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Medium Wheel Loaders

Cat® wheel loaders come in many different configurations to meet your requirements in all regions of the world.

Wheel Loaders for Any Job

Whether you need a wheel loader for use in landscaping, agricultural, construction, waste management, forestry, or mining applications. Caterpillar wheel loaders make your material handling and loading jobs safer, faster, more precise and profitable.

Cat wheel loaders set the standard for reliability, productivity, fuel efficiency, versatility and operator comfort. These environmentally friendly front end loader machines apply proven technologies systematically and strategically to meet our customer’s high expectations. Deep system integration results in reduced emissions and improved fuel economy without interrupting machine performance. Make your Cat wheel loader even more versatile by pairing it with Caterpillar’s broad range of work tools.

Select from a wide variety of front loaders in every size class: Compact Wheel Loaders, Small Wheel Loaders, Medium Wheel Loaders and Large Wheel Loaders. No matter what your material or handling job is, your Cat dealer can help you choose the wheel loader that best matches your needs.

972H Wheel Loaders

The 972H delivers performance you can feel in the most demanding applications. This machine offers unmatched operator comfort and efficiency in a world-class cab. New Performance Series buckets deliver decreased dig times, greater fill factors and superior material retention to increase productivity and reduce fuel consumption. Revolutionary electro-hydraulic (EH) provide low-effort finger-tip operation of lift, tilt and auxiliary work tool controls. The reliability, durability, and versatility of the 972H result in a machine that is better built to meet your needs.

  • Specification Summary

  • Net Power - ISO 9249212.0 kW
  • Engine ModelCat® C13 ACERT™
  • Bore130.0 mm
  • Stroke157.0 mm
  • Displacement12.5 L
  • Product Brochure


Product Details


Net Power - ISO 9249 212.0 kW
Engine Model Cat® C13 ACERT™
Bore 130.0 mm
Stroke 157.0 mm
Displacement 12.5 L
Gross Power @ 1,800 rpm - ISO 14396 228.0 kW
Gross Power @ 1,800 rpm - SAE J1995 232.0 kW
Net Power @ 1,800 rpm - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 212.0 kW
Note The horsepower (hp) provided is imperial horsepower.
Peak Net Torque @ 1,400 rpm - ISO 14396 1414.0 N·m


Operating Weight 25173.0 kg
Note For 4.6 m3 (6.0 yd3) general purpose bucket with BOCE.


Bucket Capacities 4.00-5.00 m3 (5.23-6.54 yd3)
Maximum Bucket Capacity 5.5 m3

Hydraulic System

Bucket/Work Tool System - Pump Output 320.0 L/min
Steering System Pump Type Piston
Hydraulic Cycle Time - Raise 6.5 Seconds
Hydraulic Cycle Time - Dump 2.7 Seconds
Hydraulic Cycle Time - Float 2.8 Seconds
Hydraulic Cycle Time - Lower 3.5 Seconds
Hydraulic Cycle Time - Rack 2.5 Seconds

Service Refill Capacities

Fuel Tank - Standard 380.0 L
Cooling System 39.0 L
Crankcase 35.0 L
Transmission 44.0 L
Differentials and Final Drives - Front 64.0 L
Differentials and Final Drives - Rear 64.0 L
Hydraulic Tank 110.0 L


Forward 1 7.2 km/h
Forward 2 12.6 km/h
Forward 3 21.4 km/h
Forward 4 36.9 km/h
Reverse 1 8.2 km/h
Reverse 2 14.2 km/h
Reverse 3 24.3 km/h
Reverse 4 38.8 km/h
Note Maximum travel speeds (26.5-25 tires).


Front Fixed front
Rear Oscillating ±13°
Maximum Single-Wheel Rise and Fall 502.0 mm


Brakes Meet required standards; meet ISO 3450-2011 standards.


ROPS/FOPS Meets ISO Standards.
FOPS Falling Objects Protective Structure (FOPS) meets ISO 3449: 2005 Level II.
ROPS Caterpillar cab with integrated Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) are standard.
ROPS ROPS meets ISO 3471: 2008 criteria.


