Caterpillar Updates Range With the New Cat 973 Track Loader

The new Cat 973 Track Loader combines unmatched versatility with up to 10% 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 (29892 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.

Image: courtesy of Caterpillar

Operation Made Easy

Despite its size, the 973 offers agility and ease of operation. The updated cab features a suspension seat and adjustable armrests/controls. An intuitive 10-inch (254 mm) touchscreen dash display is easy to use and features a standard High Definition rearview camera. Slope Indicate helps make operation easier by showing 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 improved steering performance provide more controllability.

Image: courtesy of Caterpillar

Enhanced Productivity

The 973 is powered by a Cat C9.3B engine. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to 10% with the Auto Mode, which adapts the engine speed to the load. Eco Mode uses 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.

An optional Performance Series bucket boosts productivity by up to 20%. 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 maximum 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 factory 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.

Image: courtesy of Caterpillar

Cat Payload

Cat Payload technology delivers precise bucket load information with on-the-go weighing, which helps prevent over- or under-loading. More accurate loading reduces cycle times to help save time, labor and fuel costs.

Image: courtesy of Caterpillar

Connect to Greater Efficiency

Cat Equipment Management telematics technology helps take the complexity out of managing job sites – by gathering 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.
  • Access information anytime, anywhere with VisionLink. A Cat dealer can help configure a customized subscription, available with cellular or satellite reporting or both.
  • The Cat App helps manage assets – at any time – right from a smartphone.
  • Remote Troubleshoot saves time and money by allowing 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%.
  • Application Profile and Operator ID help save time by saving preferred machine settings.
  • Machine Security – Passcode provides an optional additional level of security by requiring an operator to enter an ID before the machine will start.'
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