Wheel loaders Caterpillar
Main features
Methods of effective work
Comparison table of CAT 972K, CAT 970K and CAT 988K

Almost no building plot is not without front-end loader is a multifunction machine with a usable load capacity that combines such important factors as multitasking and efficiency. As a rule, front loaders are used for material handling, earth moving and lifting works for the construction of roads and preparation of the construction site.

Topping the list of most famous manufacturers of front end loaders companies such as Caterpillar, Komatsu and Volvo, also this may include Case, New Holland, Hyundai, and JCB.

The first prototypes of front-end loaders appeared in the 1920-ies, then the tractors were equipped with a loading bucket for moving light materials. One of the first manufacturers of tractors with loader bucket was in Manchester (England), a company under the name of E. Boydell & Co., which produced forklift Muir-Hill – based tractor Fordson Tractor, with a capacity of 28 HP and a 0.4 m3 bucket with the cable management.

In the 1960s, the manufacturers of front loaders have started to pay more attention to the production of large models. After, in 1963, Caterpillar launched production of the model 998 with a bucket capacity of 4.6 m3, studies have identified the need for trucks are much larger than standard forklifts, which are equipped with buckets with a volume of 3.8 – 4.6 m3. In the quest to create a machine of higher capacity manufacturers fill the market of wheel loaders of large models, among which appears the Caterpillar 992 bucket 7.6 m3.

In 1986, the company Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. broke the record payload capacity of trucks, releasing the biggest loader with a bucket 19 m3. When other companies, including Caterpillar, Komatsu and LeTourneau, only produced models with bucket capacity not exceeding 15.3 m3.

Manufacturers, proven in the Russian market: Caterpillar, Komatsu and Volvo.

This review is presented in three parts, where we consider and compare the following models:

  1. Caterpillar 972K, 980K, 988K
  2. Komatsu WA500, WA700, WA900
  3. Volvo L350, L220, L180


Wheel loaders Caterpillar 972K, 980K, 988K

On the used machinery market, the most popular models of front loaders Caterpillar are examples of series K, 2011-2015 years of production.

Main features:

  • Performance series buckets and a Z–shaped lever mechanism provides high-speed and high vylivnoi digging force, which in turn leads to fuel economy, performance and efficiency.
  • The hydraulic system regulates the load, if necessary, ensures pressure and flow in the required amount, thereby increasing productivity and fuel efficiency of the car.
  • The improved transmission provides smooth shifting, quick acceleration and better overcome bias. When you switch on the front of the transmission, the loader will automatically start in second gear. With a further increase in torque associated with the downshift from 2 to 1, the downshift will only occur depending on the load of the machine.
  • Control system fuel supply (FMS) – optimizes power for maximum fuel economy.

Key points for more effective and efficient operation:

Machine configuration – depending on the type of work, is to choose a suitable working equipment and tires for forklift. The most preferred radial tyres; tyres should always be inflated in accordance with the regulations. It is worth remembering that the heavier the tire the more fuel consumption. You need to maintain a low rpm machine using the automatic shift mode of the transmission.

The layout of the work area is properly set locations loading and unloading. In case of short cycles of loading should be avoided at distances greater than the length of the truck 2 times.

The loading bucket is to be loaded in first gear, keeping the engine rpm low. Raise and tilt the bucket slowly, avoiding jolting and rocking.

The process of unloading – do not raise the equipment higher than required. You should always maintain a low engine speed and to unload evenly.

Idling – the car should be put on the hand brake to start the system idle management.


Comparative table of wheel loaders CATERPILLAR

CAT 972K

CAT 980K

CAT 988K

Engine model

Cat® C9.3 ACERT™

Cat® C13 ACERT™

Cat® C18 ACERT™

The degree of emissions

Tier 4

Tier 4

Tier 4-Tier 2

Max.net power SAE J1349

215 kW (288 HP)

274 kW (369 HP)

403 kW (541 HP)

Working volume, l




Fuel tank capacity, l




The volume of bucket m3

2,90 – 9,90

4,00 – 12,20


Standard bucket, m3




Static tipping load – full turn on 37⁰, kg




Breakout force, kN




Dumping height at max. lift and angle of 45⁰ unloading, mm




Reach at maximum lift and angle of 45⁰ unloading, mm




The departure position of the boom and the bucket horizontally to the ground, mm




Digging depth, mm





26.5 R25


35/65 R33

Operating weight, kg