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Exploring: How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work
an article by: Karim  Nice

The Article below can be found in it's original form at  Howstuffworks.com

by: Karim Nice  From at  Howstuffworks.com
Special thanks to Jeff Lind and the rest of the Caterpillar® team for their support in creating this article!
Pages: {sec.1 intro} {sec.2} {sec.3} {sec.4} {sec.5} {sec.6 } {sec.7 end.}

2.Drive System
Driving a Skid Steer Loader and Multi Terrain Loader
When you push forward on the left-hand joystick, all four wheels start to spin, or in the case of the multi terrain loader, both tracks start to turn. If you keep the joystick pushed forward and move it to the left, the machine turns left. It does this by slowing down or stopping the two left wheels or the left track. The farther left you push the joystick, the slower the left wheels or left track will move. The opposite is true when moving in reverse: If you pull the stick all the way back, the machine goes straight backwards, but if you then move the joystick to the left, the right wheels or right track will slow down, causing the machine to turn right. If you center the joystick and then push it to the left, the left wheels or left track will move backward and the right wheels or right track will move forward -- this turns the machine around in the smallest possible area.


Photo courtesy Caterpillar
The Caterpillar Skid Steer Loader (SSL)


Operating the Loader
The right-hand joystick controls the loader arms and bucket. Pulling the joystick back raises the arms, and pushing it forward lowers them. Moving the joystick to the left tilts the bucket up, and moving it to the right causes the bucket to dump.

One of the cool features of the Caterpillar Skid Steer Loader and Multi Terrain Loader is the anti-stall device. The pumps that power the wheels or tracks and implements can sense the load, so they won't exceed the power capacity of the engine.

Drive System
As we mentioned before, the drive system on the skid steer loader and multi terrain loader has no transmission. Instead, it uses pumps and hydraulic motors to provide power to the wheels or tracks (more about the pumps later).

skid steer drive line
The skid steer drive system, shown mounted in the lower frame of the machine

For the skid steer loader, each side of the machine is powered by a hydraulic motor. Each of the two motors (one for each side) connects to a sprocket, and each sprocket is connected by two chains to each wheel. The sprockets and chains serve two purposes: They distribute the power from a single hydraulic motor to both wheels, and they provide a gear reduction to increase the torque at the wheels.

The chains and sprockets are located inside the frame, in a sealed compartment. They are immersed in an oil bath that keeps them lubricated. Each drive sprocket is connected to a hub via a short shaft. The shaft passes through several seals before connecting to the hub, which holds the wheel.

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How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work
by: Karim Nice  From at  Howstuffworks.com

Table of Contents for this Article:

  1. Introduction to How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work
  2. What They Can Do
  3. Drive System
  4. The Powertrain
  5. The Loader
  6. Work Tools
  7. Building the Skid Steer Loader and Multi Terrain Loader

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