With the introduction of the 1050K crawler dozer earlier this year, Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. moves further upmarket into production-size machinery and brings an end to a decades-long relationship with Liebherr.
"Being able to offer production-class equipment, trucks, dozers and excavators now, it kind of completes the package," says Todd Perrine, vice president of Deere dealer Leslie Equipment, Cowen, W.Va. "It's the last piece of the puzzle that we've been waiting to get completed."
Perrine says the 1050K costs approximately $725,000, depending on options, accessories and quantity being purchased. Lease options also are expected to be numerous and include extended warranties designed to reduce the lease payments. Leslie Equipment currently has two 1050K dozers "in the dirt," and both are leases, he notes.
The 1050K features a 350-horsepower Tier 4 PowerTech diesel engine mated to a dual-path hydrostatic transmission, which the manufacturer says allows users to push a full load through turns without losing material, a feature not possible with torque-converter transmissions.
Complementing the clean-diesel engine is an eco-mode feature, which helps to optimize fuel economy during use. The company claims it can reduce fuel consumption by 25%. The dozer can automatically adjust engine speed and transmission settings based on the load to ensure the dozer maintains ground speed while operating in eco mode.
Large dozers such as the 1050K are becoming more versatile. Over the past several years, automated grade-control systems compatible with larger dozers have helped to make the segment, including the 1050K, more appealing to a wider range of customers, says Mark Oliver, product marketing manager at John Deere Construction & Forestry.
"Once customers found that they could take a grade-control system and start installing it on larger machines, they could take a bigger machine to do the same work that they used to do on small machines," Oliver says. The 1050K is compatible with most grade-control systems and can be equipped with a Topcon system from John Deere dealers.
A first for this machine is the ability for customers to access wear parts that are interchangeable with machines built by Deere competitors. Perrine says some of these wear parts include the cutting edge, track pads, rails, rollers, ripper shank and more. With a base operating weight of 95,000 lb, the 1050K competes against the Caterpillar D8T and the Komatsu D155 crawler dozers.
Oliver said the 1050K crawler was tested over the course of two years in various environments, such as heavy highway and rock applications.
"You want to see where this thing really shines? Put this thing in a ripping application. This thing is a ripping animal with all that power, the transmission," Oliver said at a press conference ENR attended last month at Deere's demonstration site in Sacaton, Ariz.
The 1050K crawler dozer is available now in North America and Canada with a Tier 4 system, but the company is looking to roll out Tier 2 models worldwide in the near future, according to Oliver.
Deere's previous large crawler dozer, the 1050J, was a rebadged PR754 manufactured by Germany-based Liebherr; the relationship between the two companies began in 2000. At that time, Deere rebadged large Liebherr crawler tractors, while Liebherr sold its own models.
In 2004, Deere and Liebherr modified their agreement so that Deere could exclusively remarket Liebherr models in the U.S. In 2010, the deal was again modified so that Deere could began manufacturing its own 605, 655 and 755 crawler dozers. The introduction of the 1050K crawler dozer completes John Deere's transition to its own designed-and-built crawler-dozer line. The machine is built in Dubuque, Iowa.