At its dealer convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last August, John Deere unveiled three new models in its 6R Series tractor line. It beefed up the previous 6170R, 6190R and 6210R models and re-released them as the 6175R, 6195R and 6215R, each with five more rated horsepower. But they actually get 10 more maximum horsepower through the Intelligent Power Management System, which provides a boost when the load on the tractor gets heavy.
“The three models we’re introducing here in Milwaukee are the top three models in our 6R lineup: the 175, 195, and 215,” said Brad Tolbert, marketing manager for 6-Family tractors. “One key thing, we added five horsepower but also added 10 horsepower to Intelligent Power Management. One way to think of it (IPM) is when I hit a slug and need a little more power to move that through the baler or I’m pulling a grain cart down the road and have to go up a hill and I’m maxing out my power, that extra 40 horsepower is there when you need it.”
In November, Deere added another three tractors to 6R line, with the introduction of three all new, small-framed versions: the 6110R, 6120R and 6130R, which fall into the 110 to 130 engine horsepower bracket.
The new small-frame 6R tractors are designed with many of the hydraulic, control and comfort features of the larger models, but with a more compact size that offers customers the manoeuvrability many want to more easily handle a wide variety of chores, according to Kory Ross, product manager for mid-tractors.
And of those new features Ross was referring to, it was hydraulic improvements that figured most prominently in Deere’s redesign of the larger-framed 6Rs, which according to Tolbert, was driven by customer feedback. “We asked customers in a focus group what they liked best about what we did with the 6Rs, and they said it’s the hydraulic update,” he explained.
The rear SCVs have been more conveniently placed and up to six are now available. They use the same rear coupler design found on the larger 7R and 8R tractors. And maximum hydraulic pump capacity has been bumped up to 41 gallons (155 litres) per minute.
Inside the 6R cabs, things look a little different this year. The 6R operator’s seat now swivels 30 degrees to the right to avoid neck strain when watching a trailed implement. These tractors get the same CommandArm control arrangement their big brothers, the 7Rs, 8Rs and 9Rs, use. And buyers can opt for either a seven-inch or 10-inch display screen. Deere’s thinking is those who want to use their 6R for a loader tractor will opt for the smaller monitor so they have better visibility. Anyone who plans on using the tractor primarily for field use will get better use out of the larger version.
“We see the 6R as that transition from the utility tractor to the row-crop tractor,” added Tolbert. “Our dealers have the ability to customize these tractors to meet the application profile that their customers need. We know our customers at these horsepower levels do more varied applications with these tractors than any other horsepower levels.”
Under the hoods, 6Rs will still use Deere’s own PowerTech diesel, but it is now Tier 4 Final emissions compliant.
“We’re still using our John Deere PowerTech, really the only thing that’s changed from a customer perspective is you’re putting two fluids in it (diesel and DEF),” said Tolbert. “We’ve changed our oil change intervals to 750 hours.”
The 6D Series
For producers who don’t need all the high-end features the 6Rs offer but still want a dependable tractor that tops out the utility segment and nudges the mid-range category, Deere has a less expensive option for them: the 6D Series. These tractors are a little lower spec, and they don’t carry the same engine management, digital capacity and cab arrangements. But they can still drag a baler, mower conditioner or even tillage implement around a field pretty efficiently.
“The 6D is our price finder, it’s a value-spec tractor,” said Jason Thomas, product manager, Waterloo. “It offers all the functionality (some buyers) need at the right price point.”
Don’t look for the CommandArm or swivel seat in these cabs, but you will find two new PowrReverser transmission options for 2015, which makes them much more efficient in the field and allows for clutch-less reversing when doing loader work.
“It seems like a small change, but really it’s a big change,” said Tolbert. “In the 6D Series we’ve introduced two new transmissions, these are replacing our current 9x9s. The 12×12 doubled the number of gears we have in the working range (5 to 13 m.p.h.). Our 24×12, that’s the next level up, 12 gears in the working range.”
Even without a powershift option, the synchronized gear feature allows operators to manually shift the tractor in the field to compensate for changing conditions. That becomes possible when running a PTO-driven machine, like a baler, that doesn’t put a major load on the drawbar.
“With these new transmissions it’s going to be a lot easier to find the right working speeds, said Thomas. “We’ve incorporated a new H-shift pattern. To take it a step further, we synchronized C and D ranges. The operator can go from B to C and C to D then back down without ever coming to a stop. In the cab your gear and range levers are on the right-hand side.”
The 6D Series offers four models from 105 to 140 horsepower.