Deere just finished up a media event this week they held in conjunction with their dealer event this fall. A visit to the Sarasota, Fla., area got us a look at the new 5 and 6 Series tractors along with a discussion of what "Big Green" is calling the "Year of the Utility Tractor."
The new-series utility tractors from Deere feature higher-styling, single-piece hoods for easier service access. These machines also have a more structured "family look" than in the past.
The class of machines - from 50 to about 105 horsepower - is a hot market these days as farmers work to replace older chore machines. But the market is beyond the traditional farm. Deere experts gave us a briefing of the growing small farm and hobby farm market and how the utility tractor plays a big role there too.
As part of this rollout, however, the company also talked about its new numbering system that gets the Series, Horsepower and Capability Level in front of you pretty quickly. For example a 5065E is in the same level as the old 5000 series, but with 65 engine horsepower, and with better-than-base level capabilities (E is higher in the alphabet than the base D series).
You'll get used to the new numbering system, and we expect to see plenty more as new machines start hitting the market later in 2009 too. A D has less capabilities - but still a lot of features - than an E. An E-Limited has more features (but in a single configuration) than an M - the M Series is the top end series. The later in the alphabet, the higher featured the tractor.
The 6M series, for example, has some great implement management features including color-coded hydraulic controls and an implement lift system that you allows setting height, raise and lower speed, and offers one-button control of 3-point-mounted tools.
You'll be hearing more. These product rollouts offer a look at a lot of information in a single, compressed timeframe. I'll have a look at a new, auto-connect system for mid-mount mowers the company is rolling next week. The competition in the utility tractor market has always been keen, and it appears all the players are ratcheting up their offerings. Stay tuned.
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