Heavy Machinery Reviews

John Deere 959ML Shovel Logger

Meet the Mountain Goat of the Tree Felling World

John Deere has recognized a need in the forestry industry, specifically in the steep slope logging market. So, they’ve recently released the John Deere 959ML Shovel Logger, designed specifically for felling and log handling in challenging terrain. It comes in one of two configurations from the factory – shovel logger or directional feller -and is sure to boost productivity even during difficult forestry jobs.

10-Second Summary

  • Designed specifically for steep slopes and unpredictable terrain
  • John Deere PowerTech 9.0L diesel engine
  • Enhanced boom and either a directional felling head or grapple and live heel boom
  • Unique leveling system
  • Large operator cab with both upward and downward facing windows
  • Enhanced lighting package


John Deere on the New 959ML Shovel Logger

“We are continuing to see loggers moving into steeper terrain, and, understanding the demands and unpredictability of these conditions, we want to provide them with equipment that is specifically designed for this challenging application. The new 959ML Shovel Logger leverages the top features from our M- and MH-Series models, including the best-in-class leveling control system, to produce a new machine specifically designed for steep slope operations. We are excited to bring a new solution to the market that helps our customers be more productive, regardless of where they work.”

-Jim O’Halloran, global product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry

959ML Key Features

Boom, Baby

The John Deere 959ML’s first noteworthy feature revolves around its boom geometry, of which you have two options available. The 11-meter (36 foot) live heel shovel logger boom and the 9.12 meter (30 foot) and 10.34-meter (34 foot) directional feller booms offer high performance in steep slope applications.

Both boom options have superior downhill reach capability; even at full leveler tilt, both configurations can reach the downhill side of the ground. The shovel logger boom can incorporate grapples up to 1.5 meter or mid-sized directional felling heads. You can even quickly switch between the two.

The directional feller booms – available in either 9.12-meter or 10.34-meter reaches – are designed to support large directional felling applications.

Leveling Out

Secondly, the John Deere 959ML Shovel Logger comes with a leveling control system that uses sensor technology to maximize the forward tilt angle up to 26°. The system also prevents any possible mechanical interference when tilting to the side. The leveling envelope boundaries are set automatically, and the system transitions when approaching the leveling limits.

Engine and Cab Stuff

The 959ML Shovel Logger also comes equipped with a 9.0L John Deere Final Tier 4 engine, which boasts 330hp and lower Diesel Exhaust Fluid consumption. The result is lower daily fluid costs.

The cab of the 959ML also accounts for work on steep angles. It includes a large, upward viewing skylight and downward viewing window for better visibility and operator awareness in challenging conditions. Further, the high leveling capability of this system increases comfort and productivity, especially in down sloped and tethered situations.

A Serviceable Design

The John Deere 959ML features full opening enclosures and walkthrough access. Standard walkways allow access to all areas of the enclosure without having to climb down. Maintenance is quicker and easier, and you won’t need to remove the machine from the hill for servicing.

The John Deere 959ML shovel Logger can be equipped with a variety of optional add-ons designed for steep slope applications, including a weld-on, tether-ready hitch field kit, slope indicator, and four-point seat harness.

For more information about the new 959ML, or any of the John Deere forestry equipment, contact your local John Deere dealer or visit the website here .

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John Deere 959ML Shovel Logger Specs

  • Peak Power: 246 kW (330 hp)
  • Max Boom Reach: 10.34 (33 ft. 11 in.) – Directional Feller
  • Max Boom Reach: 11.00m (36 ft. 1 in.) – Live Heel Shovel Logger
  • Tractive Effort: 373 kN (83,880 lbf)
  • Swing Torque: 110,170 Nm (81,260 lb.-ft.)
  • Tail Swing: 3.18 m (10 ft. 5 in.)
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