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Increased productivity promised by range updates The new 8R-series flagship was tested on several Norfolk farms before its press launch in Germany.

John Deere announced updates to its tractors, harvesting and precision farming product ranges at an exclusive press event in Germany during early September. David Williams reports. The biggest news is the reappearance of the 5R series; missing since 2013, and a new flagship for the largest conventional 8R line-up. The new 5R series has features for smaller arable and mixed farms, offering a higher specification than 5M models. The latest machines are all-new, including a stepped chassis incorporating the engine oil sump, and the power unit sits lower in the frame for improved visibility and stability. The 2.25m wheelbase provides good weight distribution for field tasks. Many 5R tractors will perform yard and loader work, and the new chassis allows a turning radius of just 3.75m, even with the factory front loader. Visibility is superb; the low engine hood gives a clear view just 6.8m to the front. Transport Power Management is standard, providing 10hp extra for transport applications. John Deere PWX 4.5-litre, 4-cyl engines offer rated outputs from 90–125hp and meet Tier 4-interim emissions regulations without Adblue. Transmission options include entry-level 16/16 CommandQuad manual, 16/16 CommandQuad and 32/16 Command8, with eight Powershift gears and an Eco mode providing 40kph at 1,750rpm. Automatic clutching is standard but the Command8 also includes automatic shifting, available as an option for the 16/16 CommandQuad version. Rear lift capacity is 4.7t, but 5.3t is an upgrade option. Open-centre hydraulics provide 96 litres/min flow rate but a pressure and flowcompensated version offers 117 litres/min. Four SCVs are available with mechanical or electronic control. Front axle suspension is a new option not previously available on

5R models. With independent arms it has infinite adjustment +/- 45mm and lock-out when required. Mechanical cab suspension through two adjustable shock absorbers is available, complementing the air-suspended seat. Further cab improvements include revised control layout, PDU+ corner post display, a panoramic front screen and a choice of joysticks for loader control. The seat swivels 15 degrees, for easier monitoring of rear implements and CommandArmmounted controls, similar to larger models, offer convenient operation of all functions. The all-new 543R loader offers 10 per cent greater lift capacity and increased rollback angle and automatic latching is an option. Both the 543R and 603R loaders are offered with a choice of levelling systems. “The new 5R tractors have a high specification and a great operator environment to get the most out of modern arable implements,” explained John Deere UK marketing manager Chris Wiltshire. “It’s the ultimate loader tractor, and

The 5R returns to the range, with features to suit family mixed farms, and up to 135hp.

we anticipate many mixed and arable farms will opt for the 5R for productivity advantages. The 5M models will continue to be in high demand, accounting for slightly more sales than the new 5R, with a specification to suit livestock farms and lower price.” A new addition to John Deere’s ‘R’ series compact tractor line-up is the 2R, with engine options up to 36hp and maximum 26kph travel speed. Designed primarily for demanding amenity and groundcare roles, the new tractors’ heavy-duty specification means they will also be ideal for equestrian use as well as pig and poultry units.

New 8R flagship At the other end of the power and size scale, John Deere 8R series updates include a new flagship, with up to 450hp. The first UK machine was tested on Norfolk farms during early August, a month before its launch, and Farmers Guide spent an

afternoon seeing how it performed. The new 8400R is an additional model, extending the 8R line-up to seven variants from 245–400hp (rated). The previous flagship 8370R remains available, but the 8400R produces 30hp extra at both rated and maximum outputs. Demand for tractors capable of high work rates is growing and the new model promises exceptionally high outputs for heavy draft and top work. The efficient powershift drive-train makes 91 per cent of the rated power available for transfer to the ground. Power is from a John Deere 9-litre 6-cyl power unit with twin-stage turbocharging, transferred to the wheels through an e23 powershift transmission and a new heavier-duty rear axle (an option on other models), with ductile iron hubs allowing 3,200kg of rear wheel ballast between the pair. Claimed fuel efficiency is two per cent better than the 8370R, with Efficiency Manager overseeing engine and transmission interaction. The test tractor was loaned to Norfolk-based Holkham Estates for a week and, when Farmers Guide visited, oilseed rape was being drilled into cultivated barley stubble, behind a Lemken Karat 9 cultivator. The operator, Des Austin, usually drives the farm’s larger articulated tractor but said he found the 8400R’s performance excellent. “Some tractors you quickly get a good feeling about, and this is one of them,” he said. “It’s a big tractor, but surprisingly continued over...

p “It just doesn’t feel like a big tractor with its light controls and manoeuvrability,” said Holkham Estates machinery operator Des Austin. u A new ‘R’ series tractor; the 2R compact is added to the line-up.

32 www.farmersguide.co.uk October 2016

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October 2016  

Farmers Guide Magazine October 2016 Issue

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