Product Report: Climate control

Cat’s 256C and 272C skid steers and 297C compact track loader extends their product line, offering contractors a choice of 10 skid steer models and five compact track loaders.

Todd Lynnes, skid steer and multi-terrain loader marketing manager, says, “It’s not unusual for a skid steer to be the primary production machine on the jobsite.” The skid steer’s versatile power and size, and its compatibility with multiple attachments let it work on almost any jobsite. In some cases, powerful new larger skid steers are capable of doing the work of smaller model wheel loaders.

Quiet and comfortable
Operators in Cat’s new and redesigned loaders will immediately notice the new sealed and pressurized cab. Like cabs in larger machines, the skid steer and track loaders feature high efficiency HVAC, reduced sound levels and an enclosed cab for a cleaner operator environment. The roof window in the C-Series is 101 percent larger and lets the operator clearly view the bucket or attachment when it is fully extended. The adjustable air ride seat and speed sensitive ride control provide the operator with the comfort found in large wheel loaders. The frameless full length glass door provides maximum visibility while keeping dust and debris out of the cab.

Skid steers
The radial-lift 256C’s 3044C DIT engine generates 82 horsepower, 9,554 pounds of drawbar pull and 7,300 pounds of breakout force. Both the 246C and 256C radial lift loaders can carry four 50-pound ‘slip on, slip off’ counterweights that bring their rated operating capacity to 2,350 and 2,550 pounds, respectively. Caterpillar says the redesigned 246C also has 10 percent more drawbar pull and 18 percent more breakout force than the prior B-Series model.

For its vertical-lift skid steer line up, Cat introduces the 272C with a longer wheelbase, 90-horsepower engine and 10,206 pounds of drawbar pull. Attaching the optional 200 pounds of counterweight brings the 272C’s rated operating capacity to 3,450 pounds. Cat’s 262C’s breakout force has increased 25 percent over their previous equivalent machine and can also accommodate the four 50-pound counterweights to bring in a rated operating capacity of 2,900 pounds.

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Compact track loaders
The all new 297C vertical compact track loader’s rated operating capacity of 4,233 pounds is the largest in Cat’s product line and is the biggest machine of its type Caterpillar produces. Its 90-horsepower 3044C DIT engine delivers 7,380 pounds of breakout force and has 8,880 pounds of drawbar pull. The 297C’s 10,229 pounds of operating weight leaves only 4 psi of ground pressure. The redesigned 277C radial lift and 287C vertical lift track skid steers offer 82-horsepower engines, and up to 30 percent more breakout force than their B-Series predecessors. All three models will carry optional 200 pounds of counterweight.

The three compact track loaders employ Cat’s open-design undercarriage that allows fast cleaning, discourages material buildup and does not require removing the tracks if an undercarriage component needs replacing. If a track needs to be replaced, Cat’s new undercarriage design has brought their track removal time to 15 minutes, lowered from one hour. The 297C performance option includes dual level undercarriage suspension and a two-speed travel system with a top speed of 9.3 mph.

The Advanced Machine Information Control System (AMICS) displays engine operations including fluid temperatures, service information and RPMs. The selectable work speed control (creep control) has 10 ground speed settings. Using the implement control, the operator can adjust the joystick’s responsiveness for precise control.