August 2013, Vol. 68 No. 8

Equipment Spotlight

John Deere 644K Hybrid Loader

Whether your operators are jobsite veterans or just getting their boots dirty, the 644K Hybrid Loader will make them more productive and efficient.

At an operating weight of 40,436-42,106 pounds, the 644K Hybrid boasts an Interim Tier 4-emission certified 229-hp diesel engine that runs at a constant 900, 1,200, 1,500 or 1,800 rpm. Bucket capacity is 4.25 cubic yards and breakout force is 30,419-34,039 pounds. And it consumes an average of 25 percent less fuel than John Deere’s conventional 644K Loader with lockup torque converter.

Hybrid-electric drive smoothly and efficiently recaptures energy to slow the loader when the operator lets off the accelerator. This lessens the load on the engine and reduces fuel consumption. A brushless generator provides electrical energy to the power electronics but can also be driven to use recycled energy to hydraulics and save fuel. And a brushless motor replaces the job of the torque converter but can also work as a generator to recycle energy back into the system.

The spacious cab provides plenty of room to stow your stuff, including a cooler compartment and beverage holder. Brake and throttle pedals have been repositioned and the front console redesigned to make way for more legroom, comfort and visibility. Standard air-ride armchair seat adjusts multiple ways for extra comfort and cushioning over rough terrain. Premium high/wide-back heated seat with leather inserts is available. At 1,800 rpm, in-cab sound levels are just 68 dBa. And because the engine runs at a constant speed, bystander noise is also less noticeable.

Controls are integrated into the seat for improved operator interface, controllability, and reduced fatigue. Joystick FNR selector provides convenient direction and full-range gear changes. Both include innovative quick-shift feature for push-button gear changes, one gear at a time. Speed-sensitive, low-effort joystick steering reduces operator fatigue and increases productivity. Joystick steering is ideal for V-pattern truck loading. Standard on the 844K and available on the other K-Series models, it adapts to ground speed to deliver smooth low-effort control. Even during load-and-carry. The new steering tower pivots at the floor and makes entering and exiting the cab far easier. Not to mention the additional 3.5 inches of legroom for added comfort.

Keyless start is standard equipment on K-Series models — pushing the green button on the sealed-switch module starts the engine. The security function requires a code to be entered at engine startup. Owner, operator, and transport codes are set via the monitor. The security function can be turned off if desired.

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