How to Winterize your Final Tier 4 Engines and DEF Tanks

In Memory of Austin Shellhause

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Canadian air has definitely arrived in central Illinois.  With this cooler air, attention is needed for the storage and care of any DEF fluid.  DEF fluid should be stored inside and at a temperature that will remain fairly constant, preferably above 40 degrees.  If you have John Deere machines that will be stored in cold storage for the winter, make sure you allow the DEF pump to stop running before you turn off the battery switch.  This allows the pump to evacuate the lines of any DEF fluid and bring it back into the tank.  DEF freezes at 12 degrees.  The tank has a coolant line running through it that will thaw the DEF out if the vehicle is needed to be operated during cold weather.  There is no provision, however, to warm the DEF lines that feed the exhaust treatment system.  This is why the pump needs to be allowed to run and evacuate the lines.  It evacuates the lines automatically when you turn the key off.  You can hear the pump running for about 45-60 seconds after the key is turned off and the pump will then shut off.  It is safe to turn off the battery switch once the pump stops running.  It is ok to leave the DEF in the vehicle tank in cold weather.  There is no need to drain it.  The coolant lines will thaw the DEF if needed.  With some basic common sense care, DEF has a good shelf life and should cause few problems.  Contamination by foreign material is the most common issue.  Failure to keep the cap on the bulk and vehicle tank and failure to maintain clean handling equipment are the most common occurrences.

4 Tips For Winterizing:

  • DEF freezes at 12° F. If your DEF is located outside move it to a warm, dry location if possible.
  • If your shop or garage does not have room to accommodate your totes, invest in a DEF shelter or heated tote blanket to prevent your DEF from freezing.
  • When DEF freezes it will expand approximately 7%. To avoid tote and drum ruptures, leave room for expansion.

Sloan Implement offers many different options to store and handle DEF fluid.  See your local Sloan parts department for pricing and options available or you can find out more online at

John Deere engines in large tractors and combines will burn from 3-8 gallons of DEF per fuel tank fill on average depending on the application and horsepower of the machine.  The John Deere vehicles equipped with a Cummins engine will burn substantially more DEF due to different methods used to deal with the emissions from the engine.

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


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


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.


2014 JD 1770NT 24-30 Planter


Profile of Retrofitted ExactEmerge Row Unit



Dawn Hydraulic Downforce Liquid Fertilizer Openers


Ag Leader Hydraulic Row Downforce


Dawn Air Adjust Row Cleaners and Spoke Gauge Wheels



Fertilizer Pumps



Custom Control Box


If you have a planter that is higher tech, we’d love to write about it here.  Send an email to 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


Wisconsin Planting, ExactEmerge Success, Active Implement Guidance, and Swath Control Settings

Row Clutches at Work

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

Planting started in Southern Wisconsin two weeks ago with above average temperatures followed by a week of below normal temperatures and even some snow flurries last week! This past week has been very good planting conditions and a lot of corn has went into the ground. We have some customers finishing with corn and more could be done by this weekend if the rain holds off.

The ExactEmerge planters have all been running well. Most customers have been running 7-10 mph across the field. Seventy acres per hour in our larger fields with a 24 row planter has been pretty common. Setting swath control has been pretty quick since you can dig seed like a sandhill crane when the spacing is so close to perfect. We did notice that some hub torques got a little loose after the initial break in. Similar to the ProMax 40 disks, it seems that a tighter hub torque has been better than a loose hub torque. Round seed has also singulated a little better than flat seed 98-100% vs 97-98% on average. With the brush belt carrying the seed to the trench and with it being speed compensated, the in ground spacing has been very good on both types of seed.

8370R 1775 ExactEmerge Active Implement Guidance

JD 8370R & 1775 ExactEmerge

Active Implement Guidance with ProTrakker hydraulic hitches have also been working very well this spring doing strip till in some rolling ground of Southwestern and South Central Wisconsin. Our local RTK bases have been performing very well again this year. If you are interested in RTK, give us a call and we can line up a demo before you’re done planting.

