The 12M features a revolutionary cab design that provides unmatched comfort, visibility and ease of use, making the operator more confident and productive.
Advanced Joystick ControlsTwo electro-hydraulic joysticks reduce hand and wrist movement as much as 78% compared to conventional lever controls for greatly enhanced operator efficiency. The intuitive pattern is easy to learn and provides the precise implement control you expect from Caterpillar.
Auxiliary Pod and Ripper ControlThe optional ripper control and auxiliary control pod are ergonomically positioned to allow simple, comfortable operation for the multiple hydraulic options.
VisibilityThe 12M boasts excellent visibility to the work area, made possible with angled cab doors, a tapered engine enclosure and a patented sloped rear window.
Cat Comfort Series SeatThe Cat® Comfort Series suspension seat has an ergonomic high-back design, with extra thick contoured cushions and infinitely adjustable lumbar support that evenly distributes the operator’s weight. Multiple seat controls and armrests are easy to adjust for optimal support and comfort all day. The optional air suspension seat enhances ride quality for additional comfort.
In-Dash Instrument ClusterThe instrument panel, with easy-to-read, high-visibility gauges and warning lamps, keeps the operator aware of critical system information.
Cat MessengerCat Messenger provides real-time machine performance and diagnostic data. You can quickly view critical performance and operating information, in multiple languages, helping to maximize the life and productivity of the machine.
Controls and SwitchesReliable, long-life rocker switches are located on the right side cab post and front instrument cluster, within easy reach for the operator.
Comfort and ConvenienceCaterpillar has built the most comfortable cab in the industry by replacing the control levers and steering wheel with two joystick controls, and lengthening the cab to give more leg room.Multiple adjustment capabilities for the arm rest, wrist rests and joystick pods help keep the operator comfortable throughout a long shift.
HVACThe heating, ventilation and air conditioning system uses intelligent vent placement for consistent climate control and clear windows for every condition. The high-capacity system dehumidifies air and pressurizes the cab, circulating fresh air and sealing out dust. An easily accessible fresh air filter is located outside the cab at ground level for quick replacement or cleaning.
Optional HVAC PrecleanerIncreases the service interval of the HVAC fresh air filter by up to ten times.
Low Interior Sound and Vibration LevelsIsolation mounts for the cab, engine and transmission, in addition to the relocation of the hydraulic pump and valves, provide significant sound and vibration reductions. The low vibration levels and quiet interior provide a comfortable work environment.
Additional Cab FeaturesAdditional cab features include cup holder, lighter and ashtray, coat hook, storage area, night time light, power port and heater. Optional rearview camera, 25 amp power converter and radio are also available.
Steering and Implement Controls
The 12M sets a new standard for motor grader operational efficiency.
Ease of OperationThe revolutionary joystick controls and exceptional visibility make the 12M easier to operate without sacrificing control.The intuitive joystick control pattern allows both new and experienced operators to become productive quickly.Logical grouping of hydraulic functions in the joysticks allow any operator to easily control several functions at the same time. This allows the operator to be more productive and remain comfortable throughout the work shift.
Electronic Throttle ControlElectronic Throttle Control (ETC) provides the operator with easy, precise, and consistent throttle operation. An automatic and manual mode on a single switch offers flexibility for different applications and operator preferences.
Left Joystick FunctionsThe left joystick primarily controls the machine direction and speed. 1 - Steering: Lean joystick left and right2 - Articulation: Twist joystick left and right3 - Articulation Return to Center: Yellow thumb button4 - Wheel Lean: Two black thumb buttons5 - Direction: Index trigger shifts transmission to forward, neutral or reverse6 - Gear Selection: Two yellow thumb buttons upshift and downshift7 - Left moldboard lift cylinder: Push joystick to lower, pull joystick to raise · Left moldboard lift cylinder float: Pushing joystick through detent engages float
Articulation Return-to-CenterThis feature automatically returns the machine to a straight frame position from any articulation angle with the touch of a single button. Return-to-Center helps improve productivity and safety by allowing the operator to focus on controlling the moldboard.
