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Caterpillar 980K Wheel Loader - Material Handler Configuration

Maker:  Norscot
Model No:  55289
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  October 2013

Norscot Index
Earthworks Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)23
Features   (max 20)13
Quality   (max 25)17
Price   (max 15)10
Overall   (max 100)70%


Caterpillar 980K Wheel Loader Video
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Caterpillar branded box.
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Rear engine grilles would have looked better with black paint to represent perforations.
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Excellent bucket height.
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Plastic element under the cab is a little off colour.
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Painted rivets and hooked piston.
Carrying sand.
Comment on this model.

The Caterpillar 980K has an operating weight of around 31 tonnes and bucket capacities of 4 - 12m³.

This model is in a material handling configuration with appropriate tyres and bucket.


The model comes in a Caterpillar box style with windows and it is fixed to the plastic base with tightly wound ties. 

The review model had no missing parts, and there is no assembly to perform.

The box has no information about the real machine, but some of the features of the model are described.


Looking underneath the main transmission is represented simply and there is a plastic plate at the rear end.  The rubber tyres have a deep tread pattern and they are mounted on detailed plastic wheels which are slightly off colour.

The cab is detailed with wipers front and back, mirrors and grab rails all modelled in plastic.  Interior detail is good.  Plastic ladders lead up to the cab and there are soft but nicely thin plastic handrails.  On the left hand side an off-colour plastic plate includes a filler cap.  Walking surfaces are textured.

Under the cab the steering pistons are visible as is the drive shaft to the front axle.

The engine cover has the grilles detailed within the casting although they are not true perforations so they do not stand out as much as those on the real machine.  At the rear the slatted grille is good and painted lights enhance the look.

The front axle arrangement looks fine and the black mud flaps are metal.  Plastic lights are mounted on each side.

The Z-bar Linkage for raising the bucket is modelled well.  The pistons controlling the bucket are hooked bars which would be alright except that they are on the large size so they stand out somewhat.  On the plus side the connection rivets have painted heads so they are not obvious.

The bucket is a nice casting.


The wheels roll well although there is no oscillation of the rear axle.

The model steers across the pivot point but the range of movement is not as much as the real machine.

The range of movement on the loader arms and bucket is very good with a realistic tipping angle.


The overall quality is good with a robust model being the result.

The paint finish is very good but the colour match of some plastic parts is a little off.  The graphics are sharp.


It is a little pricey.


Another pleasant version of the 980K with some reasonable functionality and detailing.


The model was released in 2013 and was also available in a 'rock' configuration as model 55296.

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Bucket shaped for sand and similar materials.
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Rear end grille is fine and painted lights adds detail.
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Simple underneath.
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Detailed cab.
Profile view.
Standing with the rock version on the right.
Loaded on a Drake Trailer