Not every farmer in the United States needs a 530-horsepower, four-wheel-drive tractor. But when a grower needs that much power and operating versatility, nothing much else will substitute.
That's some of the thinking that has gone into John Deere's latest line of large, high-horsepower tractors — the 9030 Series — which the company introduced at its annual dealer meetings in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The market for tractors this size is not all that large,” said Don Worner, manager, product marketing for John Deere's 6030, 7030 and 9030 Series tractors. “But large horsepower, four-wheel-drive tractors are a very important segment of the overall market.”
With farms getting larger across the United States, Worner said the timing was right for the company to expand on its line of big tractors. “We have part-time farmers who may plant up to 1,000 acres but also have a job in the city or a spouse who works off the farm,” he said. “They need something that will help them cover that ground.”
Worner said the 9030 Series tractors provide three solutions for growers: 1) Increased productivity, more acres worked per hour; 2) Improved operator comfort and convenience, improved ride, simplicity, usability; and 3) Lower cost of operation and ownership, superior fuel efficiency, low maintenance cost.
The 9030 Series was one of a large number of new products introduced at the Cincinnati meeting. Others included new combines, corn headers, disks, sprayers, forage harvesters and Deere's first on-board, round-module building cotton picker.
“Those of you who have attended these events in the past may have noticed that this one was a little different,” said Worner. “In the past, each factory manager would have talked about his products. This event was geared to meeting the needs of specific customers.”
In its new 9030 Series, Deere is offering eight new tire- and track-equipped models ranging in horsepower from 325 to 530 hp. Three of the new models are specifically designed for construction job-site scraper applications.
The larger models feature the innovative John Deere PowerTech Plus engines, says Worner, who is based at Deere's Waterloo Works. “They are cleaner burning than previous models and are engineered specifically for high-horsepower field applications to help the operator get more done in less time.”
The six-cylinder PowerTech Plus engines are designed with four valves per cylinder, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a variable geometry turbo. The cleaner-burning engines delivers up to a 38 percent torque rise and a 10 percent power bulge to bring more power and performance to the ground while meeting Tier 3 emissions standards.
“Engine efficiency is enhanced with a new cooling package, including the patented Vari-Cool fan drive and cooling system,” said Worner. “The mechanical-type fan runs only at the necessary speed to meet the cooling requirements of the tractor, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing power consumption.”
Two transmission options are available on the new 9030 Series Tractors. A 24-speed manual transmission (24-forward and 6-reverse speeds) is available on the 9230, 9330 and 9430 Tractors as standard equipment. The 18-speed PowerShift Transmission (18-forward and 6-reverse speeds) is available as an option on the 9230, 9330 and 9430 Tractors and is standard equipment on the 9530 and 9630 Tractors.
The three new track tractors — the 9430T, 9530T and 9630T — feature a new AirCushion walking I-beam suspension system that will give them a smoother ride in all field and transport conditions.
“The air suspension system is equipped with its own on-board regulation system with controllers that automatically adjust to field or transport conditions,” says Worner. “This all translates into longer days, less fatigue, higher working and transport speeds, and more overall productivity for longer days in the field.
All 9030 Series Tractors will have a larger fuel tank, which gives the new tractors up to 33 percent greater on-board fuel capacity. Combined with the fuel-efficient engines, the 9030 Series Tractors “will stay longer in the field and allow the operator to cover more acres in less time,” says Worner.