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Caterpillar 972K Wheel Loader

Maker:  Tonkin
Model No:  10005
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  May 2014

Tonkin Index
Mining / Quarry Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)8
Detail   (max 30)23
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)21
Price   (max 15)11
Overall   (max 100)78%


Caterpillar 972K Wheel Loader Video  [Youku Video]
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Caterpillar branded box.
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Large counterweight at the rear.
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Detail underneath.  Front drive shaft is not run to the pivot point.
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No hoses crossing the pivot point but there are excellent small warning graphics.
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Cab detail is reasonable.
Bucket detached for transport.
A good transport load.
Comment on this model.

The Caterpillar 972K wheel loader has an operating weight of around 26 tonnes and bucket capacities of 2.9 - 9.9m. 


The model comes in a Caterpillar-branded box style with windows.  It is enclosed within a one-piece plastic holder that pops open to release the model. 

The review model had no missing parts or defects.

The box includes a small card which has some information about the real machine and a nice photo.


The underside has some detailing with the rear axle modelled and the transmission to the front axle is truncated.  Nice quality rubber tyres with a good tread pattern are mounted on wheels with detailed plastic exterior faces and simple inside faces. 

The engine cover has good cast grilles in the sides and top although they are indentations rather than holes.  As a compromise the arrays are completely painted rather than just the holes.  The rear grille has silvered lights and the CAT logo.  There is a towing hitch and the pin is visible being modelled within the casting.  It features a larger counterweight than the similar 966K model.

The walkways around the cab have a non-slip texture and the metal handrails are very good.   The cab is detailed with wipers front and back, and the mirror and light assemblies are plastic as is the aerial on the roof.  The interior has the controls modelled although the main joystick looks too small.  There is a CAT logo on the seat back.

There are excellent sharp warning graphics below the cab and at the pivot point but there are no hydraulic hoses and the front axle drive shaft is not modelled. 

The loader arm with the Z-bar linkages is modelled well with very thin hoses running to the ram jacket, and decent detail in the metal parts.  The rivets in the loader arm are quite large and visible although they are touched up with paint which improves it a little.

The material handling bucket has good detailing on the outside.


The wheels roll well with each pair of tyres fixed to a common axle.  The rear axle is able to oscillate significantly and the front axle is fixed.

The model steers across the pivot point and the overall steering angle is very good.

The loader arm lifts the bucket to a realistic height and can hold most poses although not all.  Both the tipping angle and the carrying angle is slightly shallow.

Although not mentioned as a feature on the box the bucket is removable by removing the locking pin.


This is a solid and generally well made model with a high metal content. 

The paint finish is generally very good and the graphics are sharp.


It is reasonable value for the quality offered.


This wheel loader model from Tonkin is optically similar to the 966K wheel loader but with an amended counterweight at the rear.  The removable bucket is a nice feature and overall the model is highly recommended.


The model was announced in 2013 and was available from February 2014.

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Big bucket.
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Side grille is formed within the casting but is solid rather than holes.
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Rivets in the loader arm are large but painted.
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Good bucket height.
Profile view.
At work.
Loading an East Dump Truck.