Tracks, Cats and Power

(Progressive Farmer image provided by John Deere)


John Deere has announced 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's workhorse machine, the 8 Family of tractors, trace their lineage back to 1995. For 2020, the family has been restyled from grill to fender, including the addition of fully suspended cabs. Joining the 8 Family tractors for 2020 is the all-new 8RX.

Year 2020 tracked-and-wheeled 8s mount power plants ranging from 230 to 410 hp -- representing a power expansion at both ends of the horsepower line. Year 2020 7R tractors are available with power plants ranging from 210 to 330 hp.

Deere is fond of its two-track 8RT. The machine pulls well, maneuvers well and rides well, it says. Beginning in 2020, the company is adding a 410-hp engine option to the 8RT, making it Deere's largest two-track machine in a row-crop configurable design.

Deere sees a lot of potential in the all-new 8RX (41,000 to 44,500 pounds). The company came to believe that its 8 Family tractor line needed an all-tracked vehicle for precision applications. The 9RX is built for primary tillage. 8RX engines range from 410 to 310 hp.

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 downpressure in the class. The 8RX boasts 0 to 2% slip.

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 strength and enable adjustability of tread spacings to fit grower needs.

Deere is offering a range of track and axle configurations for 8RX. Tread-spacing options include 76-, 80-, 88- or 120-inch wide front axles. Deere offers 18- and 24-inch-wide front belts, or 18-, 24- and 30-inch-wide rear belts.

Customers of the 8 Family choose from Select, Premium and Ultimate cab packages. Ultimate appointing includes a leather seat with electronic adjustment, heating, ventilation and, believe it or not, a massage function. A handy design application allows the operator to swivel the seat 20 degrees left. The Ultimate Visibility package boasts 22 work LEDs.

Both the 7Rs and 8s include factory-installed Generation 4 4600 CommandCenter displays and StarFire 6000 receivers. Higher value packages include JDLink, John Deere Connected Support, Expert Alerts, Remote Display Access and Wireless Data Transfer.

Ordering information for the 7Rs and 8s will be available in December. Shipping is expected to begin next summer. For more information, visit


Caterpillar has released 16 new Cat D3 Series Skid Steer Loader (SSL) and Compact Track Loader (CTL) models. As an industry first, the D3 Series models also support a line of new Smart Attachments that tailor D3 controls to the tool and the task.

The D3 is equipped with a one-piece enclosed cab with a wider opening and three additional inches of space between the joystick pods.

The machines are geared to deliver high torque digging performance as well as high top-end speed for travel.

The Smart Attachments are an interesting -- and performance-enhancing -- function of the D3.

The advanced attachment technology allows D3 Series Cat SSL and CTL models to automatically recognize Smart Attachments and convert machine controls to align with the operational and informational needs of that attachment.

Cat SSLs and CTLs also offer advanced control features such as Return-to-Dig and Work Tool Positioner to assist operators with repetitive tasks like grading, digging and loading.

Also included in the D3 series CTL family is the new purpose-built Cat 299D3 XE Land Management CTL. The 299D3 XE delivers superior performance in demanding vegetation-management applications, such as mulching, brush cutting, vegetation control and mowing.

For more information, visit


Firestone Ag, a business of Bridgestone Americas Inc., is selling a new Maxi Traction Tire. The tire is available in 15 sizes.

The tire is designed with a tread pattern for an improved wear rate and more even tread wear. Both features promote longer tire life, Firestone says.

Maxi Traction tires include AD2 technology that helps farmers carry heavier loads at the same pressure as standard agriculture tires or the same loads at reduced inflation pressure, reducing fuel consumption and minimizing soil compaction. The tire's R-1W tread depth and dual-angle tread pattern are designed for increased tread contact with the soil.

For more information, visit


Two new AGCO tractors, the 100-hp Massey Ferguson 5710D and the 110-hp 5711D, promise to offer premium transmission at an economy price point, the manufacturer says.

The company's Global Series mid-range 5700 series, launched at the recent Sunbelt Ag Expo, in Moultrie, Georgia, now comes with the Dyna-4 transmission already available on larger, higher-end machines. "Customers love a powershift transmission," says Zach Cagle, marketing product specialist, mid-range and high-horsepower Massey Ferguson tractors. "It gives them the ability to shift on the go, find that perfect speed when they're doing whatever it may be out in the field. To go to a powershift transmission in the past, it's been quite a price jump, so you had to go to a premium tractor. Now, we're able to fulfill their needs with a mid-size tractor."

The Dyna-4 shifts through 16 forward and 16 reverse clutchless speeds.

The two models feature standard Auto-Drive that speed-matches the transmission to shift automatically at 1,500 rpm in Eco mode and 2,100 rpm in Power mode. It also comes with the Brake-to-Neutral feature that engages the clutch as soon as the brake pedal is pressed to stop the tractor without any other action.

Other features include cab suspension, three remotes with 26 gallon-per-minute hydraulic flow, and 540E/540/1,000 PTO. The AGCO Power 4.4-liter, four-cylinder diesel engines power the tractors.

"This is the perfect hay, utility, farm and ranch, and cattle tractor," Cagle says.

For more information, visit


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