By Valley Ag Voice Staff
The International Ag Show is always a great gathering for many in agriculture. This year’s farm show was no exception with every street teeming with new equipment, farm implements, and tractors on display.
John Deere was one of the vendors that stood out with its new 8 Family Tractor lineup. Specifically, the Deere team was kind enough to let the Valley Ag Voice climb all over the new 8RX and gave a peek at a truly amazing tractor.
“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. “They represent the next leap forward in tractor innovation and have everything customers like about 8R wheel tractors with the addition of four independent tracks and a new fully suspended cab that makes them more comfortable to operate. This new machine form delivers unmatched flotation, traction and ride quality.”
With the turning characteristics of wheel tractors, 8RX Tractors deliver the pulling performance of tracks by providing more surface area of contact, less ground pressure and less slip than wheel tractors. “We didn’t just add tracks to an 8R Tractor. This is a fully engineered John Deere four-track solution, not a bolt-on aftermarket product,” Lee said. “A key component is the John Deere 1700 pivoting beam axle, specifically designed for a four-track tractor to provide the necessary strength and enable adjustability of tread spacings to fit grower needs.”
The Deere team on site was quick to point out that the 2020 model year 8RX was built with the customer in mind. The cab is loaded with features to accommodate long hours working in the fields, complete with a cooler, a jumper seat for the little farmer in the field, and technology that makes the modern farmer a data driven decision maker.
John Deere cleverly pointed out that every 8 Family Tractor also leaves the factory fully integrated, fully capable and fully supported with the latest technology. “For model year 2020, we made numerous precision ag technology updates that make it easy for customers to remotely monitor and manage tractor and field operations and to enable more timely transfer of prescriptions and data,” Lee said.
Each new 8R, 8RT and 8RX Tractor comes standard equipped with an integrated Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter™ display, StarFire™ 6000 integrated receiver and AutoTrac™ activation. Additional premium or automation activations are available so customers can upgrade and choose the level of accuracy they prefer. A full suite of John Deere technology is included for the seamless integration of automation, documentation and connectivity through the John Deere Operations Center. “This Precision Ag Intelligence package includes JDLink™ with five years of service, John Deere Connected Support™, Expert Alerts, Remote Display Access and Wireless Data Transfer – all backed by the industry’s best dealer network,” Lee said.
The new StarFire 6000 integrated receiver requires no calibration of the Terrain Compensation Module (TCM), is more accurate than previous models and is less vulnerable to theft according to Lee. “Coupled with the guidance system enhancements that were made, operators will be up and running with even greater accuracy in less time. Regardless of the model a customer chooses, each 8 Family Tractor is precision-ag equipped to prepare precise seedbeds, handle variable-rate seeding and manage fertilizer prescriptions, all at up to 10 mph (16 km/h),” Lee said.
The cab on this beast also is larger than previous models with a couple of inches of greater headroom and a wider entry path, getting in an out of this tractor is a breeze. With three levels of comfort and convenience packages to choose from Select, Premium, or Ultimate this automotive-inspired interior is a plus.
Ultimate versions come with an exclusive leather seat with electronic adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage features. Integrating your smartphone into the touchscreen and multi-speaker system is also available.
Yet as we all know, in farming you get up when its dark and we quit working when its dark, so lighting is a big plus in these vehicles. The 8RX comes with Select, Premium and Ultimate lighting options as well. The Ultimate is loaded with 22 work LED and EGH convenience LED Lights, twice as many as current models. By providing a 360 degree lighting option, you can work on and service your equipment.
Clearly, John Deere’s team paid attention to their customer when developing the 8RX, and the 2020 model proves it. After we were done climbing all over this green machine, our photographer tried taking the tractor for a spin. Yet with over 100,000 visitors to the farm show, we decided it wouldn’t be safe.