SolutionsPlus Mobile App from John Deere

by Jared Wheeler, Assumption, IL

The John Deere SolutionsPlus app is your toolbox for managing technology products from John Deere. The SolutionsPlus app is used to support, configure, and enable John Deere precision technology products for agriculture, construction, and forestry industries.  The SolutionsPlus app can be used for updating software, transferring subscriptions, connecting MTG 4G LTE to a wireless network or configuring MTG 4G LTE to receive wireless connections.

Most impressively, the SolutionsPlus app can help you setup your GreenStar equipment before you head to the field this season.  It includes things such as:

  • How to setup your layout manager on the screen
  • Calibrate your TCM
  • Enter machine dimensions
  • Setup AutoTrac
  • Setup Documentation

You can also dive deeper into things like:

  • Prescriptions
  • Section Control
  • Boundaries
  • AutoTrac sensitivity settings and troubleshooting
  • Wireless Data Transfer
  • And more

Here are a couple of videos that show how to use the app for renewing an activation or submitting feedback directly to John Deere.

 

Download the SolutionPlus app today by going to the “Apps We Recommend” section of the Sloan Implement app or by following the links below.  You can learn more about the SolutionsPlus app by visiting Deere’s  MachineFinder Blog.

iTunes  

Google Play

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

 

 

 

John Deere S-Series Combine Model Year Updates: 2012 to 2017

John Deere S Series Combines

John Deere’s S-Series combines have been harvesting crops since 2012.  They brought with it a larger operator station, bigger cleaning shoe,  new class 9 machine – better known as the S690, 16-row corn heads, flex draper platforms,  a power fold grain tank, and the ever popular refrigerator.  Many other updates have been made along the way and I will highlight those changes throughout this blog post.

2012

Model lineup included the S550, S660, S670, S680, & S690. It featured a larger cab with much-improved visibility over the 70 Series.  This really saved a lot of “bow necking;” looking around the corner post to see the ends of your headers.  It had (finally) a touchscreen command center display.  There were a lot of 70 series command centers with fingerprints on them because operators were used to the touch screen in their tractors and tried in vain to run the 70 Series combine command center the same way.  The new refrigerator was a big hit because it reduced the need for a cooler to get you through the long days.  The factory cab-cam harness made it easier to install cameras on the machine to reduce stress when on the road or when backing up. The S-Series also introduced a larger and more efficient cleaning shoe to help keep more crop in the machine.  With this added productivity, the S680 and S690 received a larger standard grain tank and an increased unloading auger capacity of 3.8 bu/sec vs. the 3.3bu/sec on the 70 series. The S680 and S690 were also given an active tailings system to help better deal with the added capacity of the machine and reduce losses by not recirculating crop back through the rotor.  One of my favorite changes was the ease of changing the chopper speed.  Gone were the days of swapping belts to switch from corn to beans.  Another change vs. the 70 Series was the removal of the park brake pedal and shift lever for the 3-speed transmission.  All of this was moved to the armrest as a park brake button and a 1-2-3 gear selection.  Also gone was the big silver colored boat anchor in the grain tank better known as the moisture sensor.  Replacing it was the new auger style mounted on the side of the clean grain elevator.  This new design was much more reliable than its predecessor.  Another new option was the power folding grain tank extension.  This allowed customers to fold it up or down from the cab to avoid low hanging power lines or shorter shed doors.  John Deere entered the class 9 market in 2012 with the model S690 with 543 hp at rated speed for handling larger heads, larger acres, and heavier crop conditions.

John Deere S690 Combine

Other additions in 2012 were new flex draper heads in 35’ and 40’ configurations, the 635FD and 640FD, and the 16-row corn head, 616C was introduced in 2012 as well.

2013

No changes were made to the model numbers for 2013, but there were some changes to the fleet nonetheless.  The rotor received a thicker skin to help protect it from damage from ingestion of foreign material.  A mid-year option addition permitted the chaffer to have a manually adjusted rear section.  This allowed for the independent adjustment of the rear of the chaffer to a tighter setting to help reduce the amount of tailings volume.

2014

This year saw some major changes to the S series.  First, the S550 was dropped from the lineup and the S650 added.

John Deere S650 Combine

The S650 had the same larger rotor size of its big brothers, increased hp over the S550, and a larger cleaning shoe.  Speaking of hp, the S660 and S670 also received increased muscle for 2014.  Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) was now required to meet the EPA smog standards and complete the long emissions journey to Final Tier 4.  Operators would notice a big reduction of cab noise in 2014 due to increased cab insulation, better door sealing, and laminated front glass.  A newly redesigned 36” track option was added to the lineup for help with those high floatation situations and deal with other challenging field conditions.

John Deere S670 on Tracks

John Deere also introduced Interactive Combine Adjust in 2014.  This feature found in the command center helped operators fine tune their machines to get maximum performance and productivity.  John Deere entered the 30’ flex draper market in 2014 with the release of the 630FD header.

