Over Two Decades of Skid Steer Manufacturing
Caterpillar launched its first skid steer loader models in 1999, releasing four radial-lift loaders that were the result of customer-driven, ground-up, internal design. Today, after over two decades of skid steer loader production, the Cat D3 Series skid steer loaders continue that innovation across three radial linkage and five vertical linkage models, ranging in horsepower from 67 to 110 gross hp.
All machines come standard with a hydraulically driven demand fan, separating the engine speed from the cooling fan speed. This is critical in the toughest conditions when the engine lugs down and the machine needs the fastest fan speed for cooling. The hydraulically driven cooling fan, combined with the high-capacity cooling system, allows customers to work all day. The standard hydraulic fan also features Demand Fan functionality, which matches fan speed with the machine’s cooling needs, delivering improved fuel efficiency, lower noise levels, better cold weather heater performance and maximum available engine horsepower for optimal machine performance. For applications with larger amounts of airborne debris, an optional reversing fan is available.
The Cat High Flow XPS hydraulic system offers increased flow (up to 32 gpm) as well as higher pressure (up to 4,061 psi), which provides more speed and more torque to the attachment. The largest Cat skid steer model, the 110-gross-hp 272D3 XE, provides even higher flow (up to 40 gpm) with higher pressure (up to 4,061 psi). These high-flow, high-pressure auxiliary hydraulic systems provide productivity in applications utilizing high torque tools, such as cold planers (milling heads), heavy-duty brush cutters or wheel saws.
The D3 Series skid steer models offer the operator excellent sight lines to the work tool, sides of the machine and tires via loader arm and cab designs focused on visibility. Visibility to the sides and rear of the machine is further enhanced with a standard rearview mirror. The rearview camera, standard on most models, provides a wide-angle picture of the blind spots and hard-to-see areas behind skid steer loaders. The available enclosed cab provides a clean and quiet operator environment via a one-piece, modular design for maximum sealing and pressurization. The D3 Series models are even more comfortable, delivering an additional 3 in. of knee room for the operator. A standard security system provides protection from unwanted operation and theft. Additional control features are incorporated into the optional 5-in., heads-up, LCD, in-cabin monitor that provides the operator the capability to customize up to 23 different parameters.
Each of these parameters, which include language choice, display preferences and machine performance adjustments, are retained for each individual operator code (up to 50 codes). Also standard with each D3 Series compact track loader is Smart Technology. Smart Technology allows the machine to recognize the new line of Smart Attachments and convert the machine’s existing joysticks to the intuitive controls needed to easily operate these attachments. Smart Attachments include the Smart Backhoe and Smart Grader Blade.
Advice to Buyers
“Look for a machine that provides you with the tools to be successful,” says Kevin Coleman, product specialist for Caterpillar. “Items such as dual direction self-leveling for material loading and handling, return-to-dig for truck loading cycles or creep speed control for a high-quality finish and maximum productivity with hydro-mechanical attachments. Ultimately, it’s important to actually get in a machine to assess your comfort level in the cab, the integration of the controls/switches and the machine’s working visibility — sight lines from the operator’s seat when actually operating on a jobsite.”Tags: Caterpillar Inc, July August 2021 print issue, Spec Guide, Spec Guide 2021