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Author Topic: John deere 648 skidder  (Read 7033 times)

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Offline ehp

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John deere 648 skidder
« on: September 03, 2021, 03:15:27 PM »
Please tell me the good , the bad and the ugly on these skidders and what to look for , stuff like the 648 G up to say the 648H, I'm not buying new as I do not have Barge's deep pockets and I'm way to old to be sitting on that kind of a payment and how this market is , right now its pretty good but I'm sure thinking its going to die fast . I have had older 640's which I hated , 740's which were a good machine but very nose heavy and tons of 440's and 540's . I really liked the clark 666 with cummins in it and the timberjack 450 that we had but I want a machine with heat and A/C, we just did a month with everyday 100F plus and that heat kills me , I want the smaller width machines and remember I donot need to cut and skid 10 loads a week as I mostly just cut grade timber so I make what I think it pretty good money per load and I work by myself , let me know what your using and thoughts and thank you for telling me 







Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 05:45:08 PM »
Iíve ran lots of skidders. And a lot of those were Deere. I loved the 648Glll. Then got in a 648H for a few years and that pulled harder. 848h even better. And there not much bigger really. The Hs have egr problems but it always ran. Just lacked power. Overall did nothing to that machine. I think it was about 12,000 hours when I left. The G series engine was junk at 9-11,000 hours. And that was in multiple Gllls on the job. Not just one lemon. Prior to the H series they had some with small rams on the arch. Like 1 1/2Ē I think. They bent. Switch them out to the bigger one like 2Ē I think. The hydraulic filter would blow off if it was cold. Otherwise minor problems. By far my favorite skidder. BUT only a torque converter! Direct drive suck. And if you want it to pull itís got to have enough tire. 30.5 were perfect. Very very stable and still has power. Spinin ainít winning. If you want narrow machine Your not going to pull hard. 

Offline barbender

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 05:49:06 PM »
I'm pretty skidder illiterate- can you get Deeres in either direct drive or torque converter?
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2021, 05:59:44 PM »
Only 648 and 848. 548 and 748s are only direct drive. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2021, 07:17:27 PM »
Keep the heater blower motor off high. The relay will over heat. Sticks will go up in and make you think the winch broke. Bolts will I occasionally brake that hold the axles on. And the throttle pedal and the e brake switch will give you trouble eventually. And the shifter. Typical electric junk. And before I hear about how good a direct drive trans is Iím going to tell you why. Steep hill with a drag the TC will slowly pull and work the load up. The direct drive will either spin or stall. Push a truck out with a direct drive and your banging on the truck spinning or stalling. And no the TC is not problematic. Been in bought used and bought new TC 648s/848s and with normal filter fluid change they never had a drive train problem. I canít even remember a u joint change. 

Offline ehp

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2021, 10:22:42 PM »
I prefer torque converter , I use to log in very rough steep ground that was pure rock for years and the clark 666 would go places the direct drive machines could not even come close to climbing , yes hp to me has always been a JD problem, the 740 with 2 winches was way under powered so pulled that motor out and put 280 plus hp back in it , totally different machine .  

Online BargeMonkey

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2021, 10:31:16 PM »
The G-G2 cabs weren't as comfortable, a G2-G3 are close to the same internals. I've got the G and G3 master sets of books and gladly make you a copy. 
A G3-H is comfortable, I mean turn the heat and radio up, go skid wood. Mines torque converter, takes some getting used to but she doesn't burn the fuel like my 460 which is also a torque machine. On 24.5 tires your 9-8 wide without chains, 9-10 with, it's literally a razorblade in the woods if your in good ground, I'm getting 8-10 average sized trees a drag so 3 of your regular trees 😆🤦‍♂️ 

Offline so il logger

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2021, 01:02:44 AM »
I couldn't imagine a 648 on such narrow rubber. This d/a H is on 30.5 and it is parked most of the year due to soft ground conditions. This H has extremely low hours, like virtually nothing should be causing problems other than the normal stuff like a hose or something. Yet, it is always down when we do need it. Good thing the old 548g and tj 450c are dependable.. Them tractors make money, the H eats it. And it is t/c, she is plenty thirsty imo. When everything aligns it will pull the wood

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2021, 05:37:51 AM »
I couldn't imagine a 648 on such narrow rubber. This d/a H is on 30.5 and it is parked most of the year due to soft ground conditions. This H has extremely low hours, like virtually nothing should be causing problems other than the normal stuff like a hose or something. Yet, it is always down when we do need it. Good thing the old 548g and tj 450c are dependable.. Them tractors make money, the H eats it. And it is t/c, she is plenty thirsty imo. When everything aligns it will pull the wood
What problems? Also regarding the swamp conditions. Thatís one reason  they kept buying Deere. They were about 7,000 pounds lighter than a cat. Those are the two dealer here. And a cat will pull but it better be on good ground. I ran a old 518 with air brakes lol  it pulled wood though. I think the timberjacks like barges series are nice but only in a 360. Otherwise Iíd take a Deere. Now if they made a 548 TC that would be nice. 360 they did and there a 548 size with a 5.9. But the grapple brakes a junk and we had to do a planetary on it once. And it has two levers for the arch. 

