Review: Caterpillar 740 articulated dump truck

By: Ron Horner

The Caterpillar 740 articulated dump truck is a well-made workhorse capable of moving a mountain of material over a long distance for an economical price at speed

The Cat 740 all-terrain articulated dump truck belonging to Metal Trades Group

The earthmoving game has changed dramatically over the last 30 years (thankfully), and nowhere is this more evident than in the introduction of six-wheel-drive all-terrain articulated dump trucks, or ADTs.

Caterpillar’s team of engineers decided to make a foray into the manufacturing of ADTs back in the 1980s, and I was recently fortunate to run one of the early models imported into Australia—the 740. This Cat 740 ADT is top of its class when ‘push comes to shove’.

Powered by the six-cylinder, 15-litre turbocharged Caterpillar C15 ACERT engine, which develops 464hp (346kW), this truck has seven forward gears with a top forward speed of 55km/h and two reverse gears. It weighs in at 33 tonnes, has a loading capacity of 38 tonnes, and a payload of 23 cubic metres, all backed up by a 560-litre fuel tank to get you through the day. 

In the cab

The vision from the operator’s seat is quite good for a machine of this size

The first thing I noticed when boarding the Cat 740 was the solid construction of the machine from the very first step. The vision from the operator’s seat is quite good for a machine of this size. Two domed mirrors sit atop the very large, flat mirrors on each side of the machine, wperfectly positioned for rear vision when reversing.

The first thing you notice is the truck’s solid construction

The Air Ride seat is easily adjustable and inflated quickly. The control levers are all laid out on the right-hand side of the cabin with easy-to-understand icons on the seven-speed transmission gear shift.

This shift is positioned at elbow height right beside the raise, lower, float lever, which operates the ruggedly constructed Bisalloy tipping body. The air-brake control button is also at your finger-tips. The steering wheel is fully adjustable with windscreen wipers located on its left side.

A two-way, a radio, and air conditioning are installed along with a front windscreen blind to assist you during those long afternoons when you’re caught driving into the low-setting sun. This truck has a simple yet effective dash layout and control panel, almost idiot-proof. Almost!

Heavy haul

The Cat 740’s big vertical tailgate enables material to slip out with ease

A Cat 12-tonne excavator fitted with an Australian-designed and -manufactured Oz Buckets ‘Rock Grab’ did a good job loading us with large rocks for a demonstration. The Cat 740 had no trouble moving large rocks and idled around barely working up a sweat.

Hauling vegetation and tree stumps is definitely a job for an ADT. The roads are usually pretty rough, vegetation is crammed into the body, and the stumps are usually big and awkward to load and haul.

But these machines take it in their stride, especially since the big vertical tailgate enables the logs to slip out with ease. When it comes to hauling materials, this Cat 740 is one of the best.

Caterpillar 740 specifications

Operating weight 33T


Caterpillar C15 ACERT

Max power


Payload 38 tonnes
Body capacity

23 cubic metres

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