Caterpillar built its first track loader in 1955. With its pedigree for digging, the track loader has excavated millions of building foundations all over the globe. It wasn’t long before customers demanded that the strength and versatility of this machine be adapted to the forestry, demolition, steel mill and waste industries. With Caterpillar built and designed waste handling features, the track loader is now considered the second most useful machines in a landfill (after the compactor). The Cat® 973D is the largest, most powerful track loader in the world, and it’s the safest, most environmentally friendly and efficient track loader Caterpillar has ever built. Put it to work in waste, it’s designed for it. Read on for more information on the 973D’s waste handling attributes, and how they can benefit your operation.
Value for your Investment
This machine will exceed your expectations
- Versatility - With the right work tool, the 973D has extreme versatility. It can sort waste, maintain haul roads, dig large quantities of dirt, then finely spread cover material. With a trash rack installed, it can doze large volumes of waste. Add a ripper to assist with haul road maintenance and loosen cover material. With its z-bar linkage, the 973D is a world class digging machine. It also excels at truck loading, feeding hoppers and maintaining dump areas and haul roads. With hystat drive and a new transmission joystick control, the machine is easy to run, highly maneuverable, quick to accelerate and can turn in extremely tight spaces.
- Uptime - With valuable input from our customers and Dealers, Caterpillar has been designing waste handling machines for decades. Our proven designs keep the machines running for thousands of reliable hours each year. The 973D takes machine availability to a higher level with the benefit of traction in bad weather. The 973D can keep trucks moving; work in sloppy underfoot conditions and keep the landfill operational. With its stability, it can work comfortably in loose waste, demolition debris or wet clay.
- Machine Productivity - Quick, maneuverable, and highly productive with simple to use, intuitive controls and bucket options to match production requirements. (See bucket details on page 9.)
- Waste Handling Packages - For your convenience, Caterpillar offers two waste handling guarding packages. - Waste Handler - designed for landfills, transfer stations and material recovery facilities - Waste Handler Extreme Service - intended for demanding demolition work and maximum protection
- Safety - Safety is paramount around people, equipment and waste. The 973D helps protect the operator with a front windshield screen, fresh, clean air inside the cab, and three points of contact when getting on and off the machine. For those working around the machine, the 973D WH will sound a back up alarm when reversing, the operator has improved visibility around the machine from the new cab and sloped hood design, and all daily inspection points can be viewed from ground level.
Waste Handler Guarding
Long-term protection for your machine and business
Seal Protection Guard Group
- Seals are a critical design element for protecting gears and lubricant fluids. In waste applications, these seals require additional protection against wire, nylon straps and other debris. The 973D WH has guarding for final drive, pivot shaft and idler seals.
- Heavy-Duty Final Drive Seal Guards prevent damage to Final Drive Duo-cone Seals by preventing wire, plastics and other debris from wrapping. (1)
Final Drive Abrasion Guards (2)
Final drive guarding protects two ways, first against debris impact loads and secondly from abrasive materials like waste and demolition materials. These drives are manufactured with an abrasion resistant steel for long life.
Front Idler Guard (3)
A front idler guard blocks material from affecting the yoke, link, recoil rod and idler in the drive train.
Lift Cylinder Lines and Position Sensor Guard (4)
Protects the lift cylinder, hydraulic lines and position sensor harness from mud and waste.
Heavy-Duty Hydraulic Tank Guard (5)
Deflects debris away from the hydraulic tank.
- Reinforced fenders protect cab and sheet metal by blocking and deflecting debris with a angled design. (6)
- A tapered front deflector pushes debris out and away from the machine when backing up.
Oil Gauge Guard (7)
Act as a debris barrier that prevents oil gauge damage and debris entry in the engine compartment.
Third Valve Lines Guards (not shown)
Protect steel hydraulic lines for Multi-Purpose Bucket from damage caused by material pushed upward between lift arms when back-dragging. The guards are located at the inner side of the lift arm.
Waste Handler Guarding (cont.)
- Protects the radiator and adds rigidity and strength to surrounding structures against debris.
- Designed to maintain excellent visibility to the rear.
- Includes heavy-duty hinged grill that protects the radiator. Easy to open and clean.
- Built strong to include a hitch point for pulling trucks or other equipment.
Rear Striker Bar
Designed to prevent large debris from riding up the track and damaging the machine. Also serves as a step for entering the cab.
