The John Deere 345G LC: shorter swing, greater power

John Deere has equipped its new 345G LC reduced tail swing excavator with a third hydraulic pump to improve the machine’s cycle time.

The excavator is a new option for John Deere’s 33 to 40 tonne size class, providing customers with a larger machine with increased lift capacity, more reach, deeper dig depth and greater breakout forces compared to the 245G LC.

According to John Deere, the excavator is ideal for work in road building, underground, building, landscaping and site development applications. The 345G LC began shipping to dealerships in May.

“As infrastructure projects across North America increase, there’s a desire for larger, more powerful reduced tail swing excavators to traverse tight job sites,” said Jonathan Spendlove, John Deere’s excavator product marketing manager. “The ability for our customers to swing a machine and not have the counterweight extend into an additional lane of traffic or bump into a tree is an equipment trait they are considering when looking at options like the 345G LC.”

Quick swing

With three hydraulic pumps, the excavator delivers 681 litres of flow per minute, which is 114 litres more than the larger 350G LC excavator.

“There’s lots of flow, so there’s lots of speed. It’s a very fast and productive excavator,” said Alex Anhalt, a John Deere product consultant for excavators.

While digging with the 345G, all three pumps deliver oil to the front end. When the operator is ready to swing, the third pump shifts to provide full flow immediately.

“Once you get a full bucket, and you’re at high pressure, pump three just waits. It doesn’t provide oil to the boom or stick anymore. It waits for you to swing,” Anhalt said.

The advantage over an excavator with two hydraulic pumps, according to Anhalt, is an extremely quick return to digging after dumping a load.

“You’ll dig about the same. But with the three-pump system, you’ll swing over and dump, and be back to the hole at about the same time as when the (two-pump machine) is dumping. The swing acceleration is extremely fast.”

Electronic hydraulic control

The three-pump hydraulic system also provides greater flow for attachments. An optional, factory-installed auxiliary hydraulic package enables the excavator to provide extra hydraulic flow to power larger attachments, like couplers or hammers.

As well, hydraulic pressure and flow for attachments may be set electronically from inside the cab.

“All you have to do is select the workload in the monitor and it will be set up to go right out of the box,” Anhalt said. “This is a true Swiss army knife. It’s fast and it can do anything or go anywhere.”

The electronic adjustment of hydraulics also allows the operator to program up to 12 attachment settings into the machine. Anhalt explained previous machines would require about 20 minutes of time to manually adjust hydraulic pressure and flow.

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“If you’re digging underground and you have to compact, or you have to hammer rock every time, or you have to dig every time, you might switch the attachment 10 times a day. That is money,” Anhalt said.  “Now, all the operator has to do is push a button. It’s very, very easy.”

No DPF

The 345G LC, with an 36,645 kg operating weight, is equipped with an Isuzu 249 hp Final Tier 4 diesel engine with no diesel particulate filter (DPF) after-treatment.

“One of the best things about this is there’s no DPF filter. That means you never have to change the filter because it does not exist. There’s no service interval whatsoever,” Anhalt said.

To improve stability, the 345G LC is built with the same undercarriage as the larger 350G.

“Despite the fact that it is a reduced tail swing machine, it still has excellent stability over the front and especially over the side,” Anhalt said. “With reduced tail swing machines, you usually give up a little bit of stability. Here we do not.”

As well, the 345G is rated with a maximum digging depth of 7.57 metres, similar to John Deere’s traditional 300G excavator. However, the company’s testing showed the new machine is able to out-lift the 300G.

“The 350G undercarriage gives us that stability,” Anhalt said.

More uptime

In terms of uptime, the 345G LC boasts side-by-side cooling cores for improved cooling efficiency and easy cleaning. This is designed to equal less downtime to clean debris and less overheating.

Like other machines in the G-Series excavator family, the 345G LC includes a spacious cab and easy-to-use enhanced LCD monitors. A turn-and-tap of the rotary dial allows operators to select work mode, access operating info, check maintenance intervals, source diagnostic codes, adjust cab temperature and tune the radio.

The cab includes a fabric-covered, adjustable suspension seat with ample legroom. The wide expanse of front and side glass, narrow front cab posts, large tinted overhead hatch and numerous mirrors provide all-around visibility.

“It’s one of the only reduced tail swing excavators to have a full-size cab,” Anhalt said.

Multiple camera options

A standard rearview camera improves visibility to the rear of the machine.

Optional cameras are also available for the left and right sides of the machine. Furthermore, a separate monitor in the cab allows the operator to view either the right-side camera, or use a split screen to see both sides simultaneously.

“It’s pretty handy if there’s a truck coming behind you, or if cars are zipping by you on a street job,” Anhalt said.

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