The new 972M Wheel Loader has a Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent or Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine equipped with a combination of proven electronic, fuel, air and aftertreatment components, if required. Applying proven technologies systematically and strategically lets us meet our customer’s high expectations for productivity and fuel efficiency. Deep system integration results in improved performance, improved fuel economy, and reduced emissions without interrupting machine performance making it seamless to operators. The reliability, durability, and versatility of the 972M result in a machine that is better built to meet your needs.
Benefits & Features
Proven Components and Technology You Can Count On.
Every Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent or Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine is equipped with a combination of proven electronic, fuel, air and aftertreatment components, if required.
More Powerful, Reliable Engine Electronics
The electronics used in Cat Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent or Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engines are more powerful and robust than ever. Increased features and connection commonality improve the customer experience and increase quality and reliability. Over-foam wiring harness adds to reliability even in the most demanding applications.
The 972M hydraulic system has significant design changes and customer value improvements. The main hydraulic valve is now a mono-block with an integrated ride control section. The mono-block design reduces weight, has forty percent fewer leak points and is common across all M Series models. Auxiliary third and fourth hydraulic functions can be easily added at the factory or in the field with the addition of a second remote valve.
Cat Connect technologies and Cat dealer services take the guesswork out of equipment management. Product Link™ and the online VisionLink® application enable you to monitor real-time machine data and manage machines health. Your Cat dealer offers expert advice and S·O·SSM Services to maintain equipment reliability and efficiency.
Cold Start Package
The new optional cold start package provides dependable starts in extreme cold weather and high altitudes.
Better Designed to Meet Your Needs.
The robotically welded two-piece structural frame design provides strong and rigid structures that absorb all the forces associated to penetration, loading and twisting.
The M Series articulating hitch system, joining the front and rear frames, provides increased bearing force capacity.
The M Series axles are designed to handle extreme applications resulting in reliable performance and durable life. 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, for excellent stability and traction.
Work Smart and Move More.
The right technologies fine-tuned for the right applications result in:
Delivering Better Fuel Economy with minimized maintenance costs while providing the same great power and response.
High Performance across a variety of applications.
Enhanced Reliability through commonality and simplicity of design.
Maximized Uptime and Reduced Cost with world-class support from the Cat dealer network.
Durable Designs with long life to overhaul.
The new ride control system now has two accumulators enabling it to be more effective over a greater payload range, increasing productivity and operator efficiency due to a better ride.
The next generation implement pump continuously and automatically balance hydraulic loads with the machine performance desired by the operator. Engine response is improved as is performance at higher altitudes.
The 972M power train has been improved with the addition of a lock-up clutch torque converter standard. These new torque converters have been matched with the engine power and hydraulics to improve performance and fuel efficiency. These rugged planetary transmissions also have a new split-flow oil system which use new multi-viscosity oil to improve fuel economy.
In addition to aggregates, sand and gravel and batch plants, this model is commonly used in heavy construction applications where poor underfoot conditions make traction difficult slowing production and challenging job deadlines. The new on-the-fly disc-type differential locks will improve tractive ability in these applications thereby increasing productivity. This model comes standard with front axle differential locks which are manually activated by a switch on the floor. Optional fully automatic front and rear axle differential locks operate by measuring differences in axle speeds and require no operator intervention to activate. These disc-type differential locks will reduce tire scuffing compared to other traction aids further reducing operating costs for customers.
The axles have new external caliper disc parking brakes mounted to the input shaft of the front axles. Since they are external, they do not have the inefficiencies of enclosed wet parking brakes due to brake discs running in oil nor is there any oil to change reducing fuel and maintenance costs. External caliper parking brakes are easily accessible for inspection and service.
Engineered to Lower Your Operating Costs.
Engine and Emissions
The Cat C9.3 ACERT engine is designed for maximum fuel efficiency and increased power density, while meeting Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent or Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emission standards. This engine features innovative Cat electronics, a fuel injection process, air-management systems; an aftertreatment solution with Cat Selective Catalytic Reduction, and a fuel efficient regeneration system, if required. For Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emissions solutions, the Tier 4 Final C9.3 is a fully passive engine without the Cat Regeneration System.
Efficient Systems and Components
Innovative systems intelligently lower the average working engine speeds and reduce the overall system heat loads which result in significantly improved performance and fuel efficiency.
Advanced Systems with Innovative Integration
The deep system integration of the new engine and emissions system, power train, hydraulic system and cooling system result in lower fuel consumption on average as compared to previous generation machines.
