After much anticipation and countless hours of product development, John Deere unveils three powerful and productive L-Series utility wheel loaders. The 524L, 544L and 624L offer customers an intuitive solution, ideal for projects that require agility and versatility on the jobsite or farm. Designed with the operator in mind, the L-Series machines incorporate several new features, including improved cabs for more comfort and visibility, electrohydraulic (EH) loader controls for easier operation and redesigned near-parallel linkage, and enhanced performance buckets.
"Our next generation of wheel loaders improves upon the legacy of the John Deere wheel loader line," said Chris Cline, product marketing manager for utility wheel loaders, John Deere Construction & Forestry. "The L-Series boasts several improvements over previous models designed to positively impact productivity, comfort and visibility, resulting in increased profitability."
The most notable of changes to the L-Series from their K-Series predecessors is the improved cab, which is roomier and more comfortable, offering more functional storage and floor space. The optional premium heavy-duty air suspension seat is heated, ventilated and designed to offer additional legroom. The HVAC performance is also enhanced, now including rear defrost, increasing air flow while reducing noise. Three standard 12-volt auxiliary power ports in the cab enable the operator to charge multiple devices. Optional remote-heated, adjustable mirrors increase jobsite visibility.
Behind the wheel, EH loader controls with integrated third and fourth function auxiliary hydraulics provide faster cycle times, resulting in more material moved in shorter periods of time. Two multifunction buttons integrated into the hydraulic controls allow the operator to assign a function to each button, improving operability and productivity. This loader also has an ergonomically designed, seat-mounted right-hand joystick with a standard forward-neutral-reverse switch and fully integrated auxiliary hydraulic controls. A throttle lock option removes the need for the operator to push the throttle pedal to maintain engine speed.
Improvements to the machine boom structure directly result in increased productivity. The design increases visibility to the coupler, bucket or forks, reducing overall cycle times, material spillage and equipment damage. Additional bucket options include enhanced production buckets with integrated spill guards, profiled side cutters and greater rollback, improving bucket fill and material retention. A new shaft-style fork design offers more visibility and tine length options, including 48 inches, 60 inches and 72 inches. Smoother boom and bucket hydraulic kickouts reduce operator fatigue, while new standard parallel lift linkage improves load levelling, limits bucket spillage and increases fork operation speed.
Return-to-dig settings can now be set from the cab for both directions of the bucket, allowing operators to return-to-dig from any position without having to adjust the bucket to dump position. Boom and Bucket EH metering rate aggressiveness allows the operator to choose a setting – low, medium or high – for quicker hydraulics or reduced response in precision operations for improved comfort. Attachment configuration settings can be saved, allowing the operator to assign and save settings to an attachment, making it easier to switch between attachments without impacting productivity.
The 524L, 544L and 624L are available with optional High Lift (HL) and High Lift Plus (HL Plus) selections; there is also a tool carrier option on the 524L and 624L models. The HL Plus option features hinge pin heights that are 12 to 13 inches higher than current HL pin heights, allowing the operator to dump into higher trucks or wagons. The tool carrier option provides the best centreline visibility to the coupler or forks. It is ideal for customers handling materials, like pallets, pipe or logs, where centreline visibility is important.
From a service perspective, the hydraulic hose and electrical wire harness routing and retention are improved, and the machines feature 40 fewer leak points, lowering potential repair costs.
The 524L, 544L and 624L feature fuel-efficient Tier 4 Final John Deere diesel engines (6.8 litres) and boast 152 (113 kW), 166 (123 kW) and 192 (143 kW) net peak horsepower, respectively.
Fleet managers looking to get the most out of their L-Series wheel loaders can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide Ultimate Uptime, featuring. With Ultimate Uptime, owners receive predelivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics, programming capabilities and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to a customized package.
The 544L will also be on display at World of Concrete, January 22–25, 2019, at booth C5451. Alongside the 544L will be a JD544, built in December 1968, to commemorate 50 years of John Deere building wheel loaders. Contractors, builders, and sand and gravel-pit operators alike helped build the innovative JD544 50 years ago. The new L-Series machines are a testament of durability, dependability and productivity, and of continuous customer-inspired design. Throughout 2019, all new manufactured wheel loaders will showcase a 50 year anniversary emblem to signify this milestone.