John Deere 630FD Flex Draper

2015

The 2015 model year machines received a really nice update with the hydraulic fore-aft tilt feeder house.  This allowed for easier header connection and much-improved performance in the field.  When field conditions got tough, you could tilt the head back and forth to find the optimum cutting angle to improve header control performance.   We prepared this video in 2015 to better explain this feature.

Some structural strength was also added to the feeder house as well as moving the now smaller drum forward for improved feeding.  With more crop coming into the machine, Deere released the Active Concave Isolation option and hydraulically suspended the concave to provide a more robust concave gap and more consistent performance when dealing with slugs.  Deere entered the 45’ flex draper market in ’15 as well for those large acre customers who needed the greater productivity of a larger header.  To accommodate the larger head, Deere released the 28.5’ unloading auger option. To improve draper performance in field conditions that load one side of the header and not the other, Deere introduced the side belt speed reduction feature which would slow down one side of the header, but not the other, to prevent the belts from plugging.

2016

John Deere entered the folding corn head market in 2016.  This allowed operators with 12-row heads to move from field to field without requiring a head cart or a vehicle and person to pull the head cart from field to field, saving valuable time and money.

John Deere 612FC Folding Cornhead

The combines also received a 12% larger sieve to help save more grain from exiting the combine and to help clean up the grain tank.  Active Terrain Adjust option arrived which automatically adjusted the cleaning shoe settings and the fan speed based on the slope when going up and down a hill without any input from the operator.  An onboard air compressor was added to the options list to allow operators to blow off debris that had accumulated on the machine or service low air pressure in tires.  Lastly, the draper received a wider feed section in the center as well as a much larger and stronger reel finger.

2017

Models built for this fall received some fine tuning features, but no real major changes.  A factory installed camera chassis harness was available for the first time to ease camera installation.  An available foot rest option for the steering column was released and can be retrofitted to older machines.  Eight-row corn head owners can now purchase a folding corn head for really tight transport opportunities.

2017 John Deere 608C Folding Cornhead

Finally, a high moisture corn enhancement was added to improve grain quality and cleanliness with combines equipped with the deep tooth cleaning shoe.

Thanks for reading about the history of the S-Series combine.  If you are looking to upgrade from a previous series machine, hopefully this information will help you understand the changes made each year and help you make an informed decision for your farm and your budget.   You can learn even more about the S Series Combines by visiting our Youtube channel and watching our playlist on this machine.

If you are interested in purchasing a used S Series combine you can view our inventory by clicking the model types below:

S550

S650

S660

S670

S680

S690

Respectfully

Lucas Veale

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

 

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

 

John Deere 4640 Gen 4 Display vs JD 2630 GS3

 

This month, John Deere introduced the new 4640 universal display. The 4640 display incorporates the easy-to-use layout of the 4600 Command Center and the portability of the GreenStar 2630.  With the release of the new 4640 display,  John Deere has moved to a subscription based activation system which is different from the previous approach of a one-time activation purchase.  Now activations for the 4640 are offered in four different configurations shown below:

1-year Autotrac Subscription $850

5-year Autotrac Subscription $4000

1-year Premium Subscription $1700 (Autotrac, Swath Control, Documentation)

5-year Premium Subscription $8000 (Autotrac, Swath Control, Documentation)

The 5-year subscription option is only available at the point of purchase of the new 4640 display. If you choose to go with a one-year subscription, you will not have the option to purchase the five-year subscription down the road.

This price comparison graphic illustrates a customer’s cost of entry for a 4640 Universal Display and a 1-year subscription compared to a similarly activated GS3 2630 display.

The entry price for the 4640 is approximately 1/2 of the GS3 2630.  Over the course of 5 years, a customer who purchased a 4640 display and a 5-year subscription will spend less money than the customer who purchased a GS3 2630 with activations.   Also, in 5 years, there’s certain to be updated technology that will be better suited for the 4640 than the legacy 2630 display.

 

Why the change to subscription-based activations?  Subscription-based precision ag offerings provide the following benefits:

  • Lower cost of entry to get started with display and subscriptions
  • Ability to try new applications for a year without having to commit to a permanent software license
  • Ability to match the cost of use with the revenue generated in the same fiscal year
  • Flexibility in selecting the level and duration of subscription that best fits the needs of the business without the expense of a one-time software license purchase

As previously mentioned, the 4640 display is portable, much like the GreenStar 3 2630 display. One of the things that the 4640 display is capable of over the 2630 display is that the 4640 can be used in conjunction with a Gen 4 extend monitor. This allows you to run the 4640 display with double the screen space.

Gen 4 extend monitor

The 4640 display also has enhanced data capturing abilities making section control and coverage maps more accurate. Setting on/off times is made much easier with the 4640 display. Simply select skip or overlap and enter the distance and speed.  The new operating system on the 4640 functions like a smart phone with swipe and touch integration.

