RJS Construction purchases first John Deere 644K electric hybrid wheel loaders
Wayne Grayson | April 15, 2013
RJS Construction John Deere 644K hybrid wheel loaders

John Deere’s wheel loader expert John Chesterman (left) talks to RJS officials David Lemke, Pete Weidman, Lance Lindahl, Steve Picha and Dustin Waldo. Credit: Rob Karwath/Duluth News Tribune

Back in February, we gave you an in-depth look at John Deere’s new 644K wheel loader and the electric hybrid technology that powers it. And recently, RJS Construction was handed the keys to the first two units off the assembly line.

The Superior, Wisconsin company took ownership of the first two 644Ks at an event at Deere’s Davenport, Iowa plant, according to a report from the Duluth News Tribune.

RJS  told the paper that it will begin using the machines later this year in its sand pits and in a road and culvert project. John Deere’s marketing manager for wheel loaders John Chesterman said that the company will be monitoring how the two loaders perform.

Lance Lindahl, a vice president at RJS told the paper that he first saw the loaders at a trade show in Las Vegas in 2011 and that the company knew then it wanted the first two available. “Efficiency is the big ticket for us,” he said.

Deere says the 644K saves 25 percent more fuel than the previous model. Its PowerTech 6.8-liter Interim Tier 4 pushes 229 horsepower. The loader uses two sources of energy — diesel and electric — capturing regenerated energy as it’s being created to power the machine.

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