Tires Choose from a variety of tires to match your application.

Operating Specifications

Breakout Force 218.0 kN
Note For 4.6 m3 (6.0 yd3) general purpose bucket with BOCE.
Static Tipping Load, Full Turn (ISO) 15566.0 kg
Static Tipping Load, Full Turn (No Tire Deflection) 16914.0 kg


Center line of rear axle to hitch 1725.0 mm
Ground clearance with 26.5R25L-3 Michelin 434.0 mm
Height to top of ROPS/FOPS 3578.0 mm
Lift arm clearance @ high lift 4484.0 mm
Lift arm clearance @ standard lift 4148.0 mm
Rack back @ carry - high lift 49.0 Degrees
Rack back @ carry - standard 50.0 Degrees
Rack back @ ground - high lift 39.0 Degrees
Rack back @ ground - standard 41.0 Degrees
Rack back @ maximum lift - high lift 71.0 Degrees
Rack back @ maximum lift - standard 55.0 Degrees
Height to Top of Exhaust Pipe 3524.0 mm
Height to Top of Hood 2655.0 mm
B-Pin height - standard 4458.0 mm
B-Pin height - high-lift 4794.0 mm
Center Line of Rear Axle to Edge of Counterweight 2490.0 mm
Wheelbase 3450.0 mm
B-Pin height @ carry - standard 691.0 mm
B-Pin height @ carry - high-lift 788.0 mm
Dump Angle @ Maximum Lift 48.2 Degrees
Height to Center Line of Axle 799.0 mm


Tested and Proven - Ready to Work.

Caterpillar Designed Components

Components used to build Cat Wheel Loaders are designed and manufactured to Caterpillar quality standards to ensure maximum performance even in extreme operating conditions. Heavy duty components reduce the risk of premature wear thereby increasing uptime and reduce operating costs over the life of the machine.

Monitoring Programs

Monitoring product health is key to maintaining reliability of any equipment. Many programs offered by your Cat dealer make the tracking of your machine health quick and easy. These programs include Product Link™*, VisionLink®, and S?O?SSM Services. * Not all programs are available in all areas. See your Caterpillar dealer for details.

Renowned Cat Dealer Support

From helping you choose the right machine to knowledgeable support, Cat dealers provide the best when it comes to sales and service. Manage costs with preventive maintenance programs like Scheduled Oil Sampling (S·O·S) analysis or comprehensive Customer Support Agreements. Stay productive with best-in-class parts availability. Cat dealers can even help you with operator training to help boost your profits. And when it’s time for machine rebuild, your Cat dealer can help you save even more with Genuine Cat Reman parts, which have the same reliability and warranty as new parts at 40 to 70 percent of the new parts prices on power train and hydraulic parts.


The H Series features many components which leverage product designs that have delivered reliable and durable machines for generations.


Better Built to Meet Your Needs.

Z-Bar Linkage

The proven Z-bar linkage with Performance Series Buckets offer excellent penetration into the pile, high breakout forces, good roll back angles and faster dig times. The results are improved tire life, superior fuel efficiency and exceptional production capabilities; all helping to enable a sustainable solution for your business.

C13 ACERT Engine

The 972H is powered by a C13 ACERT engine. This engine with ACERT technology maintains engine performance, efficiency and durability while dramatically reducing emissions. Electronic fuel injection is provided through the well-proven Caterpillar hydraulically actuated, electronically controlled unit injection (HEUI™) system. A wastegate turbocharger, equipped with a titanium wheel for improved durability, combined with air-to-air aftercooling provides consistent high horsepower with increased altitude capability.


The axles are designed to handle extreme applications resulting in reliable performance and extended life. The front axle is rigidly mounted to the frame in order to withstand internal torque loads and still maintain support for the wheel loader. The rear axle can oscillate to ±13 degrees helping to ensure all four wheels stay on the ground providing stability even in the roughest terrain.


