Demo, tour showcases the latest from John Deere

By |  May 24, 2018

The John Deere 350G LC excavator during a demonstration at the Deere-Hitachi Facility. Photo by Joe McCarthy.

John Deere hosted a trade press event in Kernersville, North Carolina, where attendees saw a demonstration of the company’s latest excavator offerings. Attendees also got a tour of the Deere-Hitachi excavator facility and heard about the now-30-year-old partnership between John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery.

The 1-million-sq.-ft. Kernersville facility, established in 1988, produces 13- to 47-metric ton excavator models from John Deere and Hitachi. According to the company, the Deere-Hitachi partnership has resulted in more than 55,000 hydraulic excavators for the North American, Central American and South American markets.

Members of the Deere-Hitachi partnership led a tour of the Kernersville facility, detailing the manufacturing and safety philosophies of the company. According to the companies, 10 models from the two brands are built-to-order at this facility in an average of eight days each.

The 350G LC excavator. Photo by Joe McCarthy.

In addition to the factory tour, John Deere provided a demonstration of its 350G LC and 345G LC excavators. The Hitachi 300C excavator was also demonstrated.

The 345G LC reduced tail swing excavator adds an option to the company’s 33-metric ton size class. According to John Deere, this excavator features an increased lift capacity, more reach, a deeper dig depth and greater breakout forces compared to the 245G.

“As infrastructure projects across North America increase, there’s a desire for larger, more powerful reduced tail swing excavators to traverse tight job sites,” says Jonathan Spendlove, excavator product marketing manager at John Deere Construction & Forestry.

The excavator includes a larger cab and enhanced LCD monitors, John Deere says. A turn-and-tap system for the rotary dial allows operators to select work mode, access operating information, check maintenance intervals, source diagnostic codes, adjust cab temperature and tune the radio. The updated cab also includes wide front and side glass, narrow front cab posts and a tinted overhead hatch. A standard rearview camera aids operation visibility.

Matt Hendry, product consultant for hydraulic excavators, says the arm of both the 350G LC and 345G LC is a plus for aggregate and mining operations. Both models get the majority of digging performance from the arm versus bucket curl, he says. Additionally, Hendry describes operator comfort as a positive feature of the excavators.

“We use powered three plus hydraulics, so it knows whatever the operator is asking for and it knows what he is demanding,” Hendry says. “You don’t have to change any patterns in the machine. You don’t have to change any work modes. If you are changing operators in the machines, there is no chance to confuse the controls by dialing in different settings.”

John Deere also introduced an added grade guidance technology to the 210G LC excavator and other customer-inspired updates on the 13- to 47-ton models. According to the company, the grade guidance system provides operators with information on the bucket’s location with respect to 2-D reference or 3-D design surface. The system was developed in cooperation with Topcon.

“Customers want to manage grade from inside the cab, quickly and accurately on precision excavation projects,” Spendlove says. “Integrated grade guidance on the 210G LC comes ready for the customer to put it to work, is fully supported by their John Deere dealer, and will enable them to rapidly achieve final grade using only the display in the operator’s station.”

The integrated grade guidance displays the elevation and position of the bucket cutting edge with respect to a target plane (2-D) or design surface (3-D), the company adds. Also, the grade guidance system will be available on the 350G LC and 470G LC excavator models in 2019.

Other updates from John Deere include John Deere Powerwise Plus technology, which provides on-demand performance and improved fuel economy; an adjustable rotary pre-cleaner that keeps the engine pulling in clean air when working in harsh conditions; cab updates; a single-pedal propel system that gives operators the ability to track machines in a straight line without needing to articulate both hand and foot pedals; a standard pattern control switch now located behind the cab; and external LED lights.

Additionally, the company showcased John Deere WorkSight, a technology suite that aids fleet managers with information on machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics, programming capabilities and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to a customized package. The software is designed to improve production efficiency and machine uptime optimization, according to Andrew Kahler, product marketing manager for John Deere WorkSight.

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy is a former Associate Editor of Pit and Quarry Magazine.

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