As part of the updates to its 2022 model year product line, John Deere has thrown a few more features and options at its high-horsepower 8 series. With three different model types, the wheeled 8R, four-tracked 8RX and two-tracked 8RT, the 8 series is the rigid-framed little brother to the articulated 9 series, but offers the same three general design choices.
And just like the bigger 9s, the 8 series gets a refresh for next year.
Making its Deere debut is the Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) on wheeled 8Rs equipped with independent link suspension. Being able to adjust tire pressures through a central system is a feature some European tractor models have offered for a while now. It seems to have taken the idea a while to catch on here, but with heavier machines and obvious benefits to correct inflation pressures to match the task at hand, the idea is finally gaining traction — so to speak — here in North America.
The CTIS allows operators to increase tire pressures to accommodate higher-speed road travel between fields, reducing tire wear. Then the tires can be aired down to working pressure to create a footprint almost 25 per cent larger, reducing soil compaction and reducing wheel slip by up to four per cent.
“Using CTIS, operators can monitor and adjust tire pressure as quick as two PSI per minute from the cab, push-button easy,” Ryan Jardon, tactical marketing manager for John Deere, said in a press release. “CTIS makes it easy to adjust and optimize inflation pressures regardless of the task.”
For anyone who has joined the growing ranks of those using a planter for some of the spring seeding work, then Deere’s available tractor-mounted, 1,000-gallon (3,785 litre), liquid nitrogen tank option on 8RX models may be of interest.
An 8RX tractor equipped with the new integrated ExactRate tractor tanks paired with a John Deere planter with 600-gallon (2,271 litre) tanks can cover 80 acres while applying 20 gallons (75 litres) per acre. Deere claims an 8RX equipped with ExactRate tractor tanks and a John Deere planter on tracks limits maximum ground pressure to just 15 PSI; and the 8RX four-track reduces ground compaction up to 14 per cent compared with wheel tractors with third-party tanks, even while carrying the extra payload.
“Third-party tanks can add extra width to the tractor, making it difficult for operators to enter and exit the cab, and they impede visibility,” Jardon said. “ExactRate tractor tanks are a factory solution backed by John Deere dealers and provide greater customer convenience, outstanding visibility and plenty of room to enter and exit the cab. The tanks provide seamless fluid transfer to the planter since the plumbing and tank hardware are factory installed. This fully integrated system is monitored and controlled using the John Deere Generation 4 Display.”
The 8 series tractors, like the smaller 7R and larger 9 series, now share the same upgraded cab design, offering three trim package levels and a host of operator comfort and convenience features.
And then there’s the digital features. Factory-installed Automation 4.0 capabilities can accommodate Deere’s AutoTrac Turn Automation and MachineSync, which pairs a tractor pulling a grain cart and a combine for remote on-the-go unloading control from the combine cab.
Automation 4.0 also enables AutoPath for farmers to accurately document and precisely follow each row across fields throughout the season. Using data collected from the first pass in the field, AutoPath establishes precise guidance lines for all subsequent field passes, no matter the machine type or width of the equipment. This reduces overlaps and damage to standing crops.
For 2022, wheeled 8R tractors will be available in eight models ranging from 230 to 410 horsepower. The four-tracked 8RX version will come in four models from 310 to 410 horsepower, as will the 8RT. Depending on the tractor, customers can choose from multiple transmission options, including a 16-speed powershift, the e23 powershift, or the Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) with optional CommandPRO control. The e23 powershift and IVT are capable of transport speeds up to 31 miles per hour (50 kilometres per hour).
Buyers can order new model year 2022, 8 series tractors beginning this spring.