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John Deere celebrates half a century of backhoe loader production

May 31, 2021  By Rock to Road Staff

Celebrating 50 years of backhoe loader manufacturing, John Deere remembers its first model from 1971, the JD310. Courtesy of John Deere.

In 1971, John Deere launched its first backhoe loader, the JD310. The years that followed saw evolution and innovation with each new backhoe loader model and lineup, which have led to today’s latest version of the original JD310 model, the JD310L.

Today, John Deere’s latest backhoe loader is the JD310L. Courtesy of John Deere.

Evolving with the industry

Since the 50-horsepower JD310 entered the market 1971, John Deere has continued to evolve its backhoe lineup, building upon the original design. Today, additional models, such as the 310SL and 310L EP, continue to advance to meet customers’ ever-changing needs.

The newly redesigned 310SL machine allows operators to be 16 per cent more productive in trenching applications. With pressure-compensated load-sensing (PCLS) hydraulics, the 310SL provides better multifunctioning, smoother machine control and up to 15 per cent greater craning capacity with ‘lift mode’.

Introduced in 2012, the 310L EP has delivered value with the redesigned powertrain, which includes a synchromesh manual transmission and a more basic operator station. The 310L EP also features a Yanmar 3.3L engine that complies with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) FT4 emissions regulations. With no external aftertreatment components needed, the design minimizes machine complexity and the number of parts that must be maintained by the customer, resulting in lower total cost of ownership and enhanced uptime.


For John Deere, the next step of innovation for its backhoe loaders is joint-testing for its first-ever battery electric backhoe loader. This next step is in partnership with National Grid, an electricity, natural gas and clean energy delivery company. With the goal to lower its carbon footprint and promote sustainability, the Deere E-Power backhoe loader targets the performance of a 100-horsepower 310L diesel-powered machine, but with zero tailpipe emissions.

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