Caterpillar 980K Wheeled Loader

Presented here is the 1:50th scale Caterpillar 980K wheel loader which has been produced by Norscot. It is an upgrade to the previously released 980G and looks much better than the former.

The plastic safety railings are made of plastic but are very realistically scaled with additional handrails fitted to the roof and rear view mirrors fitted to the cabin frame with front and rear screen wipers..

The detailing of the cabin is good throughout, with a modelled interior containing the driving seat, console and operating levers.

The rear engine casting has been captured well with textured grille panels incorporated into the casting and an angled rear engine grille with inset rear facing lights and centrally located Cat logo. The upper surface of the walkways has an anti-slip textured surface which looks good.

The lower counterweight has raised light housings with printed lenses and a towing bracket while plastic ladders are located on both sides to aid servicing.

The articulating chassis achieves a reasonable range of steering motion with working hydraulics and the addition of a drive shaft to the front axle. Plastic ladders are fixed to each side of the chassis to provide access to the cabin.

The range of movement of the loader arms and the tipping range of the bucket are excellent and this is great to see with fairly stiff hydraulics allowing the bucket to remain in the chosen position.

One interesting observation is the method of producing the pistons (Pictured right) which appear to be formed rod rather than cast parts and as such, they look a little oversized.

I would personally prefer cast pistons but suspect this method is a way for Norscot to reduce tooling costs.

The bucket fitted to the model has good detailing of the teeth with an upper simulated rock guard and good underside structural detailing. All the connecting pins have painted heads which improves the appearance and realism of the replica.

The model is a very nice upgrade to the previously released 980G and has been produced in two versions. The "Rock Configuration" version shown here is complimented by a material handling version which has a different bucket fitted along with an alternate style of treaded tyres.

The paint finish is of a high quality with good printing of the Caterpillar graphics and a high metal content although there are several areas on the model which are produced of plastic and have a slightly different colour.