Ahead of the fall farm shows, major ag equipment makers announced new farm tools. John Deere was no exception, rolling out its 2015 product line to dealers and inviting media along. The company is innovating the 2015 machinery line in many areas, from high-horsepower tractors to hay and forage tools.
Farm Progress offers a short rundown of what is being released:
The 9R series was big news. With 10 models in the line in wheeled and tracks the company is pushing the envelope with new innovations. From the new CommandView Cab III, which brings users the same operating experience that they can find in the 7R and 8R machines, to a system for ending power hop for wheeled tractors, company engineers have been busy.
That new cab will make it pretty easy for operators to move from machine to machine. The 9R features the familiar CommandARM control that integrates a display - 7-inch is standard, 10-inch is optional. The display gets the intuitive software upgrade the company started rolling out earlier this year, which relies on smartphone-like icons for operation.
Power for the new machines comes from three engines - the PowerTech PSS 9.0L and 13.5L models - and for the big new 9620R power comes from a Cummins QSX15 15-liter engine. All three engines use similar technologies to achieve Final Tier 4 emissions standards.
One innovation that's sure to catch the attention of four-wheel drive lovers is the HydraCushion Suspension technology available as an option for the 9520R, 9570R and 9620R machines. Using twin cylinders on the front axle and 4 inches of total travel the suspension system stops power hop. This is not a ride enhancing technology, though it will help prevent road lope too. This is a tool that provides measured pressure on the front axle to keep power hop from happening.
During a demonstration, the company showed the system at work and it took a rugged, hopping ride and smoothed it. The system has three settings - Auto, Max and Off - and the company recommends operating it in the Auto position.
The new tractors also get ActiveCommand Steering as an option. This system - available on the 7R and 8R tractor is a drive-by wire system that makes handling the articulated tractors much easier. With electronic steering the computer-controlled system eliminates some of the stop-to-stop jerkiness common with traditional steering systems.
Earlier this summer an image was tweeted of a new quad track machine from John Deere. With the four-track design, this machine created a lot of buzz. And it did the same when John Deere showed off the prototype 9RX machine.
The four-track model, when introduced, would make John Deere the only company to offer all three types of drive systems. The machine doesn't have a release date but did get a lot of attention on social media.
Making a hay statement
Hay and forage making tools can be lucrative business, especially if you introduce them into one of the hottest livestock markets in living memory. John Deere's timing is pretty good as the company jumps into the large square baler business.
The company is rolling out two new models - the L330 and the L340. The L330 has an 83-inch working width and the L340 has a 90-inch working width. They both feature the High Capacity Rotor, as John Deere calls it, and include a heavy duty drive train with a 45 stroke-per-minute gear box to transfer power to other components.
The L330 produces a 3-ft.-by-3-ft. bale and the 340 Baler produces a -ft.-by-4-ft. bale. The bales are feature rich, and include ISOBUS electronics that allow the new balers to work with JDLink software and are compatible with GreenStar displays.
According to Deere a special heavy-duty single-fork system compresses the crop tightly before transferring the hay into the bale case for a dense bale even in tough conditions. A new on-board hydraulic density control allows the in-cab monitor to control hydraulic pressure on the cylinders against the bale case. When moisture content changes, the preset density for bales does not. The L330 uses three hydraulic cylinders, the L340 uses four.
The company is also rolling out five new self-propelled forage harvesters with the 8000 series. The machines offer a range of convenience features, an enhanced kernel processer and high-tech on-the-go feed analysis tools all in one package. The machines use DuraDrum cutterheads and KernelStar technology for corn silage processing. There's also the AutoLOC (for length-of cut) feature that allows the operator to dial in the exact cutting length based on forage conditions.
Two cutterhead widths, matched to horsepower, are available. All-new header solutions and crop-flow layouts increase flexibility among different crops. And larger 42-inch tires reduce compaction while providing added traction and ground clearance. The company claims improved performance while cutting fuel consumption up to 18%. The five models including the 8100, 380 hp, John Deere 9-liter engine; 8200, 430 hp, John Deere 9-liter engine; 8400, 540 hp, John Deere 13.5-liter engine; 8500, 585 hp, John Deere 13.5-liter engine; and the biggest is the 8600, 626-hp with the John Deere 13.5-liter engine.
The new machines feature a range of enhancements for easy change out of the Kernel processor, easy maintenance access to the crop engagement area and more. Add in the Harvest Lab system that can analyze what you harvest on-the-go, a precision inoculant application system that applies by the ton to help save product and yet make better feed, HarvestDoc software and the link to FarmSight and John Deere is making a forage statement.
There's even a new W260 self-propelled windrower, which can claim to be the most powerful on the market for 2015. It joins the W235 the company rolled out last year and will be mated to the 5-meter wide 500R Platform. Power for the new windrower comes from a 260-hp 6.8-liter John Deere engine that meets Final Tier 4 standards.
The new machine has enhanced service access with gull-wing doors, the air intake was moved to reduce chaff buildup and extend service intervals. And remote diagnostics and performance data can be accessed with the JDLink telematics solution. The cab is also 30% larger with 37% more glass area. And there's HD lighting for better illumination during night-time operation.
Mid-size tractor upgrades
The 6 series of tractors gets some upgrades at two different levels. There's the 6D value-priced segment which gets some love with a new transmission option. The 6R series gets a horsepower bump and new cabs for improved operator comfort.
The new 6D tractor series - 6105D, 6115TD, 6130D and 6140D - get new transmissions including a 12/12 PowrReverser or an optional 24/12 PowrReverser Hi/Lo. That new transmission increases the number of gears in the key working range of 5 to 9 mph versus the previous 9/9 transmission. The 9-forward/9-reverse predecessor had 3 gears in the 'magic' range the 12/12 has 6. For the 24/12 there are 12 in the working range thanks. The shift pattern for the A,B,C,D ranges of the transmission was changed from a straight line to an H which improves shifting precision too.
For the premium 6R series there's a bump in horsepower creating three new higher horsepower models - the 6175R, 6195R and 6215R. The higher=spec machines feature Final Tier 4 engines with Intelligent Power Management, which can provide a 40 hp boost when under load. There's also a new valve stack with up to six SCVs. The visibility to the SCVs is improved. And new remote rear couplers like those on the 7R and 8R series improve attaching and detaching implements.
The 6R series get the new CommandARM console with a standard 7-inch display Generation 4 CommandCenter touch-screen display. This setup is consistent with the 7R and 8R models (and the new 9R series too) providing the operator a common interface across the working range of the John Deere line. For improved working visibility, the seat swivels to the right 30 degrees.
We can't feature every new item on the John Deere list for 2015 in this report. We'll share more soon, but you can check out more by visiting johndeere.com/ag.