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Caterpillar 994F Wheel Loader

Maker:  Norscot
Model No:  55161
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  April 2009


Norscot Index
Mining equipment Index


Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)23
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)18
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)75%

Footnotes


The largest CAT Wheel Loader - the 994F.
Slightly unusual CAT style box.
Metal handrails all around.
Engine cover details.
Steering mechanism.
An imposing model.  Good articulation of the body which is close to the 40 specification of the original.
Oscillating rear axle enables work in rough terrain.
Loading a CAT 797F Mining Truck.  In reality the 994F is better suited to loading smaller 'C' Class trucks.
The CAT 994F Wheel Loader is the largest made by Caterpillar at the time of the review and weighs in at 430,000lbs (195 tonnes).  It has a standard payload of 38 tons (35 tonnes) with bucket capacities up to 47yd (36m).  The machine is huge measuring nearly 23ft (7m) to the top of the exhaust stacks.

The 994F is typically matched with C-Class CAT mining trucks in the 150-250 ton range, including the 785C, 789C and 793C. 

Packaging

The model comes in a Caterpillar windowed box style although the model is unusually held within expanded polystyrene formers and is in black box rather than CAT yellow.  Ties are used to secure the model to the packaging and in this case six are used so it is somewhat of a battle to set the model free.  There were no defects or missing parts on the review model.

As usual there is no information about the real machine within the package, although there is a listing of Norscot CAT models printed on the box which obviously gets dated over time.

Detail

The wheels have large rubber tyres with a good tread and they are mounted on detailed hubs which replicate the real machine well.  Looking underneath the model, there is some good drive shaft detail to each axle and this is all in metal.  A nice universal coupling carries the front axle drive across the steering pivot point.

At the rear the walkways all have a non-slip patterning within the casting and there are plenty of nice metal handrails although they seem a little too high in scale terms.  The engine enclosure has detailed doors and on top there are four sets of air intakes and exhaust pipes which are modelled in plastic.  There is a plastic radiator grille at the back which looks reasonable, and a pair of lights.

The operator's cab looks fine overall, with windscreen wipers and lights.  There are also mirrors but surprisingly these are not silvered.  Inside the cab the operator's station has a seat and joystick controls, and it includes the trainer seat. 

On top of the cab there are a couple of orange beacon lights but these are painted items and therefore do not look as quite as good as lights with plastic lenses.  Underneath the cab the steering pivot is modelled well with hydraulic cylinders and local detailing of equipment.

The front loader frame is a heavy and robust piece of modelling and reflects well the heavy construction of the original.  There are details within the castings of the lift arm and Z-bar loader linkage and there are plastic hydraulic lines provided to some of the cylinders.  The only negative aspect is the use of some large silver rivets when painted ones would have improved the look of the model.  A couple of light clusters are mounted over each front wheel.

The bucket is very nice with lots of detail and it only lacks the serrated openings at the top which are solid on the model.  The bucket is well formed structurally with wear plates inside and on the bottom.  Sidebar protectors are also modelled.  The teeth and spade-like digging edge look good. 

Features

The rear axle is trunnion mounted and this allows it to oscillate and replicates the 10 design of the real machine well.

The pivoted steering is effective and allows a good range of movement which again effectively mirrors the 40 design of the original.

The bucket mechanisms work well and the cylinders are stiff enough to hold any pose.

Although the bucket can be raised to a good height, it is a little less good at tipping and does not really tilt forward far enough to properly discharge a load.

Quality

Considering the model was first introduced in 2006, it remains a good quality model.  The paintwork and limited graphics are fine.  Casting details are good and there is enough detailing to provide interest.

Price

As a large model, it is very good value.

Overall

This is an impressive model which although it does not quite match more recent models for depth of detail and features, for the typical selling price it is very attractive.

It looks good and pairs well with an appropriately sized dump truck and is highly recommended overall.

Footnotes

The model appeared in 2006 and was later updated with Caterpillar 'Power Edge' graphics.

 
Large detailed bucket.
Access ladder to board the machine.
The machine sits high on its tyres.
Cab details.  Handrails seem a little high.
Impressive front view.
Bucket raises to a good height.
The tipping range of the shovel is limited.  Here it is shown at its maximum forward angle.