Tilt Cylinder Guards
- Protect cylinder, cylinder rod and hydraulic lines from falling debris.
- Help extend cylinder seal life.
Heavy-Duty Swing Open Bottom Guards
- Help protect engine and drive train from damage.
- Hinged to provide easy access for servicing and cleanout.
Designs to keep you running
While guarding will protect most of the machine from impact loads, additional protection is needed to keep smaller particles from clogging air circulation around and to the engine. Following are additional waste handling features that are important to machine uptime.
Designed to keep the operator safe from debris that could break the windshield. It’s hinged to allow easy access to the glass for cleaning.
Debris Barrier Package
- A complete set of rubber baffles and seals safeguard the engine and power train compartment against build-up of debris and cooling package against plugging. This results in longer operating time between cleanouts, maximized machine uptime and reduced operating costs. Barriers are present at interfaces between the cab, chassis, fenders and engine enclosure doors.
- The cooling package requires air free of flying debris for optimum performance. In order to reduce debris entry and encourage air flow, 5 mm (0.2 in) diameter perforations are designed into hood and engine enclosure doors.
Precleaner with Prescreener
- Essential to all waste handlers, the precleaner with a prescreener attached prevents trash from entering the engine air intake.
- Integral to the system is a turbine-type dust ejection system that extends filter life.
Debris-Resistant Air Conditioner Condenser
- The air conditioning system is designed so that the air inlet is protected from falling debris.
- Provides excellent visibility to the rear of the machine.
Louvered Rear Grill
This grill is designed with louvers angled at 45° to deflect debris.
Trash Resistant Radiator and Coolers
Providing space between radiator fins allows smaller debris to pass through. This promotes better cooling performance and reduces the number of cleanouts. The 973D is equipped with a 6 fpi radiator and coolers.
This feature reduces cooling package plugging, enhances cold weather operation, improves fuel economy and reduces exterior noise. In the waste handling applications, a lower air flow reduces the amount of garbage collected on air inlets which increases the maintenance interval.
Track Shoe Options
Double Grouser Track
- Provides good balance and traction with a smooth ride.
- Available with a trapezoidal center hole that resists track packing and track chain tightening.
Single Grouser Track
- Aggressive track for good chopping action in debris.
- Offers the best traction in poor underfoot conditions.
- Available with trapezoidal center hole that resists track packing and track chain tightening.
Promoting safe, engaged, and productive operators
The 973D has a new cab that promotes comfort and focus on the job. Operators enjoy greater visibility around the machine fostering greater confidence and safety.
- ROPS/FOPS operator protection - integral to the cab structure.
- Greater glass throughout improves visibility around the machine.
- Sound reduction - the 973D has exceptional noise reduction in the cab, lowering operator dynamic noise to 77 dB(A) per ISO 6396. This reduces fatigue and promotes greater focus on the job.
- Rubber isolation mounts - dampen vibration transmitted from the machine into the cab for comfort and focus.
- Automatic temperature control and filtered air - is pressurized to keep dust out, and allows the operator to set cab air temperature to their preferred level.
- Heavy-duty hinged windshield screen - protects the operator from debris capable of breaking glass. Convenient to open when cleaning the windshield.
- A three-point seat belt is retractable (keeping it clean) and 75 mm (3 in) wide for comfortable restraint.
- Excellent coverage to the work area can be extended with an optional lighting adding illumination forward and to the rear.
- Optional transmission joystick (see bottom RHS picture) offers low effort control of machine direction. Two joystick transmission control patterns are available to suit operator preference.
- The air suspension seat includes a removable headrest, lumbar adjustment and a rear seat document holder for the OMM.
- The seat and its armrests are fully adjustable allowing the operator to customize their operation of the machine.
- Power train controls on the left side will tilt for quick and easy access into the cab seat.
Cat Work Tools
Options that make the most of the 973D’s strengths
For the greatest return on your investment, your 973D should be equipped specifically for the demands of your job site. The 973D comes with two bucket options, trash rack options and a ripper. Choosing the right bucket will make the most of the machine’s versatility. Both buckets offer long life and durability in waste applications. • General Purpose Landfill bucket - has a capacity of 4.9 m3 (6.4 yd3) and can be equipped with an optional trash rack for dozing lightweight materials. This bucket is designed for easy loading in stockpile or hard bank materials. Adding the trash rack helps prevent material from spilling over the top and increases dozing capacity by 52%.