Work Smart and Move More.


The legendary Cat planetary power shift transmission is updated with new shift logic. The downshift from 2 to 1 forward is now based upon torque requirements versus ground speed. This enables operators to use the fully automatic 1-4 mode which saves fuel and improves productivity and comfort. Speed shifts, both up shifts and downshifts have been dramatically improved for improved acceleration, speed on ramps and operator comfort.

Load Sensing Hydraulics

The 972H features a load sensing hydraulic system that automatically adjusts to operating conditions to provide only the hydraulic flow required by the implement for improved fuel efficiency. A new hydraulic valve has been implemented providing improved service access and machine weight distribution. Operators will notice enhanced ease of operation, more rimpull into the pile and an increase in lift force.

Constant Net Horsepower

The Cat C13 engine is electronically configured to provide constant net horsepower at full parasitic load, enhancing productivity and improving fuel efficiency.

On-Demand Fan

With electronic control of the variable speed on-demand fan, temperature levels of the engine coolant, transmission oil, hydraulic oil and air inlet manifold are constantly monitored. This data is used to control and maintain fan speed at the level necessary to maintain normal system temperatures. Controlled fan speed improves fuel efficiency, lowers noise levels and reduces radiator plugging.

Ride Control

The optional Ride Control System improves ride, performance and load retention when traveling over rough terrain. Operators gain confidence moving at higher speeds in load and carry operations decreasing cycle times and increasing productivity. Ride Control also reduces loads induced by travel over rough terrain and can extend the life of structures and drive line components.

Engine Idle Management System

The Engine Idle Management System (EIMS) maximizes fuel efficiency by reducing engine rpm after a selected amount of time. This gives customers flexibility in managing idle speeds for specific application requirements. Four idle control rpm levels are available.

Engine Idle Shutdown

The Engine Idle Shutdown feature automatically shuts down the engine after the machine has been idling for a predetermined amount of time. This saves you fuel and reduces hour accumulation on your machine.


Work Tool Options to Meet Your Needs.

Work Tools for Many Job Site Requirements

An extensive range of work tools and bucket styles are available for the 972H to customize the machine for your operation. The list includes: Performance Series Buckets; Specialty Buckets (Multipurpose, Side Dump, Waste Handling, Woodchip); Pallet Forks, Log and Lumber Forks, Rakes (with or without top clamps); and Plows (angle or V-style). Each is available either with pin on or quick coupler interface.

Performance Series Buckets: Load Easy, Fuel Efficient, Carry More

Performance Series Buckets utilize a system-based approach to balance bucket shape with the machine’s linkage, weight, lift and tilt capacities. Operators benefit from reduced dig times and better material retention; ultimately translating into significant productivity and fuel efficiency improvements.

Lower Operating Costs

Performance Series Buckets feature a longer floor that easily digs through the pile and provides excellent visibility for the operators to see when the bucket is full. Less time digging in the pile results in lower fuel consumption and improved tire life. A unique spill guard protects the cab and linkage components from material overflow.

Higher Productivity

Performance Series Buckets achieve higher fill factors - ranging from 100% to 115% depending on the machine application and material type. The buckets feature optimized geometry with a bucket opening matched to the machine’s linkage and incorporate a curved side profile to maximize material retention. The optimized design results in unsurpassed production capabilities.

Performance Series Bucket Styles

Performance Series Buckets are available for General Purpose, Material Handling, Rock and Coal style buckets.

Fusion Quick Coupler

One System. One Solution.

Improved Machine Performance

Fusion is the patented wheel loader coupler system from Caterpillar. The Fusion™ Coupler System provides performance virtually identical to pin on - with all the flexibility of a quick coupler system. The Fusion Coupler sits back, close-in to the loader arms - minimizing offset and increasing the machine’s performance.

No Loss of Performance

Fusion is designed to integrate the work tool and the machine by pulling the coupler and tool closer in to the loader. As a result, the center of gravity is moved inward, towards the machine. This translates to increased lifting ability when compared to machines equipped with other coupler systems.

