Video: Furse four tractor test: John Deere 6930

Watch the video and read the full report below.

We’ve been very impressed with the 6930 and it hasn’t had any of the problems we experienced with previous Deeres. It’s nice and simple to drive, but the cab is a bit small and the steering lock could be better.

 

Luke and Lloyd Furse have been putting four mid-horsepower tractors through their paces over the past year. Last week we took a look at the Case Puma 210 and this week we’re seeing how the John Deere 6930 Premium has been faring.

The Deere didn’t really skip a beat during the first year and quietly clocked up 2,700 hours work. Much of time was spent towing a 2400 gallon slurry tanker with trailing shoe and it notched up a significant number of hours umbilical slurry pumping.

Drivers found it easy to hop on and drive and it was rarely wanting for power, says Lloyd. “There are definitely no faults for driver experience, but the cab is a tad too small.”

On the downside, steering lock is noticeably poorer than the Fendt, he notes.

Likes

  • Easy to drive
  • Comfortable
  • More reliable than previous models

Gripes

  • Steering lock could be better
  • Small cab

    Tomorrow: Landini Landpower 135

The main reason that Luke and Lloyd decided to run the tractor trial was because they had experienced a series of fairly major problems with the fleet of John Deeres they were running.

Happily, the trial 6930 Premium has had none of the same issues, the only notable breakdown being a blown heater matrix, which was quickly replaced by the dealer.

As a result of the previous problems this tractor came with a particularly generous five-year warranty, he says. “It’s good to know that even though we were having serious problems with earlier machines the manufacturer is willing to stand by them.”

The John Deere 6930 Premium clocked up 2,700 hours on the following tasks:

  • Bale wrapping
  • Verge trimming
  • Grass rolling
  • Towing a 12t Bunning muck spreader
  • Slurry spreading with 2400g Abbey tanker and 7.5m trailing shoe
  • Grain carting
  • Towing a 14t Agrimac silage trailer
  • Maize carting
  • Hedge cutting
  • Lime spreading with 10t spreader
  • Slurry pumping
  • Ploughing with five-furrow Gregoire Besson

The 6930 did seem to be significantly thirstier than its closest rival, the Fendt 718 (see Fendt 718 for comparison) and it even drank the Puma under the table on some jobs. Pulling a 10t Land Drive Lime spreader the Deere consumed 12.32 litres/hr compared with the Puma’s 10.6 litres/hr.

The test: Each driver recorded the number of litres used per hour for every task they completed with the machine over the 12 months. Clock readings were taken before starting the job and the tractor would always go out with a full tank of juice. At the end of the job the driver would come back to the yard, brim the tank, record the amount of fuel used and engine hour they clocked up.

The small print: These fuel tests were not scientific and because the tractors spent more time on some jobs than others the averages have been worked out over different amounts of work. The tractors will also have been working in different conditions and soil types. However, they give a useful guide to the sort of consumption figures you could expect from each machine on these specific tasks.

This is how the four contenders measure up:

In the red corner: Case Puma 210

  • Power: 210-223hp
  • Spec: Multicontroller, 50k, air brakes, front PTO, mid mounted valve, AFS 300 screen, ACI guide ready. Front tyres 540/65/R30, rear 650/55/R42.
  • Basic price: £96,199
  • On the clock: 2,700 hours

In the green (and red) corner: Fendt 718 Vario

  • Power: 180hp
  • Spec: 50kph, front PTO, air brakes, front tyres 540/65/R30, rear 650/65/R42
  • Basic price: £133,341
  • On the clock: 2,800 hours

In the blue corner: Landini Land Power 135

  • Power: 133hp. Spec: 40kph, Front tyres 480/65/R28, rear 600/65/R38. Basic price: £49,617
  • On the clock: 1,700 hours

In the green (and yellow) corner: John Deere 6930 Premium

  • Power: 180hp. Spec: 40kph AutoQuad Front PTO, front tyres 540/65/R28, rear 650/65/R38
  • Basic price: £81,822
  • On the clock: 2,700 hours