John Deere has gone through quite a radical re-shuffle in recent times to improve efficiency in all departments and aims to capture more of the market place. The continued emphasis on research and development, the extension of product ranges to suit a larger customer base, there is little doubt that John Deere's strategy of focusing on customer needs is paying off.
The latest 'Setting Directions' promotion is, in part, about improved customer service and re-investment.
So on 18th August 2011 'we', the press were privy to the new additions to the John Deere fleet of Golf, Groundcare and Home and Garden equipment. With the further promise of an expanding range of implements to compliment these new and existing products the future looks set for the company.
Below is a summary of what the press saw.
Lawnmowing at your leisure
For those who appreciate a beautifully mown lawn, but would much rather leave lawn maintenance to the professionals, John Deere introduces its latest innovation: the new TANGO E5 autonomous mower.
Homeowners can spend many hours achieving the perfect finish in their gardens, but how much time could be saved for other valuable leisure activities if someone else did the job? A lot... thanks to the new, fully automatic John Deere TANGO E5, a tireless and intelligent state-of-the-art lawnmower which combines maximum mowing performance with minimum effort.
The idea behind this mowing solution is very simple. An underground boundary wire determines the size and shape of the mowing area. Inside this boundary, the TANGO E5 randomly cuts the whole lawn within a preset time span. As soon as the mower touches an obstacle or approaches the wire, it automatically changes its working direction.
A John Deere Tango E5 specialist can fully install the machine and schedule an individual mowing programme that fits to the owners' requirements. Even highly landscaped areas that include trees and shrubs can be tackled. If required, the machine's owner can overwrite the programme with their own instructions, using the mower's easily legible and logically designed six-line programming display.
The lithium-ion battery is continuously recharged by the TANGO E5 as it automatically returns to the docking station when it senses the charge is low. Once fully recharged, it returns immediately to its mowing schedule meaning the owner does not even have to monitor this.
Because the TANGO is a mulching machine, there is no need to dispose of grass clippings. In fact, the clippings are immediately recycled into the lawn, helping to provide nutrients and thereby reducing the amount of fertiliser required to maintain good grass growth.
Due to its low noise levels, the John Deere TANGO E5 autonomous mower can even work overnight*. Its unique double-hull design also safely protects the blade, engine and electronics from adverse weather conditions.
Powered by a robust electric motor, the TANGO E5 features large diameter wheels to ensure optimum traction on slopes and hilly terrain and a premium blade which can be easily adjusted from cutting heights between 19 to 102mm.
The lightweight design ensures that the mower can be easily handled and transported if required. For safe operation and handling, the blade stops immediately when the machine is lifted from the ground or tilted over.
New sub-compact tractor from John Deere
Designed and built by John Deere, the new 1026R sub-compact tractor provides best in class power, performance and versatility, while offering a number of standard features more commonly found on larger machines.
This is a completely new model from John Deere, and is aimed at both residential and commercial customers who need to do more than just cut grass. A wide range of attachments and implements, which can be changed quickly, easily and safely, make the 1026R suitable for councils, municipalities, private contractors, landscapers, large property owners and smallholders.
The 1026R has a 26hp three-cylinder diesel engine (23.8hp rated at ECE R24), and a two-range hydrostatic transmission with Twin Touch pedals for ease of use and precise operation. Both four-wheel drive and power steering are standard, giving excellent manoeuvrability in all conditions. The tractor also has a wider track width of 1.2m for increased stability.
Additional comfort and simple operation are provided by the flat-floor, easy to access platform, standard cruise control and tiltable steering column, and a deluxe suspended seat. A high specification lighting package, a 12V outlet and a foldable Roll-Gard ROPS are also standard equipment.
The new 1026R can carry dozens of attachments and implements, including a quick attach front loader with a lift capacity of 380kg to full height, a mid-mounted AutoConnect side discharge rotary mower deck, rear mounted attachments on the standard Category I three-point linkage, and front mounted attachments such as a snow blade or rotary brush using the John Deere Quick Hitch system.
The durable 3.5 or 4.5mm thick mower deck is available with cutting widths of 1.37 or 1.52m (54 or 60in) respectively, and is very easy to attach. Using John Deere's exclusive AutoConnect technology, the operator simply drives over the top of the deck for automatic attachment to the tractor. The mower's height of cut can also be adjusted easily from the tractor seat thanks to a conveniently located knob, and the deck can be raised and lowered using an independent system controlled by the standard front loader joystick.
The tractor's three-point linkage with position control has a maximum lift capacity of 525kg at the link ends, or 309kg at 61cm (24in) behind the link arms. A Category 0 front hitch is also available, designed specifically for the European market, with ample lift capacity for large front-mounted implements.
