Cat’s track loader hat trick

A Caterpillar track loader pushes dirt in the desert

Caterpillar rounds out its track loader lineup with the debut of the 973

Caterpillar’s new 973 is the largest track loader in the industry, but maintains agility and ease of operation.  

The new machine, the third in the cat track loader lineup, delivers more productivity while consuming less fuel to deliver greater profit. 

The 275 hp crawler loader has an operating weight of 29,892 kg and replaces the 973K worldwide. It joins the160-hp 953 and the 202-hp 963 in the Cat track loader line. 

The 973 is powered by a Cat C9.3B engine. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to 10 per cent with Auto Mode, which adapts the engine speed to the load. Eco Mode will use an even lower speed for further reduction in fuel consumption in lighter duty applications. Power Mode will always maintain a high engine speed for readily available power. 

Control options

The 973 features joystick or V-lever and pedal steering for transmission controls and either joystick or two-lever implement controls. 

The joystick option provides familiar controls for operators experienced with compact loaders. With either control scheme, operators can set implement response to fine, normal or coarse  to match operator preference or application. 

Repetitive lift, lower, rack, dump and float functions can be preset to make jobs like truck loading easier. Smoother implement and steering response and improved steering performance provide more controllability.

An optional Performance Series bucket boosts productivity up to 20 per cent. An optional Fusion Quick Coupler enables fast attachment changes. A variety of buckets, forks and other tools can be shared among track loaders, wheel loaders and other Fusion compatible machines. 

Buckets come from the factory with Advansys bucket tips/adapter/locking system. Advansys tips are built to maximize productivity and deliver the lowest bucket lifecycle cost. Hammerless retention system means safe, fast removal and installation without special tools.

Purpose-built track loader options

Purpose-built low ground Pressure (LGP), waste handling/demolition and ship hold arrangements are factory equipped with specialized undercarriage, guarding and other features designed to take on tough tasks. 

The 973 Steel Mill package includes a specialized cab, insulated steel fuel tank, high temperature undercarriage and insulation throughout the machine, making it suitable for handling slag.  

The updated cab features a suspension seat as well as adjustable armrests and controls. 

A 25-cm touchscreen in-cab display is easy to use and features a standard high definition rearview camera. Slope Indicate helps make operation easier by showing machine mainfall and cross slope right on the display. 

Telematics and tech

Cat Payload technology delivers precise bucket load information with on-the-go weighing, which helps prevent over or underloading. More accurate loading reduces cycle times to help save time, labour and fuel costs.

Cat Equipment Management telematics technology helps take the complexity out of managing jobsites by gathering data generated by equipment, materials or people and delivering it in customizable formats.

Product Link collects data automatically and accurately from equipment assets – any type and any brand – which can be viewed online through web and mobile applications.

More news from Caterpillar:

Access information anytime, anywhere with VisionLink. A Cat dealer can help configure a customized subscription, available with cellular or satellite reporting or both.

The Cat App helps manage assets — at any time — right from a smartphone. 

Remote Troubleshoot saves time and money by allowing Cat dealers to perform diagnostic testing remotely. Remote Flash updates on-board software without a technician being present, at a convenient time, potentially reducing update time by as much as 50 per cent.

Application Profile and Operator ID help save time by saving preferred machine settings. 

For machine security, a passcode provides an optional additional level of security by requiring an operator to enter an ID before the machine will start