The 1050K pipelayer-ready crawler tractor is available in two maximum-lift-capacity configurations: the 170,000-pound-capacity PL170 and the PL220 rated at 220,000 pounds. The 350-horsepower 1050K, the company’s largest crawler platform, serves as the base for the new pipelayer models, which feature a dual-path hydrostatic transmission and electro-hydraulic controls designed for fine metering when placing the pipe.
The new models leave the factory ready to accept a side boom from an approved supplier; the bolt-on/pin-up design of the boom mount is designed to facilitate installation. The cab is purpose-built to accommodate the pipe-laying process, using an electro-hydraulic joystick for one-handed control of load line, boom, and counterweight; a roof-mounted skylight is designed to provide a clear view of the boom, and the machines also are equipped to accept the side-boom supplier’s load moment indicator.
For serviceability, the cab tilts with the side boom installed, and the front grille is hinged to provide access to the coolers. The new pipelayers have “tool-less” access to dipsticks, sight gauges, fill tubes, batteries, master electrical shutoff, engine, transmission, and all filters. An “Eco mode” and auto-idle are standard features, with the Eco mode automatically adjusting engine speed and transmission settings based on load. The system, says Deere, has the potential to reduce fuel consumption up to 25 percent with no loss in productivity.