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Caterpillar rounds out its track loader lineup with new 65,901-pound machine

A track loader operates inside a steel mill
A Cat 973 track loader Caterpillar

Caterpillar has rounded out its track loader lineup with what the manufacturer says is the largest track loader in the industry.The new Cat 973 track loader combines versatility with up to 10 percent better fuel efficiency, more productivity, cab improvements, and optional Payload technology. The 275 hp (205 kW) crawler loader has an operating weight of 65,901 lb (29 892 kg) and replaces the 973K worldwide. It joins the 953 (160 hp/119 kW) and 963 (202 hp/151 kW) in the Cat track loader line.

Despite its large size, the 973 still offers agility and ease of operation. The updated cab features a suspension seat and adjustable armrests/controls. A 10-inch (254 mm) touchscreen dash display is easy to use and features a standard high definition rearview camera. A slope indicator feature shows machine mainfall and cross slope right on the display.

Select joystick or V-lever and pedal steering for transmission controls and either joystick or 2-lever implement controls. The joystick option provides familiar controls for operators experienced with skid steers/compact track loaders. With either control scheme, operators can set implement response – fine, normal, 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 updated steering performance provide more controllability.

The 973 is powered by a Cat C9.3B engine. Fuel consumption is reduced up to 10 percent with the Auto Mode that will adapt the engine speed to the load. Eco Mode will use even lower speed for further reduction in fuel consumption in lighter duty applications. Power Mode will keep engine speed high for a feel of readily available power at all times.

Caterpillar says that an optional Performance Series bucket boosts productivity up to 20 percent while 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 for ideal productivity and the lowest bucket lifecycle cost. Hammerless retention system means safe, fast removal and installation without special tools.

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

Cat Equipment Management telematics gathers data generated by equipment, materials, and people – and serving it up 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.
  • Caterpillar's Remote Troubleshoot allows 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 percent.
  • Operator and application profiles help save time by saving preferred machine settings.
  • A passcode provides an optional additional level of security by requiring an operator to enter an ID before the machine will start.

Company info

100 North East Adams Street
Peoria, IL
US, 61629


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