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Deere Lock-Up Torque Converter Blows 4-Spd Away

Discussion in 'Wheel Loaders' started by CEwriter, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. CEwriter

    CEwriter Senior Member

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    John Deere introduced its K-Series wheel loaders on Tuesday to we in the trade press. The 644 and larger models are available with an optional 5-speed transmission with lock-up torque converter, which Deere claims will improve fuel efficiency by 15 to 20 percent, particularly in stockpiling and ramp-climbing applications.

    This video shows how Deere demonstrated the lock-up torque converter's advantage at their Sacaton, AZ, demonstration grounds Tuesday.

    The K Series is comprised of eight models in the 2- to 8-cubic-yard range, including the all-new 524K (a 125-horsepower, 27,100-pound machine with 2.75-cubic-yard standard bucket and static tipping load of 22,700-pounds).

    The K Series comes with a lockable front differential, and offers the option of a lockable rear differential. Differentials can be locked on the roll, and an auto diff lock feature reads ground speed using radar and compares it to transmission output speed. When the two don't match up, the system knows a wheel is spinning and locks up the differential.

    The 544K through 844K now can be purchased with joystick steering, which enables operators to start the loader with the push of a button. A security mode prevents engine starting until a code is entered on the sealed keypad. Special codes can be set for the owner, operator and transport, allowing various levels of access to the machine.

    The new electronic monitor also displays payload-weight data courtesy of an embedded John Deere payload weighing scale powered by Loadrite.

    An optional rear obstacle detection system provides an alert if any object is in the loader’s direct path while backing up. It is combined with a rear-camera which displays through the LCD monitor.

    NeverGrease Pins have an exclusive sealed design that Deere says never needs greasing. The pins are a feature on the 544K through 844K.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  2. LoaderMonkey

    LoaderMonkey Member

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    I watched a 744K with that 5 speed lock up TC demoed against a Cat 966H and it was no comparison. The 744K was very quick both loaded and unloaded and excellent ramp climbing characteristics. It turned a lot of heads. Fuel consumption claimed to be much better as well which makes sense since it is essentially a direct drive when locked up. Pretty cool.
     
  3. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W Senior Member

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    Excellent video -- thanks!
     
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino Super Moderator

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    That was an excellent video.It is about time they started making lockup tcs,once under way there is no reason to be in fluid coupling mode,it wastes power,and makes heat.My old loader is terrible,always feels like its slipping,esp up hills due to the loose convertor.I know cat skidders have lockup tcs,so they have the technology to offer it as well.
     
  5. G Model

    G Model Well-Known Member

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    I saw this demo in person and it was very impressive. The one between the 744K with lock up and the 966H was astonishing.
     
  6. CEwriter

    CEwriter Senior Member

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    Just posted a video of Deere demonstrating the differential locking up with one wheel stationary and the other spinning. Pulled one of the new 524Ks out of a tight spot. Then backed the loaded unit up a steep slope -- good balance and even traction all the way.

    Locking front differential is standard on the K Series loaders, and an auto-locking rear diff is optional.

    I don't mean to sell the things, but I was impressed with the driveline coupled to the new features introduced on the K Series.

    Larry
     
  7. Lock-Up Fan

    Lock-Up Fan New Member

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    Great Video

    This video is amazing I wish I could of been there live to see this. Is there any way to get a copy of the video?
     
  8. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    A lock up converter isn't much good when the buckets I've seen are made of butter and center joints don't last but 5,000 hours. I've also had numerous complaints of fuel filter problems and computer/wiring issues.

    If Deere wants to compete with the rest of the world they should put some dollars into extending service life.
     
  9. LoaderMonkey

    LoaderMonkey Member

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    John-

    What model(s) are you talking about? I routinely work on a 744J that is nearly at 24,000 hours with no center hitch issues, never had a trans, axle or eng rebuild either (not saying that is typical). Loads trucks all day long at a local quarry so the center joint sees lots of action. I can personally testify that is does get greased regularly though! I can't comment on bucket life since I don't know what the history is of the working material for each machine I see.
     
  10. G Model

    G Model Well-Known Member

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    Lockup Converter

    I also see this demo in person and it was very impressive. Just shows you the diffrence between a lockup converter that stays locked up between shifts and those units that dont either have a lock up or in komatsu's case unlocks during shifts. As far as reliablity I too have seen many Deere Loaders routinely over the 20,000 hour mark with little if any major problems. I personally sold one unit that had 23,000 hours on it that was a trade from a paper mill that the valve cover had never had a wrench on it. Im not saying other manufacturer's dont do the same but Deere does make a pretty good machine.
     
