Now on display at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Ill., is the Walking Harvester – the world’s first prototype for a walking forest machine. Only one of two in existence, the walking harvester was designed by John Deere’s research and development unit in Finland in the 1990s but was ahead of its time and never reached the production phase.
Manufactured in 1994, the walking harvester machine on display at the Pavilion was the first to be equipped with a harvesting head and accumulated approximately 2,000 working hours during testing. Sensors in the machine’s legs reacted automatically to soft, sloping, or uneven terrain, while a computer control system distributed weight and support equally to all six legs. The machine simply walked over obstacles that crossed its path, and the machine operator was able to adjust the ground clearance and height of every step.
“Although the walking harvester never reached full production, innovations such as these demonstrate John Deere’s forward thinking and commitment to developing solutions for the types of challenges loggers are facing out in the woods – not only here in the United States, but all around the world,” said Cliff Caudill, Manager of Forestry Product Marketing, John Deere Construction & Forestry.
Walking Harvester On Display At John Deere Pavilion
The walking harvester prototypes helped pave the way for future developments in productive and environmentally friendly machines. For example, the automation and stability system technology used in developing the concept underwent further development and is now applied in all of John Deere’s forest equipment. Due to progressive development work on the control systems, hydraulics and transmission, modern John Deere harvesters cause less burden on the terrain.
The new display at the Pavilion was opened on February 15 to celebrate John Deere’s 175thAnniversary and also the Pavilion’s own 15th Anniversary. In addition to the walking harvester, also on display is the John Deere 643K Wheeled Feller Buncher with lifelike full trees gripped in its FD45Felling Head, giving visitors a sense of what the machine would look like in action. These are just two examples of the new machines, interactive displays, original artifacts and media displays now available to visitors.
For more information about John Deere’s forestry equipment or the John Deere Pavilion, please visit www.JohnDeere.com.