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Caterpillar says its new 990K wheel loader offers more power and increased payload for greater productivity and fuel efficiency compared to its H Series predecessor.

Caterpillar's 990K wheel loader offers more power, increased payload

Designed as an optimum loading tool for Caterpillar construction and mining trucks, specifically the 773, 775, and 777 ranging from about 60 to 100 ton (54 to 91 t) capacity, the 990K builds on the proven features of previous models and replaces the 990H.

The rated payload of the new 990K is 17.5 ton (16 t)—up from the 16.5-ton (15- t) payload of the H Series model. The increased payload makes the new loader a four-pass match with the Cat 775 truck for efficient, high-production loading. New buckets promote fast filling and full loads on every pass, and they are available in sizes ranging from 11.25 to 13 yd³ (8.6 to 10.0 m³).

Cat's C27 ACERT engine powers the 990K and delivers an 11% increase in power compared to the previous model. Net power of 699 hp (521 kW) delivers increased production—without any change in fuel consumption. Lower engine speed helps drive economical fuel use. Additional fuel savings are achieved with the 990K ECO Mode (on-demand throttle), engine-idle shutdown system, and engine-idle kickdown/auto-resume system.

The 990K is available as a U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final version and as a Tier 2 version for less regulated regions. No regeneration or operator intervention is required for the NOx reduction system and diesel oxidation catalyst equipping the Tier 4 Final model. And there is no increase in fuel consumption as a result of the engine emissions control systems.

Cat's exclusive, field-proven impeller clutch torque converter uses a lock-up clutch, providing direct drive to boost fuel economy, trim cycle times, and reduce heat, especially in load-and-carry applications. The system allows operators to balance rimpull and hydraulic power for optimum loading efficiency. Positive Flow Control implement hydraulics use a variable displacement, electronically controlled pump to precisely apportion oil flow based on operator control inputs.

The redesigned cab allows easy access and egress and features noise suppression that delivers a benchmark sound level of 69.9 dB(A) for operator comfort. The Cat Comfort III seat provides integrated seat-mounted controls for smooth and comfortable operation. Transmission controls, integral with the STIC steering lever, allow convenient travel control.

The operator station features the Cat Vital Information Management System, VIMS 3G, which provides customizable operator profiles, a cycle timer, and an integral Payload Control System, which provides on-the-go payload weighing. The graphical information display is easy to use and keeps key information in front of the operator.

Cat Vision rearview camera systems are equipped on the 990K, with an in-cab display to show the operator the area behind the loader. The Cat Detect object-detection system, available as an option, builds on the camera system with radars and in-cab software that provide notification to the operator when an object is detected within the radar coverage area. The systems are designed to enhance operator awareness, especially in congested loading areas.

For added safety, a remote panel houses a stairway light switch, engine shutdown switch, and lockouts for the transmission and engine starter. A second panel provides convenient access to the battery disconnect switch and a jump-start receptacle. Routine maintenance points are easily accessed, including hydraulic pressure taps and oil sampling ports.

An optional ground level service center displays fluid level status, houses drain-and-fill ports, and provides a data port for diagnostic work.

A number of additional options are available to tailor the loader for specific applications and sites. For example, the optional high lift linkage enables the 990K to load Cat 777 trucks. The integrated axle cooling package and ride control options are particularly beneficial in load-and-carry work.

Application specific arrangements are available for steel mill and forestry applications. Increased stability and larger lift and tilt cylinders provide the extra capacity required for these tough applications. Additional guarding and protection keep the machine running in the harsh steel mill environment. Three-valve hydraulics is included in the millyard arrangement for smooth top clamp control when handling logs.

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