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Caterpillar’s new wheeled loader for emergent markets

First publishedin World Highways
April 2017
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Caterpillar 980L wheeled loader
Caterpillar says that its new 980L wheeled loader is aimed at emergent markets. The machine benefits from proven technologies and offers reliability, productivity, fuel efficiency, and long service life. The 980L is said to be more powerful and fuel-efficient than its predecessor, benefiting from upgrades to its drivetrain and hydraulics, as well as improvements to operator safety, automatic traction control, a revised ride control system, and Cat Connect Technologies.


The 30tonne 980L is powered by a fuel-efficient Cat C13 ACERT engine rated at 303kW, an increase of 5% over the previous model. The engine is said to have a high power density and features proven electronic fuel-injection and air systems. The 980L has a 4F/4R countershaft powershift transmission with a high-capacity torque converter and a lock-up clutch for efficient grade and high-speed performance. Its Caterpillar Advanced Productivity Electronically Controlled (APEC) control system is said to maintain torque flow during range shifts for faster acceleration on ramps and smoother shifts in the transmission’s direct-drive mode. In addition, the Integrated Braking System (IBS) regulates downshifting in proportion to the required braking force.

An extensive range of work tools and bucket styles are available to customise these machines for customers’ operations.

The efficient load-sensing hydraulic system features proportional flow for fast, smooth hydraulic response with optimum controllability. The system is designed to deliver more engine power to the wheels at partial hydraulic flow, allowing faster cycle times in load-and-carry and ramp operations, as well as higher rimpull when digging. High operator comfort and safety are claimed and the cab features a four-post Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), providing comfort, visibility, and efficiency. The front and rear frames of the new 980L are fabricated with high-strength materials to ensure long-term durability and reliable performance. Additionally, the frames are designed to dissipate forces associated with aggressive loading and digging. The articulating hitch system which joins the front and rear frames provides exceptional bearing-force capacity.

Field-proven Z-bar front linkage produces optimum bucket and lift forces. Improved hydraulic-hose routing reduces potential wear.  The one-piece tilting hood with side and rear access doors provides easy access to daily fluid level checks, fueling points and full engine compartment when required.

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