The L-Series marks the 50 year celebrations of John Deere manufacturing skidders.
Besides inputs from customers and dealers, John Deere engineers spent 250,000 hours designing prototypes based on the ideas of customers and dealers. The skidders were then subjected to over 11,500 hours of real-world testing. The L-Series skidders are the first John Deere forestry machines to launch with Final Tier 4 engines. In North America and Europe, the new skidders will be powered by John Deere Final Tier 4 engines, and Tier 2 engines for other markets. One of the major highlights of the new skidder is the introduction of a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) and drivetrain. This enables a constant engine speed, which reduces engine wear while ensuring excellent fluid economy. There is no need for the skidder operator to shift gears. The operator sets the desired engine speed range and then lets the CVT transmission select the most efficient operating point. The operator can rather focus on production and safety versus shifting gears. The CVT works with the engine operating at a constant speed, which provides better engine efficiency, as well as improving durability. The constant engine speed also enables more robust and consistent hydraulic, cooling and electrical system performance, as they are always running at their designed speeds. The CVT is able to deliver the smoothness and operating ease of a hydrostatic transmission with the fuel efficiency of a torque converter.
Other features of the L-Series skidders include more robust heavy-duty axles, which include a rugged new Outboard-Extreme axle (standard on the 848L and 948L, optional on the 748L). The new axles should improve machine durability and extend life, which is expected to be up to 15,000 hours. The skidders also have tougher grapples that have box-style tongs for maximum strength and harder wear surfaces for long life. This design also simplifies service as components are easier to access. Straight bushings with grease-through pins at all grapple, arch, boom and blade joints enable longer and trouble-free life, and are easier to replace. More durable components include a stronger roller-bearing articulation joint designed for longer life. Arch hoses have been routed inside the arch where they are better-protected and easier to access for fast repair. The new skidders also have more horsepower, stability and grapple options. A newly designed arch and boom configuration provide a better view to the grapple for easier and more efficient operation.
Cab size has been increased by 25 percent, and the noise levels are 50 percent quieter than John Deere’s previous models. An optional rotating seat with joystick steering helps reduce strain on the back and neck for less fatigue. The models, which may not be available in all countries, are the 640L, 648L, 748L, 848L and 948L. John Deere ForestSight™ and Ultimate Uptime are available as an option on all L-Series machines. Source: http://www.deere.com/en_US/corporate/our_company/news_and_media/press_releases/2015/forestry/2015apr1-l-series-skidders.page?