By: The Working Forest Staff
MOLINE, IL – John Deere introduces the new six-wheel 768L-II Bogie Skidder, a true woodland warrior designed to conquer wet conditions and steep slope terrain. Incorporating the proven, durable features found on the John Deere L-II Skidder lineup, the new 768L-II maximizes productivity, performance, and comfort when carrying hefty loads over long distances in challenging conditions.
“Profitability and productivity are critical in the woods, and as loggers take to new areas for jobs, they need dependable machines that are built with these niche applications in mind,” said Matthew Flood, product marketing manager, John Deere. “With our new 768L-II Bogie Skidder, we’re delivering a purpose-built machine that navigates tough terrain, such as swamps or steep slopes. Providing distinct features, the John Deere bogie skidder helps loggers maximize their potential, regardless of the conditions.”
- The 768L-II features heavy-duty bogie axles, outstanding tractive ability, and floatation, increasing durability and performance in challenging conditions. Additionally, a new arch design expands visibility while a long wheelbase and improved boom-arch envelope increase dexterity and maneuverability in the woods, significantly boosting productivity and performance.
- The bogie skidder incorporates the customer-favorite features found in the L-II machines, including a comfort-boosting cab, redesigned electrical and hydraulic systems, and industry-exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission.
The 281-horsepower 768L-II features heavy-duty bogie axles, which incorporate large components to maximize durability and stability for long axle and tire life. The heavy-duty axles are purpose-built for tough applications, effortlessly pulling heavy loads and maneuvering tough terrain. The smooth, stable operation results in reduced machine vibration, ultimately minimizing operator fatigue. Another key feature is the excellent tractive ability and floatation. When combined with the bogie axles, ground pressure is reduced, allowing the 768L-II to work in wet terrain not accessible with a four-wheel skidder. As a result, the harvesting window is extended, adding more working days to the calendar.
The new arch design provides the operator with an expansive rearward view of the grapple and work area, providing excellent visibility. Improving maneuverability, the long wheelbase and boom-arch envelope boost reach and lift capability for the boom and grapple, increasing dexterity in the woods. The tight turning radius enhances agility at the landing.
“The John Deere bogie skidder is hands down twice as good as a regular four-tire skidder. It’s just all-around better in my book for productivity and ground disturbance,” said Jason Dawson of Triple J Logging. “With the 768L-II, you can carry twice as much of a load, especially in wet conditions and on the steep terrain, without tearing the ground up.”
The 768L-II retains the other customer-favorite features introduced on the L-II product lineup. Streamlined and redesigned electrical and hydraulic systems result in improved uptime and increase guarding and protection of key components. An increased grapple squeeze force and two-speed winch further increase productivity, while articulation steering sensors improve the operator experience.
Highly regarded by customers, all L-Series II models feature a spacious cab, including ample storage space, configurable controls, and an effective HVAC system. Armrest-mounted electrohydraulic controls offer accessible, hand-finger operation of all machine functions, and joystick steering provides smooth control of steer, direction, and ground speed. The industry-exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) marries the efficiency of a direct-drive transmission with the smoothness of a hydrostatic drive. As a result, CVT provides more power to the ground by sensing the load, increasing torque, and tractive effort as needed to maintain the desired speed.