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Anatomy of a John Deere 260E Articulated Dump Truck

Posted in Features on August 9, 2017
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Whether you’ve seen them storming through the mines, kicking up dust at the quarry, or transporting dirt in a road development setting, off-highway dump trucks possess an inherent awesomeness that’s impossible to ignore. Take one look at the articulated versions and you up the cool factor even further. These agile, earth-hauling behemoths can usually be found in fast-paced environments where productivity is key—and time is money. We stopped by John Deere’s Coal Valley, Illinois, proving grounds to get an inside look at one of the construction industry’s latest articulated dump trucks (ADTs): the 260E.

Produced at Deere’s Davenport, Iowa, facility, the 260Es—and all E-Series ADTs for that matter—were designed to replace the older D models. Along with payload increases across the board, features such as locking differentials, a high capacity transmission retarder, and a tire pressure monitoring system now come as standard equipment. While the 260E is the smallest ADT in John Deere’s stable, its 26-ton payload capacity, massive ZF axles, 24-degree approach angle, and 19.4 inches of ground clearance tell us this machine is capable of handling hard work in virtually any type of terrain. A powertrain consisting of a compound turbocharged, 321hp 9.0L PowerTech engine coupled to a fully-automatic, eight-speed ZF transmission allows a top speed of 34.2 mph to be achieved. And, despite the fact that it tips the scales at 49,990 pounds (empty), the 260E is exceptionally light on its feet. In fact, its power-to-weight ratio is among the best in its class.

Combine all of the above with ease of serviceability, a quiet, comfortable cab, and John Deere’s JDLink telematics system providing remote diagnosis and programming capabilities, and you have one of the most durable, refined, and technologically advanced ADTs in the world. Turn the page for a closer look at what makes the 260E tick.

Engine
*John Deere PowerTech PSS 6090
*9.0L (549 ci) displacement, inline-six configuration
*Wet sleeve cylinder liners
*24-valve cylinder head
*321 hp at 1,900 rpm
*1,138 lb-ft of torque
*Denso high-pressure common-rail fuel system

Turbochargers
*Series turbocharger (two-stage, compound turbo arrangement)
*Fixed geometry low-pressure (atmosphere) turbo (right)
*Variable geometry high-pressure (manifold) turbo (left)
*Air-to-air charge air cooler (intercooler)
*Two-stage turbo configuration yields more boost pressure, higher power density, and improved low speed torque

Rear Axles & Suspension
*ZF model MT-D 3095 planetary
*Differentials with Helical transfer gears, spiral bevel, and inter-axle differential lock (IDL)
*Hydraulically activated, outboard wet multi-disc brakes on each axle for optimum performance and maximum service life
*Optional axle gear oil cooler and filtration system is available
*Load-equalizing, rubber rear suspension blocks
*Tri-link suspension geometry
*Transverse links for lateral restraint

Front Axle
*ZF MT-D 3095 with electronic locker
*Locker features auto mode or on-the-fly activation
*Locker activated via floor switch located left of the service brake pedal
*9.8-gallon gear oil capacity
*A-frame front suspension with oil-filled struts and nitrogen-charged accumulators
*Auto leveling front suspension keeps the vehicle level at all times (loaded or unloaded)

Dump Body
*High-strength steel dump body
*26-ton maximum payload capacity
*Heaped capacity of 19.6 cubic yards
*Dual-acting, single-stage dump cylinders with heat-treated, chrome-plated and polished cylinder rods
*Hardened steel, replaceable bushing and pivot pins utilized in dump cylinders
*12-second raise time
*7-second lower time
*70-degree maximum dump angle
*20-feet 8-inch raised dump body height

Ground Level Serviceability
*Quick checks and periodic maintenance can be performed from ground level
*Hydraulic front suspension provides for engine to be lifted or lowered for ease of maintenance accessibility (shown)
*Electric tilt hood
*Remote jumper posts accessed from ground level (should a battery need a recharge or boost)
*Lube banks position hard-to-reach grease zerks in one, easily accessed central location
*Diesel fuel and diesel exhaust fluid refills can be performed at ground level

Interior
*Sealed, pressurized, and quiet cab (69-dB)
*Adjustable air-ride, high-back cloth and leather operator seat
*Folding training seat with retractable seat belt
*Tilt and telescoping steering wheel

Transmission
*ZF automatic transmission with eight forward speeds and four reverse speeds
*Fully auto with electronically modulated powershift
*Pushbutton F-N-R selectable speed and gear range limits
*Load speed adaptive transmission with gear-skip and gear-hunting protection
*Transmission input retarder provides downhill descent control
*Selectable transmission retarder settings (mild to aggressive)
*Gear hold functionality
*With the touch of a button, the automatic dump feature shifts the transmission to neutral, applies the service brakes, ramps up engine speed, and raises the dump body
*The vertical mounting of the transmission eliminates the need for a transfer box and allows the integration of an interaxle differential
*Output torque split is 32 percent front, 68 percent rear

Monitor
*LCD display for mph, rpm, fuel consumption, transmission and coolant temp, battery voltage, hour meter, trip timer, tire pressure monitoring system, along with onboard diagnostics, and more
*Standard reverse camera in main monitor (as visibility when backing is key)
*Programmable dump body rollover protection
*Optional onboard weighing system calibrated to within 2 percent accuracy once payload exceeds 50 percent

Tires
*Michelin XADN+ 23.5R25 tires
*62.9-inch overall tire diameter
*23.7-inch overall tire width
*1.5-inch tread depth
*Standard tire pressure monitoring system with temperature compensation

About This Series

This is the fifth installment of the “Anatomy of a…” series. In this occasional series we take a look at the tech (or lack thereof in some cases) that’s integrated into four-wheel-drive vehicles that we may not normally feature. Some of these vehicles are packed with tech, others may be surprisingly simple, and some may have unique features that are specific to their type of off-road use.

Safety Comes Standard

*Reverse camera available as standard equipment
*Rollover protection feature (the operator can limit the percentage the rear chassis can be off-level while dumping)
*When servicing the dump body, a safety bar locks the bed in the fully upright position
*Programmable automatic shutdown kills the engine after a preset period of inactivity (conserving fuel, reducing machine hours, and lowering jobsite noise)
*Descent control selects the appropriate transmission gear and utilizes the transmission retarder in order to maintain downhill speed
*When enabled, the auto-horn feature automatically alerts other operators and workers anytime the ADT changes direction (most commonly used on MSHA sites)
*Front and rear work lights (with optional high-mount LED lights to better illuminate the working area)

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