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John Deere 624J Loader Gives Lift to Arizona Dairy

Tue October 16, 2007 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

In Arizona, dairy is big business. Dairy owners milk thousands of cows twice daily, using sophisticated computer technology to record production. Many of these same dairy owners are using John Deere 624J loaders as the machine of choice.

One company using the 624J is Arizona Dairy Company in Higley, Ariz. With 13,000 head of cattle on the farm, 4,600 of which are milked daily, Arizona Dairy has a lot of mouths to feed. One 624J loads feed full time, while a backup machine does other chores, according to Arizona Dairy General Manager Ross Tappan.

“We’ve tried them all —John Deere is our loader of choice,” Tappan said. “The Deere sales rep showed us how a 624J could do the job for which we were using larger loaders. The result is a lower initial price and lower operating costs.”

Overheating is a constant threat for equipment working in the triple-digit Arizona climate — but it’s not a problem for the 624J loader, according to Deere Dealer RDO sales rep Dennis Karre.

“The engineers understood what we have to deal with here in Arizona,” he said. “The Quad-Cool system, which isolates cooling components from engine heat, is the key to the 624J’s success. The radiator, air-conditioner compressor, intercooler, hydraulic and transmission coolers, and the axle coolers are contained in a compartment where they are away from the engine heat.”

Additionally, the fuzz from the cotton seed, a high protein part of the feed ration, can get sucked into the radiator and quickly cause a machine to overheat. The optional reversing fan helps keep this fuzz from clogging the radiator.

Shamrock Farms in Stanfield, Ariz., also has a big operation, with 9,000 milk cows in its herd and 7,500 of those involved in daily production. Frank Boyce, Shamrock’s general manager, looks for durability and price in the loaders purchased for his dairy.

“John Deere loaders are far better machines for the dollar,” he said. “Not only do they give us better service, but parts cost less and the dealer support is better.”

Boyce also noted that John Deere, both manufacturer and dealership, is more in tune with the dairy business than other loader suppliers, pointing to the machine’s cooling system as an example. “When we order a machine, it comes from the factory ready to go in our application,” he said.

Paloma Dairy in Tolleson, Ariz., milks 4,000 head and has 3,000 head on its heifer ranch. Paloma uses quick couplers on its 624J loaders that enable them to use the 3.5-yd. (3.2 m) bucket, hay clamps and a 5.5-cu.-yd. (4.2 cu m) rollout bucket.

“The 624J is a good-size loader for us,” said Robert Van Hofwegen, owner of Paloma Dairy. “We get good performance plus great service from our dealer. The loaders are reliable, and by standardizing on John Deere, the operational features are virtually the same from one to another, which keeps operator efficiency high and provides an extra element of safety.”

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