Caterpillar introduces D Series knuckleboom loader

Caterpillar Inc.
November 06, 2017
By Caterpillar Inc.
Nov. 6, 2017 - Caterpillar has announced the launch of the Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader with two models, the Cat 559D and 579D. The new loaders, which meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards, provide increased reliability and durability along with greater customer value in performance, comfort, and serviceability. The new models are manufactured in LaGrange, Georgia.

“We have built on the superior performance of the Cat C Series and taken the Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader to a new level,” said Caterpillar product specialist Blake Vaughn. “The D Series puts industry-leading hydraulic multi-functioning productivity in the hands of loggers.”

The Cat Tier 4 Final C4.4 ACERT engine provides equivalent horsepower as the previous series (rated at 173 hp or 129.5 kW) while minimizing overall fluid consumption. The engine is equipped with a combination of proven electronic, fuel, air, and after-treatment components to provide high levels of productivity, efficiency, reliability, and service life. An automatic idle feature with multiple settings minimizes fuel consumption when the loader is on standby and not actively working.

“With its high torque characteristics and impressive transient response performance, the Cat C4.4 engine is ideal for the work of tough delimbing and loading applications,” Vaughn said. Twin, fixed-geometry, waste-gated turbochargers enable maximum turbo performance to improve productivity, fuel efficiency, and engine life while reducing operating costs.

The Cat C4.4 ACERT engine has exceptional cooling capability with a large side-by-side engine coolant, hydraulic, and charge air cooling package. Coarse fin spacing lets outside debris pass through and efficiently dissipates heat. Individually isolated cooling cores eliminate core-to-core thermal stresses, increasing durability. The large diameter variable speed fan is electronically controlled to provide cooling only as required, reducing noise levels and fuel consumption.

The purpose-built negative flow hydraulic system is at the core of the D Series to provide continuous, reliable, responsive control. The operator can lift, swing, and rotate the grapple simultaneously without sacrificing performance.

“With excellent hydraulic speed, substantial lift capacity, and impressive swing torque, the D Series provides operating versatility,” said Vaughn. “It can handle small stems from first thinnings, loading heavy, mature pine, or delimbing those large gnarly hardwoods.”

The new Cat GLK Series Grapples are available in two models, the GLK55 and GLK48. Reliability improvements over the previous model include optimized hose routings and larger pins and bushings to increase durability. Both models include cylinder hold valves as standard and are available in the following configurations for delimbing and loading applications:

●      Tapered Wedge (TW) or Straight Narrow (SN) Jaw Configurations

●      2 Port or 3 Port Hydraulic Swivel (Grapple Saw Ready)

Caterpillar offers a delimber/slasher package that is a complete factory-installed timber merchandising system featuring loader and grapple, trailer with trailer-mounted delimber, and ground saw slasher connections. The new Cat DLK426 four-knife delimber makes for easy loading of trees, fast delimbing, and producing clean stems.

Integrated safety features of the Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader range from a robust step system with two handrails, heavy-duty front window guard, stabilizer movement alarm and pilot enable alarm, anti-skid plates, and more.

The cab will keep the operator working safely and productively all day. Other features that contribute to market-leading comfort and reduce fatigue include the smooth hydraulic controls and superior balance, high-capacity HVAC system, high back comfort seat, and the quiet, spacious cab.

“We know it’s important to keep the operator comfortable in order to maintain productivity throughout the day,” Vaughn said. “The D Series Knuckleboom Loader cab was designed strategically and built with loggers in mind.”

Other amenities for the operator include cupped, adjustable arm rests for better support, sound-dampening insulation, storage trays to eliminate clutter, and factory-installed mounting bracket and other accessories for a CB radio. Satellite radio and auxiliary audio port for MP3 players are standard.

The loader has three operating modes to meet various requirements for production and fuel consumption. Hydraulic flow is managed automatically and increases in each mode by adjusting the horsepower load on the engine. Each operating mode provides superior multi-function ability, function response, control, and fast cycle times.

The upper and lower structures are robust, built to last for rugged applications. The upper frame includes cross plate head-side reinforcements for severe delimbing applications while the lower frame includes a large bearing ring to support the upper frame swing bearing.

The Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader is easy to service and maintain. Engine, fuel, pilot, and case drain filters are accessible at ground level. A standard on-board service hose and electric fill pump makes it easy and safe to service the hydraulic oil.

Product Link, the remote monitoring solution that enables efficient and effective fleet management, is standard.

Caterpillar customers are supported by the industry’s largest network of dealers who will keep them up and running with parts availability, field services, state-of-the art diagnostic programs, remote monitoring, and more. For more information, contact your nearest Cat dealer or go to www.cat.com/forestry.



Caterpillar Forest Products is a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of timber harvesting, millyard, road-building and land management equipment. Products are marketed under the Cat, Prentice and CTR brand names through a global independent dealer network.

Caterpillar Forest Products is a unit of Cat Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com.

For more information on Cat products, visit www.cat.com 

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