When Caterpillar says its small wheel loaders are all new, it means it. The 924K, 930K and 938K wheel loaders are a ground-up redesign featuring Tier 4A engines and boosted fuel economy, electronically controlled hydrostatic drive, and an optimized Z-bar loader linkage.
The redesign also sees the manufacture of the 900K Series loaders brought from the U.K. to Caterpillar's facilities in North Carolina to an assembly line overhauled especially for the new machines.
The 900K Series machines all share Cat's 6.6 ACERT engines which in current tune delivers 30% better fuel economy than previous models and breathes through a diesel particulate filter that regenerates itself without interrupting normal operation. Also, the new engine configuration is designed to operate at 1,800 rpm compared with previous models' 2,415 rpm to reduce wear, noise and fuel consumption. An engine-idel shutdown system further helps the 6.6 sip fuel.
K Series machines are equipped with a stepless, four-range, hydrostatic drive that allows independent control of ground speed and engine speed for efficient use of hydraulically powered tools. A new creeper control feature improves low-speed operation -- allowing for a maximum ground speed of 1 mph. Traction is enhanced through a front differential lock and an operator-controlled rimpull control system. Dedicated load-sensing, variable-displacement piston pumps power hydraulics for steering and implements and reduce horsepower requirements for better multifunction performance and fuel economy. And, the loaders all feature an electronic snubbing feature at the end of the hydraulic stroke and kick out positions to reduce operator and machine stress.
The Z-bar loade linkage has been upgraded to boost breakout power with the parallel lift and load characteristics of Cat VersaLink or Integrated Toocarrier linkages. The new linkage, available in standard and high-lift configurations, accepts pin-on tools, Cat Fusion coupler or an ISO coupler that is competitive with a range of tool brands.
The all new cab includes automatic temperature control, a curved front windshield, a heated rear window and wiper, and a Soft Touch control panel. The electronic joystick for implement control is seat-mounted, adjustable and incorporates controls for auxiliary hydraulics, directional shifting and differential lock. Sound levels have fallen from the H model's 74 dB (A) to 66 dB (A).
The new machines are rated at the following horsepower: 924K, 142; 930K, 156; and 938K, 170.