Caterpillar UTV on test track
WORKHORSE: Caterpillar rolled out its new line of UTVs this fall, entering the market with a vehicle that’s designed to be tough and durable, and tops out at 45 mph.

Caterpillar moves into UTV market

Cat’s yellow UTVs will be available from participating dealers in summer 2018. Here’s what you’ll find.

Caterpillar has introduced its first entries into the UTV market: the gasoline-powered Cat CUV82 and diesel-powered CUV102D. Decked out in Caterpillar yellow, the new UTVs will be available from dealers in summer 2018.

Why enter an already-crowded UTV market? Norma Aldinger, marketing supervisor for Cat UTVs, says the UTV market for work-type applications has grown, and their customers asked for a UTV that is quiet, comfortable, durable and backed by the Cat dealer network. UTVs are replacing trucks on construction sites, Aldinger says — not unlike on the farm, where UTVs augment, if not flat-out replace, pickup use.

Aldinger says “Cat tough” sets the new UTVs apart from the rest of the field.

“We worked behind the scenes to make it ‘Cat tough,’” she says. “We used the same disciplines as with our other products, and we put them all through the ringer to be Cat tough. Plus, the UTVs will have the same look and feel as other Cat products.”

For farm use, Aldinger says the Cat UTV has a flexible chassis for a variety of applications. The gas machine tops out at 45 mph (diesel at 25 mph), and the quiet operation should make for better livestock handling. The CUV82 is powered by a 0.8-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine delivering 50 hp, while a 1-liter, three-cylinder diesel engine delivers 25 hp to the CUV102D.

POWER: Caterpillar UTVs come in either gas or diesel engines. The CUV82 is powered by a 0.8-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine delivering 50 hp, while a 1-liter, three-cylinder diesel engine delivers 25 hp to the CUV102D.

Both models feature a continuously variable transmission, tuned specifically for work applications and designed with hauling loads in mind. Operators can choose two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive/lock modes, depending on ground conditions.

A rugged-built, all-steel bed with dump assist is designed to haul 1,000 pounds, and the four-wheel independent suspension system with a front sway bar provides stability at full load. A rear sway bar is optional, and Campbell Lowman, engineering project lead, says if you’re operating with less than 500 pounds, ride quality is better without the rear sway bar. Both machines feature 2,000-pound towing capacity.

“We designed our UTVs to operate at full capacity — even with a thousand pounds in the bed, it will be stable and safe,” Aldinger says.

Bed sides feature spots for two-by-fours and tiedowns. Says Lowman, “Test operators have found every conceivable way to tie down a load, and they haven’t defeated us yet.”

The Cat UTVs offer a smooth ride with electric power steering, and downhill engine breaking will be a helpful feature in pastures and beyond. The machines feature a 10.5-inch ground clearance and are built to be quiet: Think tooling around on a job site while carrying on a conversation with your passenger — or on a farm. The cabin is designed to be tall, deep and wide and seats two people. A crew version with two-row seating will launch in fall 2018, in both gas and diesel models.

The passenger seat is removable and stowable behind the seat back. Aldinger says more than 50 accessories are available for the UTVs, including various cab, door, roof and windshield configurations. Heater pack and Bluetooth radio options are also available.

COMFORT: The Cat UTV was designed with extra cab space and clear, unobstructed views. There’s no bench seating, but the passenger seat is removable and can be stowed behind the seat back.

Engineers also designed the Cat UTV for easy maintenance. Lowman says they’ve built in easy access to filters and the drive belt, and the entire unit is backed by participating Cat dealers.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the gas model is $14,999; the diesel model lists for $16,299.

Lowman shares more about the UTVs in the video below.

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