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Caterpillar introduces new compact track loaders

By Stephen Elliott

October 8, 2023

With increased lifting heights and wider cabs, the next generation Cat® 255 and 265 compact track loaders from Caterpillar, Irving, Texas, were introduced Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the company’s Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center, Edwards, Ill. 

The 255 replaces the company’s 259D3 while the 265 replaces both the 279D3 and 289D3 machines. Both machines are powered by 74.3-hp Cat C2.8T and Cat C2.8TA engines respectively. A redesigned engine compartment mounts the engine and cooling package lower into the frame for improved stability. 

“We kept the DNA of the D3 series while reimagining the possibilities of loader performance using voice of customer feedback to lead the way,” says Trevor Chase, product application specialist, Caterpillar. “Both next generation models leverage the many benefits offered by the vertical lift design.” 

Both machines have increased lifting heights compared to the models they’re replacing with the 255 at 124 in. or 2.5 in. more than the 259D3 and the 265 at 132 in., or 7.5 in. more than the 279D3 and 289D3 models. 

The machines feature a new cab layout with increased cab space, new joysticks to operate complex attachments and display operations without removing hands and improved entry and exit from the machine with a lower entry point and 2-step cab door lift off. 

The machines have heated and ventilated seats, along with larger rear windows for increased visibility. 

Dante Thomas, skid steer loader/compact track loader, Caterpillar, says the machines allow the user to do more work in terms of dumping.  

“Having a machine that can do more work is absolutely important in the rental industry,” Thomas says. “You need a job, you need it done fast, and for whatever reason you’re putting a machine in rental, having a 255 or 265 track loader would be a great option.” 

Thomas says the torque and pushing power really shines on the new machines and is ideal for moving dirt or large amounts of material.  

Caterpillar had a customer panel that spoke briefly on the machines. Derrick Rogers, owner/operator of Coast 2 Coast Lawn Maintenance, Biloxi, Miss., says the machines have more cab space and provide operator comfort for his employees, who may work 10- to 12-hour days. 

“I think people are going to rent these machines in the construction industry, and maybe in the homeowner application as well,” Rogers says.  

“It has way more power, way more ground pressure as far as pushing goes,” Rogers says. “We do everything from building house pads to final grades. I can sit there and push a pad out. I don’t need to bring a dozer to that job. I can complete multiple tasks.” 

New for the machines is a closed-center auxiliary hydraulic system that allows them to operate all Cat Smart attachments, including the Cat Smart dozer blade, with the standard auxiliary hydraulics provided. For machines equipped with Standard Flow, both models are shipped from the factory outfitted as “High Flow ready.”  

Both machines are scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 2024. 


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