Many benefits of Caterpillar's new 268B skid-steer loader are the result of hydraulics. Among the most significant of these is Cat's high-flow XPS hydraulic system, which incorporates pressure compensation and load sensing to deliver maximum power regardless of work tool speed or load. The 268B also features a vertical-lift linkage that helps prevent loads from tipping as they are elevated.

The 268B uses a variable-displacement piston pump to provide hydraulic flow and pressure up to 33 gpm (125 lpm) and 4060 psi (28, 000 kPA) when running high-flow work tools. The loadsensing system provide plenty of hydraulic power in the most demanding applications by maintaining peak pressure (which translates to maximum torque) at the work tool. In addition to the high-flow XPS circuit, standardflow-auxiliary hydraulics drive less-demanding tools — such as tillers, augers, hammers, compactors, and brooms — for expanded machine versatility.

In addition, Cat's B-Series hydraulic system design reduces the number of potential leak points and improves reliability and cleanliness. A 5-µm spin-on filter keeps hydraulic oil clean, and a high-efficiency oil cooler allows the 268B to work long and hard even in high ambient temperatures. Other B-Series improvements include a joystick design that incorporates positive-action buttons to control work tool hydraulic or electrical functions.

As is typical with skid-steer loaders, a hydrostatic system powers the 268B's wheels. A twospeed option boosts maximum travel speed from 7.2 mph (11.6 km/hr) to 11 mph (17.8 km/hr). This option more than pays for itself by boosting productivity when frequent moves are needed on a job site.

A departure from convention is that the equipment's cooling fan and air conditioning compressor are driven hydraulically, which eliminates tensioning and other maintenance required by belt drives. Another feature that simplifies services is easy access to hydraulic pumps, motors, and valves. A technician can tilt the cab rearward by using a single tool, and a self-latching mechanism holds the cab in place for safety.