231 hours in the cab of Deere’s new 9620RX 4-Track Tractor

9620RX

by Jake Pippin, Litchfield, IL 

This fall I had the task of demoing John Deere’s new 2730 11 shank disk ripper.   While I would have been happy with any John Deere tractor to pull it,  I was lucky enough to have a John Deere 9620RX as my tractor for the duration of the fall.  Overall, I spent 230 hours in the cab and covered over 1200 acres with the ripper.

9620RX & 2730 Disk Ripper

9620RX & 2730 Disk Ripper

My first impression of the tractor was,  “this is a massive machine.”  I had never driven a four track machine before, only the two tracks or 4wd with the large 800 tires.   Before hooking it to the ripper,  I wanted to drive down the road and get the feel for it.  So I took off north out of Assumption and I drove it like a tractor with large duals, but I quickly realized that I was narrow enough that I could have both tracks on the road.  The next thing that stuck out to me was that at higher speeds, the steering was less sensitive than at lower speeds.  This was thanks to the ACS (active command steering.)  This proved to come in handy later on the rough roads that I had to drive down.

Active Command Steering

Active Command Steering

The next thing I noticed was the ride quality at a top speed of just under 27MPH, and how the cab suspension took a lot of the bumps out of the operator’s station.  The best way to see how much the cab suspension is working is by comparing the corner post to the intake or exhaust stack, and then notice how much the cab works to smooth things out.

9RX Cab Suspension

9RX Cab Suspension

After my initial little road-trip,  I hooked it up to the 2730 ripper.  Backing up to the ripper,  I did have to sit pretty high up in the seat to see the hitch pin, but was able to get it lined up.  I hooked all of my hydraulics and headed to the field.  Once I got the ripper set and started making rounds,  I ran without autotrac at first to get a feel for the tractor.  In the field,  it rode like a dream.  Part of the smoothness of the ride is from running 2 bogie wheels instead of 3.  The bogie wheels are on either side of the axle. This design allows the track assembly to flex around the axle.

9RX Mid Rollers

9RX Mid Rollers

Case Quadtrac runs three bogie wheels, and the center is directly below the axle, so a bump under the center bogie is then transferred straight up into the axle instead of pivoting.

Having the ripper set to around 12-13” deep (2” below the hardpan) it pulled relatively easy.  Average wheel slip stayed around 2-4%, and ground speed varied on average of 6-9 MPH with 7.5 being about optimal for the job I wanted out of the ripper.  Once I started using autotrac,  then I could start poking all the buttons and really figuring out the tractor.

9RX Command Arm

9RX Command Arm

Starting with the E18 transmission, I wanted to try out the full auto feature.   I set my max speed at 7.5 mph and engaged the full auto feature,  and it would hold my speed and shift up or down as it needed.  Later on,  once I got into more wet and heavy soils in river bottoms,  the tractor did have a hard time and was shifting a lot going through the field.  To remedy this,  I decreased my pre-set ground speed to show the benefits of the full auto feature.

Full AUTO Main Page

Full AUTO Main Page

The Cummins 15L had more than enough lugging power to pull the ripper even through the hard spots. I wanted to test the limits of what it would do, and I could pull the engine down, but it would still just keep on going. I was very impressed with the Cummins engine.

Cummins QSX 15 Engine

Cummins QSX 15 Engine

With the Cummins engine,  one thing Quadtrac owners would always ask was “How big is the DEF tank?” After being asked several times,  I finally figured out why, since a Quadtrac has an 85gallon tank compared to only a 22-gallon tank on the Deere.

400 Gal Fuel & 22 gal DEF Tank

400 Gal Fuel & 22 gal DEF Tank

Also, a Case holds 470 gallons of fuel and the Deere holds 400 gallons.   On the days where I was getting used to the machine, I’d run for 8hrs a day in the field with normal road travel (compared to a lot of road time while demoing).  I would run out of DEF around the same time I was very low on fuel.  So figure roughly 1 tank of DEF to 1 tank of fuel.   I don’t know exactly how much a Case goes through,  but judging by Case customers’ reactions to me saying that, I would guess that is uses more than the Deere.  It will vary though depending on road time and field conditions,  but it still stayed very close to a 1 to 1 ratio.

