It’s been a long time coming. Last year John Deere gave us a glimpse of what it would be. Finally, farmers who’ve been waiting for John Deere to offer a high horsepower, four-track tractor to compete with the Quadtrac and DeltaTrack can call their dealers.
John Deere’s 9 Series already included the 9R wheeled tractors and the 9RT two-track models. But the four-track 9RX gives the 9 Series family another sibling.
The 9RXs range from 470 to 620 horsepower. The 470 and 520 options come with a John Deere PowerTech PSS 13.5 litre engine, the two larger 570 and 620 models come with a Cummins QSX15.
The tracks are made in Kansas by Camso (formerly Camoplast Solideal. The puncture resistant Camso Duradrive 3500 and 6500 rubber belts are available in 30- and 36-inch widths.
All 9RX models get Deere’s e18 powershift transmission with Efficiency Manager, for automated control of the engine and transmission. 9RXs also get optional Active Command Steering that is available on the wheeled 9Rs. By altering steering wheel sensitivity, the Active Command steer-by-wire system makes the tractors more stable at road speeds with precise control in the field.
The hydraulic system has been redesigned, with up to eight SCVs and a standard 58 gpm (219 l/min.) of flow, or an optional 115 gpm (435 l/min.) of flow.
John Deere’s 9RX product manager Colin MacDonald explained the features of the track modules. “We used two large-diameter midrollers. These midrollers are a simple bolt-on design that’s been proven over the past 20 years on the 8RT and 9RT tractors. Each of those midrollers bolts on to a sealed cartridge hub, a very simple design. That sealed cartridge hub was designed to reduce maintenance, eliminating any daily service intervals and actually requiring one simple oil level check every 1,500 hours.”
“These two midrollers are spaced out on either side of the axle. As that undercarriage travels over obstacles in the terrain, it reduces the shocks and upward vertical loading of impacts, delivering improved ride quality for our customers.”
“You see a lot of designs in the market where there are more than two midrollers,” MacDonald said. “One of those midrollers will typically be sitting right under where your axle connects to the undercarriage.” This can make for a less comfortable ride, MacDonald explained. “When that undercarriage travels across the ground and hits any kind of obstacle,” he said, “you’re going to feel it in the cab.”
This track design “inherently starts us off with better ride quality. Then we go ahead and add in the cab suspension and we’ve improved the ride quality dramatically.”
“With four positive-drive undercarriages, the ability to maintain traction while turning under heavy load makes this tractor the ideal choice for those customers pulling large air seeding trains or large tillage tools.”