The first production 988 articulated-steering wheel loader rolled off the line in 1963. The 5 cubic yard loader was powered by a six-cylinder Cat® D343 diesel. Initially, it was rated at 300 flywheel-horsepower, but this increased to 325 flywheel-horsepower in 1968. At this time, rock bucket capacity also grew to 6 cubic yards.
Since the 1963 model was introduced, the Cat 988 Wheel Loader has helped more customers than any other model in its class. We continue that legacy with the innovative 988K, which combines the long life and reliability you expect from Caterpillar with the improved fuel efficiency and performance you demand.
In May 1963, the introduction of the 988 Large Wheel Loader was highlighted in the local Caterpillar newspaper Cat Folks®. When the 988 first rolled off the Building LL assembly line, it was the fourth model in Caterpillar’s line of wheel-type loaders. It was powered by a 300 horsepower Cat diesel engine and had a three-speed power shift transmission.
The Cat 988B increased productivity in mining operations throughout the world in 1978. A mining operation in West Germany reported on a comparison between the 988B and another machine’s loading slag – the Cat 988B led by 15%. In Australia, an operation reported a 25% production increase in loading shot basalt rock at its quarry. In the United States, an operation reported the 988B loads coal with production running 1500 tons per day.
For years of maximum loading performance – in the bank or in the pit – the 988G offered power, dependability and efficiency. With more power (110,000 lb operating weight), more comfort (38% more cab space and 60% more glass viewing area), more speed (475 horsepower) and more efficiency (6.5% faster cycles) than the 988F, it was the most productive machine in its class when it was built from 2001 to 2005.
In the harsh environment of a millyard application, the 988H is the wheel loader designed for the job. Since 1963, Cat Large Wheel Loaders have helped more customers than any other manufacturers’ model in this wheel loader size class. The 988H log loader arrangements include a purpose built linkage designed to optimize machine performance for the log loading application. Larger lift and tilt cylinders with extra counterweight allow the machines to unload an on-highway truck with a single pass. Third valve hydraulics allow for top clamp operation to secure the log load.