Equipment Roundup

John Deere Launches 2 New Gators; Bobcat Intros Remote Engine Feature; Claas Announces New Combine Dealer Network

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
John Deere is launching gas- and diesel-powered XUVs with 4,000 pounds towing and a GreenStar Ready option. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)

In this Equipment Roundup, DTN/Progressive Farmer looks at John Deere launching two new Gator utility vehicles; U.S. sales of four-wheel-drive tractors increasing 9.4% from last year during May; a drone company getting new FFA approvals; Bobcat adding remote engine control to its telematics platform; and CLAAS announcing a new combine service network.



John Deere is launching two new Gator utility vehicles: a new gas-powered Gator XUV 845 and a new diesel-powered Gator XUV 875, both with optional heating and air conditioning.

Deere said improvements over previous Gators include a quieter exhaust system, an air intake positioned 12 inches higher than on previous models -- better protecting the engines from dust and water intake -- and a cargo box 13% larger than previous Gator models. The XUV 845 and XUV 875 also feature a new CVT air intake and exhaust to help pull cleaner air and protect the system from debris, water and mud.

Gator XUV 845 and Gator XUV 875 utility vehicle HVAC models can be customized to include a factory-installed GreenStar Ready option, giving owners the ability to add a StarFire receiver and universal display to the machine. All the needed brackets and wiring to support the installation of the receiver and the display are included from the factory. The JDLink modem will also be included, enabling the Gator to be integrated into the John Deere Operations Center.

"The Gator XUV 845 and Gator XUV 875 make tasks such as boundary and field mapping, tile mapping and other similar tasks easier to complete with a smaller, more nimble machine at a lower operating cost," said Eric Halfman, John Deere go-to-market manager for Gator utility vehicles.

Additional features include:

-- Added width to increase capacity and reduce mud sling.

-- 4000-pound towing capacity.

-- 12-volt SAE power port.

-- Redesigned tailgate with a flat work surface, ruler and v-groove for cutting pipe.

-- Four stake pockets on each side work with stake pocket clamps to hold tools.

-- Mountable utility rack option.

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U.S. sales of four-wheel-drive tractors increased 9.4% in May compared to the same month in 2023, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). This increase follows April 2024's uptick of 24% compared to the year before. The data also indicate U.S. year-to-date sales of four-wheel-drive tractors are up 3.2%.

But total U.S. ag tractor sales dropped 11.5% compared to May 2023. U.S. ag tractors are broken into several segments, including four-wheel drive, two-wheel-drive 100-plus horsepower, 40 to 100 horsepower and 40 horsepower and below. In more recent months, it has been the smaller 100-horsepower tractors and below that have been a drag on sales.

"After the resilience of the last five years, we're starting to see softness in pockets of the market," said AEM Senior Vice President Curt Blades. "Although the total year-over-year numbers show declines, subcategories of the market remain strong, particularly larger equipment. The subcompact tractor market shows some year-over-year challenges following record highs during the pandemic."



Rantizo has achieved a significant milestone in its drone operations with permission from the FAA to swarm up to three drones over 55 pounds without a visual observer (VO) and at night.

"The approval demonstrates the FAA's recognition of the safety and reliability of our systems, as well as the evolving needs of operators delivering precise and timely crop protection to their farmer customers," said Mariah Scott, CEO. "This amendment allows us to unlock a whole new level of productivity, flexibility and efficiency for our team."

Flying without a VO and multiple drones at once, such as three DJI T30 or two XAG P100 Pro drones, can significantly boost operator productivity, allowing operators to cover more acres, for more farmers and with greater flexibility. Night operations allow operators the flexibility to spray during the most favorable weather conditions for flying and crop coverage.

"This is a giant step in the right direction for drone applicators," said Kevin McDonald, chief pilot. "The FAA is really working hard to make more options available for drone operators, and this approval shows that drones will continue to unlock new options for precision application technology."

Rantizo is an agricultural drone services company authorized by the FFA.

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Bobcat Company is adding a new feature to its Bobcat Machine IQ telematics platform. The new Remote Engine Disable/Enable feature allows customer users in North America and Europe to remotely enable or disable their machine's engine through the Owner Portal or Machine IQ app.

Machine IQ, launched in 2019 in North America, allows connected-machine owners to monitor the health of their Bobcat machine and remotely track information that enhances maintenance, security and performance. Remote Engine Disable/Enable represents the first two-way update to the telematics system, allowing operators to both send commands to and receive data from the machine.

With Remote Engine Disable/Enable, operators can shut down their machine with a few clicks, deterring theft and aiding in quick machine recovery.

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Ohio CAT is divesting its Ohio ag business unit, effectively exiting the agriculture equipment business by Jan. 1, 2025. In response, CLAAS said it is working to stand up a full-line dealer network in Ohio.

"Our No. 1 priority is to make sure our impacted combine customers maintain support they need for the upcoming harvest," said Senior Vice President of CLAAS Americas Region Eric Raby. "Working with existing CLAAS dealers in the area, we've quickly established a service and parts network designed to support our combine customers this harvest season and into the future."

The network of dealers supporting Ohio farmers with CLAAS combines are:

-- Burnips Equipment, Hudson, Michigan: 517-448-2071

-- K & L Tractor Sales, Fort Recovery, Ohio: 419-375-2330

-- Foltz Ag Enterprises, Lancaster, Ohio: 740-808-8600

-- Reberland Equipment, Apple Creek, Ohio: 330-698-5883

-- Monroe Tractor, Grove City, Pennsylvania: 724-264-4403

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Dan Miller