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Caterpillar launching new 988K quarry loader

Seventh generation of 988, 'K', marks 50th anniversary of large loader

The 988K will be available commercially in August.
The 988K will be available commercially in August.

Caterpillar has exhibited the seventh generation Caterpillar 988K wheel loader at Bauma, marking the 50th generation of the 988.

Available to customers from August this year, the new version of the loader - popular in the quarry, mining and construction sectors - is powered by a Cat C18 ACERT engine, generating 362 kW (492hp), and is available in two engined versions, for emission-regulated markets, and for lesser-regulated markets such as the Middle East.

The loader has an operating weight of 50,530 kg, a bucket capacity of 6.4-7.7 m³, and a rated payload of 11.3 metric tonnes.

Caterpillar has also used its Optimised Z-bar loader linkage to replace the mono-boom design of the 988H. The Optimised Z-bar has already been seen on the smaller Cat wheel loaders – the 924K, 930K and 938K, as well as other large K-generation loaders such as the 980K.

The new design, using solid steel lift arms in either a standard or high-lift configuration, reduces the height of the 988K at maximum lift while increasing dump clearance, expanding its versatility in small quarries and in underground applications. The design also shortens machine length for greater manoeuvrability.

Significant improvements include a new electronic fuel control that improves overall performance and throttle response, which can deliver up to 20% better fuel efficiency when compared with the 988H. Other features driving fuel savings include ECO Mode (on-demand throttle), engine-idle shutdown system, and engine-idle kickdown/auto-resume system.

The 988K's 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.This allows operators to balance rimpull and hydraulic power for optimum loading efficiency.

Safety features include a remote panel that houses a stairway light switch, engine shutdown switch, and lockouts for the transmission and engine starter. A rearview camera provides images for the in-cab monitor.

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Construction Week - Issue 734
Mar 21, 2019