Right Joystick FunctionsThe right joystick primarily controls the Drawbar, Circle and Moldboard functions.1 - Right moldboard lift cylinder: Push joystick to lower, pull joystick to raise · Right moldboard lift cylinder float: Pushing joystick through detent engages float2 - Moldboard slide: Lean joystick left and right3 - Circle turn: Twist joystick left and right4 - Moldboard tip: Thumb switch fore and aft5 - Drawbar center shift: Thumb switch left and right6 - Electronic Throttle Control: Trigger switch is resume and decrement7 - Differential Lock/Unlock: Yellow button
1 - Ripper Control PodInfinitely variable roller switches control the rear ripper and/or front lift group (when equipped), for easy and comfortable control.
2 - Programmable Auxiliary Hydraulic PodFour fingertip controls and a mini joystick maximize hydraulic control flexibility, accommodating up to six hydraulic circuits. Individual functions are easily programmable through Cat ET to meet the configuration you need. The optional auxiliary hydraulic pod is provided in addition to the ripper control pod when the machine is configured with three or more auxiliary functions.
Structures, Drawbar, Circle and Moldboard
Durable tructures with fast and simple DCM adjustments deliver precise material control while lowering operating costs.
Front Frame StructureThe 12M front frame is a formed structural carbon steel tube. Advanced fabrication technology significantly reduces the number of weld joints, which more evenly distributes stress loads. The result is a robust machine that delivers the durability you expect from Caterpillar.
Rear Frame StructureThe box-sectioned hitch design helps resist torsion loads and ensure structural durability. The integrated bumper ties the rear frame together as a single, solid unit, so the frame can withstand heavy-duty applications such as ripping and winging snow.
Articulation HitchA large tapered roller bearing at the lower pivot carries loads evenly and smoothly. This joint is sealed to prevent contamination in this critical area.A mechanical locking pin prevents frame articulation to help ensure safety when servicing or transporting the machine.
Circle ConstructionOur one-piece forged steel circle is built to stand up to high stress loads and provide structural durability. The front 240° of circle teeth are hardened to reduce wear and ensure component reliability.
Drawbar ConstructionThe A-frame drawbar features a tubular design for high strength and optimum durability.
Aggressive Blade AngleWith a long wheelbase the operator can obtain aggressive moldboard angles, so material rolls more freely along the length of the blade. This is particularly helpful when handling very dry materials or cohesive soils. Better material control gets the job done faster, requires less power and saves fuel.
Top-Adjust Drawbar Wear StripsThe patented top-adjust wear strips dramatically reduce drawbar/circle adjustment time. By removing the access plates on top of the drawbar, shims and wear strips can easily be added or replaced. This feature reduces service downtime and lowers overall machine operating costs.
Replaceable Wear InsertsTough, durable nylon composite wear inserts reduce rotational friction for maximum circle torque and longer component life. They are located between the drawbar and circle, and between the support shoes and circle. High load-resistant brass wearstrips are placed between the blade mounting group and moldboard. This sacrificial wear system can be replaced easily and helps keep components tight for fine grading.
Shimless Moldboard Retention SystemThe unique shimless moldboard retention system reduces the potential for blade chatter. Vertical and horizontal adjusting screws keep the moldboard's wear strips aligned for precise blade control and dramatic reductions in service time.
MoldboardThe optimal curvature and large throat clearance help move material quickly and efficiently. Heat-treated moldboard rails, hardened cutting edges and end bits, and large diameter bolts assure reliability and longer service life. The moldboard side shift cylinder is positioned on the left side to eliminate snow wing interference.
Moldboard PositioningThe blade link bar design extends the possibilities for moldboard positioning, most beneficial in mid-range bank sloping and in ditch cutting and cleaning.
Integrated, electronically controlled systems, deliver smooth reliable performance with reduced operating costs.
Smooth Shifting TransmissionThe 12M combines several key innovations to ensure smooth, powerful shifts throughout the gear range.
Electronically Controlled ShiftingThe full Electronic Clutch Pressure Control (ECPC) system optimizes inching modulation and smooths shifting between all gears and directional changes. This provides outstanding control and also extends the life of the transmission by reducing stress on gears.
