One of Caterpillar’s most popular wheel loaders, the 950 sees a new model set for release to Australian and New Zealand jobsites later this year. With dealers already holding some machines for customer demonstrations and regional shows, Caterpillar Product specialist, Dick Mars introduces the features and benefits of the new 950 GC – one of the most productive and highly flexible medium wheel loaders available.
The new 950 GC will deliver solid performance and ease of use with the reliability and durability Cat® machines have long been known for, Mr Mars said.
“This new loader family member also offers exceptional value and a compelling new choice in what is a highly competitive market segment.
“I’m sure customers will soon determine the 950 GC is the best value machine for their business,” he said.
Built on the proven performance of its generations of predecessors, and offering improved reliability, productivity and lower operating costs, the 950 GC was first launched in some overseas markets and is now configured for release to Australia and New Zealand, Mr Mars explained.
The design of this machine incorporates legacy components used in both current and previous Cat Medium Wheel Loaders, such as engines, transmissions, axles and hydraulics to name a few,” he said.
The loader is ideally matched for stockpiling, load-and-carry, hopper charging and truck loading functions.
“On construction projects, the 950 GC excels in site preparation, backfilling, general cleanup, medium-duty pipe handling and material handling with pallet forks or material handling arms,” Mr Mars said.
“The 950 GC is also an exceptional choice for governmental applications, offering agencies a well-designed, durable machine that fits the budget.”
The 950 GC shares the same long proven Z bar linkage design with the earlier 950H Series ensuring the new loader offers excellent digging capabilities and strong breakout forces particularly when using Cat Performance series buckets and load-sensing hydraulics.
“The clever load-sensing hydraulics meet on-demand hydraulic flow to the implement system in the volume and pressure necessary to perform the task at hand, which helps lower fuel consumption,” Mr Mars said.
The 950 GC also offers a best in class hinge pin height of 4188mm and a 3649mm loader arm clearance for easy loading of high sided trailers or charging of large scale hoppers.
Cat Performance Series buckets are the ideal match for the 950 GC.
“The Performance Series bucket range boasts a long floor, wide opening and curved side plates, which allow operators of all experience levels to comfortably achieve bucket fill factors 10 per cent higher compared to the legacy designs,” Mr Mars said.
“This ultimately improves cycle times and reduces fuel consumption.”
Cat Fusion quick coupler and controls are also available.
“This allows the 950 GC to use many Cat Work Tools across multiple applications for added versatility.
“A variety of pin-on and coupler attachments are available for 950 GC applications.”
The proven Cat C7.1 ACERT™ engine generates a maximum power rating of 171kW (ISO 14396) meets stage 3 emissions standard and features a new fuel injection system.
The Engine Idle Management System and on-demand, electronically controlled, hydraulically driven variable speed cooling fan further optimise fuel efficiency while lowering operating costs.
Designed and built by Caterpillar, the 4F/3R electronically controlled countershaft, power-shift transmission features high contact ratio gears ensuring long-life, complemented by heavy-duty bearings.
“This adds up to a transmission that is durable, fuel efficient and produces low noise and vibration levels during operation,” Mr Mars said.
“The transmission design incorporates an electronic Long Range Transmission (ELRT) control valve, which allows directional shift changes at full power.”
EASE OF OPERATION, MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE
The cabin ROPS is a one-piece tube design taken from the M Series design, Mr Mars said.
Simple and easy to operate, the 950 GC controls have been designed with the operator in mind.
“The interface panel display contains six analog-like gauges, coloured indicator lights and an LCD screen, all within easy view of the operator for safe and ergonomic use.
“Low-effort, pilot-operated implement controls, along with an optional joystick implement control, feature an integrated kick-down switch and a remote directional shift switch for convenient use.”
Mr Mars said the intuitive control system offered simple monitoring of machine systems and lends itself to quick learning of the loader’s operation, even for an operator with only a few hours in the seat.
Ladders and integrated handrails are located on both sides of the machine providing access to the spacious cab and for air filter servicing from the safety of a platform.
A large roof-to-floor, distortion-free flat glass front windscreen, optional rear-view camera and exterior mirrors with integrated spot mirrors provide exceptional visibility all round the new 950 GC, while standard fitment air conditioning with 10 louvered vents maintains operator comfort.
Hydraulic and electrical service centres provide ground-level access to grouped service points to reduce maintenance time, Mr Mars said.
“The large gull-wing side panels and a tilt-up rear grill provide unrestricted access to the radiators, filters and sampling ports and grease fittings for difficult-to-reach components are conveniently grouped for easy access.”
To further enhance the machine’s operating efficiency and assist with preventive maintenance and servicing, the 950 GC can be equipped with Cat Product Link™ telematics.
“Integrated into machine systems, Product Link allows remote monitoring of the machine using VisonLink®,” Mr Mars explained.
“The machine can also be configured with the optional rear-view camera and Cat Production Measurement tools.
“The rear-vision camera enhances jobsite awareness, allowing operators to work with greater confidence and keep on-site personnel and assets safe,” Mr Mars said.
“Cat Production Measurement delivers on-the-go payload weighing monitored through the new next generation display mounted beneath the rear-view monitor.”
Product Link will help fleet owners track location, machine hours and fuel consumption, idle time, events and diagnostic codes by wirelessly reporting via the VisonLink user interface.
Mr Mars told Earthmoving Equipment Magazine the new 950 GC will be offered with options such as a ride control system, Cat Auto lube, secondary steering, an auto reversing fan and limited slip differentials if required. While a third auxiliary hydraulic function can be factory, or in-field fitted, to provide another remote valve for a wider range of work tool options.