An optional comfort cab features large doors, a spacious environment for the operator, a deluxe cloth seat and integrated work lights, offering excellent visibility at night. Overall height of the tractor with the cab fitted is under 2m (78in), which is useful for access to low buildings and when operating close to trees and other obstacles.
Wide area mower improved for 2011
John Deere's new version of the Series II 1600 Turbo WAM out-front rotary mower features as standard a Stage IIIB (Interim Tier 4) engine to meet the latest emission standards, a fully adjustable high-backed air suspension seat to improve operator comfort, and run-flat tyres on the castor-action gauge wheels to reduce downtime and increase productivity.
With its 3.25m (128in) overall cutting width, the 1600T WAM offers the ultimate in power, manoeuvrability, traction and operator comfort for commercial mowing contractors, local authorities, golf courses and other public and private institutions. Additional improvements for 2011 include more efficient hydraulics and deck motors, a two-post folding ROPS and Service ADVISOR diagnostics for extra serviceability, both in the workshop and in the field.
The 1600T WAM is powered by a 57hp turbocharged Yanmar diesel engine, equipped with electronic engine control and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system for lower emissions and improved engine responsiveness. It has a high torque reserve and can produce plenty of power for the toughest conditions.
The three robust rear discharge mower decks are fabricated from 7-gauge steel, the thickest in the industry. In mower form, the machine is capable of covering up to 3.4ha (8.5ac) an hour, at speeds of up to 9mph, with a cutting height of between 25 and 140mm (1 and 5.5in).
Each wing has a breakaway feature that allows the mower deck to move back and away from any obstacle, then automatically reset to the normal working position. Other operator friendly specifications include electronic cruise control, hydrostatic power steering and a tiltable steering wheel, and the ROPS can be folded down easily without tools for safe operation under tree canopies or in other confined spaces.
Featuring a proven mechanical four wheel drive system, an 83 litre (18gal) fuel tank and a transport speed of up to 14.5mph, the machine is particularly suitable for large-scale commercial mowing.
Premium X305R lawn tractor replaces X300R model
John Deere's new X305R rear-discharge lawn tractor with collection system replaces the previous X300R model, and features a range of enhancements which make it even more versatile and productive.
The X305R has a powerful two-cylinder Kawasaki engine developing 12.2kW at 3100 rpm, which has been specifically manufactured for John Deere. This engine provides sufficient power to handle difficult working conditions while also providing a high level of fuel efficiency.
The TurboStar mowing system on the X305R lawn tractor offers excellent grass collection properties. Its enhanced fan features larger diameter, reinforced 8mm blades, and the fan is directly mounted on top of the mower deck for improved material flow into the collection hopper.
A low lift blade is used to feed the fan more efficiently, which improves material collection even further, and the mower stops automatically as soon as the hopper is full. This means the hopper's capacity can be fully utilised, and blockages are avoided.
New greens mowers from John Deere
John Deere's new SL Series PrecisionCut walk-behind greens mowers for 2011 have been designed to save greenkeepers and grounds staff time and money, and provide a top quality finish on golf courses, tennis courts, cricket squares, bowling greens and other fine turf areas.
The 180SL, 220SL and 260SL replace the previous C Series models, and offer true cutting widths of 46, 56 and 66cm (18, 22 and 26in) respectively. They feature a fixed-head version of the patented SpeedLink technology now featured on the cutting units of all John Deere PrecisionCut mowers.
This innovative design allows height of cut adjustments to be made much more quickly and easily, from just one side of the machine. In addition, a new patented front roller bracket makes it equally simple to change the front roller when required, with minimal changes to the height of cut.
Cutting height is precisely adjustable from 22.2mm (7/8in) down to 2mm with the standard 11 blade, 127mm (5in) diameter reel, which is capable of delivering a consistently high quality cut at speeds up to 5.2mph. These new mowers also feature an optional front-mounted, adjustable turf brush to help stand the grass up and remove dew before cutting. Rotary brush and greens tender conditioner options are also available.
All three SL models feature the same quiet and powerful 4hp Honda petrol engine as on the previous range, with a dual-traction drive that provides excellent manoeuvrability and straight tracking on greens, regardless of mower speed. The mowers are also equipped as standard with an operator presence system on the adjustable loop-style handlebar, which features a quick release mechanism to disengage traction.
The mowers also feature low noise and vibration levels, and easy bedknife-to-reel adjustment. Additional key options include detachable transport wheels, to make it easier to move the mower around when it's not in work; a pull-back clutch that allows the mower to be reversed while the reels are engaged; and a choice of grooved, smooth or spiral rollers.