Engine Over-Speed ProtectionHelps protect the transmission and extend component life by preventing downshifting until a safe travel speed has been established.
Modular Rear AxleThe 12M incorporates a bolt-on modular rear axle design, which offers easy access to differential components, improves serviceability and contamination control, and lowers maintenance time and operating costs. The result is a rugged machine you can rely on for years to come.
Front AxleThe Caterpillar® sealed spindle keeps the bearings free from contaminants and lubricated in a light-weight oil (1). This durable, low-maintenance design reduces your owning and operating costs. Two tapered roller bearings (2) support the wheel spindle. The Cat “Live Spindle” design places the larger tapered roller bearing outboard where the load is greater, extending bearing life.
Gear SelectionEight forward and six reverse gears give the operator a wide operating range. The specifically designed range of gears ensures maximum productivity in all earthmoving applications.
Inching PedalAllows precise control of machine movements in any gear with low pedal effort and excellent modulation, critical in close-quarter work or finish grading.
Programmable AutoshiftThe operator can easily customize various shift parameters through Cat Messenger to match the specific application requirement. This feature automatically shifts the transmission at optimal points so the operator can focus on the work, improving safety, productivity and ease of operation.
Hydraulic BrakesThe oil bathed, multi-disc service brakes are hydraulically actuated (1), providing smooth predictable braking and lower operating costs. With brakes located at each tandem wheel, the 12M offers the largest total brake surface area in the industry (2), delivering dependable stopping power and longer brake life.
The 12M combines power management with ACERT™ Technology to deliver maximum power and efficiency while reducing the environmental impact.
Exhaust Emissions CompliantThe Cat C6.6 with ACERT Technology meets or exceeds all U.S. EPA Tier 3 and European Union Stage IIIa emissions control standards.
Hydraulic Demand FanThe hydraulic demand fan automatically adjusts cooling fan speed according to engine cooling requirements. This system reduces demands on the engine, putting more horsepower to the ground and improving fuel efficiency.
PerformanceThe Cat C6.6 engine meets specific performance requirements for 12M applications. Its superior torque and lugging capability can pull through sudden, short-term increases in loads, maintaining consistent, desirable grading speeds to get the work done faster without downshifting.
ACERT™ TechnologyACERT Technology allows Cat engines to supply more power per unit of displacement without causing premature wear. This breakthrough technology reduces emissions during the combustion process by using advanced technology in the air and fuel systems, in conjunction with integrated electronics. ACERT Technology enhances overall engine performance while dramatically reducing exhaust emissions.
The 12M electro-hydraulics enable advanced machine controls with precise and predictable movements.
Blade FloatBlade float is built into the blade lift control valves and is optional for some auxiliary hydraulic functions. The blade float feature allows the blade to move freely under its own weight. By floating both cylinders, the blade can follow the contours of the road when removing snow. Floating only one cylinder permits the toe of the blade to follow a hard surface while the operator controls the slope with the other lift cylinder.
Cat® XT™ HoseCaterpillar hose technology allows high pressures for maximum power and reduced downtime. Intelligent routing minimizes exposure to damage. Hose clips prevent hose rubbing and excessive vibration for lower owning and operating costs.
Independent Oil SupplyLarge, separate hydraulic oil supply prevents cross-contamination and provides proper oil cooling, which reduces heat build-up and extends component life.
Load Sensing Hydraulics (PPPC)The time proven load-sensing system and the advanced Proportional Priority Pressure-Compensating (PPPC, or “triple-PC”) electro-hydraulic valves on the 12M are designed to provide superior implement control and enhanced machine performance in all applications. Continuous matching of hydraulic flow and pressure to power demands creates less heat and reduces power consumption.
Consistent and Predictable MovementPPPC valves have different flow rates for the head (red) and rod ends (blue) of the cylinder. This ensures consistent extension and retraction speeds for each cylinder, and gives the operator a consistent and predictable response every time an implement control is moved.
Balanced FlowHydraulic flow is proportioned to ensure all implements operate simultaneously with little effect on the engine or implement speeds. If demand exceeds pump capacity, all cylinder velocities are reduced by the same ratio. The result is improved productivity in all applications.