Offline ehp

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2021, 11:39:08 AM »
I have to be fairly narrow but did talk to tree bylaw and got the go ahead for up to 11 feet wide if I have to be that wide but would sooner stay under 10 feet if I can . Skidding here is about as easy on a skidder as it can be until you are cutting in the steep guts as you have to winch everything up over the bank as no machine is going to drive over pretty much straight off banks but that is where the best timber is cause no one ever would go after it .  And remember I'm not producing huge volume , Most times I'm cutting timber that has 300 or so feet of grade logs per tree so if I cut 20 trees thats 6000 feet of grade per day and if I cannot make money doing that I better start flipping burgers . Yes I do cut lots bigger than that but thats a average on small end . I donot need to pull a huge number of trees at once and to be honest its quite hard to hook say 5 trees up cause they are fairly far apart as we donot cut trees beside each other and driving around in the bush to hook a big hitch up is not a good thing here , most times I take 2 trees per hitch 

Offline so il logger

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2021, 11:51:31 AM »
I couldn't imagine a 648 on such narrow rubber. This d/a H is on 30.5 and it is parked most of the year due to soft ground conditions. This H has extremely low hours, like virtually nothing should be causing problems other than the normal stuff like a hose or something. Yet, it is always down when we do need it. Good thing the old 548g and tj 450c are dependable.. Them tractors make money, the H eats it. And it is t/c, she is plenty thirsty imo. When everything aligns it will pull the wood
What problems? Also regarding the swamp conditions. Thatís one reason  they kept buying Deere. They were about 7,000 pounds lighter than a cat. Those are the two dealer here. And a cat will pull but it better be on good ground. I ran a old 518 with air brakes lol  it pulled wood though. I think the timberjacks like barges series are nice but only in a 360. Otherwise Iíd take a Deere. Now if they made a 548 TC that would be nice. 360 they did and there a 548 size with a 5.9. But the grapple brakes a junk and we had to do a planetary on it once. And it has two levers for the arch.
Electrical mostly, it is non stop throwing codes for this and codes for that. Egr, vgt, fuel pressure, alternator speed, unexpected clutch slippage. Constantly going into limp mode or whatever. Transmission harness and solenoids have needed replaced, air conditioning system has been somewhat problematic. Just a bunch of stuff a guy wouldnt expect to have problems with at sub 4k hours. Latest issue is the trans charge pump cavitating randomly and when it does it kicks into neutral and have to shut it off and restart to go back to gear. Also when it does this the transmission vent tube pukes fluid all over the place. I pulled sump strainer and it was collapsed and plugged with large amounts of fiber, like handfuls of it.. So now its back to the shop for either a reman or rebuild, either way its expensive. Someday its gotta start earning its keep

Offline mike_belben

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2021, 05:47:23 PM »
maybe ought to send that one to the sale barn jon. 
Isaiah 63:10

Online BargeMonkey

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2021, 06:37:21 PM »
maybe ought to send that one to the sale barn jon.
 Jewish lightning 🤷‍♂️.... 

Offline ehp

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2021, 09:07:57 PM »
so is everyone saying to stay way from the 648H ?,  what is the difference in hot say the 648 compares to the Tigercat 610 , I know not many TC in this part of the world and I mean you may find one 4 or 5 hours drive from here thats working . I know of a logger that has to of ordered a new 602 but not sure if he has gotten it yet

Offline Hogdaddy

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2021, 09:45:54 PM »
Anyone have any experience with a 548E? 
If you gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly!

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2021, 01:34:06 AM »
The H where known for EGR issues, it gets expensive. The earlier G3 still had a 6.8 powetec and not the 6.8 HD, it's kind of a toss up. A 610 tigercat is a touch bigger. Ed I'm not sure what I'm doing with mine 😆, now the other guy doesn't want to sell that 620C. 

Anyone have any experience with a 548E?

 From what I know the E's came in 2 versions, the 4cyl and then the 6cyl 5.9 deere, guy down the road has a clean looking one and it's a heap. They have an esco grapple which is so so till you get used to it. 
 

Offline ehp

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2021, 09:32:20 AM »
OK Barge , then find me a good skidder down there LOL, not much of anything up here . I'm not much of a Cat skidder fan so they are pretty much out , there is a few of those around here but they all have wiring and tranny problems 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2021, 01:32:07 PM »
Also if you look at Deereís website they still have the Glll brochure. Unless you find one thatís narrow gauge thereís not much difference in tire size and overall widths. 

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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2021, 05:29:39 PM »
From what I know the E's came in 2 versions, the 4cyl and then the 6cyl 5.9 deere, guy down the road has a clean looking one and it's a heap. They have an esco grapple which is so so till you get used to it.
     Thanks Barge... I bought one last year, it has been a good skidder so far, just wondering maybe what to expect
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Re: John deere 648 skidder
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2021, 11:03:31 PM »
I've seen that certain parts OEM for an E series are getting harder to get, see a guy on FB who can't order a factory wiring harness. Certain D parts are about the same way and don't exist anymore. A 5.9 deere isn't a bad engine, had one in a 544G for yrs and never had issues, its like anything else. 


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