Cat’s new small wheel loaders feature industry first drivetrain tech

Caterpillar's 930 small wheel loader move a large pipe
Caterpillar's new 930 small wheel loader

Caterpillar has equipped its next generation of 926, 930 and 938 small wheel loaders with a range of new technologies.

The exclusive adaptive engine RPM feature automatically adjusts engine speed based on operator input to improve productivity and reduce fuel burn.

The 1,200 to 1,500-RPM working range makes the loaders more fuel efficient, while larger pumps run at slower speeds for less wear and longer service life.

New drivetrain technology

As an industry first development, the new wheel loaders feature four customized powertrain operating modes, including:

  • Utility mode: designed for hydromechanical tool use or pick-and-place work, utility vehicle mode delivers fine ground speed control with engine RPM throttle lock.
  • Torque mode: saves up to 5 per cent on fuel by freewheeling around corners and while travelling downhill.
  • Hystat mode: provides engine braking with aggressive deceleration, acceleration and no travel until the throttle is applied.
  • Ice mode: for snow-clearing applications, ice mode offers soft directional shifts and extended coast-out for improved control.

Caterpillar’s new auto wheel torque control allows the machine to automatically controlling torque to the wheel and adjusting rimpull control to reduce tire spin.

To improve traction on difficult terrain, the new loaders feature standard front axle differential lock with optional limited rear slip differential.

On the 926 and 930 loaders, the differential lock is controlled on-the-go by the operator with the joystick. The new 938 loader comes standard with automatic differential lock, as well as manual control.

Cat Command for wheel loaders

Caterpillar’s 938 small wheel loader

The next gen small wheel loaders expand Cat Command for Loading to the global market. Advancing safety and productivity, Command for Loading offers remote control of the loader to remove the operator from hazardous conditions.

New for this model series, the command console offers efficient line-of-sight machine operation through the console’s ergonomic control layout of loader functions. The command station positions the operator in a virtual cab with familiar controls and machine displays for remote, non-line-of-sight loader control. Elevating efficiency and productivity, one operator can control multiple machines at different sites from a single command station.

Efficient operation

The customizable in-cab display delivers an easy view of operating parameters. Up to 50 different operating profiles can be set through the display, which the loader can recall when an operator starts the machine. The next gen loaders now come with two steering option – new force feedback joystick steer control and a low-effort steering wheel – to further customize machine configuration.

The new joystick steering allows the loaders to travel at speeds of up to 40 km per hour, thanks to the force feedback feature that stiffens at higher speeds and softens as speed decreases.

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As well, the new loaders offer joystick or single axis levers, and both come with a range of programmable options to meet operator preference.

Included with joystick controls, the versatile jog dial offers quick, on-the-go speed, throttle lock, auxiliary hydraulic flow, and wheel torque adjustments as well as screen navigation and creep speed control.

Optimized Z-bar linkage

With standard parallelism, the optimized Z-bar linkage digs like a Z-bar but acts like a tool carrier, increasing versatility and visibility. The design provides coupler and high lift options for all new models. The patented positive pressure fusion coupler interface eliminates wear and maximizes performance with reduced work tool offset. A full range of work tools for the new loaders includes optimized forks with mechanical parallel lift and performance series buckets featuring an aggressive rack angle for load retention and a 10 per cent boost in fill factors.

The new machine design improves visibility to the implements. The rack angle affords full cutting-edge and bucket corner visibility. Excellent fork tip visibility at ground level and full height allows the operator to confidently load and unload materials, while an optional cranked tine further enhances forward visibility.

Caterpillar is expected to begin production of the small wheel loaders in the fourth quarter of 2023.