1 September 2000

Deere launches a new breed of telehandler…

After two years

development, John Deeres

long-awaited 3000 series

telehandler range is now

available in the UK.

Andy Moore took to the

wheel of the 3200

LAUNCHED at this years Royal Highland Show, the 3000 series represents John Deeres first in-house designed and built telehandler range – replacing the Matbro-built 4000 series which was introduced in 1995.

The result is the new 3200 and 3400 machines which, according to John Deere, are a completely different breed of telehandlers having a new frame and boom design, together with engine, transmission, hydraulics and cab.

The 3200 and 3400 models are powered by rear-mounted 4.5lt PowerTech 100hp engines – the same block used in JDs 6310 tractor. Maximum lift capacities are rated at 2.8t and 3t respectively.

"Criticisms of the earlier Matbro-built 4000 series machines centred on inadequate lift heights and capacities, together with poor boom and frame construction," says John Deeres Gordon Day

"Maximum lift heights for the 3200 and 3400 models have been increased from 5.5m to 5.62m and 6.7m to 7.12m respectively – made possible through a stronger frame and beefier boom design with improved geometry."

The 200kg extra lift capacity for the 3400 has been achieved using a larger lift ram and by re-jigging the geometry and construction of the boom.

To discover just what advances have been made in the 3000 series farmers weekly put the 3200 model to the test – muck-shifting at Peter Hornbuckles Farm near John Deeres Langar headquarters.

To the casual observer, the 4.6m long, 2.3m wide 3200 still bares some resemblance to the 4000 series – but a closer study reveals a number of structural and cosmetic improvements.

The heavier rear mounted engine has enabled the counter balance weight to be slimmed down, while a new cone-type carriage frame has been designed to allow easier coupling of attachments.

Other changes include a plastic side cover, which is home to tanks for fuel and hydraulic oil, while a glass fibre bonnet with corrugated panels gives the impressions stylists have been at work.

Cab access, which is from a wider two-section all-glass door, is almost like stepping into a 6010 series tractor, with familiar pale brown panel work and plenty of legroom.

John Deere has adopted the same telescopic and tilting steering column as used on the 6010 series which provides plenty of adjustment, while an analogue dashboard taken from 5000 series tractors displays forward speeds, engine revs and temperature.

Perched on the seat, the driver is greeted with good all-round visibility – ensured by thin yet wiry-looking cab pillars and the all-glass door, roof and side windows.

Vision of the new carriage frame however, is restricted by a road light support arm – requiring the operator to crane his neck to see above or below this obstruction.

Nevertheless, John Deere has given much thought to machine safety by fitting the telehandler with a rotary switch for locking the boom and auxiliary services, together with a facility which prevents the forward and reverse shuttle being engaged when the hand brake is engaged.

The operator selects speeds one to four in the 3200s torque converter transmission by pressing an electric clutch button, before moving a stubby shift lever in front of the joystick into the desired gear.

For high amounts of roadwork, a full powershift could come in handy for slicker gear changes, although the standard mechanical shift posed no problems on our test drive.

John Deere claims the 3200 is capable of 31kph maximum forward speeds when shod with 16/70×20 tyres or 35kph when fitted with 15.5/80×24 tyres.

In terms of hydraulic supply, the 3200 is equipped with a 107lt/min gear pump with an open centre load-sensing system – a system which is similar to the hydraulics used on the 6010 SE series tractors.

The hydraulics have little trouble raising and dumping a heavy grab full of muck, although the Direct-On-Block joystick control, on this particular machine at least, was stiff and jolty to operate.

Direct-On-Block relates to the joystick having mechanical linkage – rather than an electronic server system – connected directly to the valve block for boom lift/lower and crowd/dump functions. Electronic controls are reserved for boom extend/retract and auxiliary services.

On the plus side, the machine is adept at carrying out muck shifting work in close confined spaces.

Offering a 3.2m turning radius, the 3200 is equipped with John Deeres patented steering mode control system which allows control over two/four wheel plus crab steering modes.

Changing steering modes calls for the operator to align the front and rear wheels according to a display of the telehandlers wheelbase inside the cab.

The wheels are gradually angled until an LED on the front and rear axle in the diagram is illuminated.

3200 3400

Engine: 100hp PowerTech

Max lift cap: 2.8t 3.0t

Max lift height: 5.62m 7.12m

Trans: 4-speed power shuttle

Hyd: 107lt gear pump

Turning radius 3.2m 3.5m

Price: £34,973 £37,773

3200 v 3400


3200 3400

Engine:100hp PowerTech

Max lift cap: 2.8t 3.0t

Max lift height: 5.62m 7.12m

Trans:4-speed power shuttle

Hyd:107lt gear pump

Turning radius: 3.2m 3.5m

Price: £34,973 £37,773

John Deeres new telescopic handler gets a work-out. Note the selected crab steering mode.

Direct-On-Block boom control…stiff and jolty to operate on this machine.