Advanced Electro-Hydraulic SystemThe 12M incorporates a state-of-the-art electro-hydraulic system. This technology is the foundation for revolutionary changes of the machine and implement controls. Advanced joystick controls provide unmatched controllability with precise, predictable hydraulic movements and the reliability you expect from Caterpillar.
Integrated Electronic Solutions
Full systems integration optimizes machine performance and availability.
“Smart Machine”The 12M fully integrates all core systems creating a “Smart Machine.” The Cat data link shares key data among systems, optimizing machine performance while preventing potential machine damage.
Electronic Technician (Cat ET)Cat ET is a two-way communication tool that gives service technicians easy access to stored diagnostic data and lets them configure the machine parameters through the Cat Data Link. This integrated feature reduces machine downtime and lowers operating costs.
DiagnosticsCat Messenger, combined with full systems integration, enhances the diagnostic capability of the 12M. Machine system errors are displayed in text as well as with fault codes, allowing service technicians and operators to quickly analyze critical data, increasing machine availability.
Machine Security System (MSS)The optional MSS uses electronically coded keys to limit usage by specific individuals or times of the day. MSS deters theft, vandalism and unauthorized use.
Product LinkThe optional Product Link system streamlines diagnostic efforts, and reduces downtime, maintenance scheduling and costs by providing a communication flow of vital machine data and location. Product Link gives automatic updates on machine parameters such as machine hours, machine condition, location, fault codes and alarms directly to your office computer.
Cat MessengerStandard on the 12M, Cat Messenger provides real-time machine performance and diagnostic data with an easy-to-use interface. Messenger monitors all system data and alerts the operator of any faults through a digital text display that can be shown in multiple languages.
Low Battery Elevated IdleAfter the 12M is at low idle for an extended period and low system voltage is detected, idle speed is raised. This ensures adequate system voltage and improves battery reliability.
Optional Automatic Blade ControlThe Caterpillar AccuGrade System automatically controls the blade, improving operator efficiency and productivity. AccuGrade™ technology reduces the need for traditional survey stakes or grade checkers, so you can reach grade faster and in fewer passes than ever before.
AccuGrade Attachment Ready OptionThe AccuGrade System is fully integrated into the machine design, making installation quick and easy. Integral hydraulic and electrical components are standard on the 12M (Grade Control Ready). The AccuGrade Attachment Ready Option provides additional mounting brackets, cab controls and electrical harnesses for easy installation of the Cross Slope, Sonic, Laser, GPS or ATS electronics kits.
Automatic Engine DerationProtects the C6.6 engine by automatically lowering engine torque output and alerting the operator if critical conditions are detected.
Work Tools and Attachments
The Work Tools and optional attachments for the 12M expand machine versatility, utilization and performance.
Rear Ripper/ScarifierThe 120M optional ripper is made to penetrate tough material fast and rip thoroughly for easier material movement with the moldboard. The ripper includes three shanks with the ability to add two more if needed.
Ground Engaging Tools (GET)A wide variety of Caterpillar GET is available on the 12M, including cutting edges, graderbits and end bits, all designed for maximum service life and productivity.
Front Mounted GroupsA front mounted push plate/counterweight or front lift group can be ordered on the 12M. The Caterpillar Work Tools front lift group can be combined with a front dozer blade or front scarifier for added versatility.
Air CompressorAn optional air compressor is available, giving you a convenient on-board air system to blow debris off the machine and operate power tools.
Snow Removal Work ToolsCaterpillar Work Tools offer a variety of snow removal equipment specifically for the 12M. Multiple snow plow, snow wing and mounting options are available, adding additional machine versatility and utilization throughout the year.
Moldboard OptionsA 3.7 m (12 ft) moldboard is standard on the 12M, with an optional 4.3 m (14 ft) moldboard available from the factory. Left side moldboard extensions are also available, increasing versatility.
Safety is an integral part of all machine and system designs.
Operator Presence SystemThe Operator Presence System keeps the parking brake engaged and hydraulic implements disabled until the operator is seated and the machine is ready for safe operation.
