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