New 973 rounds out updated Cat track loader line-up

The Caterpillar (Cat) track loader lineup has been further enhanced with the introduction of the robust 275 horsepower (205 kW) 973 model. This beast of a machine takes the baton from the 973K and stands out with its impressive operating weight of 65,901 pounds (29,892 kg). The 973 joins its siblings, the 953 with 160 hp (119 kW) and the 963 with 202 hp (151 kW), to complete the Cat collection.

Stepping inside the updated cab, operators are greeted with a plush suspension seat and customizable armrests and controls for comfort throughout the workday. The cab is equipped with an easy-to-navigate 10-inch (254 mm) touchscreen display, which includes a High Definition rearview camera as standard. Keeping operations intuitive, the display also features Slope Indicate, providing real-time data on machine mainfall and cross slope for enhanced machine handling.

Operators can choose between joystick or V-lever and pedal steering configurations to suit their preferred transmission controls, while implement controls offer either joystick or 2-lever options. The joystick setup provides a seamless transition for those familiar with skid steers or compact track loaders. Both control setups allow for adjustable implement response—fine, normal, or coarse—to accommodate different operator styles or project needs. Key functions like lift, lower, rack, dump, and float are programmable for repetitive tasks such as truck loading, streamlining the operation process and improving efficiency with smoother responses and enhanced steerage.

At the heart of the 973 is the powerhouse Cat C9.3B engine. Featuring an Auto Mode, it automatically adjusts engine speed according to the load, reducing fuel usage by up to 10 percent. For lighter duties, Eco Mode dials back the engine speed even more to conserve fuel, while Power Mode keeps the engine revving for consistent, on-demand power.

Enhancements continue with the optional Performance Series bucket, which can potentially increase productivity by up to 20 percent. Coupled with the optional Fusion Quick Coupler, operators can quickly switch between attachments, maximizing versatility across various applications.

The factory-installed Advansys bucket system—comprising tips, adapters, and a locking mechanism—offers peak productivity with minimal lifecycle costs. Moreover, its hammerless retention system enables effortless tip changes without any special tools.

The 973 model shines in its adaptability with purpose-built configurations, such as Low Ground Pressure (LGP), Waste Handling/Demolition, and Ship Hold arrangements, each tailored with specialized undercarriage designs and protections to tackle the most challenging environments. The Steel Mill variant is specifically geared with an insulated cab, a steel fuel tank, resistant undercarriage components, and encompassing insulation to skillfully manage operations like handling slag, truly embodying the resilience of Caterpillar engineering.

Fulian Operation Team


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