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John Deere Implements Total Machine Control on Backhoes

Tue July 01, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Total Machine Control (TMC) is the way John Deere has chosen to implement electrohydraulics on construction and forestry equipment. It provides for more intuitive controls and enables automation of functions that operators previously had to do manually, according to the manufacturer.

This option for the John Deere 310SJ and 410J backhoe loaders gives operators comfort, faster cycle times and the best automatic features of an excavator and 4WD loader built into one machine.

“It’s by far the most innovative control system in backhoes today,” said Bob Tyler, John Deere product marketing manager. “This is the system for operators who need production and versatility without sacrificing comfort.”

The TMC difference starts in the operator’s seat. Armrest-mounted joystick controls turn with the seat and eliminate pilot towers, resulting in enhanced visibility, added comfort and reduced heat in the cab, due to the absence of hydraulic oil used in other control systems.

Total Machine Control also means no more foot pedals or extra levers to control the stabilizers, extendable dipperstick and front/rear auxiliary hydraulics — all are now controlled within finger tip reach of the joystick.

The Right Controls for the Job Site

Working in close-quarter job sites or around traffic is easier with the TMC system. Operators can use the mini-joystick on the right-hand controller to move the backhoe and loader simultaneously and maneuver the machine around obstacles.

“You also can run the backhoe with the seat rotated up to 90 degrees from the rear-facing position,” Tyler said. “This provides excellent visibility around the machine.”

More Precision, More Production

Precise controls enable the operator to dig more accurately and gently around buried pipe or cable. For even more precision, integral-controlled load lowering and regenerative hydraulic functions improve operation with Worksite Pro attachments. Total Machine Control units also feature three speed modes: craning, normal and a high-production mode that can improve cycle times up to 20 percent.

“Faster cycle times mean more production and more profit,” Tyler said. “Operators also will save money due to the fuel-saving auto-idle feature, which returns engine speed to idle when the joysticks are not operated for a set period of time during backhoe work. Every little bit helps during these times of high fuel prices.”

Tool Carrier Option

A dedicated Tool Carrier (TC) option is available for the 310SJ and 410J backhoes equipped with TMC.

“The purpose-built tool carrier option is for operators who want the comfort and ease of TMC and the ultimate in versatility, particularly for loader and attachment work,” explained Tyler. “A TC backhoe loader gives you fast front-end attachment changes, parallel lift for fork work and outstanding visibility to the front of the machine.”

Deere’s heavily reinforced Worksite Pro loader coupler not only provides enhanced visibility, it also picks up current Deere Worksite Pro attachments, older Deere-JRB attachments and a wide variety of competitor loader attachments for additional versatility.

Electronic parallel lift, return-to-carry and boom height kick-out features increase loader productivity no matter what attachment is used. One advantage is the ability to “turn off’ parallel lift when the forks have been dropped and a bucket is in use. The operator has parallel lift when, and only when needed.

“These features make the front end of the backhoe loader perform like a forklift and a wheel loader,” Tyler said. “They are incredibly easy to use, too, with push-button adjustability.”

Tool Carrier backhoes with TMC also have increased loader lift specifications for high-performance tool carrier work.

In addition, the 310SJ and 410J TC backhoes with TMC are designed to be simple and easy to maintain.

They feature fewer loader parts — a single bucket cylinder, no Z-bar linkage, no self-leveling rod — and among the industry’s fewest grease zerks.

“It all contributes to reduced loader linkage maintenance,” Tyler said. “The machine spends more time working and earning.”

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