New Cat 966 GC wheel loader boasts high performance and low costs

Offering long-term durability in a wide range of applications, the new Cat 966 GC wheel loader is designed for high performance and efficient operation. Its Caterpillar-designed components, on-demand fan, load-sensing hydraulics and intuitive controls keep fuel consumption and operating costs low, making it a versatile machine that also fits the needs of the rental and municipal markets.

The Cat C9.3B engine meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final, EU Stage V, Korea Tier 4 Final, China Nonroad Stage IV and Japan 2014 emission standards with a gross power rating of 239 kW (321 hp). The engine’s automatic Cat Clean Emissions Module (CEM), including SCR catalyst and diesel particulate filter (DPF), works in the background without impacting the production schedule.

The Cat Engine Idle Management System (EIMS), Auto Engine Idle Shutdown (EIS), variable speed fan and load sensing hydraulics help result in low fuel consumption and reduced sound levels on the machine. Also, an optional automatic reversing fan assists in cleaning cooling cores to improve performance in high-debris environments.

Furthermore, the new loader features a 4-speed electronically-controlled, automatic planetary powershift transmission with shift protection and single clutch gear shifting. According to Cat, the loader’s optional ride control improves operating smoothness over rough terrain while optional limited slip differential axle configurations increase traction in poor underfoot conditions.

Front linkage

Caterpillar’s Z-bar loader linkage with cast crossmember and tilt-lever looks to provide both strong digging capabilities and high breakout forces when the loader is equipped with Cat Performance Series buckets. The load-sensing implement hydraulic system continuously controls flow and pressure to precisely match requirements of the operating situation, reducing both the load on the pump and overall fuel burn.

Using a system-based approach to balance bucket shape with the machine’s lift and tilt capacity, weight and linkage, Cat’s Performance Series Buckets are available for a range of applications including general purpose, flat floor, heavy duty rock and light material. The company claims that design features enable operators of all experience levels to routinely attain 10% higher bucket-fill factors, compared with legacy designs, to improve production and reduce fuel consumption.

Also, the 966 GC can be equipped with the Cat Fusion™ quick coupler and controls, and combined with optional third-function auxiliary hydraulics, the coupler allows use of a wide selection of Cat work tools.

An optional Cat Payload kit provides on-the-go weighing for more precise of load targets with flexible and simple installation and easier calibration. Cat Payload weighs the material while moving to the truck and lifting, limiting interruptions in the load cycle. Also, it allows the operator to load to exact specifications and load more trucks and move more material faster.

Operator environment and serviceability

According to Cat, the new 966 GC loader features a simple, intuitive and ergonomic control system with an operator interface display that includes six analog-like gauges, colour indicator lights, and an LCD screen—all within easy view, so operators can quickly monitor machine systems. Low-effort, pilot-operated implement controls feature a remote transmission kick down switch for operating comfort.

Cat has kept safety in mind with inclined ladders and integrated handholds located on both sides of the machine, which provide access to the cab and to the engine air filter. A large roof-to-floor, distortion-free, flat glass front windshield; standard rear-view camera; and exterior mirrors, with integrated spot mirrors, provide all-around visibility. The standard heating and air conditioning system features ten louvered vents and helps to keep the operator comfortable in all climates.

Large gull-wing engine hood side panels and a tilt-up rear grill provide unrestricted access to daily service points, fuel and DEF fills, greasing points, filters and fluid-sampling ports. Further reducing maintenance, an optional Cat Autolube greasing system is available.

Cat’s Product Link comes standard, which improves operating efficiency and servicing elements. Also, Product Link captures critical operating data, remotely monitored through its webpage, app or VisionLink.