Caterpillar 247 Multi-Terrain Loader

Caterpillar designed the Multi-Terrain Loader (MTL) with grounds care and landscaping in mind. And it shows. This Cat is remarkably light on its feet. What's more, it's built for productivity and versatility — this is not just a loader — and it delivers an aggressive performance during the test.

The Cat MTL is rubber tracked and features a suspended undercarriage to allow the machine to work in a broad range of applications and terrain conditions. It’s fast on the travel and with its weight distributed evenly through 24 contact points this is a sure-footed and stable machine. Compaction is also minimised — we are told the 1.14sq m of ground contact results in less ground pressure than that of a person on foot.
Power comes from a 58hp Caterpillar EU Stage II emissions engine, turbo-charged for extra performance. The machine features a closed-loop high-output hydrostatic system with a built-in exclusive anti-stall device. This delivers maximum torque to the tracks and ensures the loader can be used at any throttle setting without the risk of stalling.
It’s a front-entry machine but the tester is keen to get on with the work and it takes him no time to climb over the shovel and into the cabin through the wide front opening. The non-slip steps and a grab-handle help. He studies the controls. “They are self explanatory — everything is labelled. Look at this — the parking brake is a switch on a roof console,” he says as he explores the spacious cab.
As well as the parking brake switch, the upper-left control panel also carries indicator lights, hour meter, glow plug switch, auxiliary override and the key start switch. On the right is the fuel gauge. With the safety bar in position across his lap, the tester turns the key. The engine fires first time.
There are two hydraulic joystick controls. The right controls loader functions and the left controls machine movement and direction. Our man tests each and finds both to be responsive. Selecting reverse immediately starts the warning siren. It’s loud enough to increase site safety and we will know exactly where he is working today.
The tester’s first job is to move a large pile of ash and debris — the remains of several bonfire nights at the college. He lowers the bucket and drives at the pile. The remarkable traction of this vehicle is noted as soon as he starts pushing into the heap. With a full bucket, our man in the cab sets off across the grass to an area that needs filling. Speed is good.
“It’s a lovely machine, very manoeuvrable and quite quick. The steering is a bit on the sensitive side, but you soon get used to it,” admits the tester.
For many operators, the cab and its environment are most important. Our tester finds the suspension seat comfortable and the controls easy and convenient to use. View to the working site is also good. “The seat is in a very commanding position. It is nice and comfortable and there is a good footrest. It helps if you are comfortable and can enjoy driving the machines you work with — and I am certainly enjoying driving this.”
A cold-weather package, including heater and cab door, is available as an option for the 247.
Our other tester takes a look at the serviceability of the machine. He opens the rear engine compartment door 90?. Inside we see that the engine is mounted lengthwise in the frame, giving access to both the left and right. The cooling system, radiator, hydraulic oil cooler and grill tilt upwards to give more access. Sight gauges for hydraulic levels and coolant are conveniently located for daily checks and there are oil analysis ports to allow engine and hydraulic oil quality to be monitored.
The cab tilts backwards, held in place by a clever self-latching mechanism, to provide access to the pumps, motors, valves and lines. Ecological drains simplify the changing of oils.

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