February 20, 2020
In 1959, Caterpillar introduced the 944. It was our first medium wheel loader (MWL) and known at the time as a wheel-type traxcavator. These first machines were characterized by their rigid frames, no cab and rear-wheel steering. Through 13 generations of innovation, the MWL has evolved in design, operation and technology and recently expanded its customer offerings with the introduction of lifecycle value models (GC).
60 YEARS OF INNOVATION
Today, Caterpillar offers the world’s largest MWL product line, which includes Cat® and SEM™ products. The last sixty years for medium wheel loaders have brought advancements in safety, comfort, fuel efficiency, performance, technology, work tools, quality and the acquisition of SEM.
“These updates have helped us meet our customers’ evolving application and economic needs around the world. We have an amazing team and two amazing brands,” said Kristin Girard, former worldwide product manager. “There is a lot of Caterpillar and MWL pride in where we have been and where we are going!”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
There is incredible opportunity to offer even more to our MWL customers through customer value agreements (CVAs), work tool options and aftermarket kits. Plus, there are multiple customer value options available through rental, used, rebuilds, Job Site Solutions and Cat Financial.
Maarten de Haas, current worldwide MWL product manager, said, “We look forward to building upon the strong heritage of medium wheel loaders to continue earning our customers’ business with the largest solution offering in the industry!”
- 5. MWLs are assembled in five facilities around the world: Little Rock, Arkansas; Piracicaba, Brazil; Suzhou, China; Qingzhou, China; and Grenoble, France.
- The 944 was soon followed by the 922 and the 966 models.
- It wasn’t until 1965 when Caterpillar changed the product name to its now well-known name, the medium wheel loader.