The Cat 272D skid-steer loader and 299D compact track loader, replacing their C Series predecessors, are now joined by a pair of high-performance counterparts, the 272D XHP and 299D XHP, which are the largest, most powerful skid-steer and compact track loaders Caterpillar has ever built. The new D Series models build on the premium features, solid performance, quality, and durability of the C Series by adding a more powerful engine, the Cat C3.8, which meets Stage IIIB and Tier 4 Interim emissions standards, and by incorporating design features that further enhance lifting, digging, and work-tool performance.

The electronically controlled Cat C3.8 engine, designed with a high-pressure common-rail fuel system for operating efficiency, is equipped with the Cat NOx reduction system and a diesel particulate filter for emissions reduction. Net-horsepower increases for the new D Series models range from 5 to 18 percent, and flywheel torque is increased from 13 to 27 percent. The new engine uses a redesigned air-intake flow path for added efficiency, and a dealer-installed pre-cleaner kit is available for dusty, dirty applications.

Larger lift cylinders on all four new D Series models provide a 19-percent boost in lifting force, compared with C Series models. An available electrically activated quick coupler replaces the previously used hydraulically actuated coupler, allowing a simpler design that eliminates hydraulic lines, connectors, and valves. Self-relieving quick disconnects allow work tool changes to be made quickly and easily.

Caterpillar introduces the new "Intelligent Leveling" system (ILEV). The new ILEV system continues to enhance the Caterpillar reputation as a technology leader for integration and industry leading features. The Intelligent Leveling system (ILEV) enables three industry-exclusive features: electronic dual self level, work tool return to dig, and work tool positioner. The industry-first electronic dual self level levels the load both when raising and lowering. This new electronic system is also a plus for reliability, using no hydraulic valves, lines, or connectors. The work tool return-to-dig feature automatically lowers the lift arms and returns the work tool to a preset angle, increasing productivity and decreasing cycle times. The work tool positioner feature automatically returns the work tool to a preset angle, increasing productivity and quality by allowing the work tool (cold planer, forks, trencher, wheel saw, etc.) to be returned to a preset angle, even after the machine has been repositioned. In the cab of D Series models is a new dial-type hand throttle, and electronic throttle pedal that provides an industry-exclusive "decel" feature when at high idle, according to Cat.