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Diecast Masters Caterpillar Track Loader Evolution by Cranes Etc TV

Diecast Masters Caterpillar Track Loader Evolution by Cranes Etc TV

It’s time for some more about the theory
of evolution and this time it’s the evolution of Caterpillar track loaders.
This presentation set from Diecast Masters covers Caterpillar loaders from
traxcavators to today, and includes two models, the 977D and the 963K. After
the small Diecast Masters catalogue we have the main book that describes the
history of the track loaders, and then there’s one small part to be fitted, and
if we take out the plastic former we get closer to the models, but there’s still
another plastic former to take out. With that out we’re still not quite
finished with the packaging because there’s some plastic film to take off
and then we get our first proper look at the models in the box. The box is very
high quality and it has reprints of marketing brochures on the lid and
various photos around the inside of the box. To get the models out you need to
carefully lift them because they’re fitted to the display plate and there is
one more small plastic former that has to be removed. Come rain or shine we always show the
assembly which is appropriate because in this case we just have to fit an
umbrella. Let’s start with the book and quite literally this is the film of the
book. It’s a high quality ring bound book with 44 pages. It tracks the history of
these machines and it actually starts with the D2 and then it moves on through
some different machines including the HT4 and the number 6, and then we get to
the first of the models in this set which is the 977D. As you can see it’s
full of high-quality photos from the Caterpillar archive and there’s plenty
of information describing all of the models in the series, and at the back is
a listing of all the machines with some technical details. So overall this is a
really nice piece of work and it goes with the set very well. Looking at the
models we’ll start with the 977D and it’s got a very detailed track frame and
nice metal tracks. The track rollers are not working but the upper ones are
detailed. At the back is a free tine ripper
assembly and there are some hydraulic hoses running to the cylinder. One thing
that’s very nice is the very sharp graphic lettering and at the top we’ve
got a couple of simple work lights. Moving to the front, the radiator grille
is really nice but you can see that the rivets on the loader arm are quite large
although they are painted. Moving on to the operator and he’s there stuck in his
seat but one nice touch is that it says Caterpillar on his cap.
One thing that the operator does highlight is the knobs on the control
levers are rather large. The bucket is on the simple side with some wear plates
and teeth. The 963K also has a detailed track
frame. The metal tracks are decent but again there
are no working rollers. At the back the grille is nicely formed and the ripper
assembly is there with some simple hydraulics on the side panels. The
grilles are detailed by using graphics and the various grab rails are in tough
plastic. Moving to the cab there’s a door handle in the glass, there is a windscreen
wiper and again the grab rails at the front are plastic. Inside the cab you’ve
got the familiar Diecast Masters operator.
At the front the black parts are plastic but the various connections are nice
because they’re more discreet. The metal bucket has got some nice
structure and decent teeth. The set comes on a nice plastic display base but if
you want to remove the models you can but you do need to be a handy Andy with
the screwdriver. The screws are quite long but they do come out relatively
easily. With the screws off the models are free to run about, but firstly you need
to remove the plastic mounts which are underneath each model. With that done we
can now test out the features and we’ll start with the good old 977D. The crawler
tracks can be made to roll but they are just a little bit stiff and they’re also
joined onto common axles so both tracks roll together.
At the back we’ve got a ripper assembly so let’s give that a try.
It is fairly stiff but you do get a good range of downward movement so this one
might be able to gouge out your table top. Moving to the front we’ll try out the
loader arm assembly and it goes up to a decent height. You can also get a decent
carry pose when it’s up but the rams are stiff and it’s much more difficult to
get a decent tipping pose. Lower the bucket and you can’t really get a
carry pose when the bucket is down at the bottom. You can almost hear the operator
shouting ‘Oh bucket!’ To test the functionality let’s try
loading up our low-sided road tipper and the 977D does a good job to get the
buckets high enough. The bucket can be tilted to get rid of its load but the tilt angle just isn’t quite enough. Still we will cut it some slack because
it’s an old timer. We’ll move on to the 963K and the tracks
are much more free rolling. They turn really easily and it’s not like the 977D because the two tracks are separate. We move round to the back to have a look at
the ripper and it goes up to a good height but your tabletop is safe because
you won’t get much penetration with this ripper.
Let’s move around and take a look at the front loader.
It goes up well enough with a good carry angle, but it doesn’t seem overly high.
But what you can see is that the tipping angle is excellent, but when the bucket
is back down to the ground you can’t get a good carry angle there. Anyway
different machine, same test, and you can see there’s only just enough bucket
height to get over our low sided tipper but what we can do is get a good tipping
angle although the bucket needs to be higher in the first place. These are two
nicely detailed models and they certainly look good although the
functionality of them is not the best. The real purpose behind this set is to
present them in a presentation way and certainly this set is very interesting
complete with a book that’s provided. So overall as a package it is excellent.

8 comments on “Diecast Masters Caterpillar Track Loader Evolution by Cranes Etc TV

  1. I really like the way you explain everything

    Beautiful set



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