NSW contractors poised to be the first owners of John Deere’s updated 9 series high horsepower tractors
Cropping contractors and brothers, Sam, Chris and David Haworth, jointly work across more than 25,000ha in the West Wyalong region of NSW, and are set to be the first recipients of two model year 2022 9R 590 tractors in Australia.
The brothers, who run their own contracting business - AgTrac Services, made the purchasing decision following a demo session with their local John Deere dealer.
“For this purchase, we were looking for bigger equipment to cover more hectares, operator comfort and ease of use,” Sam Haworth said.
“This will complete our fleet and complement the equipment we have, to maximise our efficiency of operation.”
During the demo, where the Haworths put a 9R 520 to work sowing wheat for a client, Sam was impressed by the extra horsepower delivered by the John Deere PowerTechTM PSS 13.6L engine and its ability to seamlessly connect to AgTrac’s John Deere 1890 Disc Seeder.
“With the extra horsepower and increased frame weight, I noticed straight away any wheel slip was greatly reduced, which was an instant improvement,” he said.
“This meant I could pull the bar at a more constant speed which markedly improves productivity overall.”
To accommodate the extra horsepower of the new 9 Series, the weight of the tractor and the maximum available ballast on selected models in the 9R and 9RX has increased from 27,200 to 30,300 kg, to help put the improved power straight to the ground.
In addition, several undercarriage components, including the axle and front-frame, have been strengthened across the 9R and four-track 9RX models for MY22.
The 9R 590 can be ordered with hydraulic Intelligent Power Management (IPM) to deliver up to 50 extra horsepower to high hydraulic demand applications, John Deere said, which aligns with the brothers’ overarching need for more power and productivity.
Comfort is key
AgTrac runs a full fleet of John Deere equipment and a team of six full-time and five seasonal workers providing sowing, spraying, spreading and harvesting services to a large area of the Central NSW cropping region, known for production of canola, wheat, barley, chickpea and faba bean.
The business’ current fleet includes four 9R 470 tractors, a 9R 570 tractor, two 8R 320 tractors, three 1910 tow-behind air commodity carts, two 1890 disc seeders, four S780 combine harvesters and one S670 combine.
Given the scale of the business and round-the-clock nature of peak sowing and harvesting periods, Sam said operator comfort was crucial across the machinery fleet, which was why he immediately noticed the larger, restyled cab featuring a heated massage chair in the new 9R 520.
“As it’s an all-electric chair, it’s very easy to fine-tune the overall position, similar to an electric seat in a car, and the fact you can give yourself a massage is a bonus. All these small changes make for a better experience all round for the operator during long shifts,” he said.
Visibility has also been enhanced with the Ultimate Cab Package, as the chair can swivel 25 degrees to the left and 40 degrees to the right, while noise has been reduced to help mitigate operator fatigue, John Deere said
Although the brawn of the 9R 590 is what initially attracted the Haworth brothers to the new model, Sam said the machinery’s brains were as important given the need for AgTrac Services to have a connected fleet.
All 9 Series tractors come fitted from the factory with JDLink™ connectivity, plus, Generation 4 CommandCenter™ display, AutoTrac™ guidance and free access to the John Deere Operations Center.
“The John Deere Operations Centre is very important to our business,” Sam said.
“Overall, it helps us keep a gauge on productivity and efficiency, and it makes it really easy to see straight away where everyone is at in the paddock.”
Since its inception in 2008, AgTrac Services has run exclusively John Deere, which the company said has streamlined training for new staff members given the consistency of operations across the fleet.
“The challenges our business has faced are centred around staffing and this has been made even more difficult during COVID-19, as we haven’t had access to as many casual workers,” he said.
“With our bigger machinery, we will be able to cover more hectares with less equipment and the ease-of-use in our new 9 Series will also assist with training.
“Using the equipment we have, we are hoping to find the right staff, and to now focus on getting the most out of our machinery to drive productivity.”