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Caterpillar 993K Wheel Loader

Maker:  Norscot
Model No:  55229
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  March 2010


Norscot Index
Mining Equipment Index


Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)19
Features   (max 20)14
Quality   (max 25)18
Price   (max 15)13
Overall   (max 100)71%

Footnotes


The CAT 993K Wheel Loader.
CAT style box.
It towers high.
Underside view.
Nice hydraulic hosing to the cylinders.
The model sports the optional high lift arrangement which allows it to match with a CAT 785D mining truck.
Plenty of mirrors for the driver.
Loading a CAT 785D mining truck.
The CAT 993K is one of the largest wheel loaders made by Caterpillar, and it is typically used in the mining industry.  It has an operating weight of 134 tonnes with bucket capacities in the range 12-24m.

It has been designed to match with Caterpillar's large mining trucks, loading a 785D in 6 passes and a 777 in four passes.

Packaging

As for most Caterpillar models it comes in a windowed box style, with the model held between clear plastic formers.  The model is robustly tied to the cardboard base and these are a little irritating to remove.  The review model had no defects or missing parts.

There is no information about the real machine, but the box does describe the main features of the model.

Detail

The detail underneath is pretty good with the major transmission components modelled.  The wheels are unusual in a modelling sense.  They have a rubberised feel with a tread pattern, but the tyres fit a different sized hub on the inside compared to the outside and this does look a little odd from some angles.  Presumably it has been done like this to reduce cost, but most collectors would prefer a more authentic representation.  The hubs themselves are reasonably detailed but the tyre / hub interface looks wrong because the rubber is not tucked in behind the edge of the hub so this detail is not so good.

The body has plenty of metal handrails and these look very good on the whole, and there are plenty of mirrors and lights fitted all around.  The casting has grille patterns within it, and there is a non slip surface on the walking areas.  The cab has a metal structure and the internal details are very good, with a trainer seat and a non slip floor also.

Moving to the front, there is another strange piece of modelling where the area around the front axle seems to be missing a significant piece of bodywork present on the real machine with the effect that the main axle support is visible, and this does not look right.  It is not really clear why Norscot have chosen to model it this way, but presumably Caterpillar were happy with it.

The high lift linkage is pretty good as it is cast from robust metal pieces.  A particularly nice feature is the hydraulic hosing to the cylinders which is of very flexible plastic.  The rivets used on the this part of the model are all painted so they are pleasantly unobtrusive.  The bucket is a nice chunky casting and the teeth on it look pretty good.

Features

The articulated steering achieves an angle of about 30 and the rear axle has an amount of float allowing it to be posed on rough ground with all tyres grounded.

The bucket lift mechanism works well enough and it is stiff enough to hold the bucket at any level.  However the height is not really quite high enough and so it does not easily load the CAT 785D mining truck that it is matched with. 

The bucket tilt is also a little restricted and cannot achieve a full discharge angle.

Quality

The 993K is certainly a robust model with very little plastic.  The quality of the castings is good and the paintwork and limited amount of graphics are very good.

Price

The model is good value given its size.

Overall

Norscot have produced a good model which looks impressive due to its size and heavy construction.  Some of the modelling decisions have resulted in some obvious differences to the real machine and these will not please collectors looking for high fidelity.  However there is a lot of metal for the money so the model is recommended.

Footnotes

The model first appeared in 2009.
 
Not a machine to stand in the way of.
Very large wheel but the hub detailing is not right where it meets the tyre.
Large bucket with impressive teeth.
Good metal handrailing.
The wheels are a little strange with the tyres being a different size to the hubs on the inside and out.  The front detail above the axle seems to completely miss bodywork present on the real machine.
Hydraulics for the steering and universal joint to get the drive to the front axle.
These particular machines are working in a quarry digging out naturally occurring expanded polystyrene.