Overall the 9620RX was not only something that turned a lot of heads,  but it also performed well in the field. The ride of the machine on the road and in the field was very impressive.  The road speeds that it was able to run, even on a 5hr road trip, never overheated anything on the track assembly.  The lugging power of the 15L Cummins means I had power for even the worst fields.  Overall the 9620RX was an amazing machine that combined both power and comfort all in one.

My View from the Seat of the 9620RX

My View from the Seat of the 9620RX

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

What is the best round baler for your farm?

Jake Pippin Baler Specialist @Sloan Implement
Jake Pippin Baler Specialist @Sloan Implement

by Jake Pippin, Litchfield, IL 

When looking at a new round baler for your farm or custom operation, there are a few things that you should consider.   In this blog post, we will look at the different sizes, configurations, and attachments for the John Deere 9 series round baler. When looking at Deere balers, the first two numbers indicate the bale size and the last number is the series.  So for instance, a 569 round baler makes a 5 ft by 6 ft bale and the series is 9.

John Deere 459E Round Baler

John Deere 459E Round Baler

 

I’ll start with the 459E.  If you only put up 100 bales or so a year and don’t want the expense of bigger baler, this is the route to go since it still has a lot of the features of the 9 series baler except in a smaller package.  The 459E still has the diamond chains and heavier bearings and shafts in the #9 and #11 rolls.   It can still achieve a max bale weight of 1000lbs, and you will still be able to conserve room in your shed.  This baler still uses the BaleTrak Pro monitor for simple use.  You can also get the optional edge to edge net wrap system, as well as the standard twine. The 459E also comes with a shear bolt on the PTO rather than the slip clutch style found on the other models.  You can rear more about the 459E on deere.com by clicking here.

John Deere 459 Round Baler

John Deere 459 Round Baler

The 459 standard is the baler in the 9 series and it produces the same bale size as the 459E (4×5) except with a few more available options.  One option on the 459 are 96-inch high flotation tires.  These are nice, especially if you do a lot of traveling on rough roads or if you just need the extra flotation in the field.  You can also get it with the standard pickup or the Megawide Plus pick up. The Megawide is beneficial with bigger windrows allowing you to pick them all up at once.  It also comes with the diamond tough belts and the Mato belt splices that are found on the larger 5×6 balers.  You can read more about 459 balers on deere.com by clicking here.

John Deere 469 Round Baler

John Deere 469 Round Baler

 

The John Deere 469 round baler makes a 4×6 foot bale with a maximum silage bale weight of 2200lbs. This baler is perfect if you ship bales that need to be narrow for transport on a trailer, but still need to max out your tonnage per trip. The high flotation tires come standard on this baler.  The 469 also comes standard with the Megawide pickup for those larger windrows.  It also has the diamond tough belts and Mato splices, but net-wrap is optional.  The minimum horsepower requirement does jump up to 65 horsepower on the 469, and the proper tractor size will depend on ballast as well as operating conditions.  You can read what John Deere has to say about this baler by clicking here.

John Deere 559 Round Baler

John Deere 559 Round Baler

The next baler in the lineup is a 559, which is a 5×5 baler. It has all the of options of the 469, but with the option of the standard pickup or the Megawide plus pickup.  If you’re looking to get more hay into a bale, but still keep a low profile this is the route to go. The max silage bale weight is 1750lbs. This one like the 459E and the 459 only requires 55hp.  You can read more specifications by clicking here.

John Deere 569 Round Baler

John Deere 569 Round Baler

The 569 round baler has a max silage bale weight of 2400lbs and is standard with the high flotation 112inch tires like those found on the 469.  You also have the option of the standard pickup, megatooth, and the Megawide pickup. It is standard with twine and also optional Coveredge net wrap system.  This is our best selling round baler and you can read more details from John Deere by clicking here.  Sloan Implement also has a large inventory of used 569 balers that you can see by clicking here.

John Deere 569 Silage Special Baler

John Deere 569 Silage Special Baler

Now the 459, 469, 559, and 569 balers are all available in Silage Special models.  What you see at first glance is the black screen in the front of the baler. That is because the starter roll on the silage special models has an auger to keep crop buildup down.  It also comes standard with the starter roll knife.  This will keep crop from wrapping the starter roll and causing problems.  The last feature is the auxiliary take-up roll.  This is found on the top of the belt and its purpose is to keep the belts turning as the gate is opened.  The reason for this is that when baling silage, the belts will become wet and tacky this helps to keep them from wrapping a roll or even flipping on hillsides.  You can read more about the 559 Silage Special by clicking here.  If the 569 Silage Special interests you, you can learn more at deere.com by clicking here.

