How the 944K Hybrid wheel loader is performing

By |  October 21, 2020
The engine addition increases fuel economy from the Interim Tier 4 model. Photo courtesy of John Deere

The 944K Hybrid features a 536-hp, Tier 4 Final engine. Photo: John Deere

John Deere first launched its 944K Hybrid wheel loader in 2015. Now, the model has 1 million operating hours in the field under its belt, according to the company.

Cornejo & Sons, a Summit Materials company, is one aggregate producer that has experience with the 944K. Cornejo & Sons originally turned to the 944K to replace a size-class larger competitive wheel loader.

“The 944K meets our production requirements, as well as our previous piece of equipment – and at a lower cost,” says Adam Ware, site manager at Cornejo & Sons, which owns a 944K Hybrid wheel loader. “The other machine burned about 24 gallons of fuel an hour, where the 944K burns around 9 gallons per hour while doing the same work.”

According to John Deere, the 944K Hybrid features a 536-hp, Tier 4 Final engine, which, according to the company, delivers impressive torque and responsiveness while maintaining good boom and bucket speed.

“Whenever we develop a machine, customer needs such as durability, productivity, profitability and low operating costs are always at the forefront of our designs,” says Grant Van Tine, solutions marketing manager at John Deere. “By reaching the 1 million-hour mark on our 944K loaders, we are affirming that electrically driven machines offer proven durability and performance advantages for our customers. We’re always looking for new ways to improve upon the equipment our customers need and can use our field-proven design to develop and perfect even more solutions in the future.”

In addition to its fuel-saving capabilities, John Deere says the 944K Hybrid incorporates other features to deliver reliable, long-term performance – especially in quarry or large loadout applications. Most notable, according to John Deere, are the brushless AC generators and motors, water-cooled brake resistors and solid-state power electronics.

Other key features include standard traction control, which automatically limits torque to any wheel when slippage occurs. This increases machine traction in poor underfoot conditions, John Deere says. Another key feature is enhanced rimpull control, which virtually eliminates tire spin and slicing, the company adds.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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