Caterpillar® Celebrates 30 Years of High Drive
For Worldwide Release: September 2008
Release Number: 324PR08
When Caterpillar® offered its new D10 for sale in 1978, it was the largest production dozer in the world. But its sheer size wasn’t the biggest story. The preview showing in 1977 of the D10’s revolutionary high-sprocket drive system had generated excitement—and a little controversy—among heavy equipment customers. But its performance met their highest expectations and won them over.
An Industry Icon
Today, 30 years after its introduction, Caterpillar’s high-drive system has become an industry icon. Although the D10 was eventually replaced by the D11N—which has subsequently grown into the 850-horsepower D11T—high drive continues to set the standard for large dozer track systems.
Cat tractor technology and capability have continued to make large strides since 1978, including evaluating which applications high drive is best suited for as well as updating the technology. Through it all, the exclusive Cat high-drive system has remained hugely popular with track-type tractor customers. Well over 100,000 high-drive tractors have been sold around the world. And for Caterpillar, the job-proven performance benchmarks set by the first high-drive system remain the primary design goals for the current line of large Cat tractors.
Three Decades and Counting
Caterpillar Tractor Product Manager Scott Johnson says the high-drive configuration will remain a vital part of the Cat track-type tractor line for many years to come. “For 30 years, high drive has been a symbol of the quality, durability and productivity of Caterpillar tractors, and we will continue to offer it on all our large dozers (D8–D11) for the foreseeable future.”
Johnson adds, “High drive has delivered solid value to Cat customers for three decades. We are very proud that Caterpillar introduced it way back in 1978, and we are equally proud that it is helping to make today’s Cat track-type tractor line the sales leader and the standard of the industry worldwide.”
Cat High Drive Advantages
As it did on the first Cat D10, today’s high-drive configuration offers a range of performance-enhancing benefits:
- High Productivity—With a suspended undercarriage that keeps the track on the ground in varying underfoot conditions, it provides outstanding balance and maximum performance across all applications.
- Modular Design—The high-drive configuration allows service personnel to rapidly change out drive train modules, which can be preassembled and tested before being installed. The modular design helps to simplify maintenance procedures, which in turn reduces downtime and helps to minimize owning and operating costs.
- Operator Efficiency—High drive provides outstanding visibility for large tractors. Coupled with the improved ride from the resiliently-mounted suspended undercarriage, the elevated sprocket system helps operators remain comfortable and efficient throughout a long shift.
- Transportability—High drive also contributes to easy disassembly of the tractor for easier transport by truck or rail.
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