Caterpillar upgrades 988H loader
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
Caterpillar's second surprise for the quarry market at Bauma will be the upgraded 988H wheeled loader.
"Caterpillar is committed to offering value to its customers and this includes lowering the cost per tonne of production and the revisions on the 988H focus on this," explained Cat regional industry manager for Northern and Central Europe Markus Gebauer.
Cat launched the 988 loader in 1963 and over 3800 units of the current H series have been sold - 150 of them have clocked up over 30,000 hours of operation. Rather than save the latest innovations for the next generation of 988, Cat has chosen to upgrade the existing model. According to Gebauer, customers want better fuel efficiency to cope with the global rise in energy prices and the upgraded 988H is Cat's response to this call. The company has said that, overall, the update means that customers can move up to 10% more tonnes per litre of fuel used.
The revisions also boost safety, improve operator comfort and enhance reliability of key components and systems.
Key developments on the new version include the Positive Flow Control Hydraulic system. Previously there was a fixed displacement system but now PFC can offer flow on demand for faster hydraulic response and also adding a 5% fuel saving. This system has already been tried and tested on the 993K.
Both breakout and lift force have been increased, which Cat product application specialist for the quarry industry Todd Tuntland has said will also reduce fuel costs. "The extra power means that the fuel burnt while filling the bucket is lowered because the time taken for the task will be reduced and is therefore more efficient," he said.
A new bucket design has also been added, which offers an improved fill factor.