John Deere has unveiled the first new machine form the construction industry has seen in decades. The 764 high-speed dozer (HSD) is a unit that will give operators the ability to do more in less time. This innovative rubber-tracked dozer combines the speed of a grader with the flotation of a crawler dozer. As a result, operators can perform grading and moderate dozing at about double the speed of a similarly sized crawler.
They’ll also have the ability to travel 18 mph across a jobsite without damaging pavement.
The 764 HSD (Circle 920) weighs in at 32,000 lb and is powered by a Tier III John Deere PowerTech 6.8-liter engine rated at 200 hp.
The entire powertrain works together to distribute power to the tracks for maximum push while avoiding spin.
When the machine articulates, the inside and outside track speeds automatically change to improve turning. The hydrostatic transmission also adjusts to deliver the maximum power and speed to the tracks under varying load conditions.
“We took the information we gathered from customer advocate groups and listened to what they were saying about the problems or issues they faced on their finished grading sites, and basically took that information and molded it into a completely new machine form that addressed a lot of those problems,” Scott Bayless, a product consultant responsible for the 764, told Roads & Bridges.
“With the newer technologies available with grade-control systems with the machines they were using—graders and dozers to finish grade—you’re somewhat limited in production by speed, where this machine’s having rubber tracks, and four of them instead of two allows the machine to finish grade at a much higher speed than a traditional crawler does, in turn increasing the production.
“The mobility of the tractor was another challenge that our customers faced,” Bayless said. “With the steel-track crawler, you have to bring in a tractor-trailer, load it up, chain it down and haul it. With this tractor, with the high-speed capabilities, you can transport 18 mph across finish pavement or concrete. So that’s another huge advantage of this machine—its mobility and ability to transport not only across the jobsite but down finished pavement to another part of the work site.”
Another problem was sandy soil conditions, Bayless told Roads & Bridges. “In a lot of applications with sandy soil conditions, the grader exerts too high a ground pressure and disturbs the finish too much to use. This machine basically combines the speed and agility of the grader with the flotation of a crawler because your ground pressure is significantly less than what a motor grader would be.”
Twenty-four-in.-wide tracks provide 4,989 sq in. of track on the ground for superior flotation.
An articulation joint gives dozer operators the ultimate in maneuverability, vital when grading around pavement and helpful when navigating side slopes. While turning, the shorter tracks are swept over less ground than longer tracks, extending life and improving performance.
The fore-mounted operator’s station is close to the 12-ft, six-way dozer blade and moves with it as the unit turns. This gives the operator a full, panoramic view of the blade at all times and the ultimate in close-quarters control.
“Being a completely new machine form, we’re kind of thinking outside the box, and by putting the cab right in the front of the tractor right behind the blade, the operator has an unobstructed view of what he’s doing and his grade work,” Bayless said.
“It is the first true commercially produced crawler dozer that puts the operator right behind the blade.”
The 764 will be available in early 2009.