Watch! Our Latest Machine Heads Video Details Caterpillar’s Next Generation 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders

Every fall, I usually find myself in Peoria (or maybe Clayton, North Carolina), enjoying Caterpillar’s fall press event. It’s the best opportunity to inspect and operate Cat’s latest equipment releases and meet the product experts and engineers behind these machines. Last week, I made my annual pilgrimage to Caterpillar’s Edwards Demonstration & Learning Center outside Peoria, Illinois, to get a first look at Cat’s next generation track loaders, which I must admit looked and felt pretty awesome.

Cat has been revamping a lot of its compact equipment using the next generation badge — like its next generation 906, 907 and 908 compact wheel loaders and its line of next generation compact excavators. These next gen machines include big upgrades in power, comfort and technology, and Cat’s new 255 and 265 compact track loaders take those next generation improvements even further with a complete redesign. The 255 and 265 elevate Cat’s loader reputation through improved engine performance, lift and tilt performance, stability, operator comfort and technology.

Kevin Coleman, Cat senior product specialist, was kind enough to give our Compact Equipment readers a walk-around of these cool new units in the Machine Heads video above. BTW: It’s probably a good time to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Complementing this video, I will also be writing a deep dive article on these two new Cat track loaders, so keep a look out for that. Until then, here is a summary (below) of Cat’s new 255 and 265 track loaders via the press release.

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

Performance Upgrades to Cat’s 255 and 265 Track Loaders

The new 255 and 265 loaders are powered by Cat C2.8T and Cat C2.8TA engines respectively, which offer 74.3 hp (55.4 kW). The new engines maintain horsepower across a wider RPM range and boast significant torque increases — gains of 13% for the 255 and 43% for the 265 — for improved working performance. A redesigned engine compartment mounts the engine and cooling package lower into the frame for improved stability, giving the operator confidence in handling heavy loads and throughout all aspects of the work cycles.

The new 255 loader delivers class-leading lift height, and compared to the 259D3, delivers 36% more tilt breakout, 26% higher lift breakout force and a 24% increase in rated operating capacity (ROC). Height to the B-pin for the 265, compared to the 289D3, increases by 7.6 in (193 mm), resulting in a class-leading maximum lift height of 11 ft (3.35 m) for easier truck loading. The 265 also delivers 19% higher tilt breakout force and 22% higher lift breakout force.

Standard hydraulic system pressure is increased to 3,500 psi (24130 kPa). New for these next generation machines, the closed-center auxiliary hydraulic system allows the 255 and 265 to operate all Cat Smart Attachments, including the Cat Smart Dozer Blade, with the standard auxiliary hydraulics provided.

For machines equipped with Standard Flow, both models are shipped from the factory outfitted as “High Flow ready.” The High Flow functionality is easily activated via a new software enabled attachment (SEA), permitting on-machine or remote activation of increased hydraulic flow to 30 gpm (113 l/min) at the standard system pressure. The High Flow XPS factory option increases auxiliary hydraulic system pressure to 4061 psi (28000 kPa) for both models, while also increasing the hydraulic flow to 30 gal/min (113 l/min) for the 255 and 34 gal/min (129 l/min) for the 265.  The 255 equipped with the High Flow XPS option offers customers class-leading auxiliary hydraulic performance not before available in a mid-size chassis machine.

Reengineering of lower machine components results in a stronger and stiffer undercarriage for improved machine stability and less pitching when filling the bucket with material. Its torsion suspension undercarriage delivers better operator comfort, track wear and material retention, plus the stiffer design results in smoother graded surfaces. The 255 loader offers a new 12.6-in (320-mm) bar-tread narrow track option.

Compact track loaders are the most popular category of compact equipment in America. Learn why with loads of track loader features right here.

The Improved Operator Station on Cat’s Next Generation Track Loaders

Both the Cat 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders feature a larger cab design with 22% more overall volume and 26% additional foot space. With a 2.75-in (70-mm) increased interior width, the new cab expands footwell-to-ceiling height by 1.8 in (46 mm) and allows for an additional 1.5 in (40 mm) of hip room and 1.1 in (28 mm) more width between the joysticks for improved operator comfort.

A range of new mechanical and air-ride suspension seat options are available for the 255 and 265 loaders, including a high-comfort seat that is both ventilated and heated. New auto temperature control plus vent outlet positioning above the operator helps the new HVAC system to quickly cool the cab’s interior.

Next generation loaders are equipped with either a 5-in (127-mm) standard LCD monitor or an 8-in (203-mm) advanced touchscreen monitor, depending on the technology package selected. Like the D3 series’ advanced display, the standard monitor features Bluetooth connectivity and supports functionality for rearview camera feed, creep, job clock, maintenance reminders and 32 languages. The advanced touchscreen monitor provides a higher level of control over standard monitor functionality, delivers advanced radio control, and supports the multicamera 270˚ option and 32 language choices. The new advanced joysticks provide integrated control of the advanced touchscreen monitor so all machine function control and adjustments can be made without the operator removing their hands from the controls.

Featuring a low entry point, entering and exiting the 255 and 265 loaders is much easier. The redesign allows the operator to open the cab door without the lift arms being fully lowered to the frame stops. A simplified two-step door removal process allows operators to quickly remove it without tools. Visibility is improved via the lower engine mounting, a 59% larger rear window and bigger top window that provides a 15% increase in viewable area.  

Advanced Technologies like Smart Attachments

These new compact track loaders deliver the next level of integrating machines with technology. Both the standard and advanced monitors offer the ability to run Cat Smart Attachments, such as the dozer and grader blades and backhoe. These attachments are tied into the joysticks, and the machine automatically recognizes the type of attachment and the required joystick pattern for controlling it.

The available Cat Product Link Elite system tracks machine hours, location, asset utilization, provides fault code details and delivers advanced monitoring and machine health, that is remotely accessible via VisionLink. In addition, Product Link Elite provides remote flash and troubleshooting capabilities and quickly enables the remote activation of the SEA High Flow feature.

For more information about the new next generation Cat 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders, contact a Cat dealer or visit:

255 and 265 Product Specifications

EngineCat C2.8TCat C2.8TA
Gross Power, HP (kW)74.3 (55.4)74.3 (55.4)
Engine Torque, ft-lb (Nm)221 (300)280 (380)
Operating Weight, lb. (kg)9628 (4367)10492 (4759)
Rated Operating Capacity @ 35%, lb. (kg)2499 (1134)2822 (1280)
Hydraulic Pressure – standard, psi (kPa)3500 (24130)3500 (24130)
Hydraulic Flow – standard, gpm (lpm)23 (86)23 (86)
Hydraulic Pressure – SEA High Flow, psi (kPa)3500 (24130)3500 (24130)
Hydraulic Flow – SEA High Flow, gpm (lpm)30 (113)30 (113)
Hydraulic Pressure – High Flow XPS, psi (kPa)4061 (28000)4061 (28000)
Hydraulic Flow – High Flow XPS, gpm (lpm)30 (113)34 (129)