CAT 259D Track Loader Review


When it comes to heavy-duty machinery, you want to ensure that your investment will not only get the job done but also stand the test of time. As someone who has spent countless hours operating track loaders in various capacities, I can confidently say that the CAT 259D Track Loader is a true workhorse. In this review, I’ll evaluate this machine from a user’s perspective, sharing my knowledge and experiences, discussing its performance across different categories, and addressing its pros and cons. Whether you’re a construction professional, a landscaper, or anyone in need of a versatile track loader, this review should help you make an informed decision.

What You Need to Know About Caterpillar 259D Track Loader

The Caterpillar 259D Track Loader is a formidable piece of heavy machinery designed to handle a wide range of construction and earthmoving tasks. Boasting a powerful 74.3 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine, it delivers impressive performance, making it well-suited for demanding applications. With a lift capacity of up to 3,525 pounds and a compact yet agile design, it excels in maneuverability and versatility, making it ideal for tasks such as digging, lifting, grading, and land clearing. Operators will appreciate the comfortable and ergonomic cabin, equipped with an adjustable suspension seat and climate control for extended hours of operation. Caterpillar’s reputation for reliability and durability is clearly evident in the 259D, and its straightforward maintenance and robust service network ensure minimal downtime. While it may come with a higher price tag and relatively higher fuel consumption, its overall performance and adaptability make it a top choice for professionals in the construction and landscaping industries.

Caterpillar 259D Track Loader

Key Features

  • Powerful Engine: The 259D is equipped with a robust 74.3 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine, providing the necessary power to tackle demanding tasks with ease.
  • Vertical Lift Design: This loader utilizes a vertical lift design, allowing it to handle heavy loads with a lift capacity of up to 3,525 pounds, making it suitable for a wide range of materials and attachments.
  • Hydraulic Performance: The hydraulic system is highly responsive, with proportional control for auxiliary hydraulic functions. This precision control is essential when using a variety of attachments, from buckets to grapples.
  • Compact Design: Its compact dimensions and agile nature enable it to work efficiently in tight and confined spaces, such as urban construction sites or landscaping projects.
  • Operator Comfort: The operator’s cabin is designed with comfort and ergonomics in mind. It features an adjustable suspension seat, excellent visibility, and climate control, ensuring that operators can work comfortably even during extended shifts.
  • Durability and Reliability: Caterpillar is renowned for manufacturing durable and reliable equipment, and the 259D is no exception. It is built to withstand the rigors of demanding work conditions, ensuring a long service life.
  • Easy Maintenance: Routine maintenance is straightforward, making it easier to keep the machine in excellent working condition. Additionally, CAT’s extensive service network ensures quick access to parts and assistance when needed.
  • Versatility: The 259D’s adaptability is one of its standout features. Whether you need to dig, lift, grade, clear land, or perform a host of other tasks, this machine is up to the challenge, making it a valuable asset for contractors and landscapers.
  • High-Quality Attachments: Caterpillar offers a range of high-quality attachments specifically designed for the 259D, allowing operators to optimize the machine’s versatility for different applications.

Performance Evaluation

  • Power and Efficiency (4.5/5 Stars) : The CAT 259D doesn’t disappoint when it comes to power. Whether you’re moving heavy materials or grading uneven terrain, the engine’s performance is admirable. I’ve experienced minimal lag even under heavy loads, thanks to its turbocharged diesel engine.
  • Hydraulic Performance (4/5 Stars): The loader’s hydraulic system is remarkably responsive. The proportional control of the auxiliary hydraulic system is a real asset, allowing precise control for attachments. I’ve used various attachments, from buckets to grapples, and the performance remains consistent.
  • Maneuverability (5/5 Stars): This machine is surprisingly agile for its size. The compact design and responsive controls make it easy to navigate in tight spaces, which is especially valuable in urban construction projects.
  • Comfort and Ergonomics (4/5 Stars): The operator’s cabin is well-designed, featuring an adjustable suspension seat, climate control, and excellent visibility. It’s a comfortable workspace, and I’ve operated it for extended periods without feeling fatigued.
Caterpillar 259D Track Loader

A Powerhouse in Action

The 259D Track Loader is renowned for its formidable power and versatility. It can effortlessly handle a variety of tasks, from digging and lifting to grading and material handling. Thanks to its compact design and advanced engineering, it can navigate through tight spaces and tackle demanding terrain, making it an indispensable asset for any construction project.

