Cat updates Next Gen 966 and 972 wheeled loaders

Staff Report, December 13, 2021

Simple-to-use technologies boost efficiencies of the updated machines, raising productivity by 10% and lowering maintenance costs by 15%

Caterpillar has updated its 966 and 972 wheeled loader series, raising productivity by up to 10% and lowering maintenance costs by up to 15% when compared to previous models by extending intervals for processes such as fluid and filter changes.

     

According to Cat, the updates bring a host of standard technologies to the 7-9t wheeled loader line, and the improved Cat 966 and 972 Wheel Loader series also boost operator efficiency. The 966 and 972 models deliver consistently high bucket fill factors to increase productivity by up to 10%. Their next generation design extends fluid and filter change intervals to lower maintenance costs up to 15% over earlier models.

Both models in the updated 966 and 972 loader series feature standard Cat Payload with Assist for accurate weighing of bucket payloads, so operators can load to target the first time every time. 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 delivers consistently high bucket fill factors for the updated medium wheel loaders. Fully automating bucket loading, Autodig improves fill factors and decreases loading time. Working in conjunction with Autodig, Auto Set Tires promotes proper loading techniques to significantly reduce tyre slip and wear.

Offering the ability to set customised profiles for customer-specific applications, new Application Profiles sets multiple machine parameters with the press of one button to optimise settings for the job. Selectable on-screen Job Aids, along with a streamlined new layout of the controls, facilitates loader operation, allowing operators of all experience levels to be more productive.

Optional Cat technologies help to further increase productivity and operation profitability of the updated series. Cat Advanced Payload with Assist offers Tip Off Assist to automatically adjust the final bucket load to match hauling unit target, enhanced lists management, site integration and extended scale features. The available Cat Productivity subscription provides detailed and comprehensive actionable information for the site off-board on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The Next Generation 966 and 972 series design extends hydraulic system maintenance intervals, so the loaders spend more time at work. An integrated optional Autolube reduces daily maintenance and increases component service life, while convenient access to hydraulic and electric service centres makes servicing the loaders fast and easy. Cat says that all of these design updates combined reduce maintenance costs up to 15% for the Cat 966 and 972 models.

Technology also plays a role in improving loader servicing. Helping to manage fleet location, hours and maintenance schedules, the Cat App provides alerts for required maintenance and assists with requesting service from the local Cat dealer. Remote Troubleshoot connects the machine to the dealer’s service department via the internet to quickly diagnose fault codes without on-machine cable connection. Additionally, Remote Flash ensures the wheel loaders are operating with the most up-to-date software without impacting the production schedule.

Next generation comfort, safety

The new loaders feature Caterpillar’s next generation of optional ride control that works as a shock absorber to improve ride quality over rough terrain. Making for a quieter work environment, the cab includes sound suppression, seals and viscous mounts to decrease noise levels. A wide door can be unlocked from ground as an option, plus inclined steps improve cab ingress/egress.

Shipped standard with an HMU steering wheel, an optional seat-mounted electrohydraulic joystick steering system is also available. The Next Gen 966 and 972 machines offer precise machine control with increased comfort, improved loading accuracy and more legroom for the operator. The loaders’ new dashboard and high-resolution touchscreen display provide intuitive and user-friendly loader control for enhanced performance. Multiple air suspension seat options include heating or heating and ventilation to provide year-round comfort.

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 to alert 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.

Available in capacities ranging from 2.8-14.0m3 for the new 966 and 972 loader series, Cat Performance Series buckets balance shape against the machine’s linkage for higher fill factors and better material retention than other designs with the same rated capacity. Fusion Quick Coupler buckets permit rapid work tool changes without leaving the cab, so the loaders move quickly from task to task.

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.

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