Wood Business

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John Deere celebrates 50 years of skidder manufacturing

May 14, 2015 — In 1965, John Deere introduced the 440 Skidder, and has continued to change the game for loggers with safer, more reliable and more productive machines ever since.

This customer-inspired commitment to quality lives on in 2015 through the introduction of the L-Series, a celebration of John Deere’s 50th anniversary manufacturing and designing skidders. Built on 178 years of groundbreaking innovation, backed by over a half-century in the woods and designed with proven components to withstand the toughest environments, these machines represent the best that is in John Deere as a manufacturer.

“The 50th anniversary of our first skidder is a major milestone that demonstrates John Deere’s unmatched commitment to developing  equipment solutions for the types of challenges loggers face in the woods every day,” said Marty Wilkinson, vice-president, worldwide forestry and business development, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “We are proud of the legacy we’ve built in the skidder business since 1965, but it doesn't stop here. We will continue to listen to loggers, innovate  and respond with machines that deliver on the most important features to our customers.”

John Deere skidder milestones
• 1965 – John Deere enters the skidder business with the 440 Cable Skidder, boasting 59 HP and more operator comfort for better safety and productivity.

• 1973 – At 145 HP, the 740 becomes John Deere’s largest skidder to date. New blade and winch options, along with a best-in-class grapple, increase productivity. 

• 1983 – D-Series Introduction: New dual-function grapple with 120-inch opening makes the 640 well suited for work with extra-large bunches. Larger clutch and thicker radiator improve reliability and longevity. New oscillation damper keeps the grapple under control during transport.

• 1991 – E-Series Launch: Sealed, isolation-mounted operators’ station reduces engine noise and heat. Electronic monitor provides info on vital machine functions. Wider wheel base increases machine stability. Load- and speed-sensing power steering delivers quick response, while 90 degrees of articulation improves maneuverability.

• 1995 – G-Series Introduction:  Wider stances and longer wheelbases ensure stability. New differential lock switch can be engaged on the go. New grapple with individual tong cylinders provides up to 50 per cent more clamping force. All G-series grapples provide continuous 360 degree rotation. Closed centre hydraulics provide quick response and secure clamping force.

• 2008 – H-Series Introduction: 6.8L Tier 3 engines reduce emissions and increase productivity. Automatic load detection adjusts and maintains the grapple’s clamping force if a load is jarred.

• 2015 – L-Series Introduction: John Deere once again changes the game. Heavy-duty axles extend life up to 15,000 hours. Easy-to-use Continuous Variable Transmission delivers more power to the ground and longer engine life. Cycle times of the boom, arch, and grapple are up to 40 per cent faster. Largest grapple is 25 per cent larger. 

To learn more about the evolution of John Deere’s skidders, visit: www.johndeere.com

About John Deere
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

May 14, 2015  By John Deere

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