Cat’s new wheel loaders loaded with expanded tech platform

By Riley SimpsonMay 12, 2021

Caterpillar’s new 980 XE medium wheel loader has 393 horsepower and is designed with a continuous variable transmission to increase fuel efficiency by up to 35%

Caterpillar has released the new 10-12-ton 980 and 982 medium wheel loaders, which come with an expanded technology platform, are up to 10% more productive and lower maintenance costs by up to 20% when compared to previous models, according to the manufacturer.

The class includes the Cat 980 XE and 982 XE models, designed with a continuous variable transmission (CVT) that increases fuel efficiencies up to 35% and decreases maintenance costs up to 25% compared to the previous models.

The 980 and 982 machines’ technology suite offers real-time actionable information with standard programs such as Cat Payload with Assist, Cat Autodig, Auto Set Tires and Application-Profiles.

  • Cat Payload with Assist helps operators load materials to target by providing an accurate weighing of bucket payloads, and the technology includes low-lift weigh and manual tip-off functions
  • Autodig and Auto Set Tires work together to reduce tire slip and loading time by automating bucket loading cycle to improve productivity by up to 10%
  • With Application-Profiles, operators can set multiple machine learning parameters with one button to optimize settings for any application

Cat’s new 980 XE (393 horsepower) and 982 XE (404 horsepower) machines are the first medium wheel loaders to feature a CVT option, as the manufacturer said it has leveraged the past of production experience with the 966K XE, 966M XE and 972M XE models.

The new XE wheel loaders also feature a high-efficiency, continuously variable path drive system, which combines a direct mechanical path from the engine to the wheels with a HystatTM variator.

The company said the new models were designed with the user in mind. The operator’s cab comes with a wide door, steps and grabrails for stability; more legroom; a new adjustable suspension seat that includes heating and cooling options; seatbelts with built-in monitors for enhanced job site safety; a floor-to-ceiling windshield for increased forward visibility; and ride control that absorbs motion to improve ride comfort.

Cat’s 982 XE medium wheel loader comes with an expanded technology platform that includes Cat Payload with Assist, Autodig and other programs that improve productivity

The loaders’ new dashboard and high-resolution touchscreen display provide intuitive and user-friendly loader control for enhanced performance. The seat-mounted electrohydraulic joystick steering system provides precise control over the new Cat 980 and 982 series models with minimal arm movements to increase comfort and loading accuracy. A conventional steering wheel is also available on the 980. Automatic control of the air conditioning system keeps the cab as cool as desired.

Cat said the new loaders come with a push-to-start feature that requires a valid Operator-ID, and the cabs have a standard rear-vision camera along with convex and spot mirrors.

The maintenance cost savings come from extended fluid and filter change intervals on the Cat 980 and 982 wheel loaders, and according to the manufacturer, all maintenance intervals are now scheduled in 1,000-hour increments, which eliminates service downtime every 500 hours.

It’s been a busy 2021 for Caterpillar, which rolled out the new 992 wheel loader, which the company designed with higher productivity and efficiency, just weeks ago in March.

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