Utility and Value

Utility Tractors Get Upgrade

Jim Patrico
By  Jim Patrico , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The new 6E Series of utility tractors has features to increase speed and ease of operation. (Progressive Farmer photo provided by the manufacturer)

Sales of utility tractors remain solid, even in a down market. At its fall new-product introductions, John Deere made sure its model-year 2016 offerings included an upgraded version of that part of its line. The 6E Series tractors replace the 6D Series, a line that already included the 6D, 6M and 6R tractors.

"We took a solid, simple workhorse in the 6D and made it even better with upgrades like easier operating functions," said Kory Ross, product marketing manager for John Deere. "We improved it and added so much value that we felt it earned a whole new name—the 6E Series."

Easier operating functions including optional sway bars speed implement changes in the back. A new view window in the cab roof helps when using the loader for work above the tractor, such as stacking bales or loading a trailer.

The economical 6E Series offers more transmission choices than the 6D Series: an optional 24/12 Hi-Lo "PowrReverser" that allows the operator to shift on the fly to match field conditions. The new transmission has 11 working speeds in the 5- to 13-mph range with a top roading speed of 25 mph. The standard 12/12 transmission has six working speeds in the same speed range.

Stackable selective control valves provide convenient use of hydraulics for a variety of chores. The 6E Series also has an optional air seat that swivels 15 degrees to make loader and mowing operations more comfortable.

A new electrohydraulic mechanical FWD switch engages in a mere two seconds.

The 6E Series has three models: 105, 130 and 135 hp.


S-Series combines also got some upgrades, including a first for John Deere: a foldable 12-row corn head that comes in chopping and standard versions. When folded, the new 612FC corn head has about the same transport width as an 8-row head. That can eliminate the need for trailering a corn head when moving from field to field, which saves as much as 15% in time, depreciation and manpower.

For soybean and small-grain producers, Deere expanded its line of HydraFlex Drapers adding 30-, 35- and 40-foot versions to the existing 45-foot model, the 645FD. New end dividers reduce grain loss and crop knockdown, and a wider center feed section increases amount of material intake by 10%.

The new S-Series combines also offer a 12% larger cleaning sieve. An optional Active Terrain Adjustment (ATA) technology automatically controls fan speed and sieve/chaffer openings, which minimize grain loss in hilly fields. Deere says on uphill slopes starting at 4 degrees, the ATA system reduces grain loss and can result in $32 to $64 savings per acre, depending in part on corn prices. On down slopes, the system can reduce foreign material content in the grain tank.

Deere added an onboard air compressor to make routine cleaning and maintenance easier, even in distant fields.


Jim Patrico