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John Deere’s 344J Boasts Many Uptime-Boosting Features

Sat August 12, 2006 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The new John Deere 344J wheel loader moves material quickly — even on crowded job sites.

It also provides many uptime-boosting features, 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, easily making it the most productive loader in its class,” said Doug Laufenberg, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry Company.

The 344J’s oscillated stereo steering allows tight turns with large loads. The result is stability and maneuverability — and fewer three-point turns.

The standard hydrostatic drivetrain’s variable range allows the operator to match travel speed to the work at hand, with a high speed of 19 mph.

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.

An approximately 12-ft. (3.7 m) reach helps the 344J 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 360-degree visibility, 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 HVAC system, a multi-adjustable high-back suspension seat and smooth ride enhance operator comfort and boost productivity, according to the manufacturer.

An optional highly visible 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 for reliable power. The hydraulically-driven fan runs only as needed for efficient cooling, reduced noise and lower fuel consumption.

The 344J offers sealed electrical connections, flat-face o-ring seal hydraulic hose connections and self-adjusting wet-disc brakes.

Circuit board technology and a vehicle electrical center eliminate the need for numerous wiring harnesses and connectors. Remote test ports allow technicians to troubleshoot quickly.

“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.”

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