Cat Unleashes the Industry’s Largest Track Loader, the 973

Cat has unveiled “the largest track loader in the industry” with its new 973.

Designed to clear, load, dig, carry, fill and more, the 65,901-pound do-it-all machine is powered by a 275-horsepower Cat C9.3B diesel engine. It replaces the 973K worldwide and joins the 160-horsepower 953 and 202-horsepower 963 in the Cat track loader line.

Cat says the new machine is packed with upgrades, including better fuel efficiency, more productivity, an improved cab, and optional Payload technology.

Inside the updated cab, operators will find a suspension seat with adjustable armrests/controls, a 10-inch touchscreen dash display, and a standard high-definition rearview camera. The Slope Indicate feature shows machine mainfall and cross slope right on the display, making operation easier, Cat says.

For the powertrain controls, operators can choose between the traditional V-lever and pedal steer setup or a joystick steer like what’s found on skid steers and compact track loaders. For the loader controls, you can choose between the traditional two-lever control or, again, the joystick control that operates similar to skids and CTLs.

With either control scheme, operators can adjust the implement responsiveness between fine, normal and coarse settings to match their preference or the application. Repetitive lift, lower, rack, dump and float functions can be preset to make jobs like truck loading easier. Cat says they have also enhanced the implement and steering response and improved the steering performance for smoother movements and more controllability.

Cat 973 track loaderCaterpillarPerformance and productivity

Fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 10 percent by placing the machine in Auto Mode. Auto Mode automatically increases or decreases engine speed to match the load. For even greater fuel savings, operators performing lighter-duty jobs can drop the loader into Eco Mode. Finally, Power Mode will keep engine speed high, making power readily available when you need it.

The general purpose bucket offers 4.2 cubic yards of capacity, while the optional performance series bucket can boost productivity by up to 20 percent in some applications. Cat’s optional Fusion Quick Coupler will further increase productivity by reducing the amount of time it takes to swap attachments. Fusion-compatible tools – such as buckets, forks and more – can be shared between track loaders, wheel loaders and other machines.

Buckets come with the factory-installed Advansys bucket tips/adapter/locking system. Advansys tips are durable and long-lasting, and the hammerless retention system allows for safe, fast removal and installation without special tools.

A variety of special configurations help tailor the machine to specific applications. The Low Ground Pressure (LGP), Waste Handling/Demolition and Ship Hold arrangements come factory equipped with specialized undercarriage, guarding and other features designed to take on the toughest tasks. The 973 Steel Mill configuration is built with a specialized cab, insulated steel fuel tank, high temperature undercarriage and insulation throughout the machine.

Optional Cat Payload technology uses on-the-go weighing to give operators precise bucket load information. This helps prevent over- or under-loading, reducing cycle times to help save time, labor and fuel costs.

Ease jobsite management

Cat Equipment Management telematics technology gathers machine, material and personnel data to make jobsite management easier.

  • Product Link collects data automatically and accurately from equipment assets of any type and brand, which can be viewed online through web and mobile applications.
  • Information can be accessed 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 allows Cat dealers to perform diagnostic testing remotely. Remote Flash updates on-board software without a technician being present and at a time of your choosing.
  • 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.