Next Gen Cat 966 and 972 Wheel Loader Series Makes Big Efficiency Strides with Technology

The Whole Package: Payload Assist, Autodig and Auto Set Tires automate key bucket-filling segments of the duty cycle while the CVT models put more power on the ground with less fuel

Cat 972 Mwl Cm20210324 B948d C0c54

Caterpillar brought standard technologies to update Cat 966 and 972 8- to 10-ton wheel loader series. Peoria says:

  • consistently higher bucket fill factors increase productivity by up to 10%
  • extended fluid and filter change intervals lower maintenance costs as much as 20%
  • XE models’ continuous variable transmissions (CVT) improve fuel efficiencies up to 35%, and their prolonged service intervals cut maintenance costs up to 25%

Smart loaders, efficient operation

The four models come standard with Cat Payload with Assist for accurate (although not legal for trade) weighing of bucket payloads, so operators can load to a clear target. Real-time data is fed to the operator display and allows manual tip-off to improve final bucket adjustments and truck load accuracy.

The new Cat Autodig feature with Auto Set Tires fully automates bucket loading to improve fill factors and reduce cycle time. Auto Set Tires with Autodig to boom up automatically entering the pile and transfer weight to the loader’s front wheels. It promotes proper loading technique to significantly reduce tire slip and wear.

Application Profiles offers the ability to set multiple machine parameters with the press of one button, bringing up customized profiles of machine settings optimized for users’ specific tasks.

Optional Cat technologies such as Cat Advanced Payload with Assist offers Tip Off Assist to automatically adjust the final bucket load to match the target load for the haul unit, 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.

Greater productivity and fuel efficiency

Cat says deep system integration between the CVT powertrain, engine, hydraulic and cooling systems in the Next Gen design increases performance and fuel efficiency in Cat 966 XE and 972 XE. Without the torque converter of mechanical drive systems, they independently control engine rpm and machine speed to provide efficient digging, fine control and operation.

The integrated powertrain delivers smooth, fast acceleration and high speeds on grade. Machine maneuvering on grade is enhanced through speed-hold and anti-rollback features. Delivering optimal loading efficiency in the pile, advanced rimpull control helps to reduce tire wear. The lower-rated engine speed of the XE models not only saves fuel, but also reduces component wear and operates more quietly.

Big maintenance savings

The next generation 966 and 972 series design eliminates 500-hour service intervals, extending the base maintenance interval to 1,000 hours. Optional Autolube reduces daily maintenance and increases component service life, while convenient access to hydraulic and electric service centers makes servicing the loaders fast and easy. Combined, these design updates reduce maintenance costs up to 20% for the Cat 966 and 972 models and up to 25% for 966 XE and 972 XE loaders.Cat 966 Xe Mwl Cm20210412 6625d C9bda

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 taking machines out of production.

Next generation comfort, safety

The new loaders feature Caterpillar’s next generation of 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 that unlocks remotely from the ground plus inclined steps improves cab ingress/egress.

Shipped standard with a seat-mounted electrohydraulic joystick steering system, the Next Gen 966 and 972 machines offer precise machine control with minimal arm movements, increased comfort, improved loading accuracy and more legroom for the operator. An HMU steering wheel is available as an option for the 966 and 972 powershift models. The loaders’ new dashboard and high-res touchscreen display provide intuitive and user-friendly loader control. Multiple air suspension seat options include heating or heating and ventilation.

Standard monitored seat belts 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 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 awareness around the loaders.

Purpose-built efficiency

Available in capacities ranging from 3.75 to 18.25 cu. yd. 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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