John Deere is literally on a new track with its latest 8R range of tractors – it is the first farm equipment manufacturer to produce a range of standard tractors offering three different drive concepts, wheels, two tracks or four tracks.

The 13-model range gets a new cab with 'luxury car' style comfort and the CommandPRO joystick option. Indeed, that's not boast, as its distinctive appearance has been designed in co-operation with experts from the BMW Designworks studio in California.

Its 8RX Series (four track version) has been developed to reduce soil compaction, but without compromising performance. And its boast of having lowest contact surface compression in its power class, it still has a transport width of less than 3m and 40kph unrestricted road speed.

Compared to two-track designs, the 8RX is significantly more stable on hillsides and performs well in more challenging soil conditions due to its superior self-cleaning ability, said John Deere. The tracks are available in widths from 16 to 30in (41 to 76cm), providing a total ground contact area of over 4.5m2.

But all of the 8Rs retain the proven abilities of JD's own 9-litre PowerTech PVS and PSS engines, but there's a power increase of 40hp on the 8RT 410 model.

Established transmission options include the 16/5 PowerShift, which is now available up to the 8R 340 model, the modern e23 (with its efficiency manager) and the stepless AutoPowr set-up.

Any braking concerns have been addressed by a massive reinforcement of the rear brakes, thus making front brakes no longer necessary, even at 50kph – additional front brakes can still be ordered.

But, what about that new cab? This features a state of the art seat which can come with perforated leather trim, heating, active air circulation, a two-mode massage function and various electric and pneumatic adjustable seat components. And, the Active Seat II suspension has been improved over the first-generation system.

There's also a larger 11-litre integrated fridge and there's also a 60% brighter 360° LED lighting system; a quality 'concert hall' style sound system with subwoofer; while the 6.5in DAB plus touchscreen radio cuts it with Apple CarPlay.

Customers asked for and now get a wider entry and a lower placed door handle, a self-cancelling indicator, and the uprated air conditioning system is now under the cab which provides increased headroom and reduces noise levels.

The AutoTrac automatic steering system, including an optional StarFire 6000 integrated satellite receiver, has been further optimised, with wireless data transfer to the JD's ops centre free of charge for five years if you choose the connectivity package.

A new feature, AutoSetup, makes it possible to download all field, machine and implement data required for individual jobs directly to the tractor. This simplifies the process and means the tractor is ready to use much more quickly in the field and removes the possibility of an incorrect set-up.

The tractors can also be remotely monitored by the JDLink telematics system.


New 7R series also launched

The latest generation 7R Series from John Deere include a new flagship model, the 7R 330, which delivers a maximum power rating of 363hp or 373hp with IPM.

The five-model range gets a new luxury cab plus the decidedly up market CommandPRO operating concept.

The John Deere 7R Series tractor has already established its economic efficiency in DLG tests and has many customers in the company’s ongoing fuel guarantee programme. Extending this concept to the new top of the range 7R 330 means its power to weight ratio of just 30kg/hp makes it a contender for a lot of businesses for mixed use.

They have a choice of continuously variable AutoPowr or powershiftable e23 transmissions and using JD's EZ ballast option, the tractor can also be ballasted from the cab within seconds for heavier cultivation work.

The CommandPRO joystick is now optionally available on all 7R Series tractors with the AutoPowr transmission. First introduced on 6R Series tractors, it has quickly proven itself to many users.

Seat design and in-cab features are also much the same as the 8R series, including a wider entry door, as has the latest AutoTrac system.