Medium Wheel Loaders and Their Different Uses

Medium Wheel Loaders and Their Different Uses

The heavy equipment world covers a wide range of functions, and the loader is one of the most versatile and widely used machines. Medium wheel loaders are one of these adaptable machines, and once you understand their uses, you'll find yourself using them on the field any chance you can get.

What Is a Medium Wheel Loader?

A wheel loader is a heavy machine with a large bucket fitted on the front end. Rather than continuous tracks, this machine uses durable wheels, making it capable of navigating roads without damaging finished asphalt. The wheel loader is among many other loaders in an equipment family, including skid steers and backhoes.

Medium wheel loaders from Caterpillar refer to a specific bucket volume and operating weight. Our medium models have a minimum 3-cubic-yard bucket capacity, and operating weight ranges from 30,000 pounds to just under 80,000. These models also have anywhere between 200 and 500 horsepower. 

As the size between our compact and large models, the medium wheel loader offers versatility for a range of projects. Once you understand its uses, you can find myriad applications for a medium wheel loader on your job site.

Uses of a Medium Wheel Loader

When you consider the uses of a medium wheel loader, you need to consider how much space you have to operate in and how much material you plan to work with. These factors will help you identify the right size and bucket capacity for your application.

Medium wheel loader functions break down into four basic categories — digging, loading, carrying and grading.


The large shovel on a medium wheel loader readily lends itself to digging jobs. The need to dig shows up on a lot of different job sites, whether you're fitting an area for gas lines or laying a foundation for a new build. 

Medium models can cover small and larger volume buckets to handle extensive digging needs. Larger buckets can help you achieve more in less time. While large wheel loaders offer high capacities, you gain more maneuverability with a medium model. 


In heavy machinery applications, materials like rocks, dirt and waste need transferring from one place to another. Medium wheel loaders are valuable equipment for filling dump trucks that transport materials to other areas on a job site.

Much like digging applications, loading uses rely on the volume of your bucket. It's also valuable to note that a higher loading output will require more significant horsepower. Many general construction sites will have some loading requirements but will not demand extreme capacities like the mining industry.


Wheel loaders don't need to fill dump trucks to transport materials from one place to the next. Many teams will use these machines for carrying rocks, dirt and other materials to different areas on-site. Wheel loader buckets can handle both light and heavy materials, including:

  • Pipe
  • Bricks
  • Mulch
  • Woodchips
  • Soil
  • Sand

When you're looking for a medium wheel loader for your application, consider the weight and bulk of your materials. Medium models on the small end are ideal for mulch and soil, while larger capacities can handle bricks and metal bars.


While skid steers, backhoes and dozers are the most common equipment for grading land, wheel loaders can also handle the job. If you set the bucket to the right angle, it can angle land according to your specifications. Back grading can also help you achieve the correct grade without damaging the earth.

This application requires a skilled operator, but it's still an option. If you need some quick grading work, and you have a medium wheel loader on hand, it might be a good possibility for your team.

Industry Applications

With the medium wheel loader being so versatile, it has a place in many heavy equipment industries. You can find wheel loaders in:

Find a Medium Wheel Loader for Rent at The Cat® Rental Store

Since medium wheel loaders adapt to many jobs with ease, they make an excellent short-term rental option for operations of all sizes. At The Cat® Rental Store, we connect you to a dealer network offering a broad selection of wheel loaders with advanced technology and fuel efficiency. 

If you'd like to learn more about our wheel loader models, you can find your local Cat dealer or speak with a team member at 1-800-RENT-CAT. You can also browse our wheel loaders online or use the quick quote request form to rent whatever you need from the people who do whatever it takes.

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