John Deere’s new D-Series skid steer loaders and compact track loaders (CTLs) are built based on research
and partnership with farmers. The 318D, 320D, 326D, 328D and 332D are the new skid steer models, joining the existing small-frame, radial lift 313 and 315. For the compact track loader line, models 319D, 323D, 329D and a 90-hp 333D join the recently introduced small-frame, radial lift CT315.
A key new feature is a bigger cab with 24 per cent more room and six inches more headroom than previous John Deere models. The new cab is also quieter. “The 50 per cent noise reduction in and around the D-Series cab comes from several sources beyond mere sound absorption, including a hydraulic fan drive, an auto idle feature (which also saves fuel) and the new electronically controlled engines,” the company says.
A new auto idle feature provides quieter operation and fuel savings. The variable-speed hydraulic fan works with a computer program that monitors engine and hydraulic fluid temperatures to ramp fan speed up or down as needed. If you’re working in a trashy or high-dust environment, you can get an optional reverser on the hydraulic fan to blow debris off the coolers.
New skid steers also have V-Plenum cooling, first introduced on John Deere four-wheel-drive loaders. These aluminum coolers are protected from air-blown debris damage since the fan is rearward of coolers, sucking air through coolers from the rear.
The new EH (electro-hydraulic) Performance Package includes switchable controls from the ISO to H pattern, the creeper mode, in which the operator can set wheel or track speed in 10 per cent increments of the unit’s top speed, and boom and bucket metering, with three different speed settings: precision/economy (slow), utility (medium) and production (fast).
The D-Series keeps many of the productivity features popular from the 300 Series, including planetary gear drives on the CTLs for increased pushing power and reliability, and industry-leading bucket roll-back and dump angles — retained even while increasing boom and bucket breakout forces.