John Deere announced Monday an extensive update for 2020 of its 7R family of tractors and a new 8 family tractor lineup, the latter including the industry's first fixed-frame, four-track tractor -- the 8RX.
Deere said it worked with 1,000 customers from concept to finished product as it prepared to manufacture the updated and new tractor lines. The 7s and 8s offer automotive-like cabs with more headroom and wider entry paths. Higher-end packages feature automotive-like comforts such as a 6.5-inch touchscreen radio with smartphone integration.
The 7s and 8s include factory-installed Generation 4 4600 CommandCenter displays and StarFire 6000 receivers. Deere's higher-value packages include JDLink with five years of service, John Deere Connected Support, Expert Alerts, Remote Display Access and Wireless Data Transfer.
Deere's workhorse bread-and-butter machines, the 8 family of tractors, trace their lineage back to 1995. For 2020, the family has been restyled front to back, from grill to fenders, including fully suspended cabs. Joining the 8 family of tractors for 2020 is an all-new 8RX. This is in addition to Deere's 8R wheeled tractor and 8RT two-track model.
Tracked and wheeled 8s mount power plants ranging from 230 horsepower to 410 horsepower -- representing an expansion at both ends of the horsepower line. Current 8 family tractors peak at 400 engine horsepower. Deere is adding a 410 horsepower plant. A new 230 horsepower engine will be offered in 2020.
Deere is fond of its two-track 8RT. The machine pulls well, maneuvers well and rides well, it said. Its biggest power plant offering is currently 370 engine horsepower. Beginning in 2020, Deere is adding that 410 horsepower power plant option to the 8RT, making it Deere's largest two-track machine in row-crop configurable design. Plus, Deere noted, it bring this model in line with the competition.
Deere is excited to talk about its all-knew 8RX (41,000 to 44,500 pounds of steel and technology). The tractor manufacturer came to believe that its 8 family tractor line needed an all-tracked vehicle for precision applications. Its 9RX, Deere said, is best suited for primary tillage and heavy fieldwork. Deere took lessons learned from its 9RX and 8RT machines to build the 8RX, but the company emphasizes that this machine is designed new, with a track system designed specifically for the 8RX.
Engine choices for the 8RX range from 410 to 310 horsepower.
"New 8RX tractors offer all the benefits of tracks and provide a driving experience more like a wheel tractor," said Tammy Lee, marketing manager, production agriculture for John Deere. The 8RX, with its four independent tracks, has a 39% larger footprint and 28% lower ground pressure compared to an eight-wheeled tractor -- for the lowest down pressure in the class. The 8RX boasts 0%-2% slip.
Deere said the 8RX's smaller track size on the front with two mid-rollers promotes turning. The new rear tracks for the 8RX have three isolated mid-rollers for transport. In a field demonstration, the machine obviously creates very little burming on turns.
Important to the 8RX is its steering front axle. The 1700 pivoting beam axle is specifically designed for the four-track tractor to provide the necessary strength and enable adjustability of tread spacings to fit grower needs.
Deere is offering a range of track and axle configurations for 8RX. Multiple tread-spacing options include 76-, 80-, 88- or 120-inch-wide front axles (parts kits will be available to allow spacing changes outside the factory). Deere offers three belt widths: 18- and 24-inch-wide front belts or 18-, 24- and 30-inch-wide rear belts.
Deere pointed to one necessary design feature it discovered during development. Engineers slightly pushed back the rear hitch to eliminate instances where the tongue of an implement might strike the rear of the tractor.
The 8 family tractors offer Deere's largest cab ever. There is an addition 2 inches of headspace and a 24% wider entry path. Customers will choose from three cab packages: select, premium and ultimate. Ultimate appointing includes a leather seat with electronic adjustment, heating, ventilation and -- believe it or not -- a massage function. This cab includes smartphone integration with a 6.5-inch touchscreen radio. In a handy design move included with this package, the operator seat swivels 20 degrees to the left.
There are three lighting packages. The ultimate visibility package include 22 work LEDs and eight convenience LED lights. The package gives operators 360 degrees of lighting coverage.
All 8 family tractors with 310 or less horsepower include the John Deere e23 PowerShift transmission. Deere said customers also can choose its optional infinitely variable transmission. It is available for all models except the 8R 410, 8RT 410 and 8RX 410.
Year 2020 7R tractors are available in seven models with power plants ranging from 210 horsepower to 330 horsepower.
"New 7R tractors deliver high-horsepower capabilities in a compact, easy-to-maneuver chassis," said Lee.
7R cabs, like the 8s, are large with the same extra headspace and significantly wider entry path. As with the 8 family tractors, Deere's 7R line offers three comfort and convenience cab packages. The ultimate cab includes a new leather seat with electronic adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage features, smartphone integration with a 6.5-inch touchscreen radio display and multi-speaker system.
Visibility packages are identical to the 8 family tractors. The ultimate visibility package features 22 work LEDs and eight convenience LED lights.
7R tractors comes standard equipped with an integrated Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter display, StarFire 6000 integrated receiver and AutoTrac activation.
7R tractors come standard with Deere's e23 PowerShift transmission. Optionally, customers can choose the infinitely variable transmission.
Ordering and pricing information for the 7s and 8s will be available in December for new model year 2020. Shipments for both families are expected to begin next summer.
For more information: www.JohnDeere.com or local dealer.
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