Deere CVT at a glance

TRANSMISSION


Facilities 50kph top speed, integrated engine/transmission control. Driving by manual stick only.


Controls Lever with two setting ranges and thumbwheel for target speed adjustment. Engine load control. Analogue speedo with separate red needle to show target speed. Shuttle lever with park and power zero position.


UNDERSTANDABILITY


First level No buttons, no complex displays. Simple concepts ease driver migration from a powershift. Select travel direction on shuttle lever, push drive stick forward, open throttle and go – very intuitive. Drives like stepless powershift if engine load control left at zero, though electronics still protect against engine stall.


Second level Quickly find that drive stick knob sets target speed, but may or may not twig that stick slot’s upper positions deliver two cruise speeds. Options for engine load control and shuttle lever will only come from handbook. Varying degrees of engine/transmission interaction then on offer.


GOOD NEWS


Very intuitive operation


Don’t need to be computer-literate


With plough, can quickly set separate work/headland speeds on stick slots (no electronic memories to find or engage) then seamlessly vary speed at any time


Gearbox reacts quickly and doesn’t hunt around target speed


Wide control of engine rpm in eco operation: 1300rpm at full throttle with limited load allows very calm headland manoeuvres


Direction shuttling smooth and prompt


Can back up to implement very controllably: dial down speed on stick knob, touch brakes lightly to stop


Shuttle’s power zero position disconnects drive so higher revs can be used for faster loader operation


Engaging shuttle lever’s park position on the move brakes tractor to a halt through the transmission


Can set separate forward/reverse speeds for headlands


BAD NEWS


No pedal mode, so one hand is always required to vary travel speed


Vital engine load control should be on armrest, not remote by offside window


No big eco benefit at 50kph. Revs drop to 1800 minimum only under very light load


Needs zero speed position at bottom end of travel lever slot so tractor less likely to be left moving very slowly


No proper memory throttle, just maximum speed limiter


Shuttle lever rather cheap-feeling


Shuttling only possible from column lever


No active stop in traffic – must keep foot on brake pedal


Setting exact target speed not easy with analogue needle, so usually need to fine-tune speed on the move


SPRAYING/SPREADING SIMULATION


Set pto revs using maximum rpm limit knob (aka cruise control in Deere’s terms), set required forward speed, open hand throttle wide. Transmission then holds accurate forward speed over varying terrain.


FORAGING/BALING SIMULATION


Possible to vary forward speed steplessly and smoothly while holding pto revs steady, but only using travel stick – there is no pedal mode. Can be a major shortcoming on work that needs the right hand to operate other controls.

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