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Caterpillar Releases The Latest GC On Respected Legacy

One of the earthmoving and civil construction industry’s best-performed wheel loaders, the Cat® 966, is set for launch in local markets as the latest version of the Cat GC series.

Hallmarked by its reliable performance and long-term durability across a range of applications using legacy components, the 966 GC will offer even greater versatility and capability. Caterpillar product specialist, Dick Mars says the new design is sure to fit a wide range of budgets and build on the proven performance of its predecessors.

Being launched in the Australian and New Zealand markets, the 966 GC is fitted with the ever-reliable Cat® 9.3B engine delivering a maximum gross power rating of 239kW and meeting Tier 3/Stage IIIA emission standards.

“The Cat 9.3B engine features a new common rail fuel injection system, and an electronically controlled and hydraulically driven variable speed cooling fan,” Mr Mars said. “When combined with the Cat engine idle management system this results in lower fuel consumption along with lower sound levels.”

An automatic reversing fan can be optioned to assist in cleaning cooling cores in high debris environments. The new 966 GC uses a 4F/4R electronically controlled, planetary powershift transmission, designed and built by Caterpillar.

“This features an electronic clutch, with a pressure-compensated, single clutch shifting system for smooth, efficient gear changes in all operating situations,” Mr Mars added.

Versatile Performance And Low Fuel Consumption

Sharing its Z bar linkage design with the legacy Cat 966H, Mars said the new loader delivers strong digging capabilities and powerful breakout forces.

“Combining Cat Performance Series buckets with the load sensing implement hydraulic system, which is designed to continuously control the flow and pressure to precisely match the requirements of the operating situation, will help reduce both the load on the hydraulic pump and overall fuel burn.”

The Performance Series buckets, which are notable for a long floor, wide opening and curved side plates, means operators of all experience levels can routinely meet 10 per cent higher bucket fill factors when compared to previous bucket designs.

“This ultimately improves cycle times and reduces fuel consumption,” Mr Mars said. “Cat Fusion™ quick coupler and controls are also available, allowing the 966 GC to use a range of Cat work tools across multiple applications for added versatility.”

A variety of pin-on and coupler attachments are also available for 966 GC applications.

Easy To Operate, Maintain And Service

The cabin ROPS is a one-piece hydroformed tube design adapted from the M Series design. “Simple and easy to operate, the intuitive, ergonomic 966 GC controls have been designed with the operator in mind,” Mr Mars said.

The interface panel display contains five analog-like gauges, coloured indicator lights and an LCD screen.

“All these features are designed to be within easy view of the operator so they can quickly monitor machine systems,” Mr Mars said.

“The ergonomic cabin interior design flows into the low-effort, pilot-operated implement controls, which feature a remote kick-down switch for comfort and convenience.” The intuitive control system and simple monitoring of the machine performance lends itself to quick learning of the loader operation.

“It means operators with only a few hours experience in the 966 GC will be able to access the suite of clever control and performance systems that are a signature of Cat machines,” Mr Mars said. Inclined ladders and integrated handrails are located on both sides of the machine to provide safe access to the spacious cab and to service the engine air filter from a platform.

The large roof-to-floor, distortion-free flat glass front windscreen, standard rear-view camera and exterior mirrors with integrated spot mirrors provide all around visibility. Standard air conditioning with 10 louvered vents will maintain the operator’s comfort in a range of worksite and environmental conditions.

“Ground level access to grouped service points will help reduce maintenance times,” Mr Mars explained.

“The 966 GC has large gull-wing engine hood side panels and a tilt-up rear grill to offer the operator or service personnel unrestricted access to daily service points, greasing points, filters and fluid sampling ports.

“Furthermore, grease fittings for difficultto- reach components are conveniently grouped and there’s always the option of fitting a Cat Autolube greasing system to cut into maintenance times and ensure correct lubrication of critical points,” Mr Mars said.

Technology Features

To enhance the machine’s operating efficiency and assist with loader preventive maintenance and servicing, owners can tap into Cat technology such as Cat Product Link™ telematics. Integrated into 966 GC systems, Product.

Link allows remote monitoring using VisionLink® and the machine can also be configured with the optional rear-view camera and Cat Production Measurement systems to further enhance operator performance and productivity.

“The standard rear-vision camera enhances jobsite awareness, and means operators can work with greater confidence and at the same time keep people and assets safe,” Mr Mars said. “Product Link will help fleet owners track location, machine hours, fuel consumption, idle time, events and diagnostic codes with remote reporting via the VisionLink user interface, and the optional dealer installed Cat  Production Measurement delivers on-the-go payload weighing through the new Next

Gen monitor mounted beneath the rear-view monitor,” Mr Mars added. “As well as options such as Autolube and the auto reversing cooling fan that I’ve mentioned, the new 966 GC can be fitted with a ride control system, secondary steering and limited slip differentials if required,” Mr Mars said.

“A third auxiliary hydraulic function can be factory or in-field fitted providing another remote valve, which adds to the machine’s impressive capabilities for additional work tools use.

“This is a machine that takes the 966 legacy of decades of high performance and builds on it in so many ways.”

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