Deere's new 8R Series tractor lineup includes six wheeled models that range from 225 to 345 hp (168 to 257 kW) and three track models that range from 295 to 345 hp (220 to 257 kW), and the company is quite happy about it.
"We've taken the most fuel-efficient row-crop tractor ever produced, at a time when its reliability is better than ever, and refined it by increasing horsepower output, adding our most spacious, most comfortable, and most productive cab ever," said Chad Hogan, John Deere Product Line Marketing Manager. "We've also dramatically upgraded the ride comfort and capabilities of our track models."
Equipped with integrated, easy-to-use monitors and controls, Deere's next-generation CommandViewII Cab is expected to benefit operators in terms of productivity and comfort primarily due to its roominess and improved visibility. According to Hogan, the tractors have best-in-class lighting.
Each 8RT Tractor is equipped with Deere's AirCushion Suspension System that was first made available on the company's larger 9030T Series Track Tractors. Hogan says the "suspension provides unsurpassed operator comfort and improved vehicle traction that puts more power to the ground."
For "the first time ever," Deere has made its Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) available on 8RT Series track tractors. It's standard on the 8345RT and optional on all other models. With an IVT, operators can use a single lever to smoothly shift from 0 to 24 mph (0 to 39 km/h) or any speed in between.
"With our IVT, customers first dial in a specific ground speed," said Hogan. "Then, the engine and transmission work together to keep the tractor operating at that speed—instantly responding to changes in load conditions. This also decreases fuel consumption and keeps operating costs low."
Maximum transport speed has been increased up to 24 mph (39 km/h) on the track models. Fuel capacity has been expanded to 200 gal (757 L)—a 54% increase compared to its predecessor. An available Category 4N/3 rear hitch provides these track tractors with up to 18,300 lb (8300 kg) of hitch-lift capacity. Hydraulic flow is now rated at 60 gal/min (227 L/min).
Operators are able to select any track spacing between 72 and 160 in (1829 to 4064 mm) wide by using the field-installed kit and can make adjustments without de-tensioning the tracks. All 8R and 8RT models are powered by John Deere Power Systems' 9.0-L PowerTech Plus engine that meets current Tier III emissions standards.
The 8R tractors also use the new Deere name and numbering system. Using the 8345RT as an example, the first number represents its size. The second, third, and fourth numbers denote its relative engine horsepower according to 97/68/EC Standards. The fifth position is a letter and indicates its capability and/or price level within its family. Letters at the beginning of the alphabet indicate a tractor model has lower levels of capabilities when compared to other models in its family. Letters higher in the alphabet specify a tractor with more advanced capabilities. In this case, the tractors has a sixth position to designate that it has tracks.