9410R 2510H Active Implement Guidance

JD 9410R Pulling JD 2510H Using Active Implement Guidance

I got a call yesterday about soybeans overplanting 5-6%. We ended up finding the seed very small and multiples getting stuck in some holes on the disk. We reduced the vacuum as much as we could and then cut back on the prescription rates using the Prescription Multiplier in order to get the correct amount of seed in the ground. It sounds like there many some abnormally small beans out there this year, so keep that in mind.

Small Bean Seed Overplanting 5-6%

Small Bean Seed Overplanting 5-6%

I’ve received a few calls this week from guys running adaptive curves in our small and irregular shaped fields. When the customer leaves his first line to go plant on the other side of the field, the line will not let him engage autotrac when he returns. Backdating to 14-1 GS3 software has fixed the problem on all of them so far.

Adaptive Curves Not Working

Adaptive Curves Not Working

Last but not least, I’ve had a lot of calls this week in regards to planter clutches. It’s impossible to dig too much seed when you start planting. In many cases, set-up has been incomplete and measurements were missing causing gaps on one end of the field and extra overlap on the other end. If you are running the new 15-1 GS3 software, I would recommend that you go in and uncheck the Implement Detection box, so there’s no way that it can get changed on its own once you take your measurements (Menu, Display, Diagnostics, Multiple Displays, Change Settings, uncheck the Auto Implement Detection checkbox and hit the save button). If you are still planting, it would probably be a good idea to dig some seed coming into and then again coming out of the headlands to make sure there are no surprise when the corn comes up. If you like what you see, make sure that you record all of your tractor measurements, planter measurements and on/off times so you have them for next year.

Sectional Control Info

Sectional Control Info


Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 19 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at

Deactivate Implement Detection and ExactEmerge Planter Video

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Software update 15-1 (spring 2015) has finally given users the ability to shut off implement detection.  Implement detection auto-populates the offset dimensions of the planter and tractor for the purpose of swath control and does so at each key cycle.  The system is supposed to save any changes made by the operator.  However, sometimes these dimensions are incorrect or different than those entered by the operator when auto-populated causing unexpected skips or overlaps in the field.  Many times this is not recognized until the crop emerges and many acres have been done incorrectly.  To disable this feature, go the Menu, Display, Diagnostics, Multiple Displays,   Change Settings, and then uncheck the Auto Implement Detection checkbox and hit the save button.  At this point, verify that the dimensions that are loaded in the display are correct for both the tractor and the planter.  This should prevent the system for changing them and will eliminate the implement detection warning screen at start up.

The ExactEmerge  high speed planters have been rolling for the past two weeks with great success.  Here’s a video of one screaming across the field in excess of 10+ mph being pulled by a JD 8370R.


9R Tractor Communication Problems

by Jared Wheeler, Assumption, IL

We have been getting calls recently on 9R tractors having communication problems.  One of the most common complaints that customers are noticing is that their AutoTrac isn’t working or other controllers are missing from the CAN.  This is often caused by moisture getting into the connectors at the back of the tractor.  This has been a big problem this year due to the amount of rain we have received.  If you are noticing something similar to this happening to your tractor then go to the back of the machine and check the ISO connector and the 2 connectors that plug into the back of it.  If you see moisture in the connections then spray it with contact cleaner or it might also need replaced.  If you follow the 2 connectors out of the back of the ISO connector you will find 2 more connectors that also need to be checked.  You can see these connectors circled in red.9R Communication

Southern IL Wheat and John Deere iGrade with Scraper and RTK

by Lucas Benning, Vandalia, IL

Wheat harvest has started in southern Illinois with a few guys getting started before the rain hit yesterday. Wheat this year is tough and is going to be hard threshing with some green spots still in the fields, but moisture and yield looking good. The field that I was in on Monday was testing 14% moisture and 80-90 bushels per acre for yield. Luckily we were able to receive a little rain yesterday. Two tenths to an inch in most areas will definitely help the corn and beans since we were starting to see a few cracks starting to show up in the ground.

