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444h or 544h

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by DCS MN, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. DCS MN

    DCS MN Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    Need to know the major differences besides the obvious.
    I have been told the 444 is too small but I do a lot of strip malls and truck loading where I don't need a 950 cat. I was using a 928 which I really liked but they are much higher priced than the JD's.
    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
    When not loading or stacking it would have a 12' pusher on it.
    The other thing is I want to be able to haul it on a tag trailer behind my dump truck. This would be my first owned loader, always subbed and leased up till now.
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I don't know anything other than the obvious but you see 25+ 544's for every 1 444.
  3. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We now have 3 loaders in our fleet our smallest is a Kawaski 60 Z (20,000 lb), a Huandai 740 (25,000lb) largest is a Terex 873 (30,000lb). All have 14 Pushers, the kawaski has a backhoe model (rubber edge), pushes it good durring most snows, but we havent used it durring a heavy wet snow yet, the hyuandai has a 14 artic HD pushes it like a champ even in heavy wet slop. the terex has a 14 loader model (rubber edge) & works fine from what we have seen. That said your 444 is about 24,000 & 544 is about 28,000lb, you should be fine with either pushing a 14. Protec said we could put a 16 on our hyundai, I originally bought the 14 backhoe for it because I didnt know if we were going to rent or buy it & I needed to make sure I had a pusher I could move with my bobcat. It turns out the 14 work out well because we still take them down the road, a 16 would be too tight, so it seems to be a good fit for us.

    IDOCTORTREES Senior Member
    from MONTANA
    Messages: 788

    I just bought a 444h 2 weeks ago. We put a 14ft artic on it . Works just fine.I do also have a l70 volvo with the same set up it has more weight and power, So I do like it better if I had not plowed with it first I would think the 444h was a beast

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    I have owned both and I would go with the 544 but what do I know.

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    The 544 will be closer to the 928 that you have used in the past. I , myself would prefer the larger 544 over the 444. Are you going to use it in the dirt in the summer? If so what will you be doing? The 444 will probably do most everything that the 544 will do in the winter. It will just work harder, and take a little longer when things get deep and wet. If you are loading trucks the extra half yard will add up to a time savings pretty quickly. You will need at least a 20 ton trailer for either one, and you can get those as pintle hitches. I have a tridom axle pintle hitch trailer with a payload of 50,000# (in CO anyway). You may have winter restrictions in your state but I doubt you will be hauling in winter anyway. All that being said, I would go with the 544. I would look for a J model though. Nothing wrong (that I know of) with the Ks but there are a lot of Js available for much less money. FYI the L70 (that idoctertrees has) and the 544 are both 3YD loaders. When I was shopping for a 3yd loader I thought I would buy either a 928 or 930. I found the 544J at a much lower price with less than half the hours so I decided to give Deere a try. I like the loader (it's still like new even though it's an '04) but I find it harder to feel what the loader is doing, when compared to the Cats that I have run.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  7. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237

    Let me give you another option....and some good reasons why

    Deere 244J.

    Easy move around parking lots.....4-wheels steer

    Lighter less pavement curb damage

    Easier to move.....can move it with F550 and tandem trailer

    Low op cost...

    Add a Craig snow bucket for 3.5yd capacity for piling or loading

    Cheaper to buy

    Unless you are going to use a much larger pusher or move lots of dirt in summer....this unit will amaze you for price....bonus you can run all skid steer attachments on it including broom and blower

    I have one for exclusive snow removal

    9' Horst plow
    10' protec pusher
    3.5 yd craig snow bucket

    It moves snow amazingly well
  8. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,129

    Do you have some pics of this set up I would like to see/hear more.

    I have been looking at loaders for awhile and will add one next year most likely. I was looking at the cat 928 size or JD544 and have now thought about going abit smaller for more versatility.

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    Do a search on compact loaders. There are a lot of guys, on this site, who have chosen that route. All major MFRs make them. The 244 is probably comparible to a Volvo L20 or L25, a Cat 904 or 905, maybe a Case 221 (not very familiar with Case compacts) to name a few. I beleive that Leiberr makes them and Deere re-badges them.
    For me, I need to use it for moving dirt. Snow is secondary. I already have an A300 for use in tight areas. The 3 yard loader was a better option for what I needed as it mates pretty well with my Cat 315CL. For snow removal the loader is not very efficient in it's current set up. I need to get an attachment that will enable it to take advantage of all that weight and HP (a pusher that is wider than the 8' bucket that's on it now). This holds true for all heavy equipment being used to remove snow.
  10. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237

    If you do a search for 244J or my name you should find plenty of photos to look at.....if not message me and I will send you some.

    For just snow removal and other versatile chores the small loaders kick butt.....people have no idea how strong they are for their size. My current operator was skeptical about it, being a big machine guy, but now he loves it

    Ask for a demo this winter.....you'll love it

    Ps. Quick attach from cab.....go from bucket....to pusher right from cab.
  11. DCS MN

    DCS MN Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    I think I am going with the 444. Main reason is it is just for snow and for the money it is 20k less than a 544 same year and hours. For my first loader it will be just fine.
    Easier to move
    Less fuel
    Same size bucket
    Faster cycle times (up, dump, back down)

    20k less deal done.