Deere says that the introduction of Autoshift functionality on its line of H-Series skidders was "in response to common productivity and operational challenges throughout the logging industry." Eliminating shifting allows operators to use their right hand to run the grapple and focus on pulling the load, which effectively makes the skidder easier to operate, increases productivity, and decreases operator fatigue.
Autoshift leverages the fuel efficiency advantage of direct drive and lock-up torque converter transmissions and automatically selects the optimal gear for a given load. Autoshift is available as an option in all of Deere's skidder models—540GIII and 640H cable skidders and 548GIII, 648H, 748H, and 848H grapple skidders.
"The H-Series skidders are built to maximize uptime and keep operating costs down," said Elizabeth Quinn, Product Marketing Manager, Skidders and Wheeled Feller Bunchers. "Faster load gathering and ground speed combined with best-in-class fuel efficiency ensure the H-Series skidders move the most wood at the lowest cost per ton."
Whether on steep slopes or swamp conditions, the H-Series skidders with Autoshift are said to be able to handle all types of wood. The skidders are fit with PowerTech Plus Tier 3 emissions-certified diesel engines.
According to Deere, its skidders "feature industry-leading axles, innovative options like dual-mode steering, and bulletproof frames."