Secondary Steering SystemThe standard secondary steering system automatically engages an electric hydraulic pump in case of a drop in steering pressure, allowing the operator to steer the machine to a stop.
Speed Sensitive SteeringThe steering software automatically provides an infinitely variable ratio between the joystick and the steer tires, resulting in less sensitive steering as the ground speed increases.
Low Sound and Vibration LevelsIsolation mounts for the cab, engine and transmission maximize operator comfort and help to minimize sound and vibration. These modifications provide a quieter and more comfortable working environment, optimizing operator focus.
Hydraulic LockoutA simple switch located in the cab disables all implement functions while still providing machine steering control. This safety feature is especially useful while the machine is roading.
Brake SystemsBrakes are located at each tandem wheel to eliminate braking loads on the power train. In addition, the brake systems are redundant and utilize accumulators to enable stopping in case of machine failure, further increasing operational safety.
Circle Drive Slip ClutchThis standard feature protects the drawbar, circle and moldboard from shock loads when the blade encounters an immovable object. It also reduces the possibility of abrupt directional changes in poor traction conditions, protecting the machine, operator and surroundings.
Steel Tandem WalkwaysPerforated raised steel walkways cover the tandems. This provides a sturdy platform for standing and walking, and additional protection for the brake lines.
Blade Lift AccumulatorsThis optional feature uses accumulators to help absorb impact loads to the moldboard by allowing vertical blade travel. Blade lift accumulators reduce unnecessary wear and help to avoid unintended machine movement for increased operator safety.
Drop-Down Rear LightsOptional drop-down lights fold out from the rear of the machine. This creates a wider, lower profile to be better aligned with passenger cars.
Rearview CameraVisibility is further enhanced with an optional Work Area Vision System (WAVS) through a 178 mm (7 in) LCD color monitor in the cab. Developed specifically for rugged applications, this durable camera improves productivity and increases operator awareness of surroundings.
Electrical Disconnect SwitchA battery disconnect switch, located inside the left rear enclosure, provides ground-level lockout of the electrical system to prevent inadvertent starting of the machine.
Engine Shutoff SwitchAn engine shutoff switch is located at ground level on the left rear of the machine, allowing anyone nearby to shut it down in case of an emergency.
FendersTo help reduce objects flying from the tires, as well as build-up of mud, snow and debris, optional fenders can be added.
Additional Safety FeaturesThe 12M has many additional standard safety features, including laminated glass on the front windows and doors, lockable doors, back-up lights and sounding alarm, black glare-reducing paint on the front frame and engine enclosure, and conveniently located grab rails for added safety.
Serviceability and Customer Support
Simplified service, world-class product support and Cat® dealer-trained experts keep your fleet up and running, maximizing your equipment investment.
Grouped Service PointsThe 12M groups daily service points in the left side service center to help ensure proper maintenance and inspection routines.
Extended Service IntervalsThe 12M extended service intervals, such as 500-hour engine oil changes and 4000-hour hydraulic oil changes, reduce machine service time and increase availability.
Ecology DrainsConveniently located ecology drains shorten service times and help keep the environment safe by preventing spills.
Diagnostics and MonitoringThe 12M integrates Cat Messenger, Cat Electronic Technician and S•O•SSM Sampling ports for easy monitoring and fast troubleshooting, keeping your machine up and running.
Machine SelectionMake detailed comparisons of the machines under consideration before purchase. Cat dealers help you size the right machine for your operations and can estimate component life, preventative maintenance cost, and the true cost of production.
PurchaseConsider the financing options available, as well as day-to-day operating costs. Look at dealer services that can be included in the cost of the machine to yield lower equipment owning and operating costs over the long run.
Maintenance ServicesRepair option programs guarantee the cost of repairs up front. Diagnostics programs such as Scheduled Oil Sampling, S•O•SSM analysis, Coolant Sampling and Technical Analysis help avoid unscheduled repairs.
Product SupportYou will find nearly all parts at our dealer parts counter. Cat dealers use a world-wide computer network to track in-stock parts to minimize machine down time. Save money with genuine Cat Reman parts. You receive the same warranty and reliability as new products at substantial cost savings.