Productive Economy Mode
The productive economy mode automatically controls the engine torque and speed based on the machine’s power train load and places engine speed and torque in the most efficient operating range. The result is improved fuel efficiency while delivering optimal performance.
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV Engines
Next Generation Fuel Systems – Cat injection timing precisely controls the fuel injection process through a series of carefully timed microbursts, providing more control of combustion for the cleanest, most efficient fuel burn. On the 972M, the High-Pressure Common Rail Fuel System boosts performance and reduces soot for the C9.3 ACERT engine.
Cat NOx Reduction System – The Cat NOx Reduction System (NRS) captures and cools a small quantity of exhaust gas, then routes it back into the combustion chamber where it drives down combustion temperatures and reduces NOx emissions.
Aftertreatment Technologies – To meet the additional 80% reduction in NOx emissions required by Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emission standards, one new system, the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), has been added to the already proven Cat Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB aftertreatment solution.
Easy to Operate
Safe. Comfortable. Efficient.
Ensuring operators are safe, confident in the control of their machines, have a clean, comfortable and quiet operating environment with controls that are intuitive and low effort all contribute to lower operator fatigue and better performance.
A switch has been added to the electronic service center which unlatches the door remotely (optional). The gas strut then swings the door open all while the operator is safely on the ground. The angle of the steps up to the cab have been increased to an optimal fifteen degrees enabling operators to walk up like stairs versus climbing more vertically like a ladder. Grab handles have been repositioned so a secure three points of contact can be maintained at all times.
Once in the cab, the new door securely seals against the new roll formed ROPS posts and the lower glass panel has been extended several inches to improve visibility to the left side of the machine. New larger convex mirrors improve visibility to the rear and integrated spot mirrors provide visibility close to both sides of the machine.
Viscous cab mounts connect the cab to the frame of the machine, decreasing noise and vibration the operator is subjected to. The result is a sustainable work environment and well-rested operator, remaining efficient and productive.
The central display panel has a large text box, analog gauges, and LED warning indicators. The large text box provides in-language information about machine operation, feature activation and system troubleshooting and calibration. With the large analog gauges the operator can easily identify if key systems are within normal operating range.
Touch Screen Display
A new multipurpose color touch screen display dramatically simplifies the operator interface; with machine controls, rear vision camera and new fully integrated Cat Production Measurement system. Intuitive navigation with in-language text enables operators to modify certain machine operating parameters and monitor machine conditions literally at the touch of their fingers.
Sealed against moisture and dirt, the centralized switch panel with LEDs provides reliability and ready access to frequently required functions, even while wearing gloves. The ISO symbols located on each membrane switch are molded all the way through to ensure the image will not wear off over time.
The M Series maintains the “help” feature which explains the function of each membrane switch.
Focusing on operator efficiency, the control panel has been streamlined to include easy to reach highly utilized machine controls. The touch screen display enables the relocation of some expanded functions while eliminating the need for a second switch panel for further simplicity and easy machine operation.
Electro-Hydraulic (EH) Joystick Steering with Force Feedback (Speed Sensitive)
Your operators will enjoy and quickly adopt the industry leading seat mounted EH joystick steering system, which provide precision control and dramatically decrease operator arm fatigue. For operators who prefer a steering wheel, an electro-hydraulic steering wheel is available as an option.
Implement Controls (EH)
Seat mounted single axis implement control levers (joysticks, optional) provide your operator with precise control of the work tool, all while moving with the seat for maximum comfort. In-cab programmable kick-outs and automatic cylinder snubbing are easy to set on-the-go for tilt, lower and lift, ideal for repeatable cycles.
The next generation of ride control works as a shock absorber, improving ride quality and smoothness over rough terrain, increasing your operator confidence, comfort and efficiency, ensuring excellent material retention.
Linkage and Guard Options to Meet Your Various Applications Needs.
Standard Z-bar Linkage
The proven Z-bar linkage combines digging efficiency with excellent visibility to the tool resulting in excellent penetration into the pile, high breakout forces and superior production capabilities.
High Lift Linkage
The optional high lift linkage offers increased hinge pin height to load more easily in a variety of applications with any type of bucket or fork.
Aggregate packages are specialized offerings for specific loose aggregate rehandling applications, such as truck loading, hopper charging, stockpiling, and load and carry. Rehandling loose aggregate is less stressful on the machine, therefore payloads can be increased above other applications by installing larger buckets, counterweights.
To do so, the Cat aggregate packages require conformance to Caterpillar payload policy. Misapplication of Aggregate Handlers may result in significant reliability and durability risk.
