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Caterpillar introduces new models

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
2011 September October
Caterpillar's 980K
Caterpillar has introduced a series of new models including the all-new Cat 980K wheel loader, which it says offers high productivity, reliable performance and excellent fuel efficiency and an engine certified to meet Stage IIIB emissions standards in Europe.

Showcased at the company's Malaga Demonstration and Learning Centre in Spain, it was one of a number of introductions that included the 966K and 972K wheel loaders; 775G off-highway truck and E Series 324E, 329E, 336E and 349E hydraulic excavators.

The 980K's improvements compared to the 980H include a new cab; load-sensing hydraulics; a 25% increase in lift force and a 16% increase in tilt force, while the loader also features new electro-hydraulic steering with either joystick or steering wheel control, plus performance series buckets and an optional lock-up torque converter.

The machine's new Cat C13 ACERT engine has peak net power of 274kW at 1,600rpm, and accommodates buckets from 4-12.2m³ and is said to be a productive and cost-effective tool in quarry, aggregates, construction and other high-volume applications.

Caterpillar emphasises that on all the machines operator comfort along with safety is a priority, and on the 980K new steps that have a greater inclination angle than the H Series provide easy access to the cab; there is a wider door opening and well-placed grab bars and a new front-hinged door that can be opened and closed while seated allow for easy entry and exit.

Caterpillar says that visibility to the side and front has been enhanced, while a standard rear-view camera enhances visibility to the back of the machines. Interior noise level has been reduced 50% compared to the previous model and is now 72dB.

A new low-effort electro-hydraulic joystick steering system is standard on the 980K, while an optional electro-hydraulic steering wheel system will also be available, and it also senses ground speed and automatically adjusts steering effort to improve controllability and comfort at higher speeds.

Performance series buckets, developed especially for production loading, are standard while other work tools including specialty buckets, pallet forks, mill yard and logging forks, material handling arms, rakes and ploughs.

The company says that a new load-sensing hydraulic system automatically directs the right amount of flow to the implements based on operating conditions, and fuel consumption is reduced, while the new system also allows parallel flow to lift, tilt and auxiliary hydraulics, so the functions can be performed simultaneously.

Concurrent with the change to load-sensing hydraulics, the 980K's lift and tilt forces have been increased by 25% and 16% respectively.

"Another example of systems integration is the drive train which has been optimised with the new C13 ACERT engine to deliver efficient digging power, acceleration, performance and fuel efficiency. To boost productivity in load-and-carry applications and on ramps, the 980K can be equipped with a new optional lock-up clutch torque converter. It is automatically activated in second through fourth gear, and when locked, operates like a direct-drive system. This improves performance and reduces fuel consumption in applications with many load-and-carry and ramp-duty cycles," says Caterpillar.

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