John Deere Launches U.S.-built 655K Crawler Loader

by Frank Raczon, Senior Editor | December 18, 2012
John Deere Launches U.S.-built 655K Crawler Loader

John Deere’s 655K crawler loader has been improved with automated loader functions, a quieter cab, and a Tier 4-Interim engine.

The 655K replaces the 655C, which was the last Deere crawler loader built overseas as a part of the joint venture with Liebherr.

A John Deere PowerTech 6.8-L diesel engine delivers 145 net horsepower at 1,800 rpm. The 655K’s hydrostatic transmission provides infinite speed control, power management, live power turns, counter rotation while staying in gear, and dynamic braking.

In addition, the transmission controls allow operators to pick between the V-pattern or joystick transmission control option. In addition, the Total Machine Control (TMC) feature allows customized machine response that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual operators.

For example, TMC allows infinitely variable forward/reverse ground-speed ranges to 6.2 mph, meaning operators have total flexibility to match ground speed to the load. Travel can also be varied for specific applications and terrain conditions, or limited to maximize undercarriage life.

The 655K’s sealed and lubricated undercarriage features six unitized track frames with mainframe-mounted planetary final drives. Optional extended-life tracks for work in extremely abrasive conditions can deliver up to twice the bushing life, the company says.

Two bucket options are available: a general-purpose bucket, or a 4-in-1 multipurpose bucket with lifetime lubricated bucket pivot pins that Deere says increase uptime by eliminating periodic service. Also, an optional, triple-shank ripper is available on the rear of the machine to help turn materials on the job site.

The company’s exclusive Quad-Cool system isolates coolers from engine heat for increased efficiency and durability. A standard hydraulic-driven variable-speed suction fan runs only as needed, reducing noise, fuel consumption, and cooling component wear.

The Quad-Cool system also features ground-level maintenance access.

The cab has been re-engineered for quieter operation, according to Deere, and has larger access doors. An air suspension seat is standard. Viscous cab mounting reduces noise from vibration while double-laminated rear window glass and complete interior sound-dampening treatment significantly reduce noise levels.

The 655K also features a sealed switch module with keyless start and the ability to enable exclusive features such as turbocharger cool-down and auto shutdown. A touchpad security system requires a numeric pass code to prevent unauthorized operation.

In-cylinder sensors eliminate external linkage, enabling return-to-dig, boom-height kickout, and bucket leveling, all activated from the operator’s seat by push-buttons. Boom float joins these standard features to help speed cycles during repetitive applications such as truck loading.

Onboard diagnostics include a standard display monitor that provides real time values for every temperature, pressure, and speed sensor on the machine. The crawler loader constantly monitors transmission temperature to avoid damage to the hydrostat system. If the transmission temperature is too cold or too hot, the associated light on the monitor will illuminate.

John Deere’s JDLink Ultimate machine monitoring system is standard on the 655K. It continuously collects and transmits machine data for machine management via mobile phone technology. The system provides 24/7 online access to the machine’s location, health, utilization, fuel consumption and other information to help managers better understand costs and job site performance.

The 655K joins the 190-horsepower 755K in the Deere crawler loader line. Both units are built in Deere’s Dubuque, Iowa, factory.

655K Specifications

  • Operating weight: 40,614 lb.*

  • Engine: Deere PowerTech PVX 6068 T4-I

  • Net horsepower: 145 at 1,800 rpm

  • Static tipping load: 27,432 lb.

  • Max. drawbar pull: 54,300 lb.
    *with standard equipment, cab with pressurizer/heater/air conditioner, standard general-purpose bucket