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Caterpillar 966 Wheel Loader

Maker:  Diecast Masters
Model No:  85686
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  July 2023

Diecast Masters Index
Earthworks Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 9
Detail   (max 30) 24
Features   (max 20) 15
Quality   (max 25) 21
Price   (max 15) 9
Overall   (max 100) 77%


Caterpillar 966 and 966 GC Wheel Loader Video  
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Caterpillar branded tin.
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Rocks in the bucket.
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Highlighted bolt heads in the wheel.  Graphics are used for the grille.
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Front axle.
Loading a truck.
At work.
On the road.

The Caterpillar 966 is a mid sized wheel loader.  It weighs around 23 tonnes.


The model comes in the usual High Line Series packaging.  There is an outer shipping carton which contains a tin which is protected by a nylon bag.  The tin is high quality and includes pictures and details about the real machine.

The review model had no missing parts or defects.


The underside has some detailing with the transmission modelled. The tyres have a good tread pattern and they are mounted on wheels which have silvered bolts as a highlight.

At the rear the radiator bears the Cat logo and the handrails around the cab are metal.  The rear side grilles are formed by graphics.  The exhaust stack is plastic.

The cab is detailed with plastic silvered mirrors.  There is a fixed operator in the cab who uses joystick controls. 

Detail at the pivot point includes the steering rams, and there are some small graphics which add to the appearance.  However, there are no hydraulic hoses visible.   At the front there are lights mounted on plastic stalks.

The hydraulic rams have plastic piston jackets with no hydraulic hoses.

The loader arms are simple and the connection rivets are painted.

The bucket is a metal casting with decent teeth. 


It rolls very smoothly and there is oscillation of the rear axle.

Steering across the pivot point achieves a moderate angle.

The bucket has no meaningful carry angle.   The lift height is reasonable as is the tipping angle.


It is a nice quality model.

The paintwork is very good and the graphics are sharp.


It is fully priced.


This is a good looking model of the 966 and it is different in many respects from the 966 GC released at the same time.  The operator is fixed in the cab which limited the flexibility as a transport load.


The model first appeared at the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2023 and was shipped from June 2023. 

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Decent lift height.
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Operator fixed in the cab.
Profile view.
Very good rear axle oscillation.