Earthmoving Report: John Deere J Series Backhoe Loader

By Walt Moore, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010
The jewel in the crown of the John Deere J-Series might be the 310SJ equipped with Total Machine Control

Building on the strengths of its popular G-Series backhoe-loaders, John Deere Construction & Forestry recently rolled out its new J-Series models: the 310J, 310SJ, 410J and 710J. The new units, says Bob Tyler, product-marketing manager, provide "many enhancements that deliver a substantial increase in the amount of work an operator can do with the machine in a day."

The J-Series models use all-new ZF drive-train components, including the transmission and both axles. The new outboard-planetary rear axle features larger differential components and improved lubrication, compared to predecessor models; and the available mechanical-front-wheel-drive system, with a limited-slip differential, uses a multi-plate clutch that allows on-the-fly engagement. The standard transmission in all four new models is a powershift type, and complementing the new transmission is a cruise-control feature. In addition, radial tires are now a factory option.

Electrical-system enhancements for the J-Series, says Deere, include a solid-state-electronics design that minimizes relays, plus a new digital monitor that provides enhanced on-board diagnostic capability. A new single-radiator cooling system features reduced fan speeds, says the company, and an optional "sound package" is designed to further attenuate sound levels. Serviceability enhancements include fewer grease zerks and the use of synthetic bushings and wear pads in the loader linkage and extendible dipperstick.

The jewels in the crown of the J-Series might be the models 310SJ and 410J equipped with the optional Total Machine Control (TMC) system, which, says Deere, provides the best features of the hydraulic excavator and the four-wheel-drive loader in one machine.

"TMC integrates control of every system in the machine," says Tyler, "from engine to transmission and hydraulic functions to brakes."

The TMC option provides three "speed modes" for the backhoe ¡ª high-production, normal and craning, and according to Deere, digging-cycle time may be reduced by 20 percent, compared with non-TMC predecessor models. TMC controls feature armrest-mounted joysticks that incorporate multiple controls to eliminate foot pedals and extra levers. Also available for TMC-equipped models is a tool-carrier front end that uses Deere's Worksite Pro coupler and provides electronic parallel lift with return-to-carry and boom-height-kick-out features.

Basic Specifications: J-Series Backhoe-Loaders
  310J 310SJ TMC 410J TMC 710J
Deere engine 4045T 4.5L 4045T 4.5L 4045T 4.5L 6068T 6.8L
Net horsepower 92 95 95 122
Weight (lb.) 16,140 16,960 18,500 25,500
Dig depth 14' 3" 14' 6" 15' 10" 17' 10"