Time constraints can put the squeeze on contractors, and slow machinery never helps. In an effort to speed up bulldozing applications, John Deere has released an entirely new product that takes the speed and on-road abilities from tracked tractors and graders and combines them with the capabilities of a standard dozer. The 764 high-speed dozer (HSD) is said to be freed from the limitations that are associated with standard crawlers.
With a top speed of 18 mph (29 km/h), it is more than twice as fast as traditional dozers, and by using rubber and not metal tracks, the HSD can travel on finished surfaces without destroying them.
While the 764 HSD is an entirely new machine form, it was developed with components from other Deere products. The powertrain, hydraulics, blade, and C-frame are from John Deere crawlers, while the cab, engine, controls, and articulation joint come from Deere 4WD loaders. The undercarriage comes with a 3000-h wear assurance program.
The powerplant pushing the 32,800-lb (14,878-kg) HSD is a 6068H 6.8-L turbocharged inline-six PowerTech Tier 3-certified diesel, producing 200 hp (149 kW) and 704 ft·lb (955 N·m). Power then flows through a hydrostatic drive that has four electronically selectable ranges between 0 to 18 mph.
The tracks are 24 in (610 mm) wide and together provide 4989 in2 (3.2 m2) of ground contact that maintains floatation on loose or damp surfaces.
Steering is provided through the central chassis articulated pivot point in a similar way to Case’s Steiger tractors. Two-track designs reduce power in turns as they steer, but four tracks and a central hinge allow for full power under load in turns and do not cause ridging as a traditional dozer would.
The cab is mounted just behind the 12-ft (3.7-m) blade and provides forward visibility that cannot be matched by conventional dozers. The 764 HSD is available with Deere's integrated grade control, meaning the dozer arrives from the factory pre-wired and ready to add a laser/GPS system.
A rear hitch and two hydraulic circuits allow the dozer to pull implements such as scrapers, discs, box blades, and compactors up to 34,000 lb (15,422 kg).
Maintenance is stretched to 500 h for hydraulic and transmission filter changes and 2000 h for transmission oil. Daily service points are grouped together while service doors hide dipsticks and gauges from damage.
The HSD measures 126 in (3200 mm) high and 269 in (6833 mm) long. It will be available in early 2009.