John Deere’s new 768L-II Bogie Skidder is designed to tackle both soft ground and steep slope terrain.
Incorporating the proven features found on the John Deere L-II skidder lineup, the new 768L-II maximizes productivity, performance and comfort when carrying hefty loads over long distances in challenging conditions.
“When we look at being able to operate in wetter terrain and steeper conditions, we’re creating the potential to run the machine more and optimize productivity,” said Matthew Flood, product marketing manager for skidders at John Deere.
“We’re really using this machine and getting into areas that were previously challenging to get to and get wood out of with a four-wheel skidder.”
The 281 hp 768L-II features heavy-duty bogie axles, which incorporate large components to maximize durability and stability for long axle and tire life.
The heavy-duty axles are purpose-built for tough applications, effortlessly pulling heavy loads and manoeuvring tough terrain.
The stable operation results in reduced machine vibration, ultimately minimizing operator fatigue.
“It really provides a smoother ride for operators and allows them to stay productive for a longer time throughout the day,” Flood said.
Another key feature is the excellent tractive ability and floatation. When combined with the bogie axles, ground pressure is reduced, which allows the skidder to work in wet terrain that is not accessible with a four-wheel skidder. As a result, the harvesting window is extended, adding more working days to the calendar.
While there is a natural tendency for a bogie to continue to raise as the machine climbs over obstacles, Deere has worked to ensure ground contact to improve traction.
“This bogie has a unique design to it that applies a downward pressure to maintain contact on that first wheel that’s climbing over an obstacle, so you can maintain traction,” Flood said. “This works in both directions.”
To improve manoeuvrability a long wheelbase and boom-arch envelope boost reach and lift capability for the boom and grapple, increasing dexterity in the woods. The tight turning radius also enhances agility at the landing.
The bogie skidder also includes a new arch design that provides the operator with an expansive rearview of the grapple and work area, providing excellent visibility.
We really looked at the rear visibility and the design of the arch and the boom, and we optimized that for visibility out of the back of the cab,” Flood said.
The 768L-II retains the other customer-favourite features introduced on the L-II product lineup.
Streamlined and redesigned electrical and hydraulic systems result in improved uptime and increase guarding and protection of key components. An increased grapple squeeze force and two-speed winch further increase productivity, while articulation steering sensors improve the operator experience.
All L-Series II models feature a spacious cab, including a storage space, configurable controls and a HVAC system.
As well, armrest-mounted electrohydraulic controls offer accessible, hand-finger operation of all machine functions, and joystick steering provides smooth control of steer, direction and ground speed.
Deere’s industry-exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) merges the efficiency of a direct-drive transmission with the smoothness of a hydrostatic drive. As a result, CVT provides more power to the ground by sensing the load, increasing torque and tractive effort as needed to maintain the desired speed.