Operating Capacity

One of the key metrics to consider when evaluating a track loader is its operating capacity. The Caterpillar 259D excels in this department, with a robust capacity that can vary depending on the specific attachments used. With the right configuration, this loader can lift and transport substantial loads with ease, helping you get the job done more efficiently.


The 259D’s superior maneuverability sets it apart in the world of compact track loaders. Its exceptional turning radius and agility allow operators to work in confined spaces and tight construction zones without sacrificing performance. This versatility makes it a valuable asset for various applications, whether you’re working on residential or commercial projects.

Durable and Reliable

Construction equipment must be built to withstand the rigors of demanding work, and the CAT 259D doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Caterpillar’s reputation for durability and reliability is upheld in the design and construction of this track loader. It is built to last, minimizing downtime and maintenance costs, thus maximizing your return on investment.

Operator Comfort Matters

Operator comfort is a paramount consideration in the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader, significantly influencing operator productivity, safety, and job satisfaction. The loader’s cab offers ample space, adjustable controls, and an ergonomic suspension seat, ensuring operators can work comfortably even during extended shifts. Heating and air conditioning systems maintain a pleasant working environment in various weather conditions, while excellent visibility, noise and vibration dampening, and intuitive controls further enhance the operator’s experience. Safe access and exit are facilitated by wide door openings and well-placed handholds. In practice, these comfort features contribute to reduced fatigue, heightened alertness, better control of the machine, and overall job satisfaction, making the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader an excellent choice for operators in demanding work environments.

Caterpillar 259D Track Loader

The Pros and Cons


  • Powerful and reliable engine
  • Versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks
  • Comfortable and easy to operate
  • Durable and built to withstand tough environments


  • Relatively expensive
  • Relatively large and can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Requires regular maintenance

Real-World Applications of Caterpillar 259D Track Loader

  1. Construction and Landscaping: The 259D is a workhorse on construction sites. Its ability to handle heavy materials, such as dirt, gravel, sand, and concrete, makes it essential for digging, grading, and moving earth. Landscaping projects also benefit from its precision and versatility when working on terrain grading, foundation preparation, or material transport.
  2. Agriculture: In agriculture, the Caterpillar 259D proves to be a valuable asset. It assists with tasks like clearing land, digging trenches, moving large hay bales, and transporting feed. Its compact size and agility make it particularly useful in tight spaces, like barns or between rows of crops.
  3. Snow Removal: In regions with heavy snowfall, the 259D becomes an indispensable tool for snow removal. Equipped with a snow bucket or pusher attachment, it can efficiently clear driveways, parking lots, and roadways. The ability to maneuver in tight areas is especially useful for precise snow removal around obstacles.
  4. Demolition: When equipped with attachments such as hydraulic hammers, the 259D can be used for selective demolition work. It excels in breaking down concrete structures, walls, and foundations with precision, making it a safer and more efficient alternative to traditional methods.
  5. Forestry: In the forestry industry, the 259D can be employed for various tasks. It can assist in clearing land for new plantations, moving logs and brush, and even creating firebreaks to prevent forest fires.
  6. Waste Management: This track loader can handle the challenges of waste management efficiently. It’s used for moving and compacting refuse, as well as handling materials at recycling facilities and landfills.
  7. Utilities and Pipeline Work: The compact size and agility of the 259D make it suitable for working in tight spaces when laying utility lines and pipelines. It can dig trenches and assist in the installation of pipes and cables.
  8. Mining: In mining operations, the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader is utilized for material handling, digging, and general site maintenance. Its robust build and high performance are well-suited to the demanding conditions of mining sites.
  9. Land Development: For land developers, the 259D is a versatile tool for preparing building sites, digging foundations, and shaping the landscape. It ensures efficiency and precision in transforming raw land into developed properties.
  10. Event and Construction Site Cleanup: After large events or construction projects, the 259D can expedite the cleanup process by swiftly and efficiently moving debris and materials.

