Note: This story was updated March 29 with more details about the 904 P-Tier.
John Deere launched its 904 P-Tier wheel loader under its new naming system at World of Asphalt this week with the intent of expanding the naming to most of its L Series loaders.
The naming system is based on three tier levels for equipment: G, P and X.
The company is also launching what it calls an industry first, delivering wider rear views from the machine to increase operators’ situational awareness.
The company plans to roll out the tiers to all of its large loaders later this year except for the 944K hybrid wheel loader, said Deere’s solutions marketing manager for loaders and aggregates solutions, Luke Gribble, at the company’s booth.
The P-tier for wheel loaders represents the same advanced features as those on the company’s L Series models. G represents economy models, and X represents the company’s most advanced features and hybrid diesel-electric technology. Those letters replace the letter behind the model number.
The 904 P-Tier now replaces the 844L Aggregate Handler, but it has several differences. “It had enough specific capabilities that we really thought, ‘Let’s separate it from the 844 and give it its own identity,’” says Gribble.
He adds that the L Series updates will be on the new P-Tier models, including the cabs from the last design change. Those features include automatic temperature control, ventilated seats, more legroom and standard joystick steering.
The 904 P-Tier also comes with more horsepower, breakout force and hydraulic pressure. Deere wanted a larger bucket with the goal of filling a standard 24-ton truck in two passes. Bucket capacities are between 9.3 and 9.8 cubic yards.
Deere added larger tilt cylinders on the front of the loader and increased the counterweight to support the additional weight. The company also gave it wider tires for additional weight and stability, Gribble says.
A wider, seamless rear view
“And we will have some new technologies that you can order on these machines … later this year, too,” Gribble adds.
Some of those new optional technologies include the Advanced Vision and Object Detection System, which the company says is a first for the industry. The system includes digital cameras on the two sideview mirrors on the machine. The side camera views are combined with the standard rearview camera to create a single, larger display. “So you can see wider fields of view on both sides of the machine,” he says.
The advanced object detection provides guidelines on the monitor, similar to those on cars when traveling in reverse, and will move as the machine moves.
“We’re looking at ways to improve operators’ situational awareness through the more advanced vision system and radar object detection,” he explains.
The object detection also sounds an alarm as the machine gets closer to an object when backing up. The closer you get to an object, the more intense the beeping.
Increased power and stability
Deere also gave the 904 P-Tier high-capacity, heavy-duty axles.
It added standard axle cooling filtration for more durability in rugged conditions than previous models, the company says.
Other features include a more fuel-efficient engine, lockup torque converters and a dedicated steering pump for reducing fuel consumption. Auto-idle is standard.
It runs on a 429-horsepower engine and has an operating weight of 80,905 pounds. Hinge pin height is 15 feet 2 inches, and full turn tipping load is 52,214 pounds.
The 904 is controlled by seat-mounted hydraulic controls. The material buckets come with integrated spill guards and curved side cutters.
The loader is compatible with Deere’s telematics system, JDLink. It delivers real-time machine data and alerts, helps operators and owners increase productivity and uptime and lower daily operating costs, Deere says. JDLink is now available without a subscription at no cost, according to the company.
The 904 P-Tier is scheduled to be available at dealers later this year.