April 14, 2024

The biggest tractor yet: John Deere launches 9RX tractor models

Michael Porter

HOUSTON — More horsepower means more opportunities — and there has never been as much potential to get more done in a day as there is with John Deere’s new 9RX 830.

It is the top of the line, the industry’s highest horsepower tractor, at 830 rated horsepower with a max peak horsepower of 913.

The new lineup of high-horsepower, four-track tractors announced at the recent Commodity Classic convention in Houston also includes the 9RX 710 and the 9RX 770.

“It opens up a lot of possibilities,” said Michael Porter, go-to-market manager for the John Deere tractor line.

“We did a lot of testing to make sure that it’s the most productive machine we’ve ever built. And so we’re able to disk 100 more acres per day with this machine compared to our previous one.

“For our air-seeding customers, we’re able to go fully load a cart, go into the same hills that we could previously only do with a half-loaded cart, and then do it faster.”

Do not just think about going faster with your same implement — think about going faster with an even wider implement than you have today, Porter said.

That power comes from a new JD18 engine.

“A new e21 transmission helps us get the power to the ground, but also helps us get all that power to the ground faster with skip shifts, which allows us to, you know, skip their shifts as we’re accelerating really quick,” Porter said.

“So, what those customers do in high-speed tillage, that’s a big advantage. It allows them get to that working range of 10 to 15 a lot faster than our previous model.”

Growers with larger acres will be able to cover more ground in a day, but the new tractor models can also help everyone hit their timing windows.

“So, even for a customer with maybe less acreage, it allows them to get more done in a day, which allows them to hit those target windows, an ideal planting window, or get all that tillage done, so they can go plant and hit those ideal windows,” Porter said. “This is for anyone who wants to get more done with less.”

Beyond the incredible horsepower, the machine is also autonomy ready.

“This tractor from the factory is autonomous ready, which means it has all the controllers and harnessing for full autonomy and all it’s missing is our perception or the vision system,” Porter said.

“So, when a customer decides he wants to go run the tractor, great, he gets into crunch time and has other things to do, he can then plug and play that autonomous system and allow it to go do stuff while he goes and does what’s important to him.”

The four-track design keeps the machine — which weighs, fully ballasted, 84,000 pounds — planted and reduces slip.

And it is not just increased horsepower. It also is greater hydraulic flow.

“Customers are telling us they need more power so they can climb those hills with a fully loaded air cart, but then when coming down hills and turning or trying to brake, with all this taking so much hydraulic capacity, the tractor was causing inefficiencies with that air seeder. With this new tractor, we have optional 168-gallon-per-minute hydraulic flow, which is industry leading, as well,” Porter said.

“Even crazier about it is that is just for the implement, that 168. We have two more pumps and our own hydraulic reservoir for the machine functions. So, when coming down hills and braking and turning, when the machine’s using hydraulic capacity, it’s a separate system from what’s going to be operating this air seeder, so that way you’re not sacrificing your fan speed or your seeding performance.”

Operators do not have to pick between machine function or implement function. Both get optimal flow at all times.

“We like to say tractors don’t go ‘tractoring,’ right? They’re usually doing something,” Porter said.

Working with customers to design the machines, all daily maintenance checks — for example, accessing and blowing off the air filter — can be done from the ground level.

“You have access to get in here and work on the machine, if you need to, a lot easier than with our previous models,” Porter said.

He is proud of the new tractors, especially because John Deere diligently listened to customers while designing them.

“It’s all about the end user. I mean, if we don’t build something that customers want and need, then, obviously, no one’s going to be interested in buying it,” he said.

“So, we work with groups of customers to help us understand what challenges they’re facing with, say, a previous model or similar models or competitive models, whatever it may be, and we look at that and we start working towards developing it.

“And then we go back to them throughout that process to say, ‘Here’s what we’re thinking to maybe help you address daily maintenance like this, right? Is this what you’re looking for?’ And then we keep working with them throughout the process.

“The end goal, we hope, is that when we get done and we launch something like this that the customers that have been providing that feedback hopefully become some of our first customers to buy because they know that we are addressing the concerns and hardships that they face every day.”

Orders for the new 9RX tractor models opened in mid-March with deliveries slated for the end of this year.

James Henry

James Henry

Executive Editor