Caterpillar lowers cost per hour with new 988 GC wheel loader 

Caterpillar 988 GC wheel loader

The new Caterpillar 988 GC wheel loader is designed to move more material at a lower cost per hour for a faster return on investment. 

The wheel loader offers up to 5 per cent less fuel consumption and up to 15 per cent lower maintenance costs than the Cat 988K. Designed to maximize life-cycle value in moderate production applications up to 2,000 hours per year, the 988 GC can deliver production within 6 per cent of the 988K in truck loading applications.  

The new 988 GC is optimized as a 45-tonne truck match loader. Its 3.9 metre dump clearance delivers efficient loading up to the Cat 775G truck. With a bucket payload matched to the 988K, the new 988 GC offers up to 670 tonnes per hour productivity in shot rock truck loading applications and up to 527 tonnes per hour for load-and-carry operations. 

The structures of the new loader are built for multiple life cycles and to withstand tough loading conditions. Built on the common Cat large wheel loader platform, its full box section rear frame resists torsional shock and twisting forces. Its front frame is redesigned to withstand larger loads and features a new lift arm design. 

The 988 GC is powered by the Cat C15 engine, which offers configurations to emit equivalent to EU Stage IIIA, EPA Tier 3 or meet Stage V and Tier 4 Final emissions standards. 

The 988 GC’s cooling package offers higher heat rejection with an on-demand fan strategy and two available fan speed settings for standard and high-ambient-temperature configurations.  

The Cat torque converter with standard lock-up clutch eliminates losses, lowers system heat, improves travel time and reduces cycle times in load-and-carry operations. To improving serviceability, Cat oil disc brakes provide superior heat dissipation and performance.

APECS transmission

Designed specifically for quarry and mining applications, the Cat Advanced Power Electronic Control Strategy (APECS) transmission offers consistent smooth shifting, productivity and efficiency improvements and long life. Forward momentum and torque are maintained when shifting for greater momentum on grades. The transmission neutralizer pedal extends service brake life and allows full power during stationary loading. 

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Load sensing hydraulics direct hydraulic flow to implement and steering systems only when needed to optimize loader performance and efficiency. Beneficial for load-and-carry applications, the optional ride control adds an auxiliary accumulator to the lift circuit for a smoother ride. 

The Z-bar front lift arm design provides excellent visibility to the bucket edges and work area to simplify operation. Bucket payload is aligned with the 988K models with a range of Cat performance series buckets available with capacities from 6.3 to 7.6 cubic metres.

Cat 988 GC specs

  • Engine: Cat C15
  • Max power: 449 hp
  • Static tipping load: 31,668 kg
  • Bucket pin height: 5.7 metres
  • Dump clearance: 3.9 metres
  • Breakout force: 76,120 foot pounds
  • Wheelbase: 3.8 metres
  • Operating weight: 23,070 kg

988 GC loader tech

Several integrated technologies help to increase the 988 GC’s productivity and efficiency. To help monitor, manage and enhance jobsite operations, Product Link offers wireless access to essential operating data for valuable insight into how the machine is operating. Standard rear Cat vision enhances visibility behind the 988 GC, allowing the operator to work safely and confidently. 

To help keep people and assets safe, the 988 GC can be equipped with Cat Detect technology that enhances awareness of the environment around working equipment. 

Displaying data in real time to improve productivity and reduce overloading, optional Cat Payload provides on-the-go weighing for materials hauled and loaded. An optional Advanced Productivity subscription provides comprehensive actionable information to help manage and improve operational productivity and profitability. 

STIC steering 

To maximized machine responsiveness, Cat equipped the wheel loader with its Steering and Integrated Control (STIC) steering, which features up to 47 per cent quieter operation. 

The Cat Comfort Series III seat features a seat-mounted implement pod that moves with the seat to enhance comfort and reduces operator fatigue. 

As well, operation is simplified through the intuitive operator interface, touchscreen display and easy-to-use soft detent implement controls. Machine vibration feedback to the operator is reduced using cab isolation mounts and seat air suspension, and an optional air cooled and heated seat is available for increased operator comfort. 

More uptime

The new wheel loader’s design includes features to increase machine uptime and reduce maintenance costs by up to 15 per cent compared to the 988K. 

Advanced filtration extends performance and reliability of the hydraulic system, while ground level or platform access to grouped service points delivers convenient servicing. 

Providing easy access to important daily service checks, access doors are located on both sides of the engine compartment. As well, centralized ground level grease points and ground level sight gauges simplify daily greasing and oil level checks for major machine systems. 

The 988 GC is also equipped with on-board diagnostics to alert the operator of machine issues. Information captured by Product Link can be remotely monitored via, the Cat app or VisionLink to help further advance preventative maintenance and servicing efficiency.