• Multi Purpose Landfill bucket - has a capacity of 4.6 m3 (6.0 yd3) and can greatly expand the 973D’s versatility. It can act as a typical bucket for loading trucks, dozing waste or digging. It can also instantly change into a dozer-type blade for spreading cover material, or it can sort material with the ability to clamp on to debris. By adding the trash rack to this bucket, its capacity to doze and load material increased 53%.
• Ripper - A 3-shank parallelogram ripper facilitates working in frozen ground and hard materials like asphalt, rocky ground and hard clay. Ripper shank options are available to help improve ripping productivity.
• K Series™ Tooth System - offers options that match the requirement of your job site. The system is easy to change, stays secure on the bucket, and offers long term sharpness.
Operation and Service
Service convenience and operator efficiency by design
Fast Fill Fuel System
In high-hour applications, pausing to fuel can be a drain on productivity. The 973D’s fast fill system is capable of adding fuel at 568 L/min (150 gal/min).
Machine balance is critical in poor underfoot conditions, load and carry and truck loading applications. Caterpillar offers a counterweight package that provides 1460 kg (3,218 lb) to the rear of the machine. Counterweight is ideal for machines not equipped with a ripper.
The front windshield is sealed to ease replacement in the field and maximize uptime.
Electronic Monitoring System
This system identifies the specific machine issue, displays the fault and facilitates quick resolution by service personnel.
Product Link Enabled
This option can keep vital personnel in contact with the machine, its performance including fuel use, its parts and service needs and out of spec operation or locations. Service is more efficient with advance notice of required parts, and timing can be arranged per your schedule.
This feature allows service personnel to access important drive train and hydraulic components. The cab can tilt 30 degrees in the field with the aid of a hydraulic jack or tilt 90 degrees using an external lifting device.
Maintenance Package Deluxe
Choosing this option when purchasing the machine will add the convenience of quick evacuation for engine oil and sediment flushing of the fuel tank.
Caterpillar has the most experienced dealer network in the world
Commitment Makes the Difference
Cat dealers offer a wide range of solutions, services and products to help you lower costs, enhance productivity and manage your operation more efficiently. From the time you select a piece of Cat equipment until you trade or sell it, the support you get from your Cat dealer makes the difference.
Cat dealers provide the level of support you need on a global scale. Dealer expert technicians have the knowledge, experience, training and tooling necessary to handle your repair and maintenance needs, when and where you need them.
When Cat products reach the field, they are supported by a worldwide network of parts distribution facilities, dealer service centers and technical training facilities to keep your equipment up and running. Cat customers rely on prompt, dependable parts availability through our global dealer network, meeting your needs 24/7.
Cat equipment is designed and built to provide maximum productivity and operating economy throughout its working life. Cat dealers offer a wide range of service plans that will maximize uptime and return on your investment, including:
- Preventive Maintenance Programs
- Diagnostic Programs, such as Scheduled Oil Sampling and Technical Analysis
- Rebuild and Reman Options
- Customer Support Agreements
Operating and maintenance costs are influenced by many application and site-specific factors, such as: material density, loading position, payload, grades, speeds, haul road design and maintenance. Your Cat dealer can provide you with an understanding of the effects application characteristics and operating techniques have on maintenance and operating costs.
Your Cat dealer offers training programs to help operators improve productivity, decrease downtime, reduce operating costs and enhance safety.
A commitment for future generations
Caterpillar is committed to building safe products that contribute to your business, promote efficient energy use and help protect the environment.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The 973D is a Tier 3/Stage IIIA emissions compliant machine with reduced levels of carbon dioxide and soot.
The 973D has reduced noise levels of 77 dB(A) dynamic with noise reduction technology throughout the cab.
- Cooler environments will see a fuel benefit from the on?demand cooling fan that uses energy only when it’s needed.
- Electronic governing and the fine, accurate injection of fuel make the Cat C9 engine responsive to load yet mindful of fuel use.
Life Cycle Costs
Caterpillar and your Dealer can offer you remanufactured parts, customer service agreements and rebuild options. The machine is designed to limit downtime with 500 hour oil and filter changes, waste specific guarding and protection, and quick evacuation of engine oil and hydraulic oil. Scheduled oil sampling can monitor the health of your machine. Parts commonality with other Cat equipment reduces parts stocking requirements at either your shop or the Dealer’s.
When the time comes, all of the steel that makes up the 973D Waste Handler can be recycled and reused.