The Latest Safety Advancements for Small Wheel Loaders

by Visitor RoyBrookhart on ‎01-15-2016 02:58 PM

CATBC53366-blog.jpgMachine owners and operators face pressure to complete tasks quickly on a regular basis, and it can create a dangerous situation if deadlines are prioritized over safety. All it takes is one second of distraction to cause operator injury or equipment damage. Fortunately, today’s small wheel loaders are being equipped with safety features that continue to significantly reduce accident and injury risk on the job site.


Visibility Enhancements for Small Wheel Loaders


Good visibility is especially crucial to operating machines safely, as well as performing job tasks efficiently. On small wheel loaders, in particular, there have been several advancements that are enhancing visibility for operators.


  • Rearview cameras are now being installed in small wheel loaders as part of the standard package versus an aftermarket addition. These cameras allow operators to be fully aware of their 360-degree surroundings without having to turn their head.
  • Object detection systems, also referred to as rear radar, provide an audible and visual alert to the operator when objects are detected behind the machine. The alert varies in sound and color as the distance from the machine to the object changes.
  • The windshield and overall cab shape are designed to improve the unobstructed forward view area. Windshield wipers are optimally located to clean the window in the areas most critical for visibility. Intermittent wipers and washers keep the glass clean.
  • Remotely adjustable mirrors can be adjusted from inside the cab and provide better visibility to areas the operator is not normally able to see.
  • Heated exterior mirrors melt ice or snow quickly to prevent obstructed views and decrease machine downtime in the winter months.


Additional Small Wheel Loader Safety Features


In addition to visibility enhancing features, there are several other small wheel loader safety advancements that are important for you to consider, especially when spec’ing a new machine:


  • Parallel lifting loaders are helpful when the small wheel loader is being used as a material handling machine. This allows the operator to focus on achieving the proper height of the load, while the machine adjusts the tilt circuit automatically. The perfect parallel feature eliminates the slight tilt variability that is inherent in the basic linkage. This is a great option for applications such as automobile recycling, which requires the use of extremely long fork tines. When using long fork tines, only a few degrees of tilt variation can mean the difference between safely and efficiently completing the task or releasing the load, causing injury or damage.
  • Quiet cabs help to reduce operator fatigue. Alert operators are safer operators.
  • LED service lights are strategically located in the engine compartment. These lights turn on when the compartment doors are open so the operator can safely and confidently inspect and service the machine–even in low, ambient light conditions.
  • Integrated security systems prevent unauthorized or unqualified individuals from operating the machine.


As machine performance improves, so should safety measures and precautions. Small wheel loaders should always be equipped with proper safety features to support the performance capabilities of the machine. This is why owners need to research the latest safety guidelines, procedures and feature advancements when spec’ing or purchasing a new machine. It is important to also pass that knowledge along to their operators, who should be properly trained before work begins. For more information on the latest Cat® safety advancements, features and tips, visit us at For more information on smallwheel loaders visit us online or contact your local Cat® dealer .


We’d like to hear more about what you do to manage small wheel loader safety.

  • Do you currently own or operate a small wheel loader? If so, which safety features on your current machine(s) do you find especially important?
  • Are you considering purchasing a small wheel loader? If so, which safety features are most essential for your operation?
  • In your experience, how is safety different for small wheel loaders?
  • What improvements or advancements do you think would make small wheel loaders safer and more productive on the job site?
  • How can Caterpillar help you operate more safely?

About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am an Industry and Application Rep for Caterpillar. I graduated from NC State with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a tobacco and beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
  • My passion is in storytelling and thought leadership, helping people connect with the brands they love and helping brands connect with their audiences. At Caterpillar, I get to work with a variety of industries and customer solutions, supporting our customers who are making huge impacts in our world every day. It's not just about the yellow iron - it's about understanding the problems our customers face, and being a part of the total solution.
  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
  • I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
  • I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.

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