Comparison Table on other Models

CategoryCaterpillar 259DBobcat T770Case TR270BBobcat T450Kubota SVL 65-2JOHN DEERE 317GTakeuchi TL8R2JCB 270T
EngineCat C3.3B DITTier 4 turbo diesel FPT F5H FL463 A*G001Bobcat 2.4L, 97/68 EC Stage VV2607-CR-TE4 4TNV86CHTKubota/ V3307-CRTE5BEcoMAX TCAE-55
Horsepower73.20 hp92 hp74 hp55 hp68.3 hp48.5 hp74.3 hp74 hp
Operating Weight8945 lbs10515 lbs8270 lbs6424 lbs8035 lbs3824 lbs8,807 lbs11,003 lbs
Operating Capacity3100.00 lbs3,475 lbs2,700-lbs.1,490 lbs2100 lbs2,125 lbs2,116 lbs2,723 lbs
Fuel Tank27.70 gal43.8 gal19.5 gal 17.1 gal21.7 gal19 gal28.3 gal27.3 gal
Comparative Analysis

In the track loader showdown, the Bobcat T770 emerges as the undisputed champion. With the highest horsepower, operating weight, and rated operating capacity, it outshines the competition. Its generous fuel tank ensures extended work hours without frequent refueling. The Caterpillar 259D comes in as a strong second, with slightly fewer horses under the hood and a marginally lighter frame but boasting a slightly higher rated operating capacity. The Case TR270B is a close contender in terms of power and weight, albeit with a slightly smaller capacity and fuel tank. For budget-conscious buyers, the Bobcat T450 offers a more affordable alternative, though with reduced specs. Those in search of compact loaders might find the Kubota SVL 65-2 and JOHN DEERE 317G fitting the bill, being smaller and lighter but with less muscle. The Takeuchi TL8R2, another compact choice, offers a bit more power and capacity. The heavyweight of the group, the JCB 270T, packs the most punch but also commands the highest price. In conclusion, the Bobcat T770 reigns supreme, thanks to its exceptional combination of power, weight, and capacity at a reasonable cost. However, the right choice ultimately depends on your specific requirements and budget.

Different Variation of Caterpillar 259D Track Loader

1. Caterpillar 259D3 Track Loader

Quick Specifications

  • Net Power: 74.3 HP
  • Rated Operating Capacities: 2010 lbs.
  • Operating Weight: 8987 lbs.
  • Length: 59 in.
  • Maximum Overall Height: 154.1 in

Key Features

  • Rated operating capacity of 2,010 pounds
  • Maximum lift height of 10.1 feet
  • 74.3 horsepower engine
  • Vertical lift design for extended reach and lift height
  • Suspended undercarriage system for superior traction, flotation, stability, and speed
  • Industry-leading sealed and pressurized cab option for a cleaner and quieter operating environment
  • Adjustable joystick controls for operator comfort

The Caterpillar 259D3 Track Loader is a versatile and powerful machine that is designed for a wide range of construction and landscaping applications. It is equipped with a vertical lift design that provides extended reach and lift height, making it ideal for loading trucks and other high-reach tasks. The 259D3 also features a suspended undercarriage system that provides superior traction, flotation, stability, and speed in a variety of ground conditions.

The 259D3 is powered by a 74.3 horsepower engine that delivers plenty of power for even the most demanding jobs. The machine is also equipped with a number of features that make it easy and comfortable to operate, including adjustable joystick controls and an industry-leading sealed and pressurized cab option.

Caterpillar 259D3 Track Loader
Caterpillar 259D3 Track Loader
2. Caterpillar 259D2 Track Loader
Caterpillar 259D2 Track Loader

Quick Specifications

  • Net Power: 73.2 hp
  • Rated Operating Capacities: 2900 lbs.
  • Operating Weight: 8847 lbs.
  • Length: 81.2 in
  • Weight: 2149.5 lb
  • Optimal Hydraulic Flow: 30-85 L/min

Key Features

  • 73.2 horsepower Cat C2.4 engine
  • High-flow hydraulic system
  • Two-speed transmission
  • Vertical lift paths
  • Standard features
  • Optional features

The Caterpillar 259D2 Track Loader is a powerful and versatile machine that is designed for a variety of applications, including construction, landscaping, and agriculture. It is equipped with a 73.2 horsepower engine and a high-flow hydraulic system that allows it to power even the most demanding attachments. The 259D2 also features a suspended undercarriage system that provides superior traction, flotation, stability, and speed in all types of terrain.

