine speed of the XE models reduces component wear and makes for quieter operation.

The next generation 966 and 972 series design extends maintenance intervals from 500 to 1,000 hours. There is also an auto-lube option. Service compartments are made easier for access. Overall, the new technology and designs help with the bottomline.

Caterpillar says technology also improves loader servicing. Helping to manage fleet location, hours and maintenance schedules, the CAT App provides alerts for required maintenance and assists with requesting service and fault codes from the local dealer.

The loaders feature Caterpillar's next generation of ride control that works as a shock absorber to improve ride quality over rough terrain. An improved cab includes sound suppression, seals and viscous mounts to decrease noise levels.

There is minimal movement of controls to decrease operator exertion and increase accuracy.

Standard monitored seatbelts can be enhanced with an exterior beacon for supervisors to elevate job site safety. Extending from floor-to-ceiling, the cab windshield improves forward visibility, while a standard rear-vision camera and large mirrors with integrated spot mirrors provide industry-leading all-around visibility.

CAT Detect radar alerts operators to hazards and a multi-view (360-degree) vision system are options that provide an extra level of monitoring around the loaders to advance safe operation.

Caterpillar says buckets and quick couplers have been improved to balance shape against the machine's linkage to improve load carry.

Special, purpose-built options for the loaders include an aggregate handler configuration that offers higher payload capability for loose aggregate handling applications. Industrial and waste models feature the guarding and reinforcement required for working at transfer stations, recycling facilities, scrap yards and demolition sites.

For demanding applications like steel mills and slag handling, the loaders can be ordered in the steel mill configuration that incorporates additional levels of safety.

ConEquip Parts sells new, rebuilt, and used parts for most Caterpillar makes and models. If you need parts, be sure to give ConEquip a call.