It's that time of year again, when big companies announce major product rollouts to the market ahead of the big fall shows. John Deere made news this week with new tractors, sprayers and more. Here's a quick rundown.
Tractors get new engines
The new final Tier 4 engines from John Deere have been rolled out in the 7R and 8R series tractors. During the media event the company showed media - and dealers - only a 'virtual' 8R tractor and a quick glimpse of the real 8R during a light-show reveal. However, the time spent with the 7R showed there's plenty brewing with John Deere engineers.
First up, the new final Tier 4 engine uses the company's building block approach and achieves the 80% reduction in NOx using selective catalytic reduction. But this builds on a system that started with cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a variable geometry turbo all the way through a diesel particulate filter and finally the addition of SCR. The key is that in this latest iteration, engineers have tuned the engine further to aim for reduced fluid consumption.
In fact, in Deere tests - which they're not touting too loud until independent tests are conducted, the 7R tractors could see a net fluid use reduction - SCR and diesel - of up to 4% over predecessors. But those numbers are preliminary.
The 7R and 8R tractors do get the new Command View III Cab which will feature an enhanced Generation 4 CommandCenter display that even includes a new user interface. That user interface, designed with 'easy' in mind, uses icons and buttons not unlike a smart phone.
And the cab is more comfortable with active seat tech and cab suspension for a smoother ride. You can also turn the seat up to 40-degrees for a better view of implements out the back, enhancing use of the machine.
New powershift transmission
There's a new transmission coming from Deere and it appears to combine electronic features common on the IVT with the mechanical performance of a powershift. They call it the e23 and it has 23 forward and 11 reverse speeds. The gears in both forward and reverse are evenly spaced for smoother operation.
The new transmission - which is available on the 7R in 2014 and available for the 8R for 2015 - offers three modes - manual, automatic and custom. That last choice allows you to set up your own custom automatic settings to maximize power and fuel consumption for a range of chores.
Here's the model rundown on the 7R series tractor showing engine hp, PTO hp, and transmission choices by model number. The new 7R series see s about a 15 to 20 hp bump from the previous model year:
7210R - 210 engine hp, 170 PTO hp, CommandQuad, e23, IVT
7230R - 230 engine hp, 189 PTO hp, CQ, e23, IVT
7250R - 250 engine hp, 205 PTO hp, e23, IVT
7270R - 270 engine hp, 224 PTO hp, e23, IVT
7290R - 290 engine hp, 242 PTO hp, e23, IVT
There are a range of options for the 7R including a new super-bright LED lighting package, and even a cab refrigerator to keep your field lunch and beverage cold. Pricing is not yet available for these machines.
The new 8R series, which media only got a glimpse of during an event in Columbus, Ohio, this week, will include 6 models of wheeled tractors and 3 tracked machines. The across-the-range horsepower bump from 2013 to the 2014 models will be about 10 hp per model. With Intelligent Power Management the top end 8370R will hit 405 hp. And new for 2014, Group 49 rear tires are available on all wheeled models as an option.
Here's a rundown of the line including engine hp, PTO hp and transmission choices:
8245R - 245 engine hp, 200 PTO hp, 16-Sp. powershift transmission (PST) or IVT
8270R - 270 engine hp, 225 PTO hp, 16-Sp. PST or IVT
8295R - 295 engine hp, 247 PTO hp, 16-Sp. PST or IVT
8320R - 320 engine hp, 269 PTO hp, 16-Sp. PST or IVT
8345R - 345 engine hp, 291 PTO hp, IVT only
8370R - 370 engine hp, 313 PTO hp, IVT only
8320RT - 320 engine hp, 264 PTO hp, IVT only
8345RT - 345 engine hp, 286 PTO hp, IVT only
8370RT - 370 engine hp, 308 PTO hp, IVT only
We'll have more when we can see the machine, production starts early next year.
Combines on tracks
A lot of interest has been shown - around the Web - on the track option for the new S series combines. The three biggest models - S670, S680 and S690 can be outfitted with the new 36-inch-wide track option. The Deere branded tracks can pull you through mud if needed.
The tracks can be ordered as a factory installed option, or you can get them from the dealer. The company reports it takes about 6 hours to swap tracks for tires - at least the first time - and may be an option. The tracks provide a similar turning radius that you'd find for a combine that was outfitted with front duals.
In addition the new combines include an interesting onboard feature -Interactive Combine Adjustment. Deere has offered Automatic Combine Adjustment in the past where the operator could choose setup from a range of crops built into the system. With this new ICA system, the user has an interactive system that goes through a series of steps to make sure the combine is set for that crop in that field more easily. That helps with combine uptime and productivity. There's also Engine Speed Management for more efficiency.
And there's a new S650 combine in the line as well. While there was talk of dropping a Class 5 combine from the line at one point, customer demand has Deere keeping this size combine in the line. It can be outfitted with a 6-row corn head and will be available for producers in 2014.
John Deere is turning up the heat in the 800-gallon and 1,000-gallon sprayer market with two new machines - the R4030 and R4038.
The R4030 is an 800-gallon machine with a wide range of feature enhancements over the 4730 it replaces with power coming from a new final Tier 4 6.8-liter engine delivering 280-hp. The R4038 has a 9-liter final Tier 4 engine with 310-hp and replaces the 4830.
There's a new Command View II Cab and integrated GreenStar 3 display. There's also a drybox option that'll carry 200 cu. ft. of material - which can be separated into two hoppers - and provide a spread pattern up to 105-feet wide.
The sprayers get a new loading station and an integrated injection system both designed to enhance uptime for the sprayers. They've even redesigned the daily maintenance needs to cut 15-minutes off that routine.
There's a new bigger boom option - for the first time in this class the 800- and 1,000-gallon sprayers can have a 120-foot boom. There are three choices - 120-feet with 11 section valves, 100-feet with 9 section valves and 90-feet with 7 section valves. The more valves the more precise row-shutoff spraying can be.
Pricing for the R4030 is $315,000 base price; for the R4038 base price is $350,000.
New bigger windrower
The new W235 Windrower comes in a Rotary or Draper model and features a new 235-hp final Tier 4 engine for best performance. The cab is now the same as on the S Series Combines making it easier for operators to move from machine to machine.
Airflow has been changed to keep chaff out of the engine, and integrated AutoTrac auto-steering comes standard. This can boost productivity significantly for many operators. And the machine is designed to run faster so it'll cover more acres in a day. In fact with the bigger 6.8-liter engine and AutoTrac a user - in some situations - could operate as speeds as high as 17 mph.
This is a short rundown of the new equipment line. You can learn more by visiting http://www.deere.com/wps/dcom/en_US/regional_home.page.