Industrial and Waste Handler
The Industrial and Waste Packages offer integrated guards to preserve your machine from the harsh environment of a scrap or waste handling application.
Steel Mill Arrangement
The 972M Steel Mill package includes all the modifications required to allow the removal and handling of hot slag while providing additional protection for both machine and operator in these extreme applications.
Do More Jobs with One Machine, Fusion Quick Coupler and Various Work Tools.
An extensive range of work tools and bucket styles are available to customize these machines for your operation. Work tools are 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 a curved side profile to maximize material retention. The optimized design results in unsurpassed production capabilities.
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.
Fusion Quick Coupler – 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.
Fusion Quick Coupler – 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.
Fusion Quick Coupler – 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.
Fusion Quick Coupler – Common Interface Compatibility
The Fusion Coupler System 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.
Monitor, Manage, and Enhance Job Site Operations.
Cat Connect makes smart use of technology and services to improve your job site efficiency. Using the data from technology-equipped machines, you’ll get more information and insight into your equipment and operations than ever before.
Cat Connect technologies offer improvements in these key areas: Equipment Management – increase uptime and reduce operating costs. Productivity – monitor production and manage job site efficiency. Safety – enhance job site awareness to keep your people and equipment safe.
Featured Cat Connect technologies include:
Cat Connect LINK Technologies
LINK technologies wirelessly connect you to your equipment giving you access to essential information you need to know to run your business. Link data can give you valuable insight into how your machine or fleet is performing so you can make timely, fact-based decisions that can boost job site efficiency and productivity.
Product Link is deeply integrated into your machine to take the guesswork out of equipment management. Easy access to timely information like machine location, hours, fuel usage, idle time and event codes via the online VisionLink user interface can help you effectively manage your fleet and lower operating cost.
PAYLOAD technologies provide accurate weighing of materials being loaded and hauled. Payload data is displayed for loader operators in real-time to improve productivity, reduce overloading, and recorded to track material movement by shift.
Cat Production Measurement – brings payload weighing to the cab, enabling operators to weigh loads “on-the-go” during loading operations. Loads are weighed as the bucket is raised during the lift cycle – eliminating the need to interrupt the load cycle, improving loading efficiency. Operators can view load weights on the integrated multi-function display and know precisely how much material is in the bucket and when trucks are filled to target payload – before leaving the loading zone. Instant feedback gives operators the confidence to work more effectively, maximizing the potential of the entire fleet. An optional in-cab printer provides the driver a printed receipt of truck payloads.
Operators can track recorded weights and cycles using the display. Site managers can wirelessly access data via the VisionLink web portal to measure production and monitor efficiency.
DETECT technologies enhance operator awareness of the environment around working equipment and provide alerts to help keep people and assets safe.
Rear Vision Camera – enhances visibility behind the machine, helping the operator work confidently, at peak potential. A rear view and payload data is displayed on the multi-function monitor during reverse travel. An optional second display can be added to provide a dedicated rear view of the job site.
Proven Best Investment.
Customer Support Agreements
A Customer Support Agreement (CSA) is an arrangement between you and your Cat dealer that helps you lower your total cost per ton. CSAs are flexible, allowing them to be tailored to your business needs. They can range from simple Preventive Maintenance Kits to elaborate Total Cost Performance Guarantees. Having a CSA with your Cat dealer enables more time for you to do what you do best – run your business.
Monitoring product health is key to optimizing the life of an investment into a Cat Wheel Loader.
Cat Product Link – Cat Product Link allows remote monitoring of equipment to improve overall fleet management effectiveness. Product Link is deeply integrated into machine systems. Events and diagnostic codes, as well as hours, fuel, idle time and other detailed information are transmitted to a secure web based application, VisionLink. VisionLink includes powerful tools to convey information to users and dealers, including mapping, working and idle time, fuel level and more.
S·O·S Services – Helps manage component life and decrease machine downtime, increasing productivity and efficiency. Regular fluid sampling can help track what is going on inside your machine. Wear related problems are predictable and easily repairable. Maintenance can be done to accommodate your schedule, resulting in increased uptime and flexibility in maintenance repairs before failure.
Caterpillar provides an unsurpassed level of personalized service to help you work more cost effectively and efficiently. By utilizing a worldwide parts network Cat dealers help minimize machine downtime and save money by delivering replacement parts within 24 hours.
Owning quality equipment is an important factor in maintaining resale value. Caterpillar is not only known for machines that are better built, but provides product and dealer support to maintain the reliability and durability of your machine.
Save Time and Money by Working Smart.
