The new John Deere 344J provides many uptime-boosting features found in larger loaders, as well as time-saving conveniences that make it simple and inexpensive to maintain, according to the manufacturer.
“The 344J delivers outstanding maneuverability, travel speed, breakout force, reach and stability,” said Doug Laufenberg, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry Company. “Additionally, it is loaded with proven durability and uptime-enhancing features that make it an economical machine to run.”
Key to the 344J’s productivity is oscillated stereo steering, which delivers fast cycle times by allowing tight turns with large loads.
The standard hydrostatic drive train’s infinitely variable range allows the operator to precisely match travel speed to the work at hand, with a top speed of 19 mph (31 kmh).
A load-sensing, closed-center hydraulic system delivers only the power required, eliminating power and fuel waste, and excavator-style hydraulics provide fluid power for smooth boom and bucket functions.
The standard return-to-dig feature automatically returns the bucket to a preset level for faster work cycles.
Manual low-speed differential lock provides the tractive effort to go deeper into the pile for full bucket loads, and a nearly 12-ft. (3.7 m) reach helps the 344J compact wheel loader easily dump to the center of tandem-axle trucks for quicker loading cycles.
Optional ride control enables the 344J to navigate rough terrain quickly and comfortably, keeping the load in the bucket on tough job sites.
The redesigned, walk-through cab provides space and comfort.
Three hundred sixty-degree visibility provides clear sight lines, and the low-effort joystick helps the operator control the boom and bucket, FNR and differential lock with one hand. Gauges in the forward console are clearly visible, intuitive and easy to read.
The inching/brake pedal slows travel speed while keeping engine rpm high for optimum hydraulic response and control. Tilt steering, an efficient HVAC system, a multi-adjustable high-back suspension seat enhance operator comfort.
An optional high visibility quick coupler switches from bucket to forks at the push of a button.
The machine’s turbocharged Deere 4.5-L PowerTech diesel engine runs 500 hours between oil changes.
Daily maintenance is easy to perform, with an easy-lift hood and transverse-mounted engine, as well as ground-level access to dipsticks, filler necks and coolant reservoir.
The maintenance-free batteries are easily accessible and connected in parallel.
The hydraulically driven fan runs only as needed.
The 344J offers many of the same uptime-boosting features of larger Deere loaders, such as sealed electrical connections, flat-face o-ring seal hydraulic hose connections and self-adjusting wet-disc brakes.
“In short, the 344J can really raise production on a job site — all while keeping expenses low and operators comfortable and happy,” Laufenberg said. “It’s a real workhorse.”