Business Feature, Earthmoving Industry Insight

On the job: Cat’s 272D XHP skid-steer

SASKIA SHELTON checks out Caterpillar’s D-Series 1.6-tonne skid-steer loader, which gets the thumbs-up from a very happy operator. Photos by Robert Scurr.


Innovation, versatility, and increased operator comfort make the Cat 272D XHP skid-steer loader simply “Good as!” according to Kiwi operator Gordy Wairama.

The loader we’re testing, complete with the Cat cold planer/stabiliser PC310B XD attachment capable of planing up to 220mm deep, has been put to work performing road maintenance, milling bumps in the road and stabilising failures, such as potholes.

The innovative XHP hydraulic system of this new Cat D Series skid steer delivers a high level of hydraulic horsepower. This high-flow, high-pressure system enables the machine to run the most power-hungry work tool attachments with greater efficiency.

The Cat 272D is a robust little piece of engineering, with impressive features, performance power train, and great operator comfort. It’s nippy enough to move around efficiently, especially when there are time and traffic flow constraints, while still completing the job at hand with precision.

 Caterpillar skid steers are known for their manoeuvrability, and the Cat 272D is no different. In fact Wairama is so impressed with the ease of movement and stability of his new ride, he reckons the steering is better than a car.

Comfy as…                                        

This Cat D Series skid steer features a sealed and pressurised cab with low noise levels, a heated air-ride suspension seat for a smoother ride, and an integrated rear-view camera.

In Wairama’s opinion the machine is extremely comfortable and he’s also impressed with the silence of the cab.

“It’s so quiet you can actually talk to the rest of the maintenance crew outside and hear what they are saying. Whereas with other machinery, it’s quite noisy and the guys have to wear ear muffs around it,” he says.

He enjoys the clean air of the cab, as well as the new standard comfort features that were previously only available as standard in larger models.

Control and safety

The loader features seat-mounted adjustable joystick controls, Standard Sensitive Ride Control and hand/foot throttle, enabling more precise operation performance and stability.

Optional features include dual self-levelling, electronic snubbing, return-to-dig, and work tool positioning.

The dual self-levelling system electronically and automatically levels the loader linkage when raising and lowering the lift arms, while electronic snubbing automatically cushions the descent of the lift arms, slowing downward motion just before the arms reach their stops.

The return-to-dig feature allows the operator to set the digging angle of the bucket and then to automatically recall the setting by depressing a trigger switch on the joystick as the lift arms lower. The work tool positioning feature allows the angle of the tool to be pre-set, as when positioning a trencher for the proper depth, and then to automatically recall the setting if the machine is repositioned.

For added safety, the Cat 272D has two emergency exits and a hydraulic accumulator that uses stored energy to allow the operator to lower the lift arms and level the bucket in the event of engine failure.

Cat power

The Cat 272D XHP is electronically controlled by a Cat C3.8 engine providing high horsepower and torque while meeting US EPA Tier 4 Interim (EU Stage IIIB) requirements.

The auxiliary hydraulic horsepower is 150 litres per minute with 4061psi, while a high-performance power train provides maximum performance and production capability through the electronic torque management system, standard two-speed travel and electronic hand/foot throttle.

 “It just ploughs through the work,” Wairama says.

Click here to find Caterpillar skid-steer loaders for sale.


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