JOHN DEERE seems keen to expand its portfolio of track options. The company has recently signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Steve Heard, original designer of Agritrac rubber track units.

Previously the tracks were manufactured and marketed by Wisbech-based Stocks Ag for fitting to tractors from various manufacturers. Following the agreement Stocks will continue to manufacture the units exclusively for John Deere.

Designated as the H-Trak system, the tracks will be available from Deere dealerships for retro-fitting to existing wheeled tractors. Alternatively new tractors can be specified with the units and wide front wheels – expect to pay about 20,000 more than a standard wheeled tractor.

These new track units would appear to directly compete with Deere”s 8020T and 9020T twin tracked tractors. However the company points out that fitted in combination with front wheels, the H-Trak system is better suited to working with mounted implements, will reduce scrubbing on the headlands and offers the advantage of being interchangeable with wheels. Not all customers are going have such requirements, says the firm.