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Improved Balance Keeps Cat 953C On Even Footing

Wed June 07, 2000 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Caterpillar recently updated the 953C track-type loader. While it still retains many of the characteristics of the original 953C, the updated version also features new and innovative designs developed in response to customer input.

These features enhance the updated 953C in several areas: It is easier to operate and service; has improved balance and stability; and offers an updated operator’s compartment for greater comfort. The updated 953C also features new external styling, sloped at the rear, that gives the machine a distinctive look along with an excellent viewing area to the rear.

The 953C track loader is a versatile machine. It can handle many different kinds of applications, including, but not limited to: digging, dozing, loading, carrying, backfilling, grading and demolition.

Easier Machine


On the updated 953C, Caterpillar replaced mechanical linkages for the bucket and ripper controls with easier-to-operate pilot-operated controls. The pilot-operated controls significantly lower the efforts needed to operate the equipment control levers, resulting in less operator fatigue and thus higher productivity. These new levers are also smaller and easier for the operator to manipulate. These new controls give the operator more precise control, for better tool placement.

Pilot-operated hydraulics provide several other benefits:

• The lift and tilt cylinder drift is reduced.

• The operator can easily disable the pilot circuit to help prevent vandalism or accidents while away from the machine.

• The complex mechanical connection between valves and levers is eliminated, which results in reduced wear and improved serviceability.

• Hydraulic components can be more reliable than mechanical linkages, which results in more consistent equipment control throughout the life of the machine.

Caterpillar also replaced the mechanical system for both lift-height kickout and return-to-dig bucket positioner, with a more consistent magnetic sensing system. With this new magnetic system, it is easier for the operator to preset the desired lift height and digging angle for the bucket during each application. This helps reduce cycle times by letting the operator concentrate more on positioning the machine rather than on maneuvering the bucket. By eliminating many mechanical linkages, this feature also reduces parts wear and maintenance time.

Machine Stability

Caterpillar completely redesigned the bumper on the updated 953C for improved machine balance and excellent protection for the rear of the machine. It is styled to fit the new shape of the machine. The new, heavier bumper gives the machine enhanced balance and stability. It helps to increase the static tipping load by 7.6 percent, from 9,231 to 9,931 kilograms (20,345 to 21,898 lbs.) over the previous model. The new bumper makes the updated 953C feel more stable for the operator when traveling, allowing him to travel at higher speeds and carry heavier loads in the bucket. This results in an overall increase in performance and productivity.

Operator Comfort

Caterpillar redesigned the operator’s compartment in the updated 953C with operator comfort in mind. Some of the features that make the new cab more operator friendly include fully adjustable armrests, an air circulation system that delivers better air flow and a lockable storage compartment.

The armrests are adjustable up and down, with adjustable inclination. The right armrest is also adjustable forward and backward, while the left armrest has been lengthened. The armrest adjustments are now easier and faster. The operator can make alterations by simply moving the knobs located directly on the armrests. These features let the operator customize the armrests to the most comfortable position for more precise manipulation of the new control levers, which results in reduced operator fatigue.

The improved ventilation system now features 10 louvered vents, including two on each door post. This system provides better air flow to the operator and improves the defrost and defog capabilities to the cab windows.

A storage compartment is now lockable for added security, which is especially important in canopy-equipped machines. The muffler group is completely redesigned and repositioned below the engine, giving the operator a greater viewing area to the rear. The new polycarbonate roof design is exceptionally strong and durable.

The updated 953C retains many of the features from the previous track loaders. The Cat contour series seat is ergonomically designed and fully adjustable for maximum operator support and comfort. The 953C computerized monitoring system regulates important machine functions, warns the operator of any problems and informs of the location and severity of the fault for easier troubleshooting. A quiet working environment, with a low sound level of 79 decibels in the cab is standard. A large storage space is available for personal belongings, with a coat hook, room for a large lunch cooler, a thermos and a cup or soda can. Large windows with tinted glass, a sun visor and windshield wipers and washers are standard. There also is a standard variable intermittent control on the front windshield wiper.

Simpler Machine


Caterpillar improved some components in the 953C to enhance its durability and serviceability.

• The muffler is now directly mounted on the engine turbo and the flexible pipe used in the previous model has been removed to eliminate any risk of pipe damage caused by vibration. This improves the reliability of the exhaust system.

• The sheet metal is made of fewer pieces. Grab irons for the cab/canopy are now bolted instead of welded, which makes them easier to replace, if necessary.

The updated 953C also retains some of the recent modifications made to the machine prior to the current model, such as:

• dual fuel filters, which maintain clean fuel to the injectors and protect them from contaminants that cause accelerated wear;

• a water separator removes water from the fuel more effectively than only the fuel tank drain, which results in reduced engine wear and sustained peak performance; and

• an enlarged air cleaner which provides a longer operating time before the filter element requires cleaning or changing.

All of these features reduce the need for service, which results in lower service time and better machine availability.

The updated 953C also retains the location of the hydraulic filters, which have been relocated closer to each other inside the right service door for easier access and maintenance.

For more information, contact a local Caterpillar dealer.

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