John Deere 854 Silage Baler

John Deere 854 Silage Baler

There is also another baler often overlooked in the silage category the 854.  This baler is manufactured in Arc Le Grey. It is the only round baler that comes equipped with a precutter. It comes with the standard pickup and does not use the diamond tough belts, but instead it uses 3-ply nylon polyester belts.  The 854 uses the same Baletrak Plus monitor and requires 70hp to run. It has a hydraulic drop floor so that if you plug the baler, you can drop the floor and feed the plug through without ever leaving the cab.  You can learn more about the 854 by clicking here.

John Deere 569 Premium Round Baler

John Deere 569 Premium Round Baler

John Deere 469 Premium Round Baler

John Deere 469 Premium Round Baler

The next options for Deere round balers are the premium 469 and 569.  These are the top of the line balers in the Deere lineup. They come with all the features of the 469 and 569 standard balers and a lot more.  They have gull-wing doors making it more convenient to do daily baler maintenance. The Megawide pickup is even better since it includes bigger cams, bearings, and reel spiders. This means less downtime for repairs as well as more peace of mind.  The chains got beefed up as well from 80 to 80H  and there’s a new output shaft with u-joints.  This helps with alignment as well as stronger and more reliable parts.  There is a grease bank on either side of the baler to keep you from searching for grease points and a cam clutch on the PTO that is maintenance free.   You can also have the option of tractor baler automation with the premium balers.  And finally, why not beef up the warranty as well since it comes with a 2 year or 12000 bale warranty.

With all of these options, you’re sure to find the baler that fits your needs and budget as well.  If a new baler is not in the budgets, you can see our complete inventory of used round balers by clicking here.  If you have any questions on balers, feel free to call me in Litchfield at 217 324 5955 and ask for Jake.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

Is this the most high-tech corn planter?

by Toby Taylor, Lanark, IL 

This John Deere 1770 24-30 was purchased new in 2014 from the Lanark, IL location of Sloan Implement.    The owner then built the liquid fertilizer system from the ground up.  There are 4 hydraulically driven fertilizer pumps that are all electronically controlled.   You can adjust the fertilizer independently for each row on a controller that the owner made custom for the planter.   He can also monitor the flow to each row.  The planter can apply 60 gallons of fertilizer per acre and there is a 2500 gal tank pulled behind the planter.

New installs on the planter for 2017 are Dawn hydraulic downforce fertilizer openers, Dawn air adjust frame mounted row cleaners,  Ag Leader hydraulic downforce, spoke gauge wheels,  JD ExactEmerge high-speed retro-fit kit, and Dawn spike closing wheels.  He will be pulling this planter with a 9560RT track tractor.

Here are some pictures of the planter in the Lanark service department as they make these updates.

img_1659

2014 JD 1770NT 24-30 Planter

img_1658

Profile of Retrofitted ExactEmerge Row Unit

 

img_1661

Dawn Hydraulic Downforce Liquid Fertilizer Openers

img_1662

Ag Leader Hydraulic Row Downforce

img_1663

Dawn Air Adjust Row Cleaners and Spoke Gauge Wheels

 

img_1657

Fertilizer Pumps

 

img_1656

Custom Control Box

 

If you have a planter that is higher tech, we’d love to write about it here.  Send an email to info@sloans.com and we will share pictures on our blog.

If you are interested in an ExactEmerge retrofit kit, you can learn more by reading a previous post by Lucas Veale here.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

My 1200 Acre Review of the John Deere 2730 Disk Ripper

by Jake Pippin, Litchfield, IL 

This fall I was given the task of going around and demoing the new John Deere 9620RX and a 11 shank 2730 ripper.  I was able to cover over 1200 acres in a 100 mile radius in Central Illinois.   Needless to say I was able to use the tool in a variety of soil conditions.  Since I previously had personal experience running the Case 870,  I was excited to see how the John Deere 2730 would match up to the popular Case tool.

