Bringing a host of standard technologies to the 7-9-tonne (8-10-ton) wheel loader line, the updated Cat 966 and 972 Wheel Loader series boost operator efficiency. The 966 and 972 models deliver consistently high bucket fill factors to increase productivity by up to 10%. The next generation design extends fluid and filter change intervals to lower maintenance costs up to 20% when compared to the previous models.
The Caterpillar designed and manufactured continuous variable transmission (CVT) of the Next Gen Cat 966 XE and 972 XE loaders improve fuel efficiencies up to 35% compared to the previous powershift models. Prolonged service intervals plus efficiencies gained through the CVT powertrain result in even lower maintenance costs of up to 25%, further reducing operating costs.
Smart loaders, efficient operation
All four models in the updated 966 and 972 loader series feature standard Cat Payload* with Assist for accurate weighing of bucket payloads, so operators can load to target the first time every time. Real-time data is fed to the operator display and allows manual tip-off function to improve final bucket adjustments and truck load accuracy.
The new Cat Autodig with Auto Set Tires delivers consistently high bucket fill factors for the updated medium wheel loaders. Fully automating bucket loading, Autodig improves fill factors and decreases loading time. Working in conjunction with Autodig, Auto Set Tires promotes proper loading techniques to significantly reduce tire slip and wear.
Offering the ability to set customized profiles for customer-specific applications, new Application Profiles sets multiple machine parameters with the press of one button to optimize settings for the job. Selectable on-screen Job Aids, along with a streamlined new controls layout, facilitates loader operation, allowing operators of all experience levels to be more productive.
Optional Cat technologies help to further increase productivity and operation profitability of the updated series. Cat Advanced Payload* with Assist offers Tip Off Assist to automatically adjust the final bucket load to match hauling unit target, enhanced lists management, site integration and extended scale features. The available Cat Productivity subscription provides detailed and comprehensive actionable information for the site off-board on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Greater productivity and fuel efficiency
Deep system integration of the CVT powertrain, engine, hydraulic and cooling systems as part of the Next Gen Cat 966 XE and 972 XE design results in significantly increased performance and fuel efficiency. Without the torque converter of mechanical drive systems, these loaders independently control engine rpm and machine speed to provide efficient digging, fine control and operation.
Operators will experience smooth, fast accelerations and high speeds on grade with the CVT design. Machine maneuvering on grade is enhanced through speed-hold and anti-rollback features. Delivering optimal loading efficiency in the pile, advanced rimpull control helps to reduce tire wear. Beyond saving fuel, the lower rated engine speed of the XE models reduces component wear and makes for quieter operation.
Significant maintenance savings
The next generation 966 and 972 series design extends maintenance intervals to 1,000 hours and eliminates the 500-hour service intervals, so the loaders spend more time at work. An integrated optional Autolube reduces daily maintenance and increases component service life, while convenient access to hydraulic and electric service centers makes servicing the loaders fast and easy. Combined, these design updates reduce maintenance costs up to 20% for the Cat 966 and 972 models and up to 25% for 966 XE and 972 XE loaders.
Technology also plays a role in improving loader servicing. Helping to manage fleet location, hours and maintenance schedules, the Cat App provides alerts for required maintenance and assists with requesting service from the local Cat dealer. Remote Troubleshoot connects the machine to the dealer’s service department via the internet to quickly diagnose fault codes without on-machine cable connection. Additionally, Remote Flash ensures the wheel loaders are operating with the most up-to-date software without impacting the production schedule.
Next generation comfort, safety
The new loaders feature Caterpillar’s next generation of ride control that works as a shock absorber to improve ride quality over rough terrain. Making for a quieter work environment, the cab includes sound suppression, seals and viscous mounts to decrease noise levels. A wide door that unlocks remotely from the ground plus inclined steps improves cab ingress/egress.
Shipped standard with a seat-mounted electrohydraulic joystick steering system, the Next Gen 966 and 972 machines offer precise machine control with minimal arm movements, increased comfort, improved loading accuracy and more legroom for the operator. An HMU steering wheel is available as an option for the 966 and 972 powershift models. The loaders’ new dashboard and high-resolution touchscreen display provide intuitive and user-friendly loader control for enhanced performance. Multiple air suspension seat options include heating or heating and ventilation to provide year-round comfort.
Standard monitored seat belts can be enhanced with an exterior beacon for supervisors to elevate job site safety. Extending from floor-to-ceiling, the cab windshield improves forward visibility, while a standard rear-vision camera and large mirrors with integrated spot mirrors provide industry-leading all-around visibility. Cat Detect radar to alert operators to hazards and a multi-view (360-degree) vision system are options that provide an extra level of monitoring around the loaders to advance safe operation.
Available in capacities ranging from 2.8-14.0 m3 (3.75-18.25 yd3) for the new 966 and 972 loader series, Cat Performance Series buckets balance shape against the machine’s linkage for higher fill factors and better material retention than other designs with the same rated capacity. Fusion Quick Coupler buckets permit rapid work tool changes without leaving the cab, so the loaders move quickly from task to task.
Special, purpose-built options for the loaders include an aggregate handler configuration that offers higher payload capability for loose aggregate handling applications. Industrial and waste models feature the guarding and reinforcement required for working at transfer stations, recycling facilities, scrap yards and demolition sites. For demanding applications like steel mills and slag handling, the loaders can be ordered in the steel mill configuration that incorporates additional levels of safety.
*Not legal for trade