J Deere steps on the gas

6 October 2001

J Deere steps on the gas

John Deere has launched 63 new products, the largest new product launch in its 165-year history. Peter Read reports from southern Spain

THE Andalusian Moorish city of Seville and its surrounding arid plains were the historic setting for John Deeres latest and largest launch. Four hundred UK Deere dealers and salesmen were treated to a three-day machinery, bullfighting and flamenco fiesta. But behind the glitzy extravaganza the dealers had a serious task: double John Deeres agricultural equipment market share in Europe to 30% by 2005. And then double it again by 2010.

The new products go right across the Deere range, from tractors to telehandlers, sprayers to combines.

The new generation of 5000, 6000, 8000 and 9000 tractors, offer more power and comfort.

The 6020 series (80hp to 150hp tractors) replaces 30% market share leader, the 6010. The 6020s 10 models are all offered in Premium and Premium Plus versions. Premium Plus models from 110hp to 150hp have as standard field-proven CommandARM cab controls and stepless transmission named AutoPowr. The CommandARM has all the major tractor controls in a seat-integrated module. The stepless transmission lets you transport at high speeds or work as slow as 50m/hour, independent of engine speed. A new, electronically controlled hydraulic cab suspension is also available.

The 160hp 7710 and 175hp 7810 are now optionally available with the new 50kph AutoQuad II or AutoPowr stepless transmission. The AutoQuad II 50K package includes electronic cruise control, trailer air braking system and a new triple-link suspension system.

The 8020 Series, with a horsepower range of 200 to 295, now replaces the 8010 Series. Deere says that it is providing new levels of driver comfort, with the optional front axle independent link suspension (ILS) – but standard on the top horsepower 8520 – and active seat suspension, an electro-hydraulic air cushion seat. An 8020 Series model with a suspended rear axle will be available, on a limited basis, next year.

The latest 9020 Series articulated tractors feature a new powershift transmission and include a brand new 450hp model, the 9520, which is now the most powerful tractor Deere has ever produced. And new tracked versions are available on the 9320, 9420 and 9520 models.

There are two new pivot steer telehandlers. The mid-frame pivot provides an automatic side-shift feature. The 97hp 3700 – available next summer – and the 110hp 3800, now join last years two rigid chassis models.

New combines

Deere has extended its sprayer range with three new tractor mounted sprayers, the 500 series. Available with a choice of 15 to 24m booms, double folding to less than 2.55m for transport, tank capacity range from 800 to 1200 litres.

A completely new line-up of John Deere combine models is available for next harvest. The nine new models join the one-year-old 9780 CTS (cylinder tine separation), and replace all other existing models.

In their 9880 STS model, Deere now has the highest capacity combine in the world: 465hp from a 12.5 litre engine; 11,000 litre grain tank; 945 litre fuel tank; the new 600R series platforms with a maximum cutting width of 9.15m (30ft); and all-new single tine separation (STS) technology.

A STS module features a stepped rotor cage with three distinct cage diameters. The cage diameter expands, allowing the crop mat to expand as it travels through the module, and six rows of angled rotor tines comb and penetrate the crop – as opposed to a rotary rubbing out action. Deere says that STS provides effective and efficient threshing and grain separation while keeping straw damage to a minimum.

The 600R series platform is compatible with all of the new models, with cutting widths starting at 4.3m (14ft). A 660mm intake auger provides an impressive 30% higher capacity than previous Deere units. The front plate tilts backwards and forwards or, optionally, laterally to match ground conditions.

So what about the other eight new models? The 1450 and 1550 CWS (cylinder walker separation) have the same conventional threshing cylinder and straw walker design of previous machines. The six 9000 WTS (walker tine separation) models feature a four-stage threshing system. This begins with a 660mm diameter cylinder and long-wrap concave. An open grate second concave then provides additional separation before the crop is propelled to the 11-step straw walkers. As straw is pulled over the walker grids, tines thin out and comb through the crop mat to release trapped grain – much like the tines on the CTS and STS combines.

All of the 9000 series of combines have a climate-controlled cab, controlling moisture as well as temperature.

And what next for Deere? GPS guided driverless tractors – but no launch date as yet.

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