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John Deere Announces A New Diesel-Electric Hybrid Front Loader

Posted 2/13/2013 by Aspen Rent-All.
Filed under: Tools

John Deere has released onto the market a diesel-electric hybrid front loader for value-driven customers who are looking to minimize owning and operating costs. According to Andrew Kahler, engine and driveline product marketing manager, “The 644K Hybrid is a result of our dedication to integrating the best technology available to better the industry and provide our customers superior uptime and productivity, while lowering daily operating costs.”

The loader is said to cut down fuel consumption by 25% as well as make any job site a little less noisy. The latter is an added benefit of the hybrid design, since the engine runs at a constant speed as opposed to increasing and decreasing speed as the machine is worked. The noise coming from the engine is therefore continuous as well as less noticeable to the operator inside of the cab as well as any bystanders that may be outside. Running on a diesel 6.8 liter engine capable of constant speeds of 900 to 1,800 rpms, it’s paired with an electric drive system that is made up of four components; an electric motor, inverter, generator and brake resistor. Boasting a net 229 hp, the hybrid is equipped with all of the key features possessed by the conventional John Deere K-Series Wheel Loader line.

The piece of 644k hybrid machinery has four operating speed ranges but is without any reverse gear or clutches, this is because the brushless electric motor handles any change in direction. The motor converts three phase (AC) back to rotational energy and torque, effectively eliminating the need for a torque converter. It can also work as a generator to recycle energy back into the system, according to Deere.

Equipped with the loader is a simplified PowerShift countershaft-style transmission that, during operation, maintains smooth shifting for additional productivity whether the operator happens to be ramp climbing, stockpiling, or truck loading. Also with the John Deere hybrid front loader you get an integrated, spring-applied, hydraulically released wet-disc park brake that requires reduced maintenance and allows for increased machine uptime. The water-cooled brake resistor is only needed to consume excess recycled energy, as it passively consumes energy whenever the power electronics actively control its circuit. Depending on the application, the hybrid machine exhibits performance that is equal to or greater than the conventional 644k. With a constant operating speed that maintains a consistent hydraulic flow, the engine delivers crisp hydraulic responsiveness and reduces cycle times.

The end result is the deliverance of optimal performance suited towards experienced and novice operators alike. 

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