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Deere offers up supersized crawler dozer

Deere's new 1050K crawler dozer was designed and is being built in Iowa, after "years of research and extensive customer feedback," according to the company. It is the largest and most powerful dozer ever built by Deere and it is geared toward mining, quarrying, road building, and other large-scale applications that depend on uptime and low operating costs.

The 1050K is powered by a Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV PowerTech diesel engine with 350 hp (261 kW). Completely redesigned from the ground up, the 1050K's dual-path hydrostatic transmission allows an operator to push a full load through turns without losing material, unlike torque-converter transmissions on competitor machines.

Like its smaller family member the 850K, the 1050K features Eco mode, which optimizes fuel economy while maintaining ground speed by automatically adjusting engine speed and transmission settings based on load. This has the potential to reduce fuel consumption up to 25% with no loss in productivity in many applications.

Diesel particulate filter (DPF) cleaning occurs automatically with no impact to machine operation. Ash service intervals for the DPF are condition based, meaning the machine will notify the operator before service is required. Typically, ash service is not necessary until the first engine overhaul. Extensive testing has shown that Deere's DPF can go up to 15,000 hours before ash removal.

The production-class dozer's heavy-duty undercarriage is sealed and lubricated. Its oval-track design has only one wear-causing forward-travel flex point, for longer life. For added durability, heavy-duty double-reduction planetary final drives are mounted independent of the track frames, where they're effectively protected from shock loads.

Inside the cab, a high-back suspension seat is angled 15° to provide a more comfortable view of the ripper and adjusts seven ways. An updated LCD display monitor provides enhanced onboard diagnostics with real-time values for every temperature, pressure, and speed sensor on the machine. The crawler dozers constantly monitor transmission temperature to avoid damage to the hydrostat system.

Prior to starting work, operators are able to the maximum desired ground speed, and the power management system automatically maintains peak engine rpm and power efficiency without stalling or shifting. An exclusive Total Machine Control monitor allows the operator to select decelerator mode and response—forward/reverse ground-speed ranges, steering modulation, F-N-R shift rate, and forward/reverse speed ratios.

A hydraulic power-pitch option allows the operator to control blade pitch from the cab. The blade pitch is also adjustable to three mount locations to allow it to perform in a variety of applications and materials. The programmable return-to-pitch settings allow the operator to preset blade-pitch positions, which can be activated with the push of a button.

The 1050K's controls can be customized to meet the individual needs of an operator. The decelerator can slow both ground-speed and engine rpm, or with the touch of a button, control ground-speed only, to help maintain traction without affecting engine power and hydraulic response. Fully depressing the pedal applies the brakes.

With standard electrohydraulic controls, all 1050K dozers are grade-control ready, making adding a grade-control system as easy as plugging in the components and calibrating. As with the 750K and 850K, Deere's open-architecture design allows customers to employ their preferred grade-control system—Trimble, Topcon, or Leica.

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