New John Deere Gators include four-passenger model
John Deere already manufactures the largest range of utility vehicles in the industry, and the new XUV 550 and XUV 550 S4 Gators extend the range even further.
These completely new 4x4 Gators, in green and yellow livery, will be available in both two and four-passenger versions - a first for John Deere -from spring 2012. They are smaller, lighter in weight and even more nimble than existing models, and are the perfect crossover vehicles for work and recreation.
To accommodate up to four people in comfort, the XUV 550 S4 model features a stretched chassis that adds a roomy rear bench seat to the two standard front bucket seats. With the flip of a lever, the rear seat can be converted in seconds to a cargo rack to provide additional carrying capacity for bulkier items. There is also plenty of storage space on both models, provided by a large sealed glove box and a sealed area under the bonnet.
A powerful 12.1kW (nominal power at 3600rpm) V-twin OHV air-cooled petrol engine provides brisk acceleration to a top speed of 45kph (28mph). The standard specification also includes a fully sealed and enclosed CVT transmission, all-round hydraulic disc brakes and a best in class ground clearance of 262mm (10.3in), with underbody skid protection optionally available.
Fully independent all wheel suspension provides 229mm (9in) of wheel travel at the front and 203mm (8in) at the rear. This gives a smooth, comfortable
ride and superior traction both on and off the road, with or without loads. An integrated winch with recovery loops is available as an option, for use in more demanding terrain.
The durable composite cargo box carries up to 181kg, and can be lifted from both sides. The removable tailgate features truck-style latching for easy operation with one hand, and there are multiple integrated tie-down points on the inside and outside of the cargo box for securing loads safely. Using the standard heavy-duty 51mm (2in) rear receiver hitch, the vehicles can also tow up to 500kg.
A wide range of attachments and options will be available for the new XUV 550 Gators, including half poly or glass windshields and a poly roof, which can be built into a fully enclosed cab if required. Further options will include a front brush guard and rear bumper, additional front lights, a rear screen and a rail system for the cargo box.
New zero-turn mowers from John Deere
John Deere's Setting Directions - Turf product launch sees the addition of two new zero-turn mowers to the company's range of riding lawn equipment, which includes the existing Z425 model. The Z225 is an entry level machine, while the Z645 has been designed to meet the requirements of semi-professional users.
Both these new John Deere zero-turn mowers represent state of the art mowing productivity and operator convenience, and are backed by the world class John Deere dealer network.
The homeowner solution: Z225
The Z225 is a new entry level zero-turn machine for fast, efficient and comfortable mowing. Equipped with a twin-cylinder engine developing 14.6kW at 3150rpm, it provides plenty of power and torque, whether you are discharging grass clippings to the side or using the optional collection system or mulching kit. The electronic ignition allows easy starting, while premium power and fuel economy are provided by the V-twin overhead valves and cast iron cylinder liners, which ensure a long engine life.
The Z225 can travel at speeds of up to 11.3kph and benefits from efficient, adjustable twin lever controls, which are very easy to use and feature shock absorbers for more comfortable operation. The large 33cm (13in) diameter front caster wheels and 18x8.5-8 rear drive tyres provide solid traction and a smoother ride.
A newly designed operator station on the Z225 features excellent visibility. In particular, the edge of the cutting deck can be easily seen when trimming up against obstacles. In addition, all the controls are colour coded for simple identification and operation.
For optimum safety, the operator must sit in the seat, engage the park brake and ensure both control levers are in the outward position before the engine can be started. The engine will also stall if the operator leaves the seat without the control levers in this position, and the park brake engaged.
The deep design of the 107cm (42in) mower deck helps to lift the grass for a clean and even cut. The mower's high level of performance can be maintained by using the deck's wash port, which allows a hosepipe to be connected directly to the deck for automatic cleaning.
The semi-professional solution: Z645
John Deere's larger semi-professional zero-turn mower, the Z645, is equipped with a V-twin engine developing 15.4kW at 3350rpm. This provides high torque levels for all applications, with low vibration and noise levels. The Z645 is more robustly designed than the smaller Z225 and Z425 models and features an increased specification, including a heavy-duty pump and wheel motor transmission for extra reliability and long life.
The Z645 is equipped with a durable 122cm (48in) high-capacity mower deck, which is designed to handle larger volumes of grass and stand up to the most challenging mowing conditions. In addition, a foot pedal system makes it easy to lift and lower the deck, which is particularly useful when faced with obstacles such as kerbs and paths, for example.
The operator station features a deluxe high back seat, which can be easily adjusted in position for different operators. The control panel is conveniently located and provides easy access to the ignition switch, deck engagement and engine/choke controls, which also include the engine rpm speed control.
For further details please visit www.JohnDeere.com