Esperance gets first peek at new 8RX

The John Deere 8RX.
Camera IconThe John Deere 8RX. Credit: John Deere

Esperance farmers will have a State-first glimpse of the world’s first fixed-frame, four-track tractor, the John Deere 8RX, when it is put on display at the local AFGRI branch this weekend.

A 340-horsepower John Deere 8RX was on static display at the local branch earlier this month after originally being set for display at the Condingup Community Fair on Saturday.

The popular fair, run by the Condingup Parents and Citizens Association, was cancelled amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

The 8RX’s arrival in Esperance kicked off the start of a six-week tour across AFGRI branches in WA, as well as at various Ag Implements branches.

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The 8RX is one of eight family tractors John Deere plans to release in 2020, with global shipping starting in May, and the 8RX expected to land in the WA market in September or October.

Each tractor in the 8 Family has the biggest cab John Deere has ever created, with an extra

5cm of headroom and a 24 per cent wider entry path.

Designed with controlled traffic farming in mind, the fixed-frame, four-track 8RX tractor has the turning characteristics of wheel tractors, but has been spruiked by John Deere for delivering the pulling performance of tracks by providing more surface area of contact, less ground pressure, and less slip than wheel tractors.

AFGRI Esperance branch manager Brad Forrester said the 8RX had arrived at Fremantle Port before being trucked to Esperance — a long way from its North American starting point.

“We are really excited about the 8RX ... they are for sale now, and we have forward-sold some due in September-October,” he said.

“This will be a key purchase for controlled traffic farmers ... this is a gap in the market we are excited to fill.”

Mr Forrester said while it was disappointing the event had been cancelled, it was good the 8RX would still be put on display across WA.

“We were excited to release it at the Condingup Fair — to know that the first location to see it in WA was Condy was really exciting,” he said.

“Everyone is a bit flat about the decision, but it is for a good reason.”

John Deere production agriculture marketing manager Tammy Lee said the 8RX offered all the benefits of tracks but provided a “driving experience more like a wheel tractor”.

“They represent the next leap forward in tractor innovation and have everything customers like about 8R wheel tractors with the addition of four independent tracks and a new, fully suspended cab that makes them more comfortable to operate,” she said.

“This new machine form delivers unmatched flotation, traction and ride quality.

“We didn’t just add tracks to an 8R Tractor. This is a fully engineered John Deere four-track solution, not a bolt-on after-market product.”

Ms Lee said a key component was the John Deere 1700 pivoting beam axle, which was specifically designed for a four-track tractor to “provide the necessary strength and enable adjustability of tread spacings to fit grower needs”.

The 8RX is available with a wide range of track and axle configurations, with multiple tread-spacing options including 193cm, 203.2cm, 223.5cm, or 304.8c wide front axles.

Three belt widths are available and include 45.7cm and 60.9cm wide front belts, and 45.7cm, 60.9cm and 76.2cm wide rear belts.

Each new 8R, 8RT and 8RX Tractor comes standard equipped with an integrated Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter display, StarFire 6000 integrated receiver and AutoTrac activation.

The 8RX will be on display at the AFGRI Esperance branch at 87 Norseman Road before heading to Lake Grace.

The tour circuit:

AFGRI Esperance – 20th - 24th March

AFGRI Lake Grace – 25th March

AFGRI Gnowangerup – 26th - 27th March

AFGRI Albany – 31st March

AFGRI Boyup Brook – 1st April

AFGRI Pingelly & Wagin – 2nd April

AFGRI Perth – 3rd April

AFGRI Wongan Hills – 22nd April

AFGRI Moora – 23rd April

AFGRI Dalwallinu – 24th April

AFGRI Carnamah – 29th April

AFGRI Geraldton – 30th April

Tours are subject to change and growers should confirm when by contacting their local AFGRI dealer.

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