Caterpillar launches new L Series medium wheel loaders
Caterpillar’s newly launched L Series medium wheel loaders come with several enhancements compared with the predecessor range.
Caterpillar has launched its new L Series medium wheel loaders, the 966L and 972L, coming with proven technologies to meet expectations for reliability, productivity, fuel efficiency and long service life. The new L Series medium wheel loaders are said to be more powerful and fuel-efficient than predecessor models, thanks to a range of improvements. These include a significant drive-train and hydraulic-system refinement; operator safety and convenience enhancements; proven Z-bar linkage; Cat Performance Series buckets; as well as options such as automatic traction control, enhanced ride control system and Cat Connect Technologies.
Heavy duty components, such as the Caterpillar designed ACERT engines, transmissions and axles, reduce the risk of premature wear resulting in increased uptime and reduced operating costs over the lifetime of the machine. The 966L and 972L are powered by the Cat C9.3 ACERT engine with maximum gross power ratings ranging from 227 to 242 kW (309 to 330 hp). The loaders’ operating weights range from 23 000 to 25 000 kg.
The updated and refined Cat ACERT engines offer increased engine power by 10% in the 966L and 5% in the 972L (compared to H series) to greatly improve machine performance and response. The 966L and 972L use a 4F/4R planetary power-shift. A high-capacity torque converter in both models uses a lock-up clutch for efficient grade and high-speed performance, and the Caterpillar Advanced Productivity Electronically Controlled (APEC) control system maintains torque flow during range shifts for faster acceleration on ramps and smoother shifts in the transmission’s direct-drive mode.
In addition, the Integrated Braking System (IBS) regulates downshifting in proportion to the required braking force, resulting in smoother downshifts and increased deceleration control. The IBS prolongs service brake life, lengthens axle-oil change intervals, reduces axle-oil temperatures and improves transmission-neutraliser performance – resulting in faster cycles.
To expand the versatility of L Series models with work tools such as forks, grapple buckets, dozer blades, rakes and plows, the Cat Fusion Coupler System allows fast tool changes and provides performance identical to pin-on tools. The coupler’s advanced wedging mechanism creates a tight, rattle-free attachment and long service life. The new models are also up to 15% more fuel efficient compared with H Series predecessors. The power-dense ACERT engines are said to burn less fuel by providing power and torque when needed. Cat’s innovative powertrain, hydraulic, cooling and electronic systems intelligently lower average working engine speeds and reduce overall system heat loads, resulting in significantly improved performance and fuel efficiency. Furthermore, the Economy Mode is said to provide maximum fuel savings with minimal productivity impact.
Axles for the L Series models feature modifications that reduce parasitic loads and enhance positive lubrication. Available as an option, the automatic traction control system is fully automatic and requires no operator input, which improves traction and reduces tyre wear. The load-sensing hydraulic system features proportional flow for fast, smooth hydraulic response with optimum controllability. The system is designed to deliver more engine power to the wheels at partial hydraulic flow, allowing faster cycle times in load-and-carry and ramp operations, as well as higher rimpull when digging.
Equipment Africa says: a big plus is the Cat LINK technologies, such as the Product Link system, help fleet owners manage equipment utilisation and lower owning and operating costs through the online VisionLink interface, which tracks critical items, such as location, hours, fuel usage, diagnostic codes and idle time.