Equipment Spotlight: Caterpillar 994

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Caterpillar 994 driving over the auction ramp

The Caterpillar 994 is the largest-ever wheel loader built by Caterpillar. At 427,209 lbs the giant Caterpillar 994 dwarfs the 992, nearly doubling the already massive wheel loader in terms of weight, power, and bucket capacity.

Standing at 22.1 ft tall, everything about the Caterpillar 994 is oversized, right down to its tires. So much so that, when production began on the first prototype in 1989 at Caterpillar's newly formed Mining Vehicle Center, the largest tires in production were only just barely adequate for the huge machine's needs.

Reaching its full potential

The Caterpillar 994 would have to wait several years after the first loaders left the Decatur assembly plant for Arizona's Cyprus Sierrita copper mine before manufacturers could release new, larger, tires to allow the machine to operate to its full potential.

Its new 53.5/85-57 tires would weigh in excess of 13,800 lbs each and have an overall diameter of nearly 13 ft, making them the largest tires in use until the eventual release of the even larger LeTourneau L-2350 wheel loader.

Finding its home on mining sites around the world, the Caterpillar 994 wheel loader is known for its durability and productivity. Its huge 23 yd3 capacity bucket can haul up to 70,000 lb at a time, enough to load a 150-ton hauler in just 4 passes, and its mobility means it can quickly fill in for a mining fleet's giant electric shovels if the need arises.

By 1998 Caterpillar had sold 200 units and was ready to release an upgraded version, the 994D. The improved loader featured a strengthened frame and reinforced lift arms and was powered by a Caterpillar 3516B TA 69L engine generating 1,375 horsepower. Its steering system got an upgrade as well, the previous steering wheel now replaced by a joystick control mounted to the left of the operator's seat.

The latest model, the Caterpillar 994H, now weighs in at 430,858 lbs and is even more powerful than its predecessors. The 994H finds its power from a Caterpillar 3516B HD EUI 78L engine generating 1,577 horsepower and a massive 6,289 lb ft of torque at 1,000rpm.

A 2008 Caterpillar 992G sold for 975,000 EUR in the Netherlands in April of 2012

Caterpillar wheel loaders at auction

A Caterpillar 994 has not come up for sale at a Ritchie Bros. auction in the past two years, but during that period nearly 50 Caterpillar 992 wheel loaders have been sold by us. The most expensive, a 2008 Caterpillar 992G sold for 975,000 EUR in the Netherlands in April of 2012. View all Caterpillar wheel loaders selling soon at our unreserved auctions.

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