John Deere’s new P-Tier small dozer lineup is equipped with new technologies and design features to simplify operation.
Unveiled at ConExpo, the 450, 550 and 650 P-Tier dozers with Electro-Hydraulic (EH) controls are equipped with EZ Grade from the factory, which helps operators manually grade smooth finish passes by making small blade corrections automatically.
“The system makes it easier for unskilled operators,” said Matt Goedert, Roadbuilding Solutions Marketing Manager for John Deere’s Worldwide Construction & Forestry division. “The system is constantly reacting for the operator so they can keep their grade smooth.”
As well, all three machines are upgradable to Slope Control, which allows the operator to grade at desired slopes.
“Say, we’re grading a flat building pad. Using the touchscreen, operators can enter in a zero per cent main fall and zero per cent cross fall. The blade will automatically move to achieve that target slope,” Goedert said.
All three dozers are compatible with laser receivers, and the Slope Control with Dual Laser system is schedule to be released this summer.
“It gives operators the ability to not only maintain that slope, but maintain that slope to a desired elevation,” Goedert said.
As an additional tech feature, the small dozers include a new 20-cm touchscreen cab display that offers intuitive navigation of machine control and settings.
Small dozer design upgrades
To enhance operator performance and safety, the new P-Tier small dozers feature a variety of strategic design choices aimed to increase operator visibility and comfort.
The cab is now 14 per cent larger than previous models and includes increased storage space and easier ingress/egress capabilities.
To improve operability, customers can now proportionally control the blade’s angle and change travel direction using the integrated FNR switch.
“We carried down joysticks from mid-size lineup,” Goedert said. “Now operators don’t have to move their arm back and forth to change direction. That is all integrated into a switch from the joystick to reduce fatigue.”
Deere also redesigned the dozer hood to increase operator visibility. On the 650 P-Tier, the hood is straightened and lowered by 127 mm. For the 450 and 550 P-Tier models, the hood is straightened and lowered by 18 cm.
“This gives operators clear sightlines closer to the front of the blade,” Goedert said. “Not only do they have exceptional visibility to the blade corners where they’re looking while they’re grading, they can look up and have excellent visibility up the front of the machine, which improves overall situational awareness.”
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The 71-hp 450 P-Tier small dozer features an operating weight of 8,081 kg to 8,634 kg, a 3.15-metre-wide blade and is equipped with a John Deere PowerTech EWX 4045 engine. Compared to the previous model, the 450 P-Tier reduces fuel consumption by 17 per cent in backfilling operations.
Specific to the 450 P-Tier, Deere removed the DEF system, while still meeting Tier 4 Final and Stage V emissions regulations.
“We wanted to give customers a less complex aftertreatment system with reduced maintenance,” Goedert said.
The 92-hp 550 P-Tier small dozer features an operating weight of 8,552 kg to 9,124 kg, a 3.15-metre-wide blade and is equipped with a John Deere PowerTech PWS 4045 engine.
The 104-hp 650 P-Tier is the largest of the small dozers with an operating weight of 9,600 kg to 10,198 kg, a 3.25-metre-wide blade and a PowerTech PWS 4045 engine.
All three dozers include an integrated welded-on spill sheet on the blade to increase capacity and help reduce damage caused by material spillage.
The machines also feature a standard Eco mode that automatically adjusts engine speed and powertrain settings based on load, to maximize fuel usage by up to 20 per cent compared to standard operating mode, without performance loss.