Caterpillar 259D2 Track Loader
Caterpillar 259D2 Track Loader

Final Verdict

In my hands-on experience with the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader, I’ve found it to be an exceptional and versatile piece of heavy equipment. It boasts a powerful engine, impressive speed, and an array of bucket options, making it a standout performer on construction sites, farms, and various other work environments. The operator’s comfort is prioritized with a spacious and ergonomic cab, and the machine is built to minimize noise and vibration, ensuring a comfortable and productive working experience. However, it’s important to consider the premium price point when investing in a Caterpillar machine, and the weight may pose transport challenges for some. When weighing the pros and cons, the 259D’s robust performance, versatility, and high-quality construction make it a worthwhile investment for those who require top-tier equipment for demanding tasks. Its resale value and long-term efficiency make it a compelling choice for those willing to make the initial investment. In summary, the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader lives up to its reputation as a dependable workhorse, offering both power and comfort, making it a valuable asset in a wide range of real-world applications.


  1. What sets the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader apart from its competitors?
    The Caterpillar 259D stands out due to its potent combination of power, speed, and versatility. Its robust engine and diverse bucket options make it exceptionally versatile. Furthermore, it offers operator comfort and an impressive resale value, setting it apart from its competitors.
  2. What attachments are compatible with the 259D Track Loader, and how do they enhance its versatility?
    The Caterpillar 259D Track Loader is compatible with a wide range of attachments, such as buckets, forks, and grapples. These attachments enable the machine to excel at various tasks, from excavation to material handling and even demolition, making it highly adaptable to diverse job requirements.
  3. How does Caterpillar support maintenance and servicing for the 259D Track Loader?
    Caterpillar provides robust support through service contracts, warranties, and a network of authorized dealers. They offer genuine Caterpillar parts and employ expert technicians to ensure the loader receives reliable and efficient maintenance and servicing.
  4. What safety features are integrated into the 259D Track Loader, and how do they protect operators and the job site?
    The 259D is equipped with safety features like ROPS (Roll-Over Protective Structure) and FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure) to ensure operator protection. Additionally, its excellent visibility, ergonomic controls, and comfortable cabin environment enhance safety and efficiency on the job site.
  5. Can the 259D Track Loader operate efficiently in extreme weather conditions, such as intense heat or freezing cold?
    Yes, the 259D is designed for operation in a variety of weather conditions. Its heating and air conditioning system ensures the operator’s comfort, and efficient cooling systems prevent overheating during hot weather, making it suitable for a wide range of environmental conditions.
  6. How does the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader fare in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental impact?
    The 259D is known for its fuel efficiency and compliance with emission standards. Caterpillar continually invests in advanced engine technology to reduce environmental impact while maintaining high performance, ensuring it’s both productive and eco-friendly.
  7. Are there financing or leasing options available for the 259D Track Loader, and what factors influence the pricing?
    Financing and leasing options are available through Caterpillar dealers. The pricing of these options depends on factors such as the specific model, interest rates, the length of the financing term, and the terms and conditions of the chosen financing arrangement.
  8. What operator training and certification are recommended for those planning to use the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader?
    Proper training and certification are essential for safe operation. It’s advisable to undergo manufacturer-provided training programs or seek certification from relevant authorities to ensure that operators possess the necessary skills and knowledge for the safe and efficient use of the loader.

In the end, the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader is more than just a piece of machinery; it’s a reliable partner for various real-world challenges. With its blend of power, comfort, and quality construction, it shines in the heavy equipment arena. While the upfront cost might raise an eyebrow, it’s a long-term investment that pays dividends through impressive resale value and the comfort it offers to operators. Whether you’re in construction, agriculture, or any demanding field, the 259D is your trusted workhorse, ready to take on diverse tasks with its performance and versatility. So, if you’re looking for a dependable partner for the tough jobs, the Caterpillar 259D Track Loader is a compelling choice.

Benjamin Brooks
Benjamin Brooks
Forestry Author

Greetings! I'm Benjamin Brooks, and my journey over the past 15 years has revolved around the fascinating realms of content creation, expertise in snow clearing, and the intricate world of lumberjacking and landscaping. What began as a simple curiosity about the natural world and heavy machinery has evolved into a passionate profession where my love for crafting words intertwines seamlessly with my lumberjacking and garden skills.


I have had 3 259d in the last 3 years I put a lot of hours on my skid steer 1200+ a year. I have had not one thing go bad besides the tracks and drive sprockets to be expected. I can't say enough good things about The Cat 259d3

Daniel Adams
Jason Raasch
April 27, 2024 12:54 pm

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