John Deere is the first farm equipment manufacturer to produce a range of standard tractors offering three different drive concepts, with the launch of the new 8R Series wheeled tractors, 8RT models with two tracks and brand new 8RX versions with four tracks – all on show at this week’s Agritechnica.
The 13-model range available in the UK & Ireland features a new cab offering luxury car style comfort and the CommandPRO joystick option. The tractor’s distinctive appearance has been designed in cooperation with experts from the BMW Designworks studio in California.
The industry exclusive 8RX series (pictured) has been developed with the aim of maximising soil protection without compromising performance. It therefore provides by far the lowest contact surface compression in this class, along with a transport width of less than 3m and 40kph unrestricted road speed. The tractor is extremely manoeuvrable while also minimising any noticeable soil scuffing effect when turning.
Compared to common industry two-track designs, the 8RX is significantly more stable on hillsides and performs well in more challenging soil conditions due to its superior self-cleaning ability. The tracks are available in widths from 16 to 30in (41 to 76cm), providing a total ground contact area of over 4.5m2.
These latest 8R Series tractors retain John Deere’s existing, well proven and economical 9-litre PowerTech PVS & PSS engines, with an increase of 40hp on the 8RT 410. New features include a Visco radiator fan and relocation of the engine auxiliary systems to the front. Due to the new design and less heat exposure, it has been possible to further reduce the costs of wear and maintenance.
Established transmission options include the 16/5 PowerShift, which is now available up to the 8R 340 model, the modern e23 with Efficiency Manager and the stepless AutoPowr. The rear brakes have been massively reinforced, so front brakes are no longer necessary even at 50kph, although additional front brakes can still be ordered. The 8R Series tractors are now optionally available with a 1500 standard front axle, which is designed for special applications and is in demand in various markets worldwide.
Drivers will appreciate the completely new cab design, which features a state of the art seat available with perforated leather trim, heating, active air circulation, a two-mode massage function and various electric and pneumatic adjustable seat components. In addition, the medal winning Active Seat II suspension has been improved to provide even better response and increased reduction of vertical shocks, compared to the first-generation system.
Long working days and nights will be made easier by the larger integrated fridge, which has doubled in capacity to 11 litres to carry ample refreshments, and the 60 per cent brighter 360 degree LED lighting system. A top quality, concert hall style music experience is provided by the 6.1 sound system with subwoofer, while the 6.5in DAB+ touchscreen radio provides cutting edge infotainment functions and works with Apple CarPlay.
Further detailed cab improvements prompted by customer requests include a wider entry and a lower placed door handle, as well as a self-cancelling indicator. In addition, the air conditioning system has been relocated under the cab. This has not only provided increased headroom but also reduced the noise level in the cab even further, even though cooling and heating capacity has nearly doubled.
The pioneering AutoTrac automatic steering system, including an optional StarFire 6000 integrated satellite receiver, has been further optimised, with Wireless Data Transfer to the John Deere Operations Centre provided free of charge for five years when choosing the connectivity package. Field boundaries, guidance lines and set-up data as well as crop planning and documentation can all be managed swiftly and securely using this web-based platform.
A brand new, revolutionary feature is AutoSetup, which will make it possible to download all field, machine and implement data required for individual jobs directly to the tractor. This greatly simplifies the process and means the tractor is ready to use much more quickly in the field, while removing the possibility of an incorrect setup. AutoSetup will be available shortly after the first of these new 8R Series tractors arrive in Europe, in 2020.
The tractors can also be remotely monitored by the JDLink telematics system at the customer’s request, to ensure maximum uptime. With customer consent additionally provided for Expert Alerts, potential machine damage can be predicted and the likelihood of expensive repairs can be reduced or completely avoided.