New M Series Medium Wheel Loaders Feature Added Power, Greater Fuel Efficiency, Drive-Train Refinement, Operator Comfort and Safety Enhancements

For Release in North America (Canada only), South America, Australia, New Zealand: August 2016
Release Number: 317PR16

The new Cat® M Series medium wheel loaders—950M, 962M, 966M and 972M meet U.S. EPA Tier 3/ EU Stage IIIA equivalent emission standards.  These new loaders apply proven technologies systematically and strategically to meet your high expectations for reliability, productivity, fuel efficiency, and long service life. The new M Series medium wheel loaders are more powerful and fuel-efficient than predecessor models, featuring significant drive-train and hydraulic-system refinement, operator-safety and convenience enhancements, proven Z-bar linkage, Cat Performance Series buckets, and options such as differential locks, ride control, and Cat Connect Technologies. 

Optional Aggregate Handler configurations offer slightly higher payload capability for loose aggregate rehandling.  These configurations enable efficient bucket size and payload pass matches to common truck payload targets and enhanced efficiency in load and carry applications.


Utilizing rigorous design and machine validation processes have delivered unmatched reliability, durability and high uptime for generations.  Components used to build Cat wheel loaders are designed and manufactured to Caterpillar quality standards to ensure maximum performance even in extreme operating conditions.  Heavy duty components, such as the Caterpillar designed ACERT™ engine, transmission and axles, reduce the risk of premature wear resulting in increased uptime and reduce operating costs over the lifetime of the machine.

The 950M and 962M use a productive and fuel-efficient Cat C7.1 ACERT engine, and the 966M and 972M use the Cat C9.3 ACERT engine. Net power ratings range from 185 to 222 kW (252 to 298 horsepower) and approximate operating weights from 19 000 to 25 000 kg (42,000 to 51,000 pounds). These power-dense engines use a combination of proven electronic, fuel-injection and air-systems.


The updated and refined Cat ACERT engines offer increased engine power by 22 percent in the 950M, 8 percent in the 962M, 10 percent in the 966M and 5 percent in the 972M (compared to H series) to greatly improve machine performance and response. 

The 950M and 962M use a 5F/3R countershaft power-shift transmission, and the 966M and 972M a 4F/4R planetary power-shift. A high-capacity torque converter in all models uses a lock-up clutch for efficient high-speed performance, and the Caterpillar Advanced Productivity Electronically Controlled (APEC) control system maintains torque flow during range shifts for faster acceleration on ramps and smoother shifts in the transmission’s direct-drive mode.

The redesigned axles feature on-the-go disc-type differential locks to improve tractive ability in these applications thereby increasing productivity. These models come 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. Axles for the M Series models feature modifications that reduce parasitic loads and enhance positive lubrication.

In addition, the Integrated Braking System (IBS) regulates downshifting in proportion to the required braking force, resulting in smoother downshifts and increased deceleration control. The IBS prolongs brake life, lengthens axle-oil change intervals, reduces axle-oil temperatures, and improves transmission-neutralizer performance—resulting in faster cycles.

The 950M and 962M feature an optimized Z-Bar linkage that combines optimized bucket performance and visibility with parallel lift capabilities. To expand the versatility of all M Series models with work tools such as forks, grapple buckets, dozer blades, rakes, and plows, the available Cat Fusion Coupler System allows fast tool changes and provides performance virtually identical to pin-on tools. The coupler’s advanced wedging mechanism creates a tight, rattle-free attachment and long service life.

Fuel efficiency

The new models are not only up to 22 percent more powerful, but are also feature up to 10 percent less fuel consumption for the 950M/962M and up to 15 percent less fuel consumption for the 966M/972M compared with H Series predecessors. The machines are designed to conserve fuel while maintaining performance, and an on-demand fan further enhances fuel efficiency and lowers sound levels. In addition, the engine-idle-management system saves fuel by matching engine speed to the load, and the engine-idle-shutdown system stops the engine after a pre-set idling interval, not only saving fuel, but also reducing hour accumulation, which helps extend service intervals and warranty.

The efficient load-sensing hydraulic system features proportional flow for fast, smooth hydraulic response with optimum controllability. The system is designed to deliver more engine power to the wheels at partial hydraulic flow, allowing faster cycle times in load-and-carry and ramp operations, as well as higher rimpull when digging.

Operator comfort and safety

The new best-in-class operator environment features four post Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) cab providing unmatched comfort, visibility, and efficiency.  Seat-mounted, electro-hydraulic implement controls and programmable (in-cab) kick-outs provide optimum work-tool control, complemented by automatic cylinder snubbing that enhance hydraulic performance. New, streamlined control panel includes easy to reach highly utilized machine controls to increase operator efficiency.  Powerful heating and air-conditioning systems keep operators comfortable in any climate.  Viscous mounts to reduce vibration and cabin sound levels.

For added safety, stair-like steps along with a large entry door to the cab reduce the angle of entry, and grab bars provide safe access to machine platforms. Floor-to-ceiling glass in the windshield, large mirrors with spot mirrors, and a rear-vision camera combine to provide all-around visibility.  A new ride-control system with dual accumulators allows faster cycles, improved material retention, and a smooth ride for the operator.


The front and rear frames of the new M Series models are fabricated of high-strength materials for long-term durability, robotically welded to ensure reliable performance, and designed to dissipate forces associated with aggressive loading and digging. The articulating hitch system, joining front and rear frames, provides exceptional bearing-force capacity.

Field-proven Z-bar front linkage produces optimum bucket and boom forces, and the Cat Performance Series buckets are designed to provide excellent penetration into the pile, high breakout forces, superior roll back angles, and faster cycle times, resulting in extended tire life, superior fuel efficiency, and exceptional production capabilities.

Improved hydraulic-hose routing reduces potential wear.  Full-flow filtration, with additional loop filtration, extends component life.


The one-piece tilting hood with side and rear doors provides easy access to daily fluid level checks and fueling points.  Electrical and hydraulic service centers provide grouped, ground-level access to such items as S•O•SSM (Scheduled Oil Sampling) ports that facilitate collecting fluid samples at optimum points in a circulating system.  The new external caliper disc parking brakes are easily accessible for inspection and service. The updated cooling system is readily accessible for clean out and maintenance; the hydraulic-oil cooler and air-conditioner cores swing out providing easy access to both sides for cleaning.


Cat LINK technologies, such as the Product Link™ system, help fleet owners manage equipment productivity and lower owning and operating costs through the online VisionLink® interface, which tracks critical items, such as location, hours, fuel usage, diagnostic codes, and idle time.

Cat PAYLOAD technology, such as optional Cat Production Measurement system, accurately weighs materials being loaded and hauled to improve productivity, reduce overloading, and track material movement.  Provides simple, accurate, on-the-go weighing to assist operators in delivering exact loads and working more efficiently.  The intuitive user interface, within standard touch screen display, provides essential payload information in an easy-to-read, user-friendly format.  Site managers can wirelessly access data via the VisionLink web portal to measure production and monitor efficiency.

Cat DETECT technology, such as the integrated rear vision camera, enhances visibility behind machine to help operators work safely.


Note to Editors: Caterpillar rolls out products and services in each of its territories at different time intervals. Although every effort is made to ensure that product information is released only after Caterpillar has received confirmation from our dealer network, our plants, and our marketing subsidiaries that products and services are available in the relevant region, editors are kindly requested to verify with their local dealer for product availability and specifications.

CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow” and the “Power Edge” trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.

VisionLink is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited, registered in the United States and in other countries.

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