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Big, green, guidance

More power. More speed. Wider swaths. John Deere says its customers can't seem to get enough of a good thing, so the company has upped the ante again with its latest introduction of super-sized machines.

The large machines, while still surprisingly easy to drive for their size, are increasingly being ordered with John Deere's suite of automated GPS guidance and field mapping products.

New Deere tractors and sprayers are now pre-wired to allow hookup of all GreenStar system components.

AutoTrac GPS-assisted no-hands steering is also available on Deere combines for an option-added price of $4,500 to $5,100. The steering system can dovetail with a new option called the HarvestSmart Feedrate Control System. For an additional $6,500, this computerized system monitors crop loss out of the back of the combine, engine speed and rotor load to automatically adjust combine ground speed for maximum efficiency and crop savings.

9620 and 9620T tractors

With 4-wd or rubber tracks, these 500-hp monsters are the largest tractors John Deere has ever built. Both are powered by 12.5-l (766-cu.-in.) John Deere PowerTech engines that meet Tier II EPA emission levels. In addition to a standard liquid cooling system and an oil cooling system, there's an intercooler for intake air that helps the engines run at peak efficiency. In tough pulling conditions, a 7% power bulge at 1,900 rpm and a 38% torque rise at 1,600 rpm can take the engine well past rated horsepower limits.

The 9620 tractors feature an 18-speed powershift transmission with automatic powershift (APS). When APS is activated, the transmission automatically shifts up or down, based on tractor load, to maximize pulling performance. Clutch-free powershifts between gears are possible from neutral to gear and from forward to reverse with the touch of the shift lever.

Inboard planetary final drives with large-diameter (120-mm) bar axles are featured on the 9620 tractors. The rear axle is pressure lubricated and cooled with the transmission hydraulic system. Price of the wheeled 9620 is $226,593. The rubber-tracked T model is listed at $255,983.

4720 self-propelled sprayer

Building on the 4710 sprayer platform, the new 4720 self-propelled sprayer has more horsepower, larger wheel motors and an optional AutoTrac guidance system.

The 4720 is powered by a 6.8-l John Deere PowerTech Tier II engine with 225 hp. This compares to 200 hp on older models. The wheel motors are also larger to provide increased low-end torque.

An air spring adjust feature uses a valve and linkage suspension assembly to automatically adjust the sprayer suspension. The operator will no longer need to fill each spring individually.

A feature called index boom section (IBS) allows operators to better manage waterways, point rows and uneven headlands. The 80- or 90-ft. boom sections consist of five individual spray sections. When the sprayer approaches a waterway running at an angle (not perpendicular) to the sprayer, the operator can quickly press controls on the hydro handle to shut off the individual boom sections to match the angle of the waterway.

During spraying, an optional boom-return feature allows the operator to preset the boom spray height. After avoiding field obstacles or turning on the end row, the boom can be set to automatically return to the same spray height at the start of each path. Base price: $183,151.

1770NT 12-row front-fold planter

On planters, the focus is on adding bulk fill to more models for shorter fill times, more heavy-duty components and enhanced maneuverability.

A new 12-row NT planter, spaced for 30-in. rows, has the same frame design used on the larger 1770NT front-fold planters with 16 30-in. rows. The design produces a flexible, strong frame for planting and a narrow transport design of 12 ft. for going down the road.

Like many of the newer Deere planters, this one has an optional Central Commodity System (CCS) for reduced filling time. Another planter style getting CCS this year is the large-frame Bauer Built DB in 44-, 58- and 80-ft. sizes. But the 90-ft. DB will not be equipped with CCS this year. Adding CCS to the DB models costs $15,470. Another upgrade for these models comes in the form of new XP row units, which are heavier duty and feature components with longer life.

On the NT, the new three-section, front-folding frame with telescoping hitch allows the frame wings to flex 21° up and down, ideal for rolling ground conditions. Off-road, 22 in. of underframe ground clearance allow for easier transport in and out of fields.

Compared to the current 1770 planters with 12 30-in. rows, the new machines are almost 3 ft. shorter in field position and 8 in. shorter in transport, keeping the planter closer to the tractor.

New hydraulics allow the operator to use an in-cab frame control box and one selective control valve (SCV) to fold and unfold the planter from the tractor.

The planter is compatible with liquid fertilizer systems to plant and fertilize in one pass. A 450-gal. liquid fertilizer tank is available and can be attached to the planter hitch. Price for the new NT planter is $63,200.

For more information, see your John Deere dealer or contact John Deere, Dept. FIN, 11145 Thompson Ave., Lenexa, KS 66219, 866/993-3373, visit or, or circle 200.

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