Tractor News

Tractor.com News Blog

The Tractor.com News Blog is your source for latest news and stories from the world of tractors. Check back regularly as Tractor.com News is updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, trade shows and the Tractor community.

Kubota RTV

Kubota Tractor Corporation announced the introduction of several new products from the field and main stage of the company’s annual dealer meeting this week in Phoenix, Arizona. Adding to all segments of its business, the company announced the following:

A new addition to its popular utility vehicle line with the new gas-powered RTV-XG850 Sidekick, the company’s fastest utility vehicle yet;

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McCormick Feature

McCormick North America recently hosted its annual 2017 Dealer Meeting event for its entire North American dealer network. Held in Orlando, FL, McCormick unveiled 4 new tractor lines to further complement its full-line tractor offering. New tractor families include the X4 STANDARD Series, X6 STANDARD Series, X6 VT-Drive Series, and X8 VT-Drive Series, which brings McCormick’s offering to over 300 horsepower!

With the exception of the X8 VT-Drive Series, the newly released models fit into a horsepower segment that is already covered by McCormick tractor. However, these new machines offer new levels of features, comfort, and performance that target a wider range of customers within the segment. “We want to offer customers more choices within the McCormick tractor line-up,” says Tiago Bonomo, President of McCormick North America. “Customers have specific needs, and we need to be able to meet those needs.” After the initial unveiling in Orlando, McCormick will officially launch all 4 new models at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY, booth 4060 in the North Wing.

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Yanmar Yamaha Viking

Yanmar Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that they have agreed to a business alliance for the U.S. ROV (Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle) business. The companies will conclude a contract by the end of the year for the OEM supply of Yamaha’s multi-purpose VIKING and VIKING VI (both Yamaha model names) ROV models to Yanmar from December 2016, and for Yanmar to sell these products under the Yanmar brand name from January 2017 utilizing its farmer-oriented dealer network in the U.S.

The aim of this business alliance is to expand sales in the growing U.S. ROV market by leveraging the strengths of the two companies, namely Yamaha’s technical capabilities and manufacturing know-how, and Yanmar’s farmer-oriented dealer network in the U.S.

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New Holland T5

New Holland has refreshed its T5 tractor series for 2016. The updated tractors not only meet more stringent Tier 4B engine emissions regulations, but also come equipped with new features designed to boost efficiency, productivity and comfort.

According to New Holland, the new T5 Tier 4B series is a short wheelbase haymaking and loader tractor, boasting a high power-to-weight ratio and a transmission that’s optimized for loader and haymaking operations.

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John Deere 6M Tractor

John Deere has expanded its lineup of 6M and 6R Series Tractors for model year 2015.

“Our objective is to continually expand our tractor line to meet a wide variety of customer needs, yet be able to offer the same proven performance, reliability and service standards in every 6 Family model,” says Kory Ross, mid-tractor product manager for John Deere. “The new models in our 6M and 6R Series continue that tradition, with tractors ranging from 110 to 215 engine horsepower, and build commonality in horsepower and other features within the 6 Family.”

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New Holland Boomer 54D

New Holland has released its new Tier 4B Boomer 54D, which runs a new Common rail FPT Industrial engine and features the SuperSuite cab and EasyDrive continuously variable transmission.

“The 54D Boomer tractor is the ultimate power tool, the perfect combination of superior operator comfort and optimal performance. This is achieved with the EasyDrive continuously variable transmission, the Tier 4B compliant engine and a host of features that enable the operator to get the job done with great efficiency and comfort,” says Luca Mainardi, head of Tractor and Precision Land Management Product Management. “It will appeal to municipalities, private estates and sports facilities alike. At the same time it is perfect for large scale operations and can be specified with tyres suitable for turf care management.”

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Challenger M7000E Track Tractor

Challenger is extanding its track tractor offerings with its new MT700E Series, available in three models ranging from 350 to 400 engine HP.

“Our customers value efficiency,” says Conor Bergin, product marketing manager, High Horsepower Tractors. “They’re looking for a tractor that can make short work of high-horsepower tasks while providing maximum fuel economy and minimal field compaction. Our new Challenger E Series and the three new MT700E track tractors deliver optimum power transfer, outstanding fuel efficiency, and best-in-class traction and flotation with a smooth, comfortable ride.”

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John Deere Z925M Flex Fuel
John Deere is adding a Flex Fuel version of its ZTrak mower to its fleet. The new Z925M Flex Fuel is compatible with ethanol blends up to E85, giving contractors a new alternative fuel option for their fleets.

“When we introduced the new line of ZTrak mowers last year, our intent was to meet the needs of every customer,” says Steve Wilhelmi, John Deere tactical marketing manager. “The new Z925M Flex Fuel model continues that mission by appealing to customers who need or prefer to run on alternative-fuel platforms.”

The new Flex Fuel model is part of the M Series of ZTrak commercial mowers, designed for customers seeking productivity and efficiency. With a 24.6 hp electronic fuel injected engine, the Z925M Flex Fuel can run on any blend of ethanol-mixed fuel, up to E85, and it has a top speed of 10 mph. Offered in 54- and 60-inch widths, it comes equipped with a 7-Iron deck.

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Bobcat 3650 and 3600 UTVsBobcat has recently unveiled an innovative new line of hydrostatic drive utility vehicles – the 3600 and 3650. The 3650 model is the industry’s first utility vehicle with the capacity to operate front-mounted PTO attachments.

Both the 3600 and 3650 offer cabs with both heat and air conditioning, making these true four-season work vehicles.

