New John Deere Skid Steer Line Provides Increased Productivity & Low Operating Cost

August 4, 2004
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With a unified design and more than 100 improvements, John Deere's new 300 Series Skid Steers are more productive and more reliable than ever before--at a lower daily operating cost than their predecessors.

The 300 Series machines provide numerous best-in-class features that enhance productivity. Among these is superior stability, resulting in faster speeds and quicker cycles. This stability is delivered by a low center of gravity due to heavy components being mounted lower in the frame than in competitive machines; a long wheelbase that provides smoother ride with less fore-to-aft rocking; optimal balance due to 60 / 40 weight distribution on the front and rear axles; and larger tires.

A patented vertical-lift boom unique to Deere skid steers provides a true vertical lift pattern, ensuring the machine remains stable when lifting heavy palletized loads from flat beds. The boom allows maximum reach to be achieved at full lift height, ideal for center load placement during truck loading. Best-in-class 35-degree rollback translates into a level bucket at carry position, resulting in more material carried with less spillage. A 45-degree dump angle - also best-in-class - allows quick and clean shedding of material from the bucket. In addition, ample height-to-hinge pin provides the extra clearance needed when loading high side-boarded trucks, and cushioned cylinders ensure a smooth deceleration at the end of the boom lower cycle for less noise and reduced material spillage. Like the prior John Deere skid steer line, the 300 Series features the company's patented Quik-Tatch technology - hydraulic Quik-Tatch, which provides effortless attachment engagement and disengagement from the operator's seat with a simple push of a button, is available as an option.

With more available horsepower, stronger peak torques and best-in-class torque rise, the new John Deere 250 Series Power Tech engines found in the 300 Series machines provide maximum performance and lugging capability. Direct-injection, high-ring piston design results in optimal starting and excellent fuel economy.

Several operator station features provide increased protection while boosting operator performance, including the industry's best 360-degree visibility; wet-disk brakes that apply automatically anytime the seat belt is unfastened, the operator leaves the seat, cab door is opened, engine is shut down or brake switch is engaged; and lower steps and four handholds (twice as many as competitive machines) that provide easier entry and exit. On models 317 and 320, low-effort manual pump controls allow a full day's operation without fatigue, while models 325, 328 and 332 feature Servo pump controls that provide light efforts for increased productivity. Hand controls are available as a factory installed option.

A new, comprehensive instrumentation package provides more than 20 enhancements, including automatic preheat; glove friendly rocker switches; a larger LCD for easier viewing; job clock; sealed rocker switches for increased reliability; diagnostic codes for quick problem source identification; self diagnostics check; automatic shutdown with alarm; and an audible low fuel warning with LCD text message.

An integral, in-cab boom lock is engaged and disengaged from within the safety of the operator station and can never be lost or misplaced. Optional hydraulic self-leveling eliminates spillage and automatically adjusts bucket cylinders to maintain a level load position throughout the loader arm raise cycle.

Optional four-season cab enclosure, which features air-conditioning and a heater/defroster to allow the operator to control temperature and humidity, has been enhanced to provide more than 30 percent more air flow. All air-conditioning components are easily accessed for maintenance or service.

Powerful hydraulics delivered to the loader boom, bucket and attachments also enhance productivity. High flow hydraulics are available as a factory-installed option for equipment owners requiring more hydraulic power.

With more available horsepower, stronger peak torques and best-in-class torque rise, the new John Deere 250 Series Power Tech engines found in the 300 Series machines provide maximum performance and lugging capability. Direct-injection, high-ring piston design results in optimal starting and excellent fuel economy.

Several operator station features provide increased protection while boosting operator performance, including the industry's best 360-degree visibility; wet-disk brakes that apply automatically anytime the seat belt is unfastened, the operator leaves the seat, cab door is opened, engine is shut down or brake switch is engaged; and lower steps and four handholds (twice as many as competitive machines) that provide easier entry and exit. On models 317 and 320, low-effort manual pump controls allow a full day's operation without fatigue, while models 325, 328 and 332 feature Servo pump controls that provide light efforts for increased productivity. Hand controls are available as a factory installed option.

A new, comprehensive instrumentation package provides more than 20 enhancements, including automatic preheat; glove friendly rocker switches; a larger LCD for easier viewing; job clock; sealed rocker switches for increased reliability; diagnostic codes for quick problem source identification; self diagnostics check; automatic shutdown with alarm; and an audible low fuel warning with LCD text message.

An integral, in-cab boom lock is engaged and disengaged from within the safety of the operator station and can never be lost or misplaced. Optional hydraulic self-leveling eliminates spillage and automatically adjusts bucket cylinders to maintain a level load position throughout the loader arm raise cycle.

Optional four-season cab enclosure, which features air-conditioning and a heater/defroster to allow the operator to control temperature and humidity, has been enhanced to provide more than 30 percent more air flow. All air-conditioning components are easily accessed for maintenance or service.

Several design improvements keep costs low by ensuring fast and easy service of the 300 Series machines, according to Foster. The oil cooler swings out with rear door for full, easy inspection or cleaning. Engine oil changes are simplified with extended, 500-hour oil change intervals with John Deere Plus 50 engine oil and filter. All models are equipped with visual hydraulic fluid level checks, resulting in fast, easy and no-mess daily checks.

A quick-pivoting ROPS provides the industry's best access to major components - simply remove two nuts and raise the ROPS in two minutes or less. The rear door, engine top cover and side panels provide quick, no-tool access, while a single-point lock for vandal protection secures all engine and hydraulic service points and fluid reservoirs. In addition, environmentally friendly, easily accessed drains are provided for all fluids, eliminating excess effort and mess.

The new engines also provide several unique features that enhance reliability and durability. Precision joint connecting rods stand up to the most severe load conditions, and an exclusive hydraulic lifters design provides quieter operation and eliminates need for valve lash adjustments. The serpentine fan belt with an automatic tensioner eliminates the need for belt service.

The electrical system is newly designed to ensure maximum durability. All critical connectors utilize weatherproof seals to prevent failures due to corrosion. Fuses and relays are centrally located and easy to access. The new instrumentation package includes a self-diagnostic check and diagnostic codes to assist in identifying a problem.

Source: John Deere, Aug. 2, 2004

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