Caterpillar is upping its game in the wheeled loader market by launching two smaller models that will appeal to medium-sized farmers and contractors.

The 910K and 914K are both fitted with a 3.8-litre, 92hp Cat engine that’s teamed with a two-speed hydrostatic transmission. This has a decent 40kph top speed as well as a handy console-mounted switch for on-the-move shifting between ranges.

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There’s also an electronic management system that adjusts the transmission so that it delivers maximum torque and minimum wheel slip. The operator has the option of three settings to adjust power at the wheels to working conditions, too.

Under the hood, both models have been given bigger cooling packs to keep the Tier 4i engine from getting hot around the collar. And for ultra-dusty environments there’s the option of fitting an on-demand fan.

Other engine tweaks include an eco mode that lowers engine idle speed. This is said to help save fuel and make life a bit quieter for the operator. The engines also satisfy the latest emissions limits without the need for Adblue.

Up front both models have been given a new loader with a redesigned z-bar-type loader linkage. Cat says this gives the same digger power as conventional z-bar machines as well as a parallel lift function like a tractor loader. There’s also an optional return-to-dig memory function to make repetitive tasks a bit less tedious.

Bucket-pin height on the 910K is 3.66m and it’s a shade higher on the 914K at 3.68m. The 914K also has a higher operating weight of 8.1t compared with the 910K’s 7.1t.

Drivers also get a pretty good deal as a new cab has been fitted. Cat says this gives better visibility and it’s got doors on both sides to improve access. Controls have had a makeover too, with the transmission and diff-lock switches being transplanted on to the main joystick.