Two new wheel loaders from Caterpillar, the 950K and 962K feature engines certified as meeting US EPA Tier IV Interim and EU Stage IIIB emissions standards while delivering high performance, long life, fuel efficiency and low operating costs. Each loader features many improvements including a new operator station, optimized Z-bar linkage, performance series buckets and high-efficiency drive train.
The 950K and 962K share the new Cat C7.1 ACERT engine. At 1,900 rpm, the engine provides peak net power of 211 hp (157 kW) in the 950K and 221 hp (165 kW) in the 962K. The loaders use buckets ranging in size from 3.25 to 12 cu. yds. (2.5 to 9.2 cu m). Both machines can be equipped with a Cat Fusion coupler and a variety of work tools, making them ideal for construction, aggregates, forestry, industrial and other material-handling applications. The new K Series loaders replace their H Series predecessors.
New Operator Station
New steps that have a greater inclination angle than the H Series provide easy access to the cab. The new design makes getting into the cab feel more like walking up a staircase than climbing a ladder. A wider door opening, well-placed grab bars and a new front-hinged door that can be opened and closed while seated allow for easy entry and exit. Left- and right-hand sliding windows can be opened and closed with one hand while seated, making it easier to communicate with people on the ground.
A streamlined four-post ROPS design, a new operator position that has been moved slightly forward and an optimized Z-bar linkage provide enhanced visibility to the front and sides, while a standard rear-view camera with large color monitor enhances visibility to the back of the machines.
The loaders can be equipped with a low-effort hydraulically assisted steering wheel or Cat Command Control steering, which is especially well-suited for short-cycle maneuvering. Both steering systems minimize operator fatigue and allow smooth handling and maneuverability, according to the manufacturer.
The operator station also features new viscous cab mounts that reduce noise and vibration; an automatic climate control that adjusts temperature and fan speed to the operator’s preferred setting; and a new center display panel with five analog-like gauges and a large text box that displays in-language messages. A “help” button explains switch functions in-language.
Two new membrane switch panels are located on the front right ROPS post. The large switches can be activated easily when wearing gloves. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and an audible “click” let the operator know when the switches have been activated.
The loaders also feature a new electro-hydraulically activated parking brake. Optional heated and powered mirrors improve operator comfort and clear condensation and ice. AM/FM radios with CD players are available along with a standard MP3 jack and three 12-volt power outlets and an optional communication radio package provides a mounting bracket, antennae and DC/DC converter. It is pre-wired for CB and two-way radios.
Linkage, System-Designed with Coupler and Work Tools
Caterpillar engineers used systems integration approach to completely redesign the linkage system to meet customer needs in many applications. Development of the new optimized Z-bar linkage was done in conjunction with the performance series buckets, Fusion coupler and Fusion family of work tools to ensure that all components function together to optimize visibility, performance and fuel efficiency. Visibility has been optimized by placing line routings and structural components out of the operator’s sight lines. New parallel lift capabilities and a significant increase in tilt force at maximum lift enhance performance and versatility.
With the integration of the Performance Series Buckets, the new loaders deliver faster digging times and better material retention, ultimately translating into significant productivity and fuel efficiency improvements, according to the manufacturer.
Many other work tools including specialty buckets, pallet forks, log and lumber forks, rakes, material handling arms, brooms and plows also are available to expand the application range for the 950K and 962K. Versatility is enhanced even further with the Cat Fusion coupler system. The Fusion coupler not only allows one machine to use a wide range of work tools, but also permits one work tool to be used by machines of different sizes. This cross-machine capability gives equipment owners additional flexibility and fleet options.
Tier IV Interim/Stage IIIB Engine
Powered by a new Cat C7.1 ACERT engine, the 950K and 962K are certified as meeting new emissions standards while improving performance and fuel efficiency. The engine incorporates an upgraded ADEM 4 control module and a new high-pressure common rail fuel system to improve combustion efficiency and reduce emissions. The rugged Cat clean emissions module is securely mounted on its own platform above the engine and contains a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and Cat regeneration system. Regeneration, the process by which soot is removed from the diesel particulate filter, can be set to take place automatically so that it does not interrupt the machine work cycle, and it can be initiated manually by the operator.
Another example of systems integration is the drive train, which has been optimized with the new engine to improve digging power, acceleration and performance. Both the 950K and 962K have new torque converters that have been matched with the engine power curve to save fuel while delivering power increases. The loaders have new transmission shift logic for downshifting into first gear. Now the downshift occurs based on the torque requirements instead of ground speed, which enables operators to use the automatic transmission mode in first through fourth gears. This simplifies operation, reduces dig times and improves fuel efficiency. Also, transmission speed shifts are significantly smoother due to the new shifting strategy that reduces torque losses while shifting. The result is faster acceleration, better ramp climbing performance and improved shift quality.
Cat K Series wheel loaders retain the convenient, one-piece tilting hood introduced with the G Series. However, the rear portion of the hood now incorporates a clamshell design that allows quick access to the engine oil dipstick, oil fill, fuel fill and cooler cores for cleaning. New fold-back external mirrors improve access to a convenient step near the top of the loader tower, and a redesigned window-cleaning platform improves visibility to work tools. The full coverage grab bar around the roof cap provides a secure hand-hold when cleaning windows, replacing wiper blades or inspecting lights. Two ground-level service centers for hydraulic and electrical components permit faster, more convenient maintenance.
For more information, visit www.cat.com.