John Deere has announced updates and additions across its tractor range
John Deere has announced updates and additions across its tractor range, from the small 5-series to the largest 9R and 9RT series, as well as to its square balers, combines and forage harvesters. David Williams attended the launch event at John Deere’s Langar, UK headquarters.Popular 6R updates
The biggest news affecting UK farmers is the changes to John Deere’s popular 6R tractors which, for 2015, will have engines meeting Tier 4 final emissions regulations courtesy of Adblue, where previously John Deere has stuck rigorously to its single-fluid fuelling design.Previously the company has used EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) and an advanced fuelling system to meet current exhaust gas requirements, and the new engines continue to use this technology to its best advantage, allowing only minimal consumption of Adblue.The new 6-cylinder 6175R, 6195R and 6215R large frame models will replace the current 6170R, 6190R and 6210R machines, the rated power of all three machines up by 5hp, and all with a 40hp boost band through John Deere’s IPM (Intelligent Power Management). All have 6.8-litre PowerTech engines; the 6175R, with 175hp rated output, has a variable-geometry turbocharger and the two larger models both have twin turbocharging, which the company explains provides a faster reaction to changing loads. Resulting diesel consumption is claimed to be up to three per cent better than before, with Adblue consumption, three per cent of the total fluid used, equal to the amount of diesel saved. Transmissions Options in place of the standard 20×20 PowrQuad Plus, AutoQuad Plus and AutoQuad Plus EcoShift power-shift units include either the established AutoPowr CVT or the new DirectDrive, which uses double-clutch technology for optimum efficiency but with almost the same degree of flexibility as CVT. DirectDrive was launched two years ago, and it has been updated to allow the user to to adjust the auto clutch function, to provide braking without disconnecting the drive where required. There is also a speed matching function which means that when shifting from ranges B-C or C-B, the system will select the most appropriate gear within +or- three gears to smoothly take up the drive. The starting gear can also be pre-programmed for smooth pulling away.AutoPowr is claimed to provide significant fuel savings for transport work, allowing 50kph to be achieved at 1,670 engine rpm, and saving 13 per cent of fuel used compared to the standard transmission, and also provides ultimate flexibility for infinite speed control.Another new feature is automatic engagement or disengagement of the differential lock, which can be programmed to correspond with travel speed or the steering angle.Hydraulics upgraded
Load-sensing hydraulics are standard. Supercouplers, as used on 7R series tractors, have a lever to release hydraulic pressure allowing ease of hydraulic service coupling, and are now standard on the three largest 6R models. At the rear, up to five SCV (selective control valves), plus power beyond can be fitted, or six SCVs where power beyond is not specified.The optional premium front linkage includes a dedicated SCV, pressure-free oil return, remote control raise and lower and electronic position sensing.Control of the hydraulics is improved too, through a new programmable joystick on the redesigned CommandArm control panel which allows the operator to personalise the hydraulic functions of the control buttons.Cab improvements include the addition of the CommandArm control panel, as used on larger 7R and 8R series tractors, where DirectDrive or AutoPowr transmissions are specified. John Deere explained that the CommandArm, which includes the Generation 4 CommandCenter display, provides commonality across the range of premium tractors.Further cab improvements include wide angle mirrors and optional powerful LED lighting, controlled from the CommandCenter display, which allows the operator to customise up to two different lighting programmes.The new 6R tractors are supplied FarmSight-ready with optional JDLink telematics. Benefits include RDA (remote display access) and remote diagnostics, through which the farmer or dealer’s specialist can access the screen to help the operator set up or adjust the machine without travelling to the field.
Maintenance costs are reduced through extended working times between routine servicing, up to 750hrs from 500, and the new ‘lifetime’ DPF (diesel particulate filter), is designed to last the life of the tractor.At the demonstration event there was an opportunity to try out the new 6195R with a trailer hauling forage maize. The tractor was equipped with AutoPowr transmission, and its ability to match the travel speed exactly with that of the forage harvester was an obvious benefit, while the excellent mirrors provided a wide view from the harvester to the trailer.The cab was equipped with the new CommandArm and CommandCenter display which made it easy to set up and use the transmission to best advantage.With John Deere’s power management system working with the CVT drive to maintain the lowest practical engine speed for the task, the cab was extremely quiet, allowing normal conversation to continue even when the tractor was pulling the fully-loaded trailer up a reasonably steep slope, or when travelling at higher speeds across the field with an empty trailer. The combination of the excellent cab, efficient engine and transmission set-up and easy-to-use controls made the new John Deere a very attractive proposition.Compact 6 series
The slightly more compact 6RC and 6MC series have also benefitted from updates. John Deere said that since their introduction they have proved to be great loader tractors, and TLS (triple link suspension), is now an option for the lower specification MC models as well as the premium 6RC machines.There is also a new M series tractor being introduced; the 6105M which is the same size as the 6115M, but has slightly less power.Autotrac is available ex-factory on 6140M, 6150M and 6170M tractors as well as on 6R models.More power for 9R and 9RT
At the top end of John Deere’s tractor range, the 9R articulated wheeled, and 9RT tracked models have all been updated and now include the largest John Deere tractor ever to be offered in its range.
