973K Track Loader – Steel Mill Configuration

973K Track Loader – Steel Mill Configuration

Factory designed and installed features equip your track loader for the extreme heat and harsh conditions of steel mill work. Maneuverability, visibility and the breakout force needed for ...


Flywheel Power
Engine Model
Cat C9.3 ACERT™
U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV/Korea Tier 4
Engine Power - Maximum - SAE J1995
Engine Power - Maximum - ISO 14396
Engine Power - Maximum - ISO 14396 (DIN)
Net Power (Rated) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349
Net Power (Rated) - ISO 9249/SAE J1349 (DIN)
Note (1)
Engine ratings at 1,800 rpm.
Note (2)
No derating required up to 2164 m (7,200 ft) altitude.
Note (3)
All nonroad Tier 4 Final, Stage IV and Korea Tier 4 diesel engines are required to use only Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) with 15 ppm (mg/kg) of sulfur or less, or up to B20 biodiesel blended with ULSD. B20 should meet ASTM D7467 specification (biodiesel
Note (4)
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) used in Cat Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems must meet the requirements outlined in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 22241.


Operating Weight
Operating Weight - Steel Mill
Shipping Weight - Steel Mill
Steel Mill weights are with new slag bucket.


Capacity - General Purpose
Capacity - Slag
Width - Slag


Track Shoe Type
Heavy Duty Sealed and Non Lubricated - Steel Mill, Double Grouser
Track Shoe Width - Standard
Track Rollers - Each Side
Number of Shoes - Each Side
Track on Ground
Ground Contact Area (ISO 16754:2008): Steel Mill Shoe - 500 mm (19.7 in)
Ground Pressure* (ISO 16754:2008): Steel Mill Shoe - 500 mm (19.7 in)
Grouser Height - Double Grouser
Track Gauge
Link Pitch
* Calculated using Steel Mill operating weight with Slag Bucket.

Service Refill Capacities

Fuel Tank
101.5gal (US)
Cooling System
11.6gal (US)
DEF Tank
9.2gal (US)

Air Conditioning System

Air Conditioning
The air conditioning system on this machine contains the fluorinated greenhouse gas refrigerant R134a (Global Warming Potential = 1430). The system contains 1.9 kg of refrigerant which has a CO2 equivalent of 2.717 metric tonnes.


ROPS (Rollover Protective Structure) offered by Caterpillar for the machine meets ROPS criteria ISO 3471:2008.
FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure) meets ISO 3449-2005 Level II.
Brakes meet the standard ISO 10265:2008.
Cab - Declared Dynamic Operator Sound Pressure Level
  • The declared dynamic operator sound pressure level when "ISO 6396:2008" is used to measure the value for an enclosed cab is 75 dB(A). The measurements were conducted at 80% of the maximum engine cooling fan speed. The sound level may vary at diffe
Cab - Hearing Protection
Hearing protection may be needed when the machine is operated with an open operator station for extended periods, in a noisy environment or with a cab that is not properly maintained.
Cab - Labeled Sound Power Level
The guaranteed exterior sound power level (LWA) is measured according to the dynamic test procedures and the conditions that are specified in "ISO 6395:2008" [111 dB(A)]. The measurements were conducted at 80% of the maximum engine cooling fan speed. The
Sound Level Information (EU)
  • Sound Level Information for Machines in European Union Countries and in Countries that Adopt the "EU Directives": The declared dynamic operator sound pressure level when "ISO 6396:2008" is used to measure the value for an enclosed cab is 75 dB(A).


