UK Debut for New John Deere Wheel Loaders

With two new wheel loaders from John Deere about to be launched in the UK, we’ve been getting the view of several plant and quarry operators who’ve recently been trialling the brand being marketed here through Wirtgen Limited, part of the Deere & Company family.

The new versatile and performance-enhancing 744 P-tier and 824 P-tier machines made their debut in the United States in September last year when they were also showcased at Bauma 2022, and they feature a number of notable chassis and technological improvements on previous models.

Andy Kent who heads up John Deere loader sales in the UK says a lot of background planning, including a six-month market research exercise, has gone into preparations for the imminent arrival of the two new models. “It’s not just about selling machines, we needed to have our solid and dependable service support with factory trained engineers and parts network in place for our customers and we are ready to go.”

Although the Wirtgen Group was acquired by John Deere – better known here perhaps for its agricultural machinery ranges – at the back end of 2017, the emergence of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns threw a spanner in the works, but with that all now in the past we can expect to see these new wheel loaders attract plenty of interest in the construction and quarrying industries. 

“With the new models due for delivery shortly, we are very confident they will have a positive impact here in the UK over the next couple of months and beyond. Responses from everyone who has trialled our 824 John Deere wheel loader so far have been very favourable,” says Andy.

Operators have been very impressed with

demonstration model’s handling and performance…

That includes Graham Eddy from Cornwall based P & G Eddy Plant Services, a family run business providing plant hire, repair and maintenance services for the construction and quarrying sectors. He says the John Deere loader is a big improvement on previous models, with notable advancements in build quality, as well as in the design of the cab offering better visibility and easier access to service and maintenance points. 

“We’ll definitely be adding one, perhaps two, John Deere machines to our rental fleet in the near future,” says Graham. “We will not be considering any other brands.”

Meanwhile, Mark Glendinning, Operations Manager at Glendinning Quarries, the largest independent supplier of quarry and concrete products to the construction sector in Devon and Cornwall, has put their operators in the driving seat with their first experience of the John Deere brand. “Our operators have been very impressed with its handling and performance,” says Plant Manager Kevin Raggett. “The machine is very quick over the ground compared to our other loaders and the hydraulics are smooth and very responsive. There’s a lot to like about the John Deere.”

Another company taking a serious look at the John Deere machines is Goonvean Aggregates at St Austell in Cornwall, a major supplier of aggregates, sand, and gravels throughout the Southwest of England. They run a fleet of eight loading shovels and are in the market to add another two new machines in the next couple of months, so they have been trialling a number of different brands, and the fuel efficient John Deere is a strong contender. 

“A number of our operators have been working with the John Deere demo model and they all seem very happy with it,” says Ian Jolly who is the Assistant Quarry Manager. “The brand would fit in well with the rest of our fleet. It is just what we are looking for in size, capacity and performance.”

The 744 P-tier operates at up to 316 horsepower and has a bucket capacity of up to 4.5 cubic meters,and can handle a wide array of tasks at the jobsite, while the bigger 824 P-tier offers up to 343 horsepower and a larger bucket capacity of up to 5.2 cubic meters. Both feature enhanced transmission capabilities as well as high quality components such as extra-durable axles boasting larger capacity front axle input bearings, axle shaft diameter and bearing size increases, and pressure lubricated front input bearings designed to help reduce heat, increase component life, and boost overall machine reliability. 

The P-tier transmission includes a standard lockup torque converter, which adds additional torque during operation and improves fuel economy while transporting materials. The improved lockup logic increases performance and shift quality, while the updated speed sensors improve low torque shifting and downshift, improving performance when going into piles. Both loaders come equipped with the John Deere 9.0-litre engine that increases horsepower while minimizing fuel consumption for a robust performance overall.

More space, extra storage and enhanced visibility

supporting overall machine and operator safety…

The redesigned interior cab gives the operator more space, extra storage and enhanced visibility supporting the overall machine and operator safety on the job. Optional features that improve operator comfort and experience include heated and ventilated seats with increased adjustment capabilities, an upgraded HVAC system, and additional power ports and aux mounting capabilities inside the cab. 

The P-tier machines also come with standard joystick steering and electrohydraulic (EH) controls with two multifunction programmable buttons to maximise performance on the job. Included, too, is a variety of industry-proven technology solutions such as an Advanced Vision System and Advanced Obstacle Detection capabilities for improved visibility, while the JDLink machine monitoring system, enables machine communications and remote support from dealers as well as increased safety levels. For example, a seat-belt minder sends an alert to the JDLink system if the safety belt isn’t latched within 60 seconds after the parking brake is released. 

Other enhancements include remotely adjustable heated mirrors, an anchor tie-off point with window-washing platforms to ease cleaning windows, and a large platform for entry and exit from the cab, while a Payload Weighing System, which is designed to increase productivity by maximizing the operator workflow, is available as an optional enhancement.

Aimed to simplify serviceability, the 744 P-tier and 824 P-tier loaders feature ground level servicing, including a remote engine oil dip stick, and improved electrical and hydraulic routing, getting your machine back on the job sooner. The optional auto lube system ensures automatic greasing takes place while the machine is operating for more effective grease distribution.