  11. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I found the article interesting and informative. In these times of green monsters and leaf lickers anything to save fuel is a great thing. I thought the article was all the promotion of the product that was needed on a free public site.

    To those asking where I get my information I can say I have inspected or worked on mulitple Deere loaders that have had the problems I have described. I can provide serial numbers and photographs if you like but I would have to have permission from the machine owners first before posting to the general public.
     
  12. Gudrun

    Gudrun Member

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  13. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W Senior Member

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    Gudrun, couldn't really see the link... can you repost?
     
  14. Gudrun

    Gudrun Member

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    Volvo OPTISHIFT. I have searched on Google "volvo Optishift". It seems that Volvo's website is not working properly. The link is to googel cache. It appears that the chrome and safari shows the cache bad. Conversely, the Opera, Firefox and Explorer works well.

    http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:1PmWlwPAYYUJ:www.volvo.com/constructionequipment/corporate/en-gb/press_room/bauma_2010/prebauma_pressreleases_english/NewsItemPage.htm%3FchannelId%3D5326%26ItemID%3D73406%26sl%3Den-gb+volvo+optishift&cd=1&hl=sv&ct=clnk&gl=se

    As it says on the lockup both on the Deere and Volvo webb site. Nobody will be able to afford to be without lockup, if it saves 15% gas. If someone running 2000 hours per year and save 15% with a 30-tonne machine which now draws 27 liters / hour. You will save 4 liters / hour or 8100 liters per year or $ 8100 on gas costing $ 1 / liter. And my assessment is that the fuel of the future will not be cheaper.

    Lockup is probably best for certain types of work: "load and carry", "stockpiling" and "ramp-climbing" applications.
     
  15. ldex86

    ldex86 New Member

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    Even with the lock up torque converters these loaders will still burn more fuel than the Liebherr machines. It has been four years since I ran a Deere or a Volvo. At that time the Liebherr's we tested out performed the Deere, Volvo and Komatsu, all while buring 30-40% less fuel.
     
  16. Burnout

    Burnout Senior Member

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    When does John Deere need to start competing with the rest of the world? I grew up with Deere D and E series loaders around, and then the G and H series and now the company I work for has a couple J and K series loaders. Deere builds a great loader, and I would gladly take a Deere E,G,H,J,K series loader over the Caterpillar counterpart anyday.

    We use our loaders in sewer and water and I can testify we work them hard. We have quite the mix, Cat, Deere, Volvo and Komatsu loaders sometimes all on the same site and I will always grab the Deere if I have to jump in a WL.

    We have a Volvo 210E and I will be honest I dispise that loader with a passion. Many like the Volvo's but they aren't my cup of tea. The Komatsu's have no power, way too long in the rear and feel cheap. The Komatsu I'm talking about is a WA 450 and is a 2008 model. We have Cat wheel loaders comin out of dark places, 950's-990's take your pic of the series. I like the newer H series, but hate the command steer and don't like the twin sticks for loader control. We have a new 624K that I played with a bit and a 624J, great loaders. I have my issues with them but for the most part I love those loaders.

    Deere has definately stepped up and build a great loader with the K series. While I normally run around on steel rather than rubber I get my time on the rubber. I know everyone gets a lemon every once in awhile but I can also attest to Deere loaders going the 20k hour run with relative ease. I can say the same thing for Cat we have a 980B with 56k+ hrs. We have some Komatsu's going on 500+hrs without a breakdown as well:drinkup
     
  17. Bigstevex4

    Bigstevex4 Well-Known Member

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    Komatsu hads had lock up converters for a decade nothing new there. that john dere eguipment is nice when its new but its pretty mutch toast at 10,000 hrs the internals gears are half the girth of cat or komatsu stuff
     
  18. Gudrun

    Gudrun Member

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  19. NL1CAT

    NL1CAT Well-Known Member

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    The Liebherrs use hydrostatic drives.
     
  20. them1677

    them1677 Active Member

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    I heard that Liebherr uses the hydrostatic drive for all their wheel loaders as well a dozers and crawler loaders. I have read that the industry trend is going that way. Why don't you hear more about the Liebherr's fuel savings if they are as productive as the other brands?