At this time the 4640 display has a few limitations, but John Deere will correct these with upcoming software updates that wwill make the 4640 display even more versatile. Some of the current limitations of the 4640 display are: RowSense in combines, Vision and RowSense in sprayers, Coverage map and A/B line sharing, and Machine sync.  Also, the 4640 display is also not fully compatible with the John Deere Rate Controller 2000 at this time.

Here’s a video from Deere on the features of the new 4640 display.

by Conrad Meyer, Cuba City, WI

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

 

John Deere ExactEmerge: Buy New or Retrofit?

John Deere’s Exactemerge high-speed planter has definitely changed the game.  With improved seed spacing over conventional planters even at speeds of 10+ mph, unmatched productivity and accuracy now go hand in hand.  Covering dramatically more acres per day and still doing a better job in an ever decreasing planting window is a value story that hasn’t been seen since the introduction of the STS combine in 2000.  Sloan Implement has ExactEmerge customers that have cut their planting fleet in half and still get more done in a day, all while improving the plant stand.   This frees up manpower to do other tasks at a time when skilled farm labor is ever more difficult to locate.

John Deere offers two different options for customers who want to bring this technology to their operation: Buying a new or used Exactemerge planter or Retrofitting an existing 2011 or newer conventional John Deere bulk fll planter.  So what is the best option?  Both offer pro’s and con’s so let’s walk through both scenarios:

Buying a new Exactemerge planter: 

John Deere has introduced features each year since the Exactemerge’s introduction that cannot be retrofitted back to previous model planters.  Frame weight distribution is only available as a factory option and cannot be retrofitted to previous models.  Folding the planter through the display, thus eliminating the fold box, is also a factory only option.  Seedstar 4HP is new for the 2018 planter line-up and is not available for retrofit at this time.  Seedstar 4HP requires a Gen IV display.  The larger screen offers greater flexibility with the planter run page setup for viewing more functions on the screen at the same time.   The frame has also received a few tweaks, in particular, the markers can better handle the increased loads of 10+ mph planting speeds.  Buying new insures that you will have the latest technology as well as a full machine warranty for the planting season.

Retrofit a 2011 or newer central-fill planter to the Exactemerge planting system:

This option allows customers to get the Exactemerge technology at a substantially reduced cost vs. buying new.  Customers can get most of the latest technology except for the items listed above.  The Exactemerge row unit, pneumatically adjustable row cleaners, individual row hydraulic down force, and pneumatic closing wheels can all be installed on an existing planter to get these technologies for less money.  The basic Exactemerge retrofit unit comes with a new shank, openers, scrapers, gauge wheel arms, meter, brush module, parallel arm bushings, and an electrical system that includes vacuum automation and curve compensation.  All of the new components have a full planting season warranty.  What’s more, you can still use your existing 2630 display to operate the retrofitted planter, saving the cost of upgrading to the new Gen IV display.  The frame and seed delivery system both remain the same.  We have done several retrofits and customers have had great success while saving money.

Sloan employees prepared 7 short videos discussing ExactEmerge retrofit kits that can be viewed here:

As you can see, both options have a value story that is different.  What is not different is the performance and productivity each option will bring to your operation.

Click here to read more about the Exactemerge row unit or contact your local Sloan Implement location.

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

 

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

 

Are you ready to replant? Make sure your monitor is set up properly.

by Jared Wheeler, Assumption, IL

Unfortunately, some replant will need to be done in Illinois and Wisconsin this year.  Make sure your display is set up correctly for replant by changing the task under your Resources button to “Replant.”  This will prevent your section control from disabling the row clutches and stopping the meter from planting.  It will also allow you to see how many acres you replanted and as well as recording the seed variety.

Change the task to Replant on the Resources page

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

 

 

 

NH3 Anhydrous bar with flow issues? Try this fix

by Chris Saxe, Assumption, IL 

I received a  call today about a JD NH3 2510H ammonia bar with a Raven control system that was not getting flow to the applicator.   I walked the operator through the energize system check, then confirmed the settings and it was getting the correct speed. I then verified that the implement switch was working and the operator could also manually open the Raven valve.  The operator said the rate was bouncing all over the place, but he was still was not getting any flow.   The operator was pulling double tanks and one was 50% full and the other tank was empty.   A rate level that fluctuates wildly up and down is often the sign of an empty tank.   I then directed the operator to shut off the empty tank,  which was allowing vapor to spin the flow meter.   I also asked him to shut off the second tank that was 50% full and then to open the valve slowly.  The excess flow valve snapped shut on one tank when both tanks were at 50% so he continued to run until one tank went empty. By shutting off the tank and opening the valve slowly,  it allowed the excess flow valve in the withdraw valve to reopen.  He started running again but said it still didn’t work.  At that point,  the entire bar was drained empty so I told him to keep going and it charged the bar and it then went back to working perfectly.  Tank % gauges are known to stick, so if you have a similar issue where everything on the monitor and on the bar seem ok, have the operator shake the tank to see if it feels full or if float gauge bounces.  The gauge may be broken or stuck in place.  Be safe out there.  NH3 is dangerous stuff.

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

 

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