New Skid-Steers Feature Major Overhaul

By Lynn Landberg, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010

John Deere boasts that its Series II skid-steer-loader line has numerous enhancements and updates. Five models comprise the 200 Series, ranging in operating capacity ratings from 1,500 to 3,200 pounds.

Heading the list of features is the 60¨C40 weight distribution, which Deere says provides the best overall balance. Adding further to stability is the long wheelbase, allowing travel at higher speeds over rough terrain, plus major components that are mounted low on the frame for a lower center of gravity.

Efficiency also is enhanced by the vertical-lift boom. The popular feature allows the boom to rise along a near-true vertical path that reaches out at the top of the lift cycle. A steep 45-degree dump angle sheds wet or sticky material, with load-carrying ability being maximized by a 35-degree bucket rollback at ground level, reducing material spillage.

Further enhancements include a power boost brought about by a unified design that maximizes hydraulics, lift capabilities and pushing force. This results in a high percentage of actual usable power that can be applied to the job, says Deere. Series II machines are powered by a John Deere PowerTech engine that incorporates a direct-injection fuel system and long-life, wet-sleeve cylinder linings commonly found on larger equipment. Bucket breakout force ranges from 3,900 pounds on the 240 model up to 8,210 pounds on the new 280 when those units are equipped with the construction bucket.

The operator's compartment has not been neglected, with a design that provides a 360-degree view. The skid-steers can be configured with either hand or foot controls. Air conditioning is available on every model. For safety, the units have a brake that applies automatically when the seat belt is unlatched, the operator leaves the seat, the engine is shut down, or the cab door is open. An in-cab boom lock provides a safer exit under raised boom arms, and a control system keeps the machine traveling in a straight line when one handle is released.

Enhancing the skid-steers' versatility is the extensive line of Worksite Pro tools. Fifty-four different attachments are available, crossing through a number of vocational applications. An exclusive self-cleaning attachment system, Quik-Tatch, is now available in a hydraulic version, allowing the operator to quickly change attachments without leaving the seat.

Basic Specifications
240 250 260 270 280
*Construction bucket
Engine 3029D 3029T 3029T 4045D 4045T
Net HP 51 61 69 77 85
Dump reach 36.1" 35.1" 39" 39" 39"
Rated operating cap. (lbs.) 1,500 1,750 2,400 2,800 3,200
Breakout force (lbs.)* 3,900 3,900 5,300 7,430 8,210
Operating weight (lbs.) 6,165 6,250 8,250 8,500 9,200