Equipment Roundup: Dozers getting better; Ram intros Harvest Edition chassis cab; Volvo Vera electric autonomous tractor; Deere updates 944K Hybrid loader; Deutz intros E-Deutz portfolio

Updated Oct 2, 2018

Deutz bolts hybrid and electric drivelines to its engines, creating new E-Deutz portfolio

In the past, an engine manufacturer’s responsibility stopped at the flywheel. Today, an increasing number of engine OEMs are paying as much attention to the drivetrain as they are to the engine itself. And this includes, in many cases, electrified and hybrid drive trains.

Last week, Deutz invited us to Cologne, Germany, to look at its new prototype electric drives, dubbed the E-Deutz portfolio, and hybrid and fully electric demonstration machines including two Manitou and two Liebherr telehandlers.


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Deere updates 944K Hybrid loader with new engine, more

A new Tier 4 Final engine headlines a list of upgrades Deere has made to its 944K hybrid wheel loader.

The machine’s new Deere PSS 13.5-liter engine provides 536 horsepower, the same power as the Tier 4 Interval engine it replaces. The loader is powered by the engine along with AC generators and motors. In this hybrid drive system, the engine turns twin generators that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Motors on each wheel then convert that electrical energy back to mechanical energy to move the wheels.

Because of the new engine, Deere says the already efficient loader has lowered fuel consumption by between 9 and 14 percent compared to its Tier 4 Interim-powered predecessor.


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Video: With supercar looks, Volvo Vera electric tractor can hitch and haul autonomously

“It’s designed to be safe. It’s quiet and totally predictable—down to the cost savings. Nothing similar to what you’ve seen from us before. In fact, it’s impossible to drive.”

That’s Mikael Karlsson, Volvo Trucks vice president for autonomous solutions, describing Vera, an electric, autonomous vehicle currently in development and recently unveiled by the company.

Though it looks more like an exotic supercar from the future, Vera is more truck than anything else. The vehicle is used as a tractor unit and is compatible with existing load carriers/trailers. The propulsion is entirely electric with zero exhaust emissions and low noise levels. The driveline and battery pack are of the same type that are used in Volvo Trucks’ electric trucks.


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Built for farming in tractor-matching hues, Ram intros 2018 Harvest Edition chassis cab trucks

As a follow-up to last year’s introduction of the Harvest Edition, a special package created for farmers and their families on the 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups, Ram Truck has announced that it has now brought the package to its chassis cab trucks.

Head of Ram Brand Jim Morrison says the Harvest Edition trucks address “a direct request from farmers.”

The Harvest Edition trucks come in two limited colors, Case IH Red and New Holland Blue, which are designed to match those companies’ agricultural equipment. You’ll also be able to get these trucks in black, or white.


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Dozers are getting better at what they’ve always done—and taking on new tasks

While other equipment basks in the limelight, dozers keep toiling away in the background. There are no new applications, no profound upgrades to design technology, no threat of dozers stealing market share from other types of equipment. Despite that, newsworthy things are happening with dozers, and it would be a mistake to dismiss them as the same old machines with slightly altered model designations.

“We’re enjoying the lull that followed moving everything to Tier 4 Final,” says Jason Anetsberger, senior product manager, Intelligent Machine Control, Komatsu. He says that while no major changes have occurred since the move to Tier 4 Final, there have been improvements, refinements and the addition of features. “Basically, it’s the same machines doing the same applications, but more versatility is available for those who need or want it.”


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