John Deere seeking to use new, lightweight fabrication materials

A new 5125R tractor from John Deere with baler attachment
A new 5125R tractor from John Deere with baler attachment

Lighter and stronger fabrication materials, such as carbon fibre, will feature more prominently in machinery and equipment manufactured by John Deere.

This was one of the main themes addressed by the company’s management team at this week’s launch of its machinery range for 2017.

“A case in point is the 36m carbon fibre boom, which now features in the new R4050i sprayer,” said John Deere crop care specialist Mark James.

“It is 800 kgs lighter than the steel boom equivalent. As far as I am aware it is the only production model of its kind now available anywhere in the world. The carbon fibre prototypes were initially developed in Brazil.

“The use of materials such as carbon fibre, opens up a host of new opportunities for companies like John Deere and farmers. For example, in the event of a boom breaking the farmer, or contractor, can easily fix the problem with the bespoke repair kit that is supplied.”

He added: “Materials like carbon fibre are becoming cheaper to manufacture. So it makes sense to utilise them in our machinery designs, where relevant.”

John Deere has also confirmed that it is opting to use aluminium, rather than steel, for the development of some combine components. This approach is helping to reduce the overall weight of the machines in the field.

John Deere is introducing a new generation of fixed chamber round balers for 2017. The F441M will be available from February in Silage Special and Multicrop versions, alongside the top of the range F441R and C441R premium machines. All F441 Series models feature a wider bale chamber, up from 1.17 to 1.21m, which automatically translates into an increased bale weight.

Both the F441M Multicrop and Silage Special balers have been designed for medium-sized livestock farms, while the F441R and C441R premium models have been developed to meet the high-capacity requirements of contractors and larger livestock farms.

The new John Deere F441M offers a more affordable solution that combines efficiency and durability for farmers who require a single multi-purpose baler. Designed to work in all types of crop conditions from wet to very dry, the Multicrop model features a new netwrapping system and a newly designed gate lock.

In addition, the premium F441R and C441R models will now incorporate an 18th roller.

There is a choice of 2m or optional 2.2m pick-ups on the R models, feeding a high capacity MaxiCut HC rotor with 13 or 25 knives. In addition to the standard 2m pick-up, the M model baler now offers the 2.2m unit as a new option as well as RotoFlow HC or MaxiCut HC 13-knife rotors.

John Deere is launching a new series of compact agricultural tractors designed to meet the requirements of small and medium sized arable, dairy and livestock farms. Building on the strengths of the previous 5R models, John Deere’s new 5R Series tractors have been designed to provide enhanced levels of comfort, compactness and performance.

With an optimised wheelbase of 2.25m, the new 5R family combines a one-piece curved frame design with a low centre of gravity to facilitate front loader installation on-the-go, while still maintaining the best possible manoeuvrability at a turning radius of only 3.75m, even when fitted with a front loader.

The new 90hp 5090R, 100hp 5100R, 115hp 5115R and 125hp 5125R models are equipped with fuel efficient, Stage IIIB/iT4 compliant 4.5-litre John Deere PWX engines.

These diesel-only four-cylinder engines deliver 10 extra hp for transport applications via their Transport Power Management (TPM) system.

Customers can choose between three transmission options.

These include the entry level 16/16 CommandQuad manual transmission, which features four ranges and four powershiftable gears within each range, the 16/16 CommandQuad and the 32/16 Command8, with eight powershiftable gears and an ECO mode that enables a top speed of 40kph at only 1759 engine rpm.

While all these transmissions offer a fully automatic clutch, individual start-up gears, individually settable speeds and an electric park lock, the premium level 32/16 CommandQuad8 also features an automatic shifting function as standard.