John Deere has been offering a pretty wide range of tractors designed to appeal to an equally wide group of buyers looking for power in the mid-horsepower class. In the 105- to 250-horsepower group, the green brand’s 6 Family of tractors already offers an impressive 20 models from the economy 6Es to the high-end 6Rs. But for the 2020 model year, that number will grow to 21, because the mid-spec 6M line adds one more with the addition of the new 140-horsepower 6140M.
As well, the range of available options will widen across all 6M models.
The tractors that will offer the longest option list are the redesigned and all-new 6110M and 6120M. They’ll have 110- and 120-engine horsepower, respectively, putting them at the lowest power end of the 6M group. With their expanded options list, buyers can order basic versions or spec them up enough to rival a higher-end 6R.
“It really comes down to how do we build a tractor that meets all of these customer needs,” says Lyle McMillan. “For this project we brought together customers from each of those (farming) segments to validate this. They were with us from the beginning.”
The two new 6Ms are the result of input from those focus groups. The tractors sport a sloping front hood for improved visibility, and they allow buyers to pick the kind of high- or low-end features they feel suit their particular needs, without opting for a more expensive 6R.
“For the 2020 model year we’re not taking anything away from those customers that like mechanical options,” explains Archie Oestreich, senior marketing manager at Deere. “We’re just adding a little bit more for those that want a higher-spec 6M in their fleet.
“If you don’t want to spec up to an R, maybe it’s a little bit outside the price point, you don’t need the larger cab, the extra weight and wheelbase on it. That’s kind of where we see the dichotomy between the 6M and 6R.”
Just how high-end can a 6110M or 6120M get? Well, they offer a suspended front axle, cab suspension and a mini version of Deere’s CommandARM control console with electro-hydraulic SCV control.
The tractors can also be delivered with integrated AutoTrac GPS and JD Link telematics-ready. A premium LED lighting package and panoramic cab glass can make loader work easier too.
And speaking of loaders, an entirely new 600R loader, with shock-absorbing suspension has been designed for the two new tractors. It features curved lift arms and a single-lever disconnect system to make removing and re-installing it a quick task. A hydraulic in-cab control allows the operator to switch buckets without even getting out of the cab. And the loader can reach up to 154 inches (3.9 metres) to make triple stacking some round bales possible. A new joystick control with built-in power reverser button makes loader work a one-handed operation.
To make the 6110M and 6120M even better at loader work, engineers built them on a short 94.5-inch wheelbase for improved manoeuvrability.
“The 6M also has what we refer to as Auto Clutch,” adds Oestreich. “If you hit the brake, the tractor will slow down from whatever speed you’re operating at. As you hold the brake, you’ll come to a stop. When you release the brake the tractor will go back to whatever speed you were operating at. It’s called Auto Clutch, because when you hit the brake the tractor will automatically clutch itself. That’s available with the CommandQuad transmission.”
These two tractors get one of Deere’s 4.8-litre diesel engines that offer the brand’s Intelligent Power Management (IPM) power bulge that can feed another 20 horsepower through to the drive axles when needed. And that power can flow through a choice of three different transmission options.
The 6110M and 6120M debuted in September and at that time dealers began accepting orders for delivery beginning in February and March.
“At the end of the day,” says McMillan, “we’re bringing a tractor that’s re-imagined and redesigned.”