Wheel loaders and bulldozers are two types of heavy earth moving equipment used to dig and load rubble, asphalt and other materials during construction or demolition. Wheel loaders move on wheels, unlike bulldozers which run on tracks. The wheels give the loaders more speed and mobility. They are useful because they do not damage paved roads. Caterpillar introduced their first wheel loader in 1959. The 900 series, including the 988A, was introduced in 1963 and was discontinued in the late 1970s.
Engine and Tires
The 988A wheel loader is equipped with a D 343 diesel engine. It has a 24-volt starter. The engine has six cylinders and runs at 2,100 RPM. The engine configuration is inline. The tire specifications for the loader are 29.5 by 29 L-5 tires.
Dimensions and Price
The 988A Cat wheel loader is 12.33 feet tall, 29 feet long and 10 feet wide. It weighs approximately 430,000 pounds. As of January 2011, 988A Cat wheel loaders can be still be found for sale or trade ranging in price from $12,500 up to over $26,000 for machines in good running condition.
Bucket and Cab
General purpose buckets for the wheel loader range in size from 6 to 11 yards. The heavy duty buckets come in flat blades or with teeth that can be used for digging rocks or light shale. The heated cab of the loader is designed with an enclosed Rollover Protection Structure. ROPS is a safety feature mandated by OSHA. Agricultural equipment or vehicles with more than 20 engine horsepower must be designed with this feature.
Caterpillar manufactures a long line of wheel loaders in all sizes. According to Caterpillar, the Cat 994F wheel loader is the largest in the world. It is used around the globe in mining operations. The machine stands over 47 feet tall with the arm extended. It weighs more than 467,000 pounds. Because the 994F Cat is so enormous, it is not completely assembled when manufactured. After testing all systems it is delivered to the mines on eight semi trucks or by train. The machine takes at least five employees and five cranes to complete its assembly.
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