The new 9R series includes five models, replacing the previous four, and offering outputs from 420-620hp with the 9420R, 9470R, 9520R, 9570R, while the flagship 620hp 9620R takes the mantle of most powerful John Deere ever. In the tracked 9RT range, there are three models; the 9470RT, 9520RT and 9570RT, replacing previous models and all gaining 10hp.Power is provided by a John Deere PowerTech PSS 13.5-litre engine, except on the 9520R/RT and 9620R on which the previous John Deere power units are replaced by a Cummins 15-litre. All comply with Tier 4 final emissions regulations using a mix of exhaust gas recirculation, Adblue and a diesel particulate filter.A new, improved e18 powershift transmission with efficiency manager is standard across the range. This offers three operating modes; full auto, custom and manual, the custom programme providing fully-automatic operation but allowing the operator to set performance parameters.For existing users considering upgrading, the biggest temptation will be provided by a brand new HydraCushion suspension system on 9520R, 9570R and 9620R models. This almost entirely eliminates ‘power hop’ which can occur when high-horsepower wheeled tractors are pulling hard at low speeds, and which prevents effective use being made of the power as constant traction performance cannot be maintained.The new suspension system acts on the front axle and it is programmable with three modes; auto, maximum and manual. The modes enabled its effectiveness to be demonstrated, and a video of a 9R tractor equipped with the system was shown, during which the operator turned the system on and off, while carrying out heavy draft work. The effect was almost immediate as the characteristic hopping ceased immediately the system was activated.Specialist tractors updated
At the other end of John Deere’s tractor range, the new 5G series is designed with features to appeal to specialist operators. Previously there were two ranges in the series; 5GV, for vineyards and 5GF, for fruit growers and vineyards. There are now four ranges including 5GN, which is extra narrow, and 5GL, which has a very low profile for working under overhanging branches or where headroom is lacking.John Deere territory manager for central and southern England, Paul Burnett, explained that the new series is designed to satisfy the increasing demand for higher performance and better operator comfort. “We have been asked for better cab comfort, increased power, increased hydraulic performance and best-possible manoeuvrability,” he said, “These new tractors have the largest cab in their class by a long way and an excellent specification.”The 5GF, 5GN and 5GV series tractors are available with an open platform or a new wider cab for maximum visibility and comfort. There is also a wide range of transmission, PTO and hydraulic options from entry level to premium specification.Transmissions include a 2wd 12×12 speed, up to a 4wd 24f/12r with a power shuttle and Hi-lo. PTO options are 540/540E or 540/1,000, including ground drive.
Hydraulic flow is provided by a twin pump system with two mechanical SCVs, or a triple-pump system with four electro-hydraulic SCVs including seven mid-mounted couplers. Control of the electro-hydraulic system is by joystick giving precise adjustment.The rear linkage lift capacity is 2,590kg as standard but can be uprated to 3,100kg. A new option is a hydraulic drop arm and side shift using stabilisers to provide fine adjustment of the implement from side-to-side at the touch of a button.Answering the demand for greater manoeuvrability, the new tractors boast a 3.4m turning circle which, Paul explained, allows them to work on consecutive rows within a typical vineyard without the need to shunt at the headlands.The 5GL series 75 and 85hp 4wd versions have an open operator station and a 24F/24R transmission with a synchronised forward/reverse shuttle and a mechanical high/low range available.Power for the 5GF and 5GN tractors is provided by either 3.2- or 4.5-litre engines producing 75, 85 or 100hp, the most powerful 5100GF having a torque reserve of 41.5 per cent. The 5GV and 5GL tractors are available with 75 or 85hp, and power comes from the 3.2-litre power unit.Paul said the UK market for tractors such as the 5G series is growing, with 49,500 acres of orchards, 22,500 acres of soft fruit and 4,000 acres of vineyards currently in production in the UK and Ireland, creating a demand for approximately 300 units per year.Self-propelled sprayer
The current 5430i self-propelled sprayer is being replaced in 2015 by an all-new R4040i model with significant improvements, to give higher performance, reduced downtime and lower cost of operation. Power is provided by a 6.8-litre PowerTech PSS engine producing 235hp (rated), and 255hp (max) with John Deere’s Intelligent Power Management. The engine meets Tier 4 final emissions regulations using EGR and SCR.Hill climbing ability is improved by 19 per cent over the previous model, which John Deere says will enable the machine to maintain higher constant speeds in variable conditions. The transmission oil pumps are direct-coupled to the engine and an extra transmission oil cooler is fitted. The 45cm longer chassis has dual-strut independent wheel suspension with up to 20cm travel, which provides automatic levelling, and a smoother, faster ride. Hydraulic wheel track adjustment is standard.Tandem Sauer Danfoss hydrostatic pumps deliver oil to all four wheels, the hydrostatic motors with planetary final drives providing constant 4wd in both