Customer machine data shows Cat wheel loaders are the most fuel efficient machines in the industry with several features contributing to this excellent fuel efficiency:
Deep system integration between engine, hydraulics, transmission and ride control results in reduced emissions, more productivity, and lower fuel consumption without interrupting machine performance.
Productive economy mode optimizes engine torque and speed further reducing fuel consumption.
Adjustable automatic idle engine shutdown system significantly reduces idle time, overall operating hours and fuel consumption.
External caliper disc parking brakes make maintenance easily accessible.
Lock-up clutch torque converter and shift strategy increases driveline efficiency with reduced torque interruption conserving fuel. Auto 1-D transmission mode keeps engine speed low reducing fuel consumption while delivering optimal machine performance.
Performance Series buckets deliver faster fill times and better material retention, ultimately reducing cycle times while improving productivity and fuel efficiency.
Machine configuration, operator technique and job site layout can impact fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent. Select the correct linkage, guarding, work tool and tire type based on machine application.
Enabling Application Efficiency
Loading Bucket – Load in first gear and keep engine rpm low. Raise and tilt bucket smoother, with Caterpillar’s multi-function capability, and do not use a “pumping” motion. Avoid lift lever detent and use of transmission neutralizer. Use programmable kick-outs and automatic cylinder snubbing during repeated cycles.
Loading Truck or Hopper – Do not raise the work tool any higher than necessary. Keep engine rpm low and unload in controlled manner.
Idle – Set the parking brake to engage Engine Idle Management System to conserve fuel.
Job Site Layout – Spot loading targets in the right position. Avoid traveling more than twice the machine length during short cycle loading. Reduce transport distance for load and carry cycles by optimizing job site layout.
Easy to Maintain. Easy to Service.
The Cat sloped “one-piece” tilting hood provides industry leading access to the engine. Its design has further been improved on all M Series wheel loaders to provide the best-in-class service access to engine, oil levels and coolant sight gauge.
The cooling system is readily accessible for clean out and maintenance. With nine cooling fins per 25.4 mm (1.0 in) 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). An optional variable pitch fan can automatically purge the cooler cores by periodically reversing the airflow when needed.
The electrical and hydraulic service centers provide grouped ground level access to numerous features, enhancing safety and convenience for your operators and service technicians, while reducing service time.
The electrical service center, located beneath the left platform, contains the maintenance free batteries, a fuse relay panel, main disconnect switch, ground level engine shutdown switch, hood tilt switch, and the jump start receptacle.
Hydraulic system components on the 972M are protected by full flow and kidney-loop filtration. A filter in the hydraulic tank return line filters all of the oil returning to the tank. There is also a case drain screen for additional protection and finally, a separate kidney-loop filter with a finer micron rating continuously filters smaller particles out of the system. This multilevel design ensures the hydraulic oil is clean and thoroughly protects the rest of the hydraulic system from contamination. A new thermal bypass valve has been added to improve hydraulic system warm-up.
The hydraulic service centers are now virtually identical for the M Series product line. This new consistent layout makes it easier for service technicians who work on a variety of M Series models.
The 972M 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.
Improved operator efficiency through enhanced visibility and reduced noise levels.
Link technologies enable you to collect and analyze equipment and job site data so you can 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.
Unmatched Support Makes the Difference.
Renowned Cat Dealer Support
Your Cat dealer is ready to help you every step of the way. From new or used machine sales, to rental or rebuild options, your Cat dealer can provide an optimal solution to your business needs.
Unsurpassed worldwide parts availability, trained technicians and customer support agreements maximize your machine uptime.
Financing options are offered to meet a variety of customer needs.
Net Power – ISO 9249
Cat® C9.3 ACERT™
U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV: Maximum Gross Power – SAE J1995
U.S. EPA Tier 3/EU Stage IIIA equivalent: Maximum Gross Power – SAE J1995
Maximum Net Power (1,700 rpm) – SAE J1349
Maximum Net Power – SAE J1349
Maximum Net Torque (1,100 rpm) – SAE J1349
Peak Gross Torque (1,200 rpm) – SAE J1995
Cat engine with ACERT Technology meets Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emission standards.
Weight based on a machine configuration with Michelin 26.5R25 XHA2 L3 radial tires, full fluids, operator, standard counterweight, cold start, roading fenders, Product Link, manual diff lock/open axles (front/rear), power train guard, secondary steering,
For 4.8 m3 (6.28 yd3) general purpose buckets with BOCE.
