Caterpillar is rolling out four new D Series Skid Steer Loaders and updating two current D Series machines to create the new D Series line featuring a completely redesigned cab with first-in-class features, new lift arm design for improved sight lines, and increased engine performance. The four newest D Series models are replacements for their B3, C and C2 Series predecessors.
The Cat D Series line now encompasses six skid steer loader models ranging in rated operating capacity from 1,800 lbs. (816 kg) to 3,700 lbs. (1 678 kg). The 236D and 242D are mid-size frame models and can be as narrow as 60 in. (1524 mm). To provide broader selection for skid steer buyers, the 236D has been redesigned to a smaller platform size. The result is a power-dense radial-lift-path model that combines compact dimensions with impressive performance specs: 1,800 lb. (816 kg) operating capacity, 123 in. (3,122 mm) hinge-pin height, 74.3 hp (55.4 kW) gross engine power and peak torque of 195 lbs.-ft. (265 Nm).
The new D Series large frame models are the 246D and 262D with rated operating capacities of 2,150 lbs. (975 kg) and 2,700 lbs. (1,225 kg), respectively. The 236D, 242D, 246D and 262D feature an electronically controlled 3.3-liter engine that meets Tier 4 Final (Stage IIIB) emissions standards. The Cat C3.3B engine provides 74 hp (55 kW) with 8% more torque and a 6% increase in fuel economy compared to the previous models.
The largest D Series models, the 272D and 272D XHP, were launched in early 2012 and continue to be powered by an electronically controlled 3.8-liter engine, which meets Tier 4 Interim (Stage IIIB) emissions standards. The Cat C3.8 produces 98 gross horsepower (73 kW) for the 272D and 110 net horsepower (82 kW) for the 272D XHP, which powers an auxiliary hydraulic system producing up to 40 gpm (150 L/min) of flow at 4,061 psi (28,000 kPa) to handle the most demanding powered work tools. The 272D and 272D XHP also receive the new cab environment and features as well as the new lift arm design.
“Cab-One” modular structure and advanced control
The D Series models introduce a new standard in sealed and pressurized cab design. The “Cab-One” structure is one-piece modular construction instead of the two-piece cab design found on competitive skid steer loaders. The Caterpillar design provides superior sealing, which allows doubling the cab pressurization attained with the previous design. The result is a cleaner working environment. In addition, the improved HVAC system supplies 20% more airflow and approximately a 50% increase in heating and cooling rates.
The cab and operator station incorporate many new features. Seat options include a high-back, heated, air-suspension seat that incorporates industry-exclusive integral seat-mounted joystick controls. The seat provides additional comfort via recline and lumbar adjustments. All air suspension seats feature independent arm bar/joystick control adjustments to allow the machine to be configured for different size operators and for different applications. This arrangement also allows the entire seat/joystick control package to move up and down as a unit, minimizing operator fatigue and maximizing comfort.
The standard control monitor provides a single-code security feature that helps prevent theft and unwanted operation after scheduled work hours. The industry exclusive Advanced Display control monitor expands the number of security (operator) codes to 50 and can store and recall the operating preferences of that number of operators. These preferences include language choice, background color, gauge style, ride-control setting, creep speed, top-speed limit, response for the hystat drive system and response for the implement control system. These allow the machine to be tailored to each operator’s preferences, experience level and specific application. The Advanced Display also expands machine diagnostics capability by allowing the master-code holder to review operator-specific machine information such as hours of operation, fuel burn and operating event or diagnostic codes.
The Advanced Display is video capable and supports the first integrated rearview camera ever offered on skid steer loaders. The camera provides additional work site visibility to enhance safety, especially when working in tight applications.
Electronic throttle features
Also new in the D Series cab is an electronic dial-type throttle that permits precise rpm settings. When the dial is in the high-idle position, the foot throttle functions as a decelerator pedal. The decelerator allows an added degree of control, permitting the operator to quickly modulate travel speed during precise maneuvers or to regulate engine speed when using hydromechanical work tools.
A new throttle-smoothing feature monitors accelerator-pedal movement under the operator’s foot when the machine is traveling over rough terrain, and it then clips the extremes of pedal travel to yield steady, even travel speeds. This feature adds to operator comfort and aids material retention when using the foot throttle.
Intelligent Leveling System
The D Series models feature the Cat Intelligent Leveling (ILEV) system, which provides a number of industry leading features, including dual self-leveling, electronic snubbing, return-to-dig and work tool positioning.
The dual self-leveling system electronically and automatically levels the loader linkage when raising and lowering the lift arms. The system ensures optimum material retention whether truck loading material or handling palletized products. Electronic snubbing automatically cushions the descent of the lift arms, slowing downward motion just before the arms reach their stops.
The return-to-dig feature allows the operator to set the digging angle of the bucket and then to automatically recall the setting by depressing a trigger switch on the joystick as the lift arms lower. The work tool positioning feature allows the angle of the tool to be pre-set, as when positioning a trencher for the proper depth, and then to automatically recall the setting if the machine is repositioned. Both features contribute significantly to productivity.
New lift arms and coupler
Lift arms for all D Series machines are a new tubular design that retains excellent lift characteristics and strength while presenting a narrower profile. The sleek lift arm design improves sight lines to the sides of the machine, to the tires and to the work-tool/coupler interface to provide enhanced visibility and site safety.
The available automatic work-tool coupler is now electrically actuated, replacing the previous hydraulically actuated coupler. The new coupler is simpler in design, eliminating hoses and connectors, and easier to install as an accessory in the field.
D Series models accommodate required emissions controls (diesel particulate filter and diesel oxidation catalyst) with no compromise in serviceability. Unmatched ground level access to all routine service points has been maintained, including filters (engine oil, engine air, hydraulic and fuel), battery and engine oil fill and check. The air conditioner condenser is attached to the inside of the engine compartment door and is easily accessible for cleaning or service.
The new models also feature an electric priming pump with automatic air bleed for the fuel system. The priming system eases the task of replacing and priming the fuel filter/water separator.