transport and spraying modes at up to 40 and 20kph respectively. The combination of the extra power and improved drive system means the sprayer is capable of pulling a 16t bowser. Steering is 2-wheel, 4-wheel or crab steering, and the sprayer has a very tight 4.5m turning radius.The cab has been improved, with a new control layout and better operator access giving it a more spacious feel, and improving visibility all around. The previous Greenstar 3 2630 touchscreen display is retained but there is also a new primary display on the cab corner post, on which control settings are displayed. A better Grammer seat, in conjunction with the new suspension system, provides a smoother ride. A completely new dashboard and steering wheel is fitted, borrowed from the latest 7R and 8R tractors, providing better visibility to the front of the sprayer.The 4040i is a high-specification sprayer and it comes with full FieldDoc spray documentation as standard. From the factory it is supplied AutoTrac ready, and with a free JDLink Ultimate telematics subscription for one year.Filling the sprayer is made easier and safer by the new operator station in which everything necessary is in one place. Quick filling is possible with a 150-litre/min chemical transfer speed and the mixer bowl is cone-shaped, ideal for powders, liquids and granules. Control of the filling process is by the Hydro Handle multi-function control lever and Solution Command electronic sprayer control for automatic filling, mixing, spraying and rinsing as standard. Total spray pump capacity is up to 560 litres/min.Tank capacity is 4,000 litres and boom widths are 24-36m. Pendulum-type boom suspension is used, and BoomTrac automatic boom levelling is standard. A new boom stability system is available as an option, and has proved very successful in on-farm trials. BoomTrac Pro automatically adjusts the height of the individual boom wings, independently to match the terrain, and has resulted in an average application speed increase of 5kph over the standard system.LED boom lights are a further option, illuminating the whole 36m boom width and making it easy to see obstructed or blocked nozzles.Instant coverage to the full working width is achieved by the constant pressure circulation system which keeps the solution moving along the stainless steel spray lines even when not spraying. The spray lines are fed from both ends, ensuring constant pressure and application rate through every nozzle.A new hydraulic pump drive option is available for M700, M700i, M900, M900i and R900 trailed sprayers, and the manufacturer suggests that greater fuel economy can be achieved as the tractor engine is not required to run at a constant speed for the PTO drive. A further benefit is an extended pump working life. Autofill is a new option on M700 sprayers, for customers needing a simple sprayer with added convenience and ease of use.Square baler range extended
Two new square balers are available for the 2015 season. The L1533 and L1534 models replace the current 1433 which makes 90×80 bales, and the 1434 which produces 90×120 bales, and are claimed to offer better performance, higher bale density, reduced downtime and lower cost of operation.An improved driveline, with fewer parts, is more efficient and requires less power to operate. The high capacity feed system uses an in-line rotor and augers to ensure an even flow. There are two rotor options; RotoFlow HC and MaxiCut HC, with 10 or 23 pre-cutter knives.A multi-crop packer handles silage, hay and straw. Both balers have new double-tie knotters to cope with the higher bale densities, and the larger L1534 uses six strings. Knotter efficiency is maintained by new high capacity turbo blowers, designed originally for the company’s combine harvesters, and which keep them free of dust and chaff.The single twine box holds up to 30 rolls of twine in a single row, increased from 24 previously. Access for maintenance is excellent now, the twine box hinged allowing it to be swung out for side access, and new styling including guards and covers which can be easily moved making it easy to check and service the new models. A handy platform with convenient access steps allows full access to the line of knotters.The new L1500 balers are Isobus compatible and allow adjustments such as bale length and density, knife activation and greasing system management as well as knotter tracking all to be controlled from the cab. Latest foragersThe demonstration event provided an opportunity to find out about the completely new 8000 series range of John Deere forage harvesters.The range currently includes five models; the 380hp 8100, the 430hp 8200, the 540hp 8400, the 585hp 8500 and the 625hp wide-bodied flagship 8600. All except the smallest two models which have 9-litre engines, use a 13.5-litre PowerTech PSX engine. The six current 7000 series models are being replaced, but the existing 7380 and 7980 machines do not yet have successors and their replacements will be added to the new range during 2015/16.The new harvesters are available in standard and higher specification i versions, the premium models featuring as standard John Deere HarvestLab constituent and yield monitoring software. HarvestLab measures starch, dry matter and protein, and the yield monitor provides accuracy within one per cent. According to the company, the i version is expected to account for approximately 15 per cent of sales in the UK.Almost everything about the new harvesters is new; the engine is now mounted longitudinally, for more efficient a