I got the chance the other day to help get a customer started and play around with a 9510R and dual pan scrapers that is setup with iGrade. There are multiple modes within iGrade, but the 2 that we use are Plane Control for scrapers and Remote Control for ditchers. Using Plane Control with a function called Plane Calculator you can survey the area and it will give you a recommended slope and you can either accept it or change the slope. With the function One Slope you can set your desired slope and it will pitch it in the direction you tell it. You can also run Dual Slope where it will pitch it into a desired corner. All this is done by GPS and the scraper is controlled automatically with the addition of the application controller. RTK is a must with this system and it is recommended to be within 1 mile of the base station. If you are interested in what we may be able to do for you with a set up like this contact your local AMS specialist.  The setup below has only one receiver on the first pan and the operator has to control the second one manually. We can also set it up where both are controlled automatically.

I Grade 9510R

9R Tractors, Documentation, & SF3000 Software

by Matt Sweitzer, Atwood, IL

We have experienced multiple 9R’s having Receivers (SF3000 & ITC), Autotrac, etc stop working. This is a result of water in the two connectors behind the scv’s causing loss of the implement bus. We have had luck with just cleaning them out, however Deere recommends you replace the back half of the harness.

Documentation continues to be an issue, especially getting everything filled out correctly in order to get the display to record. Remember to only have one tab open under your documentation icon on a GS2 or GS3. You do not want multiple tabs open unless you are doing multiple operations at once, like planting and putting on starter. I actually had one instance where the swath control icon had disappeared from the display. This was in a 4830 sprayer and a GS3 display and was the result of having too many tabs open at once. The tab associated with the sprayer was disabled which caused the swath icon to disappear.

I also had an issue with one Starfire 3000 receiver. It was throwing a code saying “SF3000 Loss of Communication with GPS Engine.” The receiver would not pick up signal so the customer could not autotrac. There is a Dtac case on the issue(97286)  however I was able to update software on the receiver to the latest version and this solved the problem.  You can find the current software versions here.

Planter Set-Up & 9R Tractors

by Josh Thornton, White Hall, IL 

We finally got some overdue rain.  I think we ended up with 1.7 inches.

We had a brand new JD planter with active down force that I had to hook up earlier in the week, along with a new GS3 2630.  The planter showed up correctly, everything seemed to be fine with the exception of section control.  The screen was activated, but the planter would not pre-populate on the display and not automatically show up on the GS 2630 implement page 1.   Also, the recording source did not populate to “auto”.  I uploaded new software to the display and receiver, as well as new software to the planter, which was already version 18, and even powered it up through my truck.  I went back to the farm two days later and did some other checks and still had no luck.  I ended up removing the customer’s GS3 2630 display out of his sprayer, stealing a thought from the Wisconsin crew, and everything worked just fine.  I put the planter display in his 4730 sprayer and it also worked just fine.

We have seen some issues with the new 9Rs.  We have one that the radio controls will not work on the armrest to adjust volume or tune the channels.  We have updated software on the radio and armrest side and still no luck.  The armrest is going to get replaced next.  We had another with 5 hours that has a steering input device failure.  It was reading wheel motion while sitting still.  They have changed these quite a bit, and they are much easier to change once you get the steering column apart.  The new ones are just a notched ring that slides over the steering shaft with one plug.  I have another 9R that loses GPS signal when you key the mic on the CB/FM radio.  The customer is going to switch frequencies first to see if that helps.   Hopefully, this won’t be a reoccurring issue.

I have seen a few EH valve failures on 30 series tractors with 1000 or so hours.  FYI, a 7930 with an IVT transmission is a bear to get to.

So far, I have heard great reviews on the new John Deere R series sprayers that we have out.  The ride comfort is at the top the list.  They ride like a Cadillac with the dual strut suspension.