Caterpillar has unveiled its new Cat 980 and 982 medium wheel loaders (10- to 12-ton class), equipped with a range of technologies to deliver up to 10% more productivity but also lower maintenance costs by up to 12% compared with the previous 980M and 982M models.
Standard Cat Payload with Assist is included on the new wheel loaders, which enables accurate weighing of bucket payloads so operators can manage loading targets first time and every time. This technology was first introduced on the M-series and includes low-lift weigh and manual tip-off functions. Caterpillar also offers the optional Advanced Payload that expands the system functionality with List Management, Multitask and Manual Add modes and auto Tip-Off which all build on the M-series platform.
The new Assist features on the machines – including Cat AutoDig with Auto Set Tyres – promote correct bucket loading techniques and help the operator reduce tyre slip and loading times. The system is capable of automating the bucket loading cycle, leading to consistently high bucket fill factors and that can add up to 10% more productivity.
The Cat 980 and 982 models also introduce Application Profiles to set multiple machine parameters to optimise the settings for the work being done by the operator – and all at the touch of a button. Customised profiles can be easily created as well to fit customer specific cases. Selectable on-screen Job Aids, together with a new streamlined control layout promote ergonomic driven comfort – all of which means operators of all calibres can be more productive.
The new, larger operator’s cab has a wide door and stair-like steps with safety handrails for easy access and egress. A newly designed adjustable suspension seat is available in comfort, deluxe and premium levels and has heating and cooling options for year-round performance. The sound suppression, improved seals and viscous cab mounts help lower noise and vibration levels, providing a superior work environment.
The M-series design ride control continues on these new wheel loaders with the same dual accumulator system to provide even better shock absorption. This results in better ride comfort on rough work sites with empty, full or part filled buckets. In the cabin, a new dashboard design features a high-resolution 8-in touchscreen display with intuitive, user-friendly loader controls. Delivering precision control, the seat mounted electro-hydraulic joystick steering system requires minimal arm movement, which in turn reduces operator fatigue and helps ensure shift-long accuracy. A conventional steering wheel is optional on the 980 model.
The cabin itself features a floor-to-ceiling windscreen for excellent forward visibility of the work area, while a standard fitment rear-vision camera together with convex and remote-controlled spot mirrors help enhance visibility around the machine perimeter to improve jobsite safety. Cat Detect radar is available for hazard alert, while a multi-view, 360-degree vision system is offered as an option for next level monitoring around the loader perimeter.
Designed with reduced maintenance costs in mind, the Cat 980 and 982 models feature extended hydraulic fluid and filter change intervals. Ground level access to the hydraulic and electrical service centres and grouped lubrication points makes for fast and easy servicing.
Remote services technologies on the wheel loaders can save service trips to the jobsite and ensure the machine maintains peak performance. Remote troubleshoot connects the machine to the Cat Dealer’s service centre via a mobile network, and thus it is able to assist in diagnosing fault codes without the need for an on-machine cable connection.
Other technology such as Remote Flash ensures the loader is operating with the most up-to-date software. This means update files are pushed to the machine in the background following customer or dealer initiation via the Cat Remote Services web portal, so there is no interruption to production schedules. The web portal connects the owner or fleet manager to the machine and helps to manage the equipment fleet or a single machine’s location, watch hours and maintenance schedules and also allows dealer service requests to be made from a mobile device.
Adding to the new loaders’ performance capabilities is the range of Cat Performance Series buckets which ideally match the bucket design with the loader’s linkage, providing higher bucket fill factors and better material retention than other bucket designs with the same rated capacity. These buckets are integral to a ‘complete’ machine design and are a significant contributor to the performance and efficiency of the loader. The Cat 980 can also be fitted with the optional Fusion Quick Coupler, allowing rapid bucket changes without leaving the cabin.
What’s more, both new wheel loaders are available with several purpose-built special configurations to add durability and further performance in sectors including industrial and waste, forestry, steel mill and block handling.