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Caterpillar’s 988K wheeled loader marks 50th birthday of series

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Caterpillar’s 988K wheeled loader
The introduction of the seventh-generation Caterpillar 988 wheeled loader, the new 988K, marks the 50th anniversary of the 988.

Designed as an optimum loading tool for Caterpillar construction and mining trucks the 988K features redesigned loader linkage; worldwide engine configurations; drive train modifications; redesigned cab and enhancements in safety and serviceability.

The 988K, which will not be available commercially until August 2013, is powered by the CatC18 ACERT engine rated at 362kW net, and is available as a Tier 4 Final/Stage IV version (using selective catalytic reduction to control nitrogen-oxide emissions), and as a Tier 2/Stage II version for less regulated regions.

Caterpillar says that electronic fuel control ensures optimum performance and throttle response, delivering up to 20% greater fuel efficiency compared with the 988H.

“Additional fuel savings accrue with the 988K ECO Mode (on-demand throttle), engine-idle shutdown system and engine-idle kickdown/auto-resume system,” says Caterpillar.

“The patented Optimised Z-bar loader linkage replaces the 988H mono-boom design and expands 988K versatility in small quarries and underground applications.”

With a rated payload of 11.3tonnes and a bucket capacity of 6.4-7.7m3 the new design uses solid steel lift arms in either a standard or high-lift configuration and this is said to reduce machine height at maximum lift yet increases dump clearance.

“The design also shortens machine length for greater manoeuvrability,” says the company.

The all-new operator station features the Cat next generation Vital Information Management System (VIMS), which provides expanded capabilities, including real-time fuel consumption and fuel efficiency (material loaded per unit of fuel) data, through an interactive touch screen. In-cab sound levels are reduced to 71.1dB(A) from 74.2 dB(A) in the 988H.

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