Earlier this year, John Deere added a new pay loader to its construction equipment line, the 344L. But this one was also designed to appeal to farmers as much as contractors, according to the brand. And it offers what Deere describes as “industry exclusive features.”
Just what are those features?
The most obvious difference on this articulated loader is it also offers the rear wheel steering mode called Articulation Plus, which makes the 344L pretty manoeuvrable and able to work in tight spaces like corrals.
“The 344L is a quick, nimble machine that is optimized for handling tight turns while maintaining heavy loads, helping customers focus on the task at hand and not having to manage the machine,” said Drew Miller, product marketing manager for compact wheel loaders, in a press release.
With an autoshift transmission and a 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) maximum travel speed, it can move quickly between fields, for example when used to load round bales. And it can handle the weight of them pretty easily with a full-turn 12,560 pound (5,709 kilogram) maximum tip load rating. The new loader arm design also keeps loads parallel to the ground at all lift heights.
The 344L gets a new cab design that includes a high-back, air-ride seat for the operator, and improved visibility out the windows.
Behind the cab is a redesigned engine layout that includes better cooling due to improved airflow. And it also has better screening and a reversing fan to keep dust and debris from clogging things up. To speed up daily maintenance, service points are all accessible from ground level.
Of course the 344L is compatible with Deere’s telematics offering, including remote diagnostics, which allow dealers to access trouble codes before sending someone out to service it.
At the same time it introduced the 344L, Deere also had new skid steer and compact track loaders to show off. These machines extend the G Series line with a mid-sized chassis. They fill the gap between the current large and small-frame offerings. There are two new skid steers and one tracked version, which offer 69 to 74 horsepower from Yanmar FT4 diesels.
Deere says these models were introduced as a result of customer feedback.
All the models have a 10’ 6” (3.2 metre) maximum lift height to the bucket hinge pins, so they can load over the edge of 10-foot-high truck box sides.
The same pressurized cabs offered on the other G Series models are standard on the new mid-size machines as well. GN