The John Deere L-Series backhoe lineup has received some valuable updates, including the introduction of precision mode, improved pilot controllers, two new rear coupler offerings, and a redesigned hydraulic thumb, according to the company.
“These backhoes can do multiple jobs, and now was the perfect time to make a few updates to improve the overall operator experience after launching these versatile machines two years ago,” said Brian Hennings, product marketing manager for backhoe loaders at John Deere Construction & Forestry.
The L-Series lineup — consisting of the 310L, 310L EP, 310SL, 310SL HL, 315SL, 410L, and 710L — is particularly popular with public utility crews, and the manufacturer continually works with fleet managers to identify ways to further improve performance, Hennings said. Precision mode, a new standard feature on the 310SL HL, 410L, and 710L, fits the bill.
Precision mode allows reduced-speed hydraulic functions while operating the backhoe end of the machine — all with the push of a button on the sealed switch module (SSM). The mode permits accurate, detailed work to be performed easily in tight areas, around utilities, or while craning.
“When operators are digging around sensitive areas in utility work, they want to be very careful and precise around obstacles,” Hennings said. “At the press of a button, they can reduce the hydraulic flow and still have the lifting and hydraulic performance that they need out of the machine.”
Precision mode also helps new operators and trainees become more comfortable with the backhoe as they master their skills.
A major time-saver is the new rear hydraulic coupler. It’s designed with an integrated control that’s incorporated into the SSM for reliable operation and clean installation.
“A lot of times backhoes are compared with a Swiss Army knife,” Hennings said. “Being able to swap out attachments and buckets quickly really promotes additional productivity, machine availability, and uptime.”
The rear hydraulic coupler lets operators change buckets or attachments easily, without ever leaving the cab, Hennings pointed out.
A new spring-type rear coupler also saves time, compared to a manual coupler, but at a lower price point than the rear hydraulic coupler. During the process of changing buckets or attachments, the operator must leave the cab just once, in order to release the current attachment. The only tool required is the provided control rod, which fits in the standard toolbox. It’s unnecessary for the operator to exit the cab a second time to reattach the next bucket.
A redesigned hydraulic thumb option reduces trench interference and improves contact points against the bucket cutting edge when handling or loading irregular-shaped objects, debris, rocks, or anything that can’t be handled with a bucket alone.
John Deere also improved the pilot controller, increasing the metering range by 16%. The result is better operator feel at the control helm, according to the company. Additionally, engineers improved consistency between functions – acceleration and deceleration – for smoother operation and reduced system oscillation.
Fleet managers have the option of ordering the dealer-provided Ultimate Uptime, featuring John Deere WorkSight. With Ultimate Uptime, fleet managers receive pre-delivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics, programming capabilities, and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to a customized package.