20161004_114112_resized

My Demo Rig For Fall 2016 9620RX and 2730 11 Shank

The 2730 ripper had the disk gangs in the front and the solid closing disk in the rear,  with the knife edge baskets bringing up the rear.   I have demoed a lot of hay equipment, but never anything like this,  so it was a huge learning curve.  I’ve ran the 870 Case rippers and always thought they did a good job, but after running the 2730 I think that Deere has finally answered back with a better tool of their own.

PROS:

One advantage that I liked over the Case, were less grease points.  I know that this is a double edged sword,  but if you have a hired hand running the machine how do you know they are greasing it when you’re not around?  Deere’s answer to this  is using poly bushings on the pivot points and sealed bearings on the baskets and the disks.

The Deere 2730 has a larger frame and heavier frame components than the Case tool.  I’ve heard from several 870 owners that demo’d the 2730, that they had issues with wheels and frames on the 870 not being heavy enough to handle the weight of the machine.

Setting the Deere 2730 machine was easy to do. The machine comes with a chart on how to set everything for the desired depths you want. There is also a GoTill app through John Deere you can get on your smart phone.  You can download it for itunes here by clicking here.

go-till

That being said, when running in different soil types like sandy soil around Havana IL, to black dirt around Assumption, IL, and clay around Shelbyville, IL, you will still have to make small adjustments from what the app or the chart recommend.

CONS:

The cons of the Deere was just the overall size of the machine, more so the length.  Farmers commented that it will take up a lot of valuable real estate in a machine shed.  Getting used to pulling it down the road did take some time, but overall was easy going since it does fold up narrow to 18ft 8in.  Transport height was not a issue for me either, since it folds up under 14ft 5in.  On the folding 2730 models,  it will take five remotes to run the hydraulics on the ripper.  Some customers that I demo’d to only had four remotes and would then unplug and plug in the folding hydraulic hoses as needed.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE:

As far as the performance between the Deere 2730 and Case,  they were very close to being equal.  I know I’ll get some backlash for saying that,  but it all comes down to settings.  Some 870’s and 875’s I ran in the same field with the 2730,  would look like they cover more or less trash, but with a small adjustment here or there you’d have a hard time telling where the different tools ran.  The trash coverage could be set with the front disk to have very minimal trash on top of the ground.  The ripper shanks of the Deere being set on 24” spacing seemed to do a better job of not leaving hard compacted strips in between the shanks. The shanks left a nice shatter all the way through the pass when we got out and dug down to look at it.

The closing disks worked very well and it is crucial that they are set properly to leave a level field behind the tool.   I did run with a customer that had notched closing disks on their 2730.   In certain conditions they did stop turning, like in the sandy soils up north or also fields where they would throw up huge chunks of dirt.  I thought the closing disks were  the most difficult to set because they can make your field look terrible in a hurry.

The last component is the rolling basket.  The baskets are controlled by the tractor hydraulics and this was especially nice when going through a wet area where I could raise them up.  Also in lighter soils I could drop my pressure and in heavier soils increase the pressure to get the field conditions I was looking for.

20161006_114445_resized

1200 Acres of this Point of View

Overall I was very impressed with the 2730 as were the farmers that were able to run it in their fields.  The 2730 is a very good machine, but like all pieces of equipment it has to be set properly to perform the way you want it.

You can learn more about the features of the 2730 on this Sloan Support blog post written by Josh Zuck back in 2014 when the 2730 was a prototype unit.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

ExactEmerge High Speed Retrofit for Deere Planters – 0% for 48 Mos

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

The John Deere Exactemerge Planter has set a new standard for planter accuracy and productivity.  By controlling the seed all the way to the trench, the spacing is impeccable.  Customer satisfaction with this product has been overwhelming.  Customer interest in this product is also growing with each passing season.   A particularly popular option for these planters is the retrofit kit.  We have many customers with 2011-2014 model year John Deere planters that can benefit from an Exactemerge.  A retrofit kit allows these customers to upgrade for a substantially lower cost than buying a new Exactemerge planter.  In some cases the price difference between a retrofit planter and a new planter can be close to $50,000 and, in some cases, even more on a 24 row.  In any economic condition this would be a big savings, let alone during the current circumstances facing agriculture.  To help with this investment, John Deere is currently offering an 8% discount on retrofit kits as well as 0% interest for 48 months.  This is technology with with a quick ROI.

