A close relative of the skid steer loader, compact track loaders are versatile, powerful machines in a small package. With rubber tracks instead of wheels, compact track loaders are better suited to softer terrain and have a lower impact on the ground. Compact track loaders are relative newcomers to the compact category. John Deere started offering these dedicated track loaders in 2005 with two models. Over the years, the company has expanded its offering to include four models and numerous options and attachments.
John Deere’s newest E Series (319E, 323E, 329E and 333E) represents the next generation of Deere’s compact track loaders, combining proven technology and enhanced undercarriage with long-life design. These units also offer numerous customer-recommended enhancements that help contractors increase productivity and uptime and keep daily operating costs low. These include a larger operator station, a quiet pressurized cab with best-in-class visibility, says Deere, and a curved-glass, swing-out door.
The John Deere compact track loader line also features an innovative cooling system and optional hydraulically-driven, variable-speed fan that reverses to clear debris buildup, keeping the machines running smoothly longer. Each model’s steel-reinforced tracks provide sure-footed traction and superior longevity, says Deere. Additional options include an electro-hydraulic joystick, variable boom and bucket speed settings and more than 100 attachments.
All-steel rollers, idlers and sprockets, as well as steel-imbedded rubber tracks, make the E Series undercarriage more robust and durable for longer life and more uptime, says the company. John Deere’s compact track loaders also utilize dozer roller seal and bearing technology, providing performance without leaks under tough conditions. The all-steel rollers are also easier to clean after work in muddy conditions, says Deere.
The double flange rollers and idlers offer a smooth ride, increasing operator comfort and productivity. They are also larger than competitive models, which helps increase rubber track life by reducing heat buildup with the largest bending radii of the track. The final drive planetary reduction gearbox’s bearings are 100 percent larger than those of the competition and will last significantly longer, says Deere. This size also offers increased pushing power, notes the company.
The large-frame E Series models feature a flat floor design with 25 percent more foot room than previous models. The models also include low-effort electro-hydraulic (EH) controls for additional comfort and ease of operation. The EH controls are available for ISO, H and foot patterns and the operator now has the option to switch between all three controls.
Advice to Buyers
“Compact track loaders come in several sizes and power levels,” says Gregg Zupancic, John Deere product marketing manager for skid steers and compact track loaders. “Buyers should keep their current and future needs in mind when purchasing a compact track loader. Considerations like power, boom height and available attachments will all affect how useful a compact track loader is on the jobsite. Operator comfort and visibility are also key factors, as they affect overall productivity and jobsite safety.”