Unsurpassed Durability

An advanced wedging mechanism creates a tight, rattle-free fit. This patented lock up system eliminates play and wear - resulting in a long service life.

Increased Visibility

A new, open coupler frame design clears sight lines from the operator’s seat, making it easier than ever before to engage and disengage attachments with certainty.

Common Interface Compatibility

The Fusion Coupler System gives you one common interface - eliminating the need for many different couplers from the 924K through the 972H. This expanded machine compatibility not only allows one machine to use a range of work tools, but also allows one work tool to be picked up by machines of many different sizes. Note: Check with your local Cat dealer for availability of work tools and quick coupler systems.

Operator Environment

Work Comfortably and Efficiently.

Cab and Controls

The cab design has been updated for unmatched comfort and efficiency. A new center display combines the Electronic Monitoring System with the gauge cluster, giving the operator all machine operating information in one location. The analog-like gauges have green and red zone indicators so operators can easily see if machine systems are within operating range.

Seat and Armrest

The new seat is wider and the headrest is now adjustable for improved operator comfort. It provides automotive-style lumbar support for maximum comfort. The right hand armrest has been optimized for easier adjustment.

Steering Options

Choices of steering systems are available to provide flexibility for your application.

Conventional Steering

The conventional steering configuration offers a low-effort hand metering unit hydraulic steering system. Load sensing steering directs power through the steering system only when needed. When not steering, more engine power is available to generate rimpull, breakout force, lift force, and results in reduced fuel consumption. The steering column tilts for maximum operator comfort.

Command Control Steering

Command Control Steering is a low effort load-sensing system. Full machine articulation is accomplished with a ±70° turn of the wheel - versus two to three 360° turns of a conventional steering wheel greatly reducing operator fatigue. Steering grip contains the forward/neutral/reverse switch and the upshift/downshift button - allowing the left hand to remain on the steering grip at all times.


Visibility is excellent to both the front and rear of these machines. Distortion-free flat glass stretches to the floor of the cab for excellent visibility to the bucket. The cab roof has channels which direct rain off the corners of the cab keeping windows clear. An overhang on all sides of the cab protects the operator from glare. An optional rearview camera is available to clearly monitor movement behind the machine.

Entry and Exit

A ladder with self-cleaning steps keeps debris build-up to a minimum. The ladder is inclined for easy entry and exit. Platforms are wide allowing ease of movement to the front or rear of the machine. The cab door opens a full 180° and latches in place to allow safe navigation to the rear of the machine. A vertically split window on the right-hand side of the cab is provided for easy opening and closing.


Easy to Maintain. Easy to Service.

Hydraulic Service Center

The hydraulic components are all conveniently located behind the hinged right side access ladder at a single ground level service center improving safety and reducing service time. Accessible from the service center are the transmission and hydraulic oil filters, brake accumulators, pressure test ports, etc.

Electrical Service Center

The electrical service center provides grouped ground level access to numerous electrical features, enhancing safety and convenience for operators and service technicians. It is conveniently located beneath the left platform for access before entering the cab and contains the maintenance free batteries, hood tilt actuation switch and master switch.

Cooling System

The cooling system is readily accessible for clean out and maintenance. With nine cooling fins per 25.4 mm (1.0 inch) and a perforated grill, most airborne debris entering the system passes through the cooler cores. The hydraulic and A/C cooler cores swing out providing easy access to both sides for cleaning. An access panel on the left side of the cooling package swings down to provide access to the back side of the engine coolant and Air-to-Air After Cooler (ATAAC) and jacket water cooler core.

Engine Access

The Cat sloped “one-piece” tilting hood provides industry-leading access to the engine, and if necessary, the entire hood can be removed with the built-in lift points. With the hood closed, quick checks of engine oil levels and the coolant sight gauge can be completed through the side service doors. Panels located behind the tires lift up and can be removed for additional access.


Conserving Resources.