Overall Machine Width without Bucket: Steel Mill Tracks - 500 mm (19.7 in) Shoes
Overall Machine Width with Slag Bucket: Steel Mill Tracks - 500 mm (19.7 in)
Ground Clearance
Machine Height - Top of Cab
Length - Front of Track
Overall Machine Length*
Carry Position Approach Angle
Digging Depth*
Maximum Rollback - Ground/Carry Position
Bucket Height - Carry Position
Reach at Full Lift Height and 45° Dump*
Clearance at Full Lift Height and 45° Dump*
Maximum Rollback/Dump - Fully Raised
Grading Angle
Height - Bucket Hinge Pin
Overall Machine Height - Bucket Fully Raised
Height to Top of the Seat with Headrest
Height - Top of Stack
Ramp Angle
*With General Purpose bucket Performance with heavy duty teeth. Dimensions vary with bucket. Refer to Operating Specifications chart.
  • Machine Height to Top of Cab is with Steel Mill plate.



  • Specialized heavy duty guarding, insulation, thermal deflectors and high temperature seals throughout the machine.

  • Welded side bars reduce thermal distortion of the track roller frame.    

  • Anti-abrasion guards protect the final drive seals.    

  • Pressure relief/flash spark arrester on fuel tank cap.  

  • Steel mill cab with heavy duty, laminated windshield glass.    

  • Metallic screen on windshield grill to help protect glass and maintain good visibility; hinged for quick cleaning access.    

  • Metallic shield integrated in bottom of cab doors helps protect windows against slag.    

  • Specialized heat resistant seals and cab materials.    

  • Steel plate on top of cab greatly reduces radiant heat transfer into cab.    

  • New high capacity slag bucket features thicker structures and stronger teeth/cutting edges for longer service life.    

  • Choice of track shoes lets you optimize your loader for traction and to work on paved surfaces.   

  • Synthetic, fire-resistant hydraulic fluid.

Steel Mill Operating Recommendations

Caterpillar recommends that Steel Mill machines be exposed to hot slag for less than 15 minutes each hour to allow for adequate cooling time between cycles. Typically, two machines per furnace and a backup machine for the site provide the best uptime. The timing, frequency and duration of the work and cooling cycles varies by job site, but exceeding the recommended exposure time will prevent the machine from meeting expected performance levels.

EQUIPMENT - Machine Modifications Include:


  • Heavy duty front guard and bottom guards    

  • Heavy duty laminated windshield glass    

  • Side bars welded on the track roller frame    

  • Metallic rings on low and high linkage    

  • Floating solid pin on lower bucket linkages    

  • High temperature seals in the equalizer bar, idlers, track rollers and final drives    

  • High temperature braiding on wiring harnesses    

  • Silicone material used on windshield, side windows and cab door seals, front baffles, front and rear wiper blades and door stoppers    

  • Thermal insulation of front guard, equalizer bar rubber pads, air cleaner hose, bottom guards, enclosure doors, fenders, lift cylinders heads, hydraulic tilt lines, hydraulic lift lines, hydrostatic lines, cab sound insulation, DEF lines, lift rotary sensor and lift linkage sensor    

  • Radiator guard with counterweights helps improve machine balance    

  • Fire resistant floormat   

  • Fuel spark arrester and pressure relief    

  • Cab door windows protected at bottom    

  • Additional metal roof on top of cab    

  • Metallic door handles and push-button release    

  • Manual brake release system located in the cab    

  • 8 heat-resistant lights

EQUIPMENT - Steel Mill Package Includes:


  • Visibility Kit, Double Camera    

  • Windshield Protection    

  • Tilt Cylinder Guard    

  • Lower Final Drive Abrasion Guard

EQUIPMENT - Requires:


  • Reversing Fan, Steel Mill

  • Metallic Turbine Precleaner on Engine Air Inlet

  • Tracks, Sealed & Non-Lubricated For Steel Mill

  • Ecosafe Hydraulic Oil

  • Steel Mill Cab

  • No Product Link

  • No Bumper

  • 3.0 m3 (4.0 yd3) Slag Bucket

  • Heavy Duty Bumper Counterweight

EQUIPMENT - Recommended Options:


  • Track Roller Guard, Steel Mill Arrangement

  • Final Drive Abrasion Guard

Note: A Partial Steel Mill package is available for Cat® 953K and 963K Track Loader models. The base package offers specialized seals and guarding, as well as machine features to allow dealer upgrades to your track loader for work in high-temperature conditions. The Partial Steel Mill package does not include modifications required to work in hot slag. Please consult with your Cat dealer for details.