2.9-9.9 m³ (3.75-13.0 yd³)
Maximum travel speed in standard vehicle with empty bucket and standard L3 tires with 826 mm (32.5 in) roll radius.
Oscillating ±13 degrees
Maximum Single-Wheel Rise and Fall
Brakes meet ISO 3450 standards
Service Refill Capacities
Differentials and Final Drives – Front
Differentials and Final Drives – Rear
*Must meet the requirements outlined in ISO 22241-1 for Tier 4 Final/Stage IV models.
ROPS/FOPS meet ISO 3471 and ISO 3449 Level II standards
Static Tipping Load – Full 37° Turn: No Tire Deflection
Static Tipping Load – Full 37° Turn: With Tire Deflection
For a machine configuration as defined under “Weight.”
Full compliance to ISO 143971:2007 Sections 1 thru 6, which requires 2% verification between calculations and testing.
Hydraulic Cycle Time with Rated Payload – Dump, at Maximum Raise
Hydraulic Cycle Time with Rated Payload – Lower, Empty, Float Down
Hydraulic Cycle Time with Rated Payload – Raise from Carry Position
Hydraulic Cycle Time with Rated Payload – Total
Implement Pump Type
Variable Displacement Piston
Implement System: Maximum Operating Pressure
Implement System: Maximum Pump Output (2,200 rpm)
Implement System: Optional 3rd/4th Function Maximum Flow
Implement System: Optional 3rd/4th Function Maximum Pressure
With Cooling Fan Speed at Maximum Value: Exterior Sound Power Level (ISO 6395:2008)
With Cooling Fan Speed at Maximum Value: Exterior Sound Pressure Level (SAE J88:2013)
The sound values indicated below are for specific operating conditions only. Machine and operator sound levels will vary at different engine and/or cooling fan speeds. Hearing protection may be needed when the machine is operated with a cabin that is not
*Distance of 15 m (49.2 ft), moving forward in second gear ratio.
With Cooling Fan Speed at Maximum Value: Operator Sound Pressure Level (ISO 6396:2008)
Hearing protection may be needed when the machine is operated with a cabin that is not properly maintained.
Hearing protection may be needed when the doors and/or windows are open for extended periods or in a noisy environment.
Sight gauges: engine coolant, hydraulic oil, and transmission oil level
Vandalism protection caplocks
Door, remote opening system
Cover, HVAC metallic
EH controls, SAL 3rd function: – Additional roller switch for 4th function
EH controls, joystick lift and tilt: – Additional integrated roller switches for 3rd and 4th functions
Filter, carbon fresh air
Mirrors, heated rearview external with integrated spot mirrors
Precleaner, HVAC (RESPA)
Radio, AM/FM/USB/MP3 Bluetooth
Radio, AM/FM/CD/USB/MP3 Bluetooth
Radio, AM/FM/CD/USB/MP3 Bluetooth with Satellite Sirius and XM
Radio, CB ready
Seat, heated air suspension
Seat belt, 76 mm (3 in) retractable, with indicator
Steering, EH wheel with directional FNR shifter and gear selector: – Additional FNR with implement controls
Sun visor, rear
Windows, rubber mounted
Windows, with front guard
Windows, with heavy duty front guard
Windows, with full guards front, rear and sides
Electrical And Lighting
Four additional auxiliary halogen cab mounted work lights or
Two additional auxiliary front HI LED and two additional auxiliary rear LED cab mounted work lights with 2 LED work lights in the radiator grill and LED front turn signals also includes replacement of the standard four halogen cab mounted work lights with four LED work lights (the standard offering and only roading light available is the halogen roading light)
Warning amber strobe beacon
External seat belt indicator light
Speed limiter – 20 km/h (Europe only)
Starters, Batteries, And Alternators
Cold start – 120V
Cold start – 240V
Cat Connect Technologies
Link technologies: VIMS™
Payload technologies: – Aggregate Autodig – Cat Production Measurement – Printer, Cat Production Measurement
Detect technologies: dedicated display for rear vision camera, full-time activation
Machine Security System
Cat Object Detection
Axles: – Automatic front/rear differential locks – Axle oil cooler – Extreme temperature seals – Seal guards
Fan, VPF (variable pitch fan), automatic and manual control
Radiator, high debris with wider fin spacing
Quick coupler ready
Performance Series buckets
Fusion quick coupler
3rd function with Ride Control: – Standard linkage – High lift linkage – Forestry linkage
4th function with Ride Control: – Standard linkage – High lift linkage – Forestry linkage
Premixed extended life coolant with freeze protection to –50° C (–58° F)