Multi-Terrain Loaders

Multi-Terrain Loaders Utah Excavation


A lot of people often confuse multi-terrain loaders with compact track loaders but these two are not really the same.

Caterpillar and previously ASV is the main manufacturer of track loaders that used the term multi-terrain loaders. In particular, Caterpillar uses this term to distinguish from the compact track loaders. Other makers such as Bobcat solely focus on compact track loaders. However, the key difference of between these two goes beyond their names. They are also different in the type of terrain where they are most suitable for, the way they were designed and if they can handle more aggressive applications or not.


The Undercarriage

Compact track loaders and multi-terrain loaders look just the same at first glance. The two both make use of tracks and seem like they were meant to serve a similar purpose. But, these two were in fact designed to perform completely different things, with the undercarriage being the part where you can find the difference in their design.

The undercarriage is a crucial aspect of providing the tractive and floatation power of the two loaders. This includes components such as the tracks, idlers, chains, sprockets, final drive hydraulic motors, and wheels. This is a complex system of several interactive mechanisms and parts and again, this is what sets the multi-terrain loader apart from the compact track loader.

Characteristics of Multi-Terrain Loaders

In a multi-terrain loader, the design of the undercarriage is made in such a way that it creates very low ground pressure. It is achieved through different items like all the rubber tracks, the even distribution of weight and use of components with lighter weight like the rubber-coated roller wheels that you can find in the multi-terrain loaders of Caterpillar. Aside from these, MTLs have an undercarriage with suspended design to let the tracks retain better ground contact when on extremely uneven surfaces.

On the other hand, compact track loaders are made to have stiffer undercarriage with rigid design instead of suspended design. The components of the undercarriage are designed for the maximum wear with the least worry about the weight. These have been developed for rugged applications in places wherein skid-steers either cannot offer enough traction or would create excessive damage.


Advantages of Multi-Terrain Loaders

Due to the lower pressure, the multi-terrain loaders could work and function well even on surfaces that are quite delicate. As you might already know, compact track loaders are meant to work on surfaces that are more delicate compared to wheeled skid steer, for instance. But, the multi-terrain loaders are designed to work and function even on surfaces that are more delicate as compared to the CTLs. These can include lawns and other similar areas. The multi-terrain loaders also have the ability to travel faster and operators claim that riding the MTL is also more comfortable due to the suspended undercarriage.

The multi-terrain loaders are meant for use on more delicate surfaces with much lighter loads compared to the compact track loaders. However, MTLs shouldn’t be used on more aggressive applications or unforgiving surfaces as it can reduce their useful life.