With a unified design and more than 100 improvements, John Deere’s 300 Series skid steers are productive at a lower daily operating cost than their predecessors.
“Every feature of the 300 Series was designed with productivity, uptime and operating cost in mind,” said Gregg Zupancic, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry Division. “Owners of these new machines get more done, more reliably for lower daily cost.”
Enhanced Productivity, Performance
The 300 Series machines provide numerous features that enhance productivity.
Among these is stability, resulting in faster speeds and quicker cycles. This stability is delivered by a low center of gravity due to heavy components being mounted lower in the frame; a long wheelbase that provides smoother ride with less fore-to-aft rocking; optimal balance due to 60/40 weight distribution on the front and rear axles; and larger tires.
A vertical-lift boom provides a true vertical lift pattern, ensuring the machine remains stable when lifting heavy palletized loads from flat beds.
The boom allows maximum reach to be achieved at full lift height, suitable for center load placement during truck loading.
A 35-degree rollback translates into a level bucket at carry position, resulting in more material carried with less spillage.
A 45-degree dump angle allows quick and clean shedding of material from the bucket.
In addition, ample height-to-hinge pin provides the extra clearance needed when loading high side-boarded trucks, and cushioned cylinders ensure a smooth deceleration at the end of the boom lower cycle for less noise and reduced material spillage.
The 300 Series features the company’s Quik-Tatch technology — hydraulic Quik-Tatch, which provides attachment engagement and disengagement from the operator’s seat with the push of a button, is optional.
Hydraulics delivered to the loader boom, bucket and attachments also enhance productivity. High-flow hydraulics is available as a factory-installed option.
“Massive breakout forces provide the performance needed for tough digging, as well as heavy load and carry operations; and hydraulic horsepower maximizes the performance of attachments,” said Zupancic.
Direct-injection, high-ring piston design results in optimal starting and fuel economy, and hydraulic valve lifters provide quieter operation and eliminate valve lash adjustments.
Several operator station features provide increased protection while boosting operator performance, including 360-degree visibility; wet-disk brakes that apply automatically anytime the seat belt is unfastened, the operator leaves the seat, cab door is opened, engine is shut down or brake switch is engaged; and low steps and four handholds that provide easy entry and exit.
On models 317 and 320, manual pump controls allow a full day’s operation without fatigue, while models 325, 328 and 332 feature Servo pump controls that provide light, controllable efforts.
Hand controls are available as a factory installed option.
An instrumentation package provides more than 20 enhancements, including automatic preheat; glove-friendly rocker switches; a larger LCD; job clock; sealed rocker switches; diagnostic codes; self diagnostics check; automatic shutdown with alarm; and an audible low fuel warning with LCD text message.
An integral, in-cab boom lock is engaged and disengaged from within the safety of the operator station.
Optional hydraulic self-leveling eliminates spillage and automatically adjusts bucket cylinders to maintain a level load position throughout the loader arm raise cycle.
Optional four-season cab enclosure features air-conditioning and a heater/defroster to allow the operator to control temperature and humidity.
All air-conditioning components are easily accessed for maintenance or service.
Low Daily Operating Costs
Several design improvements keep costs low by ensuring fast and easy service of the 300 Series machines, according to Zupancic.
The oil cooler swings out with rear door for inspection or cleaning.
Engine oil changes are extended by 500-hour intervals with John Deere Plus 50 engine oil and filter. All models are equipped with visual hydraulic fluid level checks.
The rear door, engine top cover and side panels provide no-tool access, while a single-point lock for vandal protection secures all engine and hydraulic service points and fluid reservoirs.
In addition, environmentally friendly drains are provided for all fluids, eliminating excess effort and mess.
The four- and five-cylinder John Deere 250 Series Power Tech Engines in the 300 Series also provide several features.
Precision joint connecting rods stand up to most severe load conditions, and hydraulic lifters provide quieter operation and eliminate need for valve lash adjustments. The serpentine fan belt with an automatic tensioner eliminates the need for belt service.
All critical electrical connectors use weatherproof seals to prevent failures due to corrosion.
Fuses and relays are centrally located and easy to access.
The new instrumentation package includes a self-diagnostic check and diagnostic codes to assist in identifying a problem.
“When designing the 300 Series skid steers, we continued to focus on ensuring that our machines provide maximum uptime,” Zupancic said.