Bobcat 3600 Loading BalesPowered by 24.8-horsepower diesel engines, the new 3600 and 3650 join the 3200, 3400 and 3400XL in Bobcat’s utility vehicle family, along with the Toolcat 5600 and 5610 utility work machines.

One of the main drivers behind the 3600 and 3650 was the development of a hydrostatic drive system. The hydrostatic system in the new Bobcat UTVs provides durability, and uses a single two-speed motor with fewer moving parts.

Another key durability feature of the machines is a diesel engine that will automatically shut itself down if it experiences high engine coolant temperature, low engine oil pressure, or high hydraulic oil temperature.

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By Geof Fowler, Photos by John Deere

With its 2305 model a bestseller and a standout amongst a field of stellar competitors, John Deere raises the bar with the new 1026R and gets our designation as Tractor of the Year (TOTY).

Harlan and Ed couldn’t be more different. Harlan is a self-employed machinist who, along with his wife Rita, raises and boards horses. Ed is an actuary for a major insurance company who teaches at a local community college and, in his spare time, maintains an eight-acre mini-estate. Both sit on our guest judge panel and participated in this year’s Tractor of the Year selection.

Says Ed, who already owed a John Deere 2305: “The 2305 was the perfect tractor—almost. It did everything it was asked of, but there were always little things you wished Deere had included. The 1026R addresses that list and more.”

While Ed and his wife muck stables and put their sub compact tractor (SCUT) through the daily dirty task of maintaining their stables, Harlan maintains his mini-estate with a shiny orange Kubota BX23 that we’re not sure has seen a drop of rain. His views were less from the capability side, although that was important, and more to the ease of use. Says Harlan: “I just want to use the tractor when I need to and not bloody my knuckles in the process.”

But the two from their divergent viewpoints both agreed on ten reasons the all new John Deere 1026R is our 2011 TOTY.

Position Control on the Three-Point Hitch (3PH)
This is a “big” tractor feature that is unique in this class of machine. While any 3PH can go up and down and be stopped at some position in-between, the ability to return to the exact position makes for less time fussing and more precise productivity.

Folding Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS)
How many garage and shed headers need to be damaged before customer screams for this simple addition are incorporated across the board? Well, Deere listened and acted and we applaud the inclusion of a folding ROPS on the 1026R (and the entry-level 1023E).

Hydro Fan Replaced with Transmission Cooler
Not every SCUT owner takes his or her machine out into the north forty, but getting a stick caught in the little plastic fan cooling the hydrostat is no fun at all. Reports of the repair ranging from “replaced under warranty” to as much as $1000 circulate and make you wonder why a simple oil cooler, which can’t cost much, was a corner cut by all the major manufacturers.

“We use our 2305 in the tight quarters of a stable and twigs and sticks are always working their way underneath the tractor,” says Harlan. “We’ve never broken a blade on the fan, but ours has a few nicks that has us cringing whenever we hear the tick, tick of something contacting the fan.”

Transmission Oil Filter Moved out of Harm’s Way
One of the advantages of a SCUT tractor is its low center of gravity, which makes these machines excellent in uneven and sloped conditions. It does not mean the manufacturers should all put their transmission oil filters in exposed locations also low to the ground. But they did. Deere breaks that mold with the 1000 Series and we whole-heartedly approve.

Platform Integrated Joystick Control
Most manufacturers integrate the selective control valve (SCV) joystick in a way that makes access to the operator’s platform from the right side awkward at best. Some put it on the loader, which makes for a long reach and adds cost and complexity if the owner is going to blow snow, while others incorporate it in the tractor cockpit nicely but use up precious right side real estate. The location of the John Deere 1000 series tractors is a welcome and not at all minor improvement.

Drive Over AutoConnect Mid-Mount Mower
The drive over mid-mount mower we saw coming on the 2000 Series tractors and so was not a total surprise to see it on the new 1000 Series line, but the addition of AutoConnect was. How nice to drive up to and over your mid-mount mower (MMM) and without leaving your seat, drive away and start tackling that growing lawn. Slick is all we can say.

iMatch Auto Hitch
And while Deere has had its iMatch on the market for several years now, changing the attaching of a 3PH implement from a wrestling match to a no-need-to-leave-your-seat affair, the all-new AutoHitch system takes the ease of attaching an implement such as a tiller to an all new level. Need we say slick again?

Engine Temperature Gauge
To us this is a no-brainer, but up until the new 1000 Series tractors, either an outrageously expensive item or an industry oversight. We’ll leave that discussion to others while we praise John Deere for including it here.

Comfort Features
“Tilt steering, adjustable suspension seat with armrests, cruise control, toolbox and 12V outlet for my iPad, now we’re talking,” says Ed. “I’m paying as much for a SCUT tractor as a small car. The comfort features shouldn’t be unavailable or optional. Deere has done what the industry should have done all along with the 1026R and it might just sway me green when it comes time to upgrade.”

Attachments
MMMs, Backhoes (backward compatible so one can be added at a future date), Box Blades, Disk Harrows, iMatch AutoHitches, Landscape Rakes, Loaders, Manure Spreaders, Material Collection Systems, Overseeders, Broadcast Spreaders, Posthole Diggers, Power Rakes, Rear Blades, Rear Grooming Mowers, Rotary Brooms, Rotary Cutters, Tillers, Front and Rear Snowblowers, Sprayers, Tedders, and Woodchippers. While this long list copied from the Deere 1000 Series brochure isn’t necessarily new, just the vast number of attachments offered for this series tractor is worthy of mention and the final reason the 1026R is our 2011 TOTY.

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