The 972H is designed to compliment your business plan, reduce emissions and minimize the consumption of natural resources.
  • Improved fuel efficiency - less fuel consumed results in lower emissions.
  • Machines are built with a 98% recyclability rate (ISO 16714) to conserve valuable natural resources and further enhance machine end of life value.
  • Improved operator efficiency through enhanced visibility and reduced noise/vibration levels.
  • Product Link family of products and solutions that collect, communicate, store and deliver product and job site information to maximize productivity and reduce costs.
  • Major components are rebuildable, eliminating waste and saving money by giving the machine and/or major components a second life - and even a third life.

Customer Support

Unmatched Support Makes the Difference.

Machine Selection

Your Cat dealer is ready to help you evaluate machine options. From new or used machine sales, to rental or rebuild options, your Cat dealer can provide an optimal solution to your business needs.

Product Support

Your Cat dealer can help you maximize machine uptime with unsurpassed worldwide parts availability, trained technicians and customer support agreements.


To help you get the most out of your machine investment, Cat dealers offer various training resources to improve operating techniques.


Financing options are available to meet your needs.
    •  Alarm, back-up
    •  Alternator, 115-amp brushed
    •  Batteries, maintenance free (2) 1,400 CCA
    •  Ignition key; start/stop switch
    •  Lighting system, halogen (6 total)
    •  Main disconnect switch
    •  Starter, electric, heavy-duty
    •  Starting and charging system (24-volt)
    •  Receptacle, starting, 24-volt
    •  Air conditioner
    •  Bucket/work tool function lockout
    •  Cab, pressurized and sound-suppressed ROPS/FOPS
    •  Radio-ready (entertainment) includes antenna, speakers and converter (12-volt, 10-amp)
    •  Coat hook
    •  Computerized monitoring system
    •  Instrumentation, gauges: - Digital gear range indicator - Engine coolant temperature - Fuel level - Hydraulic oil temperature - Speedometer/tachometer - Transmission oil temperature
    •  Instrumentation, warning indicators: - Air inlet heater - Axle oil temperature - Electrical, alternator output - Engine inlet manifold temperature - Engine oil pressure - Fuel level - Fuel pressure, hi/low - Parking brake - Primary steering oil pressure -
    •  Controls, electro-hydraulic, lift and tilt function
    •  Heater and defroster
    •  Horn, electric (console)
    •  Light, dome (cab)
    •  Lunch box, beverage holders and personal tray
    •  Mirror, rearview (internally mounted)
    •  Mirrors, external
    •  Seat, Cat Comfort (cloth) with air suspension
    •  Seat belt, retractable, 51 mm (2 in) wide
    •  Steering column, adjustable angle (steering wheel - command control steering) and length (command control steering)
    •  Wet-arm wipers and washers, front and rear: - Intermittent front wiper
    •  Window, sliding (left and right side)
    •  Brakes, full hydraulic enclosed wet-disc with Integrated Braking System (IBS) and brake wear indicator
    •  Engine, Cat C13 with ACERT Technology and ATAAC
    •  Fan, radiator, electronically controlled, hydraulically driven, temperature sensing, on demand
    •  Filters, fuel, primary/secondary
    •  Filters, engine air, primary/secondary/tertiary
    •  Fuel priming pump (electric)
    •  Fuel/water separator
    •  Muffler, sound suppressed
    •  Radiator, unit core
    •  Starting aid, air inlet heater
    •  Switch, transmission neutralizer lockout
    •  Torque converter
    •  Transmission, automatic, planetary powershift (4F/4R)
    •  Single clutch speed shifting (SCSS)/torque based 2-1 shift
    •  Automatic bucket positioner
    •  Counterweight
    •  Couplings, Cat O-ring face seal
    •  Doors, service access (locked)
    •  Ecology drains, engine, transmission and hydraulics
    •  Fenders, steel (front and rear)
    •  Guard, airborne debris
    •  Hitch, drawbar with pin
    •  Hood, non-metallic, power tilting
    •  Hoses, Cat XT™
    •  Hydraulic oil cooler
    •  Kickout, lift and tilt, automatic (in-cab adjustable)
    •  Linkage, Z-bar, cast cross tube/tilt lever
    •  Oil sampling valves
    •  Product Link ready
    •  Remote diagnostic pressure taps
    •  Remote FNR
    •  Service center, electrical and hydraulic
    •  Sight gauges: - Engine coolant - Hydraulic oil - Transmission oil level
    •  Sun visor, front
    •  Steering, load sensing
  • Automatic bucket positioner
    • Counterweight
      • Couplings, Cat O-ring face seal
        • Doors, service access (locked)
          • Ecology drains, engine, transmission and hydraulics
            • Fenders, steel (front and rear)
              • Guard, airborne debris
                • Hitch, drawbar with pin
                  • Hood, non-metallic, power tilting
                    • Hoses, Cat XT™
                      • Hydraulic oil cooler
                        • Kickout, lift and tilt, automatic (in-cab adjustable)
                          • Linkage, Z-bar, cast cross tube/tilt lever
                            • Oil sampling valves
                              • Product Link ready
                                • Remote diagnostic pressure taps
                                  • Remote FNR
                                    • Service center, electrical and hydraulic
                                      • Sight gauges: - Engine coolant - Hydraulic oil - Transmission oil level
                                        • Sun visor, front
                                          • Steering, load sensing
                                            • TIRES, RIMS, WHEELS
                                              •  A tire must be selected from the mandatory attachments section. Base machine price includes an allowance based on a premium radial tire.