So, what do I get with a retrofit kit?  You get a new shank, gauge wheel arms and bushings, meter, brush module, openers, hydraulic downforce system, and electrical system.  See below for the row unit components.

row-unit-componenets

You will re-use the gauge wheels and the closing wheels and frame.  You basically have a new planter where it counts.  Along with this you get turn compensation which allows the row unit to speed up or slow down in a turn to maintain proper population across the planter while turning.  If you have a late 30 series or R series tractor in front, you also get vacuum automation.  This allows you to set the desired vac on the monitor and the tractor will adjust the flow to maintain the desired vac automatically.  Here is a comment from one customer who purchased a 24 row retrofitted planter last year.  “I had to get out of the cab only one time during the season in almost 5000 acres due to the planter.  Some debris had built up in a brush.  I got out, removed the debris, and in about 5 minutes was back to planting.  Amazing machine.”

Here’s the tractor compatibility chart for Exactemerge planters.

compatibility-chart

Hydraulic downforce is a must when purchasing an Exactemerge planter.  At higher speeds, maintaining equal and adequate seed depth is imperative and is not consistently achievable with an air bag system.  The ability of the hydraulic system to react to rapidly changing field conditions is unmatched.  It also is broken into smaller sections for more finite and precise downforce when and where it is needed.

Don’t have a 2011 or newer planter?  Not ready for the Exactemerge yet?  We also have the ME5 and ME5e planter upgrades available.  The ME5 upgrade can go all the way back to 2004 CCS planters.  This gives you the new double eliminator and mini hopper configuration.  The ME5e is the electric drive version of the new ME5 meter.  It also provides turn compensation and vac automation just like an Exactemerge.

Check with your local Sloan Implement location for a quote on the retrofit kit that best fits your operation.  Don’t delay since Deere currently has an 8% discount on these kits as well as 0% interest for 48 months.

Here’s a video of a walk around of the Exactemerge planter

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

360 Yield Saver Brushes vs OEM Gathering Chains on JD 612C Cornhead

by Andy Syrcle, Assumption, IL

Sloan Implement became a Yield 360 dealer this summer.  We now sell all Yield 360 products to include Y-drops, chain rolls, yield savers, bullet plow points, soil scan, and undercover fungicide.

It this video we show how the yield saver brushes can prevent header loss when harvesting corn.  We took a 2012 John Deere 612c corn head and installed yield savers on rows 1-6.  We left regular OEM gathering chains on rows 7-12.  We did two separate tests from the afternoon when it was dry and windy to the next morning when there was a very light dew on the corn.  The difference is clear in both tests, but the savings on the dewy morning was approximately 1.25 bushels per acres with the yield savers vs OEM gathering chains.

 

There is cost involved in switching to yield 360 yield savers, however there is an immediate return on investment by saving bushels. The brushes you see in the video are known to last for approximately one year.  The initial set up for yield savers is $600 per row.  This includes new gathering chains and a set of brushes.  The gathering chains will last the same as John Deere OEM chains, but you will need to change the brushes yearly depending on acres harvested.  The cost to change brushes is $275 per row.

If you have any questions on Yield 360 products please contact Sloan Implement.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

 

 

Yield 360 Chain Rolls vs Deere Intermeshing Knife Rolls

by Andy Syrcle, Assumption, IL

Sloan Implement became a Yield 360 dealer this summer.  We now sell all Yield 360 products to include Y-drops, chain rolls, yield savers, bullet plow points, soil scan, and undercover fungicide.

This video shows the difference between John Deere opposed rolls, intermeshing rolls, and Yield 360 chain rolls.   The first major difference is that the John Deere opposed rolls leave long crimped pieces of stalk.  John Deere intermeshing rolls leave a lot smaller pieces of stalk for better break down and ability to plow the ground sooner without worry of the plow or ripper plugging/balling up.  The Yield 360 chain rolls leave smaller pieces as well as crimp the smaller pieces, split the pieces of stalk long ways, and ripping open the top of stalk still standing.  This crimping and splitting allows for quicker better break down to get the nutrients of the stalk back in the ground faster.

Note: opposed rolls are the best for “fluffing” on the header.

If you have any questions regarding the different type stalk rolls for your corn head please contact Sloan Implement.

 

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Learn more at www.sloans.com