John Deere tractor Photos courtesy of John Deere
NEW STEERING SETUP: John Deere is offering ActiveCommand Steering 2 factory-installed on 7R and 8R tractors. It provides more operator control of how these model-year 2021 tractors handle.

Digging into John Deere product updates

Operations Center, 7R and 8R updates offer a range of features and opportunities.

Continuous improvement is a kind of mantra for most businesses, and that's true for John Deere as well. That sometimes shows up in totally new equipment, like the 8RX tractor introduced for the 2020 market year — but it can arrive in software enhancements, too.

“We release updates on the digital My Operations App or the Operations Center about every other month,” says Jennifer Badding, the Intelligent Solutions Group, John Deere. She shared some recent updates to this software that more farmers are putting to work on their operations.

“We had a couple big releases recently,” she says. “The first is the ability to edit and analyze farm information more easily and effectively on the go.”

John Deere 7R tractor SMOOTHER RIDE: LSB Ride Control is an new option for 7R tractors that will compensate for the rocking motion of large square baler plunger action. This allows farmers to use a smaller machine to get the same work done.

This analyze tool has been added to the mobile My Operations Center app and allows farmers to look at collected data for more insight on what’s happening in the business. Badding adds that it’s possible to adjust that information if needed.

The analyze tool “really gives our customer the ability to quickly analyze or report on past work that’s been done,” she says. “It gives you the opportunity to review the data on the computer, or in their mobile device” for improved management. And those analysis reports can be exported to share with trusted advisers as well.

Another update is a manual documentation capability in the app, so if someone completes work in a field, it’s easy to go back and document that task. For example, if a third party sprays a field, you can note that information, by field boundary, for that operation.

“If someone else did that work, and they didn't have a [John Deere] display in the cab, you can go in and manually enter that work,” she says. “That allows you to have a complete digital record for all the work done in that field.”

Updating the 7R line

For model-year 2021, the 7R gets a new model — the 7R 350 with 350 rated engine hp, which is a 20-hp boost over the largest model-year 7R tractor. With a base weight of 24,700 pounds, the 7R 350 offers a solid power-to-weight ratio and comes standard with Triple-Link suspension and Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). It can also be ordered with CommandPro controls for enhanced speed control and easy implement hookups.

Another enhancement for the 7R machines used in hay and forage work is the addition of LSB Ride Control. The inertia generated by a baler and transmitted to the tractor can degrade ride quality for the operator. Ryan Jardon, product marketing manager, large tractors, says that some farmers compensate for this by using a larger tractor than what’s really needed to power a large square baler.

John Deere 7R 350 tractorNEW KID ON THE BLOCK: This is the new 7R 350 with 350 rated engine hp, and it’s the largest machine in the series. It comes standard with the IVT and Triple-Link Suspension.

“This new option gives farmers the ability to use a lighter 7R tractor with LSB Ride Control to better manage operator comfort, and to reduce soil compaction and crop damage thanks to the tractor’s lighter footprint.”

LSB Ride Control modulates the tractor’s IVT to compensate for the rocking motion of the baler plunger. It’s a self-adjusting system that can improve ride comfort, even as crop density and field conditions change. The system is available as a factory-installed option for model-year 2021 on 7R tractors with IVT, and is compatible with John Deere L331 or L341 Large Square Balers. And a John Deere StarFire receiver is also required.

A steering update

For 2021, John Deere is making ActiveCommand Steering 2 available as a factory-installed option on 7R and 8R tractors. This replaces the original ActiveCommand Steering system and adds more features and capabilities. ACS 2 reduces steering effort for the operator and improves line-holding during transport. Operators can adjust steering sensitivity and steering wheel resistance, or turn variable-ratio steering on or off to best match driving conditions.

Jardon adds that ACS 2 helps operators set the steering system to best fit the work being done. “In a tractor equipped with ACS 2, it’s noticeably easier to handle curves, for example, compared to a tractor without this option,” he says.

Deere will also offer Low Sidewall tires as optional equipment on its three largest 8R tractors — the 8R 340, 8R 370 and 8R 410. Jardon explains that these tractors require Independent-Link Suspension to be equipped with the LSW tires. Farmers are looking at this option to reduce compaction and narrow transport, versus use of duals.

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TAGS: Technology
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