                                            • ANTIFREEZE
                                              •  Premixed 50% concentration of Extended Life Coolant with freeze protection to -34° C (-29° F)
                                            • Aggregate Autodig System
                                              • Autolube
                                                • Buckets and work tools
                                                  • Bucket Ground Engaging Tools (GET) - see Cat dealer for details
                                                    • Camera, rear vision
                                                      • Ashtray
                                                        • Cooler, axle oil
                                                          • Differentials
                                                            •  Limited slip, front or rear
                                                          • Limited slip, front or rear
                                                            • Drain, axle ecology
                                                              • Fenders, roading
                                                                • Fender extensions
                                                                  • Guard, axle seal
                                                                    • Guard, front window, wide or small mesh
                                                                      • Guard, power train
                                                                        • Heater, engine coolant, 120- or 240-volt
                                                                          • High Ambient Cooling Package
                                                                            • Hydraulic arrangement, three-valve
                                                                              • Joystick control, two- or three-valve
                                                                                • Lights, directional
                                                                                  • Lights, high intensity discharge (HID)
                                                                                    • Lights, roading
                                                                                      • Light, warning beacon
                                                                                        • Lights, work, cab-mounted
                                                                                          • Machine Security System
                                                                                            • Mirrors, heated external, folding
                                                                                              • Payload Control System
                                                                                                •  Payload Control System Printer
                                                                                              • Platform, window cleaning
                                                                                                • Precleaner, turbine
                                                                                                  • Precleaner, turbine/trash
                                                                                                    • Product Link (GPS, GSM WW, GSM China)
                                                                                                      • Quick Coupler
                                                                                                        • Quick Coupler, Ready
                                                                                                          • Radio, AM/FM Weatherband (CD)
                                                                                                            • Radio, CB-ready
                                                                                                              • Rear ladder, right
                                                                                                                • Remote pressure taps, transmission
                                                                                                                  • Ride Control System, two- or three-valve
                                                                                                                    • Seat belt, 76 mm (3 in) wide
                                                                                                                      • Sound suppression, exterior
                                                                                                                        • Starting aid, ether
                                                                                                                          • Steering, Command Control System
                                                                                                                            • Steering, secondary
                                                                                                                              • Special Machine Arrangements
                                                                                                                                •  High Lift Arrangement, two- and three-valve
                                                                                                                                •  Industrial Loader Arrangement
                                                                                                                              • Tool box
                                                                                                                                • Variable Pitch Fan (VPF)

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