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Big news from John Deere

With an eye catching announcement on February 28, John Deere takes the lead in the tractor horsepower race. It is introducing the most powerful four-wheel drive production ag tractor ever built, surpassing Case IH’s 715 horsepower Steiger, which only debuted this past fall and briefly held that record.

With three new 9RX models, the 9RX 710, 9RX 770 and 9RX 830 that produce rated horsepower comparable to their model numbers, Deere’s expanded 9RX Series stuffs an incredible number of ponies under the hoods of these tractors. They get that muscle from a new 18-litre diesel that relies on EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) as the exhaust after treatment, without SCR and eliminating the need for DEF. With that system, Deere says the JD18 engine still meets Final Tier 4 and Sage V emissions standards.

“It’s a Deere engine, internally developed over the past couple of years,” said Aaron Wetzel, vice president of production systems for production and precision ag at John Deere. “And this is our first application of that engine into our tractor portfolio.”

Topping out at 830 horsepower, the new models also offer 168 g.p.m. ( 638 l/mn) of hydraulic capacity, and they’re capable of being ballasted up to 84,000 pounds (38,101 kg) to create traction.

“We have track-only versions for this upper horsepower market,” said Wetzel. “We’ve got to get that horsepower to the ground, but also have to make sure we have the lowest level of compaction possible. We see the track solutions are enabling customers to provide power, but also improve the overall footprint of the vehicle. We believe the track solution is the best for our customers.”

The new tractors represent more than tweaks to the existing 9RX platforms, Deere says they are a “from-the-ground-up redesign”, which isn’t surprising given the overall engineering required to handle that boost in available horsepower.

“We’ve had this product in development for quite some time,” said Wetzel. “We’ve put on numerous hours working with customers all over the world in varying environments. In the development process we try to put our machines through as many different conditions as possible to ensure when this product shows up on the farm of one of our customers it’s ready to work and it’s ready to perform. So we invested heavily in doing the testing for what it needs to achieve in many customer segments.”

While there have been numerous “spy” pictures on social media of the big tractors out on field trials over the past couple of years, they made their official public debut at the Commodity Classic farm show in the U.S. in February. And there turns out to be much more to talk about on these tractors than just pure muscle growth.

These model year 2025 tractors offer an autonomy-ready option package that will allow them to run in a fully autonomous mode once Deere makes that digital solution commercially available, which the brand says won’t be far off. The autonomy-ready package can now be ordered on all other 2025 9 and 8 Series tractors as a factory option.

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