New tractors series were a big part of John Deere’s recent 2012 product introduction in Indianapolis. The company launched four series of tractors covering the full range of horsepower classes: the 9R/9RT Series high-horsepower 4-wd and track tractors, the 6R Series row-crop tractors, and the 5 Series utility and specialty tractors. These series join the 7R Series row-crop tractors launched in July of this year.

The main driver behind the new tractors was to meet interim Tier 4 emission standards, requiring new engine technology to create a cleaner burn. Deere tweaked the transmission and hydraulic system at the same time to create an integrated drivetrain package that is cleaner, runs smoother, burns less fuel, and costs less to maintain.

Cabs on the larger series were redesigned to match the 8R series, dubbed by Deere as the “most intelligent tractors in the world” when introduced in 2009. All of these tractors come prewired for autosteer and are telemetry-capable for wireless communication.

Don Worner, product line marketing manager for John Deere large-frame tractors, gives a quick rundown of each of the new 6R, 7R, and 9R/9RT Series, starting from the bottom.

6R Series. This totally new series for 2012 is slightly reminiscent of the original 7000 Series tractors launched in 1992. The 6R Series consists of three models rated 170, 190, and 210 engine hp that extend the power range of Deere’s mid-size row-crop tractors into territory previously covered by the John Deere 7430 Premium and 7530 Premium models. The tractors are positioned as lightweight row-crop suitable for both loader work and light row-crop applications.

7R Series. These larger row-crop tractors are new from the ground up, and unlike the other series, they share no resemblance to the previous series with steel frames. Rather, they are structurally designed like the 8R Series launched in 2009, in which the drivetrain forms the frame. A new fan design allowed for a shorter tractor package, which makes it good for loader work and now front hitch and front PTO applications. Plus its weight and power density make it capable of field work. The five-model series runs from 200 to 280 engine hp. The largest model extends the power range by 60 hp, pushing it into territory that previously would have taken an 8 Series tractor to fill.

9R/9RT Series. This high-horsepower 4-wd and track series consists of eight models — five with wheels and three with tracks. The largest model, the 9560RT, tops out at 560 hp, 30 hp more than the old 9030 Series launched in 2007. Like the 6R and 7R Series, the new 9R/9RT Series incorporates the same basic cab design found in the 8R to bring commonality to all the families. Other changes include a more powerful, iT4-compliant engine, new hitch and PTO options, and numerous updates to the track models to accommodate the power and, for the first time, give them scraper ability.

For more information about these tractor series, see your local John Deere dealer or visit