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profi Tractor Test: Pure Performance (2008)

August 25, 2008
 
 


New engine for John Deere 8530 maintains powerful reputation

John Deere 8530
Data Sheet

Before tractor manufacturers transitioned to Tier 3 engines, there was speculation in the industry of a power drop. The John Deere 8530 proves the skeptics wrong with a whopping 275 PTO hp. 

To meet the more stringent emission standards being adopted around the world, John Deere engineers designed the PowerTech Plus engine. This engine uses the same four-valve technology and common-rail fuel injection as its predecessor. Now, though, it features a 9.0-liter capacity and employs variable geometry turbocharger, external exhaust gas recirculation and speed-controlled Vari-Cool radiator fan.

Thanks to the Intelligent Power Management (IPM) system, the John Deere 8530 is capable of providing a maximum output of 365 engine hp during PTO work at speeds more than 0.06 mph and is activated during transport applications at speeds more than 14.2 mph. These power boosts offer more than an off-and-on feature; they provide a variety of torque curves at half loads and travel speeds. Employing this technology results in a more flexible power delivery.

The figures recorded    by the test team support the performance claims from John Deere with a 43% torque rise, 31% constant power and 27% extra power. Measuring PTO output with and without IPM, the test team recorded 28 hp of extra power at rated speed.
It's inevitable that the Tier 3 engines are less fuel efficient, but this tractor does not gorge itself on diesel using 0.370 lb./hp/hr and 0.372 lb./hp/hr.

Standard on the John Deere 8530 is an infinitely variable transmission (IVT) with a 26 mph top transport speed. There is an optional 31 mph top speed at 1,750 rpm. The stepless transmission is easy to master: Select the direction of travel, push the stick forward within the appropriate band, and then step on the foot throttle. The pairing of the PowerTech Plus engine with IVT provides smooth operation and powerful performance.

During the test, the team noticed the John Deere 8530's extra 22.7 hp failed to show up on the drawbar power stats when compared with profi results for the John Deere 8520, which should not have been the case. The cause for this couldn't be pinpointed to the difference in the two transmissions and is unresolved.

Controlling the IVT is now easier since the fine-tuning dial on the joystick is shielded against accidental adjustment. The only difficulty occurs when using the console-mounted display, which allows the operator to set the PTO speed at low, medium/low, medium/high or high speed. The test team didn't find a major change in engine and transmission operation between the settings.

At the back of the tractor, operators will find two PTO speeds—1,000 rpm and 540 rpm. The Category IV three-point hitch provides 10.69 tons of continuous lift. The optional 60-gal. pump increases output to 66 gal./min. Hydraulic couplers are outfitted with time and flow-control setups. One coupler can not be controlled from outside the cab.

With a 47.24' turning circle (front-wheel drive engaged), this tractor's turning ability ranks well within its size group. The front-wheel-drive engagement features only one disengagement point at 12.7 mph, and the differential lock button is positioned on the floor of the cab. The steering wheel adjustment provides adequate movement up/down and in/out.

All of this power comes in a fairly heavy package. The tractor tips the scale at 28,186 lb., which includes the 2,866-lb. wheel weights that mount inside the wheels. The 19.84 tons of gross vehicle weight results in a payload of 5.7 tons. In North America, this model's ideal weight on the front axle is 35%.

The company designed the tractor to sport a shorter wheel with greater traction and restricted tire height to 6.72'. The test tractor was also outfitted with AutoTrac automatic steering. This will soon be available as a bundle with iTec Pro, which completely automates headland turns using GPS. The test team thought the John Deere 8530 was easier to steer than the 8520.

The John Deere 8530 features a spacious cab and visibility is notable from the driver's seat. The test tractor featured two in-cab options: leather seat and active seat. The sound level was 73.6 dB(A).

The tractor's cab is a bit cluttered with five in-cab displays: GreenStar 2, one on the A pillar and three on the arm rest control.

The 180-gal. fuel tank is big enough to sustain a 12-hour shift. The tractor's 8 gal. of engine oil needs to be changed at a 250-hour interval, which can be extended to 350 hours if the operator uses John Deere Plus 50 oil. The 1,500-hour interval for changing the 42 gal. of transmission and hydraulic oil is standard.

This tractor features improved muscle in the field and on the road. The John Deere 8530 is identified as a true performer, which is evident by the 316.88 hp at rated output, 338.74 hp at maximum power, 10.69-tons of continuous lift and 66.65 hp of hydraulic output.Best of all, the high performance doesn't come at the fuel expense that some expected with the inclusion of a Tier 3 engine.
 

John Deere 8530

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - December 2008

 
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