Caterpillar Celebrates 50 Years of Wheel Loaders
The story begins with a wheel loader, 100% designed by Caterpillar…
In December of 1959, the first production Cat® wheel loader was driven off the assembly line at the Caterpillar plant in Aurora, IL.
The 944 Wheel "Traxcavator", a 78 kW (105 hp) gas or diesel engine equipped with 1.5 m³ (2 yd³) bucket, was the culmination of a seven-year development effort and the beginning of Caterpillar’s leadership in the worldwide market of wheel loaders.
A brief history…
Within a years time, Caterpillar added two additional models, the 60 kW (80 hp) model 922A wheel loader and the 104 kW (140 hp) 966A wheel loader. Following a few years later Caterpillar would introduce the 980, 988, 930, and 950 wheel loaders. Over the course of 50 years, Caterpillar would design and update a total of 83 different wheel loader models.
In speaking of the anniversary Karl Weiss, Medium Wheel Loader Product Manager said, "We owe a lot to the teams that developed the 944 and the subsequent models of Caterpillar wheel loaders. Through their hard work and passion to serve the customer, Caterpillar has become the global leader. Now it's our turn to carry on this legacy of excellence."
Today, Caterpillar’s Wheel Loaders offer a full product line consisting of 19 different models. The wheel loaders range in engine power from 39 kW (52 hp) to 1092 kW (1, 463 hp) with a bucket capacity range of 0.6 m³ (0.78 yd³) to 31m³ (41 yd³).
We are just getting started…
With almost a half a million wheel loaders sold over the last 50 years, Caterpillar has been a part of building communities around the world. Our goal is to continue making progress possible for another 50 years and beyond by providing our customers with the world's best wheel loaders.
Tom Bluth, Vice President of Caterpillar's Earthmoving Division added his appreciation, "As Caterpillar commemorates 50 years of Wheel Loaders, we take this opportunity to thank our loyal customers, an unparalleled dealer network, and the best employees in the industry, who have been partners in our success."