More power, more weight, more cab space and more technology. That about sums up what John Deere has in store for model year 2022, 9 series tractors. And the more power part now pushes the largest articulated 9R and 9RX models to the pole position in the industry’s horsepower race. The model numbering format for the 9Rs will also now adopt that used on all the brand’s other tractor series.
First of all, things will look different under the hoods, with the introduction of Deere’s newly designed PowerTech 13.6-litre diesel that will provide power for the new 390 to 590 horsepower models, replacing the previous 13.5 litre.
“It wasn’t just a few tweaks here and there to get that extra displacement,” says Ryan Jardon, tactical marketing manager. “It’s a brand-new engine.”
The new engine offers improved low-end performance that gives it the ability to lug through the tough spots, relying on a 38 per cent torque rise at 1,600 r.p.m. Deere claims the engine is also 50 per cent quieter than the previous 13.5 litre, and it’s easier to perform regular maintenance tasks on. The 13.6 runs with either a single- or dual-stage turbocharger, depending on the horsepower rating.
But it’s at the top end of the line where buyers might notice the most obvious change, the flagship 9R and 9RX models use a 15-litre Cummins to put out 640 rated engine horsepower, providing a 20-horsepower jump over Deere’s most powerful 2021 model. For the moment, Deere is claiming that gives it the highest engine power rating of any tractor on the market. And those 20 additional horses have also been tacked on to all the other articulated models too.
Deere has widened the availability of the Intelligent Hydraulic Power Management system, making it available on the 9RT 570, 9R/RX 590 and 640 tractors. It can bump their engine ratings up by 50 horsepower when combined hydraulic and drawbar demand rises, such as when pulling an air seeder up a steep hill. The extra power helps keep air seeder fans running at a constant speed during increased load demands. The actual horsepower jump, though, will depend on which gear the tractor is working in.
To convert all that power into useful traction, the 9Rs can handle more ballasting weight. Some of those extra pounds come from the beefed-up drivetrain components that on their own make the tractors a little heavier. Those upsized components include the axles, front frame and undercarriage components. The tractors can be further ballasted up to 67,000 pounds (30,391 kilograms). That’s a jump of 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms) over what was previously possible. That, combined with the brand’s unique HydraCushion suspension, should significantly help reduce power hop and translate engine power into drawbar force.
The two-track RT models still use the brand’s AirCushion walking beam suspension to level out the ride.
To make life more comfortable for the operator, the 9 series will now use the same updated cab as the 7Rs, 8Rs and sprayers. There are three levels of interior trim packages to choose from — Select, Premium or Ultimate. With the Ultimate, you’ll get a heated, ventilated and massaging operator seat that swivels 25 degrees left and 40 degrees right to avoid an aching neck and back at the end of a day of keeping an eye on the implement behind. There is also an available front- and rear-facing camera package to help keep an eye on things.
And there are more connectivity options as well. Deere has upped the number of USB ports and offers an optional 6.5-inch touchscreen satellite radio that is smartphone-ready.
The new LED lighting package can turn night into day with 24 work lights and eight convenience lights. Tire and track options, though, will remain the same.
When it comes to technology, all 9 series tractors come equipped from the factory with JDLink connectivity, plus an integrated StarFire 6000 GPS receiver, Generation 4 CommandCenter display and Auto-Trac guidance. The JDLink package that comes with the 9Rs includes five years of service (which is transferrable to a second owner), and it offers machine-to-machine communication as well as the ability to stream machine, field and crop information to the John Deere Operations Center.
The technology package includes factory-installed Automation 4.0 capabilities, which can accommodate the brand’s AutoTrac Turn Automation and MachineSync features.
“It’s pretty amazing, the technology that’s integrated into these machines,” says Jardon. “And where it’s going into the future, obviously, it’s building blocks for (even) more capability.”
The new 9R tractors will be available for customer order this spring and ready to hit the fields in the spring of 2022.