The D5B includes a 3306 six-cylinder engine generating 105 flywheel horsepower (FWHP). It comes standard with oil-cooled clutches and brakes, mixed steering, single-lever dozer controller, sealed and lubricated trail (SALT), electrical hour meter, and gas system water separator.
It is offered in two configurations: the standard version has a track gauge of 74 inches (188 cm); the Low Ground Pressure (LGP) configuration has an 81-inch (206-cm) track gauge. Both are available with either powershift transmission or direct drive.
Standard configuration, direct drive tractors were manufactured in the USA, using a 23X, 25X, or 26X serial number prefix; in Japan, using a 47X prefix; and in France, using a 21Y or 43X prefix. The 26X and 21Y components are special application (SA) tractors with 90 FWHP. The 47X unit has [[roll over protection system] (ROPS) adaptability.
Standard configuration powershift tractors were manufactured in Japan, with a 48X prefix, also in France, with a 44X prefix. The 48X unit features a direct injection scroll metering fuel system (SMFS) and 75 FWHP.
LGP configuration, direct push tractors were manufactured in Japan, using a 49X prefix, also in France, with a 45X prefix. The 49X unit includes ROPS.
LGP configuration powershift tractors were manufactured in France just, using a 46X prefix.
Caterpillar also manufactured three D5B tractors with 60-inch (152-cm) monitor gauges. The drive unit has been created using a 22X prefix only, in USA. The powershift unit was fabricated with a 24X prefix, in the united states, also in France. The 8MB unit includes a 3306 direct injection (DI) engine.
Between 1978 and 1981, Caterpillar installed a 3306 DI engine, SMFS and a fail-safe parking brake into most units manufactured in Japan and France, beginning with 44X00411, 21Y00558, 43X00722, 45X00422, 46X00724, 47X00520, 48X00589, and 49X01412.
However, many of the above features were added separately on the American units. The 3306 DI engine and SMFS were installed in 1980, beginning with 22X00439, 23X00778, 24X00413, 25X01815, and 26X00878. The fail-safe parking brake was added in 1981, beginning with 22X00531, 23X00842, and 25X02073.
Between 1979 and 1981, Caterpillar modified the steering valves on most units, beginning with 47X00395, 48X00433, 49X01119, 43X00643, 44X00589, 45X00422, 46X00724, 22X00542, 23X00866, and 25X02090.
In 1980, a standardized neutral start was installed in some units, beginning with 21Y00496, 43X00628, 47X00482, and 49X01250. Meanwhile, a neutral start switch was added to a few of the American units, beginning with 22X00459, 23X00786, and 26X00884.
Production of 23X ended in 1982.
In 1984, Caterpillar installed a standardized blow fan in both SA units (26X and 21Y), beginning with 26X01146 and 21Y00608. The 26X unit had its horsepower increased to 105 FWHP at the same time.
Production of 25X and 26X ended in 1984.
Production of 22X, 24X, 43X, and 45X ended in 1985.
Production of 47X, 49X, 44X, and 46X ended in 1986.
Production of 48X ended in 1987.
Production of 21Y and 8MB ended in 1988. Caterpillar began production of the D5B in Brazil the same year.
Two units were manufactured in Brazil. Both are standard configuration tractors with 3306 direct injection engines and Bosch fuel injection systems. They were intended for the domestic Brazilian market only. The direct drive unit has 105 FWHP and was given a 5LD prefix; the powershift unit has 114 FWHP and was given an 8HD prefix.
Production in Brazil ended in 1992.