On May 17, Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corp. – the joint venture by John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery – welcomed members of the trade press to its Kernersville, N.C., campus for a tour of its manufacturing facility and demonstrations that included the new John Deere 345G LC reduced tail swing excavator. Rock Products Associate Editor Josephine Patterson was in attendance.
The 345G LC boasts a 249-hp (186-kW) Final Tier 4 diesel engine with no diesel particulate filter (DPF) aftertreatment and a three-pump hydraulic system that provides generous hydraulic flow for fast cycle times, greater flow for attachments and larger efficiency for improved fuel economy. An optional, factory-installed auxiliary hydraulic package enables the excavator to have the extra hydraulic flow to power larger attachments, like couplers and hammers.
During the event, it was also announced that John Deere has added grade guidance technology to the 210G LC excavator and made other customer-inspired updates to improve productivity, uptime and lower daily operating costs on the 13 to 47 ton models. The integrated grade guidance system, developed in cooperation with Topcon, provides operators with information on the bucket’s location with respect to a 2D reference or 3D design surface. The system will be available on the 350G LC and 470G LC excavator models in the next year.
Since the start of operations as a joint venture in 1988, Deere-Hitachi has manufactured over 55,000 hydraulic excavators for the North, Central and South American markets.
“The 30-year Deere-Hitachi partnership is unlike any other joint venture in the industry, and is a testament to the longstanding mutual respect and dedication of our teams,” said Jon Chase, president of Deere-Hitachi. “Combining the strength of Hitachi’s world-leading hydraulic excavator technology with the resources and might of the 180-year-old John Deere brand, the alliance produces excavators for the world’s best customers.”
The 1-million-sq.-ft. Deere-Hitachi manufacturing facility in Kernersville brings together the latest in technological innovation and a skilled workforce of more than 800 employees to produce best-in-class 13- to 47-metric ton excavator models. The facility uses high quality materials, advanced welding robotics, CNC machining centers, plasma plate-cutting machines and cranes capable of transporting as much as 25 tons. A lean manufacturing system combined with a thorough quality assurance process enables the facility to produce made-to-order machines with a quick time to market.
John Deere and Hitachi will be commemorating the 30th anniversary of the joint venture on May 19 with an employee and parent company celebration day at the Kernersville campus. More than 1,500 attendees including employees, family members and guests will participate in the event.