John Deere rolled out a dozer with a difference here at the ConExpo Con-Agg show in Las Vegas. The company is touting this new 764 High-Speed Dozer (HSD) as having the first new machine form factor the construction industry has seen in decades.
And that's not far off the mark. The 764 HSD sports a set of four individually suspended rubber tracks and features a new frame design that consists of two A-frame structures connected by a pivoting articulation joint. The machine's design also shifts the operator station very close to the front of the machine, giving the operator an unobstructed view of the 12-ft, six-way dozer blade. "The 764 obviously looks unlike any other dozer you'll see," says Scott Bayless, a product consultant repsonsible for the 764.
Looks aside, the machine really sets itself apart when it comes to speed and the related productivity gains. According to Bayless, the 764 can grade at roughly 6 mph while a similarly sized Deere 850 might grade at 3 mph for the same level of precision. The 764 also travels across the job site quickly, at up to 18 mph, with at least some of that speed coming from the rubber tracks' decreased rolling resistance compared to conventional steel tracks. Bayless says previous dozers of this size traveled at roughly 6 mph max.
During those travel periods, the 764 uses a hydraulic suspension system that allows each wheel to soak up bumps. "There's never been a need for a suspension system on machines like this because they didn't move fast enough," says Bayless, who adds the suspension system turns off during grading operations.
When the machine frame articulates, the inside and outside track speeds automatically change to improve turning. The machine's hydrostatic transmission also adjusts to deliver the maximum power and speed to the tracks under varying load conditions.
The 764 HSD weighs 32,000 lbs and is powered by a Tier 3 John Deere PowerTech 6.8-L engine rated at 200 hp. It's expected to go into production next year.