Standard Equipment:

Optional Equipment:

    Power Train
    • Engine thermal shield
    • Fan, basic
    • Fan, reversing
    • Fan, reversing, low speed
    • Fan, reversing, Steel Mill
    • Air inlet, preclenaer turbine
    Operator Environment
    • Cab
    • Deluxe cab
    • Steel Mill cab
    • Seat, cloth, air suspension, no side-to-side isolator
    • Seat, cloth, air suspension, heated, side-to-side isolator
    • Transmission control, V-lever or joystick
    • Visibility kit - single camera
    • Visibility kit - double camera
    • Radio, AM/FM/AUX/USB/Bluetooth
    • Cab air precleaner
    • Hydraulic oil, biodegradable
    • Hydraulic oil, EcoSafe
    • Hydraulics Packages: General purpose - Two-valve joystick, Three-valve joystick, Two-valve, two levers, Three valves, two levers; Multi-Purpose - Three-valve joystick, Four-valve joystick
    • Tilt cylinder guards
    • Guard, front lights
    • Windshield protection
    • Final drive abrasion guard
    • Final drive abrasion guard, lower
    • Rotating beacon
    • Track roller guard
    • Track roller guard, Steel Mill
    • Track Groups (40 sections) - Heavy Duty Track Groups - Sealed and Lubricated: 500 mm (19.7 in) double grouser, center hole; 510 mm (20.1 in) extreme service, single grouser, center hole; 550 mm (21.6 in) double grouser; 675 mm (26.6 in) double grouser; 675 mm (26.6 in) double grouser, center hole; 675 mm (26.6 in) single grouser, center hole; 830 mm (32.7 in) double grouser, wide gauge
    • Track Groups (40 sections) - Heavy Duty Track Groups - Sealed and Non-Lubricated - Steel Mill: 500 mm (19.7 in) double grouser; 500 mm (19.7 in) flat; 500 mm (19.7 in) triple grouser; 500 mm (19.7 in) alternate flat shoe
    • General Purpose: 3.0 m³ (4.0 yd³), welded flush adaptors; 3.2 m³ (4.2 yd³), pin on; 3.2 m³ (4.2 yd³), heavy duty, pin on; 3.2 m³ (4.2 yd³), heavy duty, full edge, pin on; 4.2 m³ (5.5 yd³), Performance Series; 4.0 m³ (5.2 yd³), Performance Series flush
    • Multi-Purpose: 3.0 m³ (4.0 yd³), heavy duty, pin on; 3.0 m³ (4.0 yd³), pin on
    • Wide: 4.2 m³ (5.5 yd³), Performance Series
    • Landfill: 4.6 m³ (6.0 yd³), multi-purpose landfill, heavy duty, pin on; 4.9 m³ (6.4 yd³), general purpose landfill, heavy duty, pin on
    • Steel Mill: 3.0 m³ (4.0 yd³), slag bucket
    Other Attachments
    • Counterweight
    • Counterweight, heavy duty bumper
    • Ripper, multi-shank
    • Hitch, ripper
    • Striker bars, rear
    • Bumper, standard
    • No bumper
    • Rear step, standard
    • Rear step, ripper
    • Additional work tools: Quick coupler, Blades, Forks, Material handling arms, Rakes
    Starters, Batteries And Alternators
    • Engine coolant heater, 120V
    • Engine coolant heater, 240V
    Maintenance And Related Attachments
    • Maintenance package, deluxe
    • High speed oil change
    • Sediment pump
    • Fuel tank refueling pump
    • Service package, standard
    • Locking bar that holds cab at 30 degrees safely, front windshield
    • Service package, extended: Manual hydraulic system enabling cab tilt and lock at 30 degrees safely in the field; Shovel holder (shovel not included)
    • Antifeeze -50 degrees Celcius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit)
    Technology Products
    • Product Link - Satellite
    • Product Link - Cellular
    • Grade control mast