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Stackyard News Nov 2012

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John Deere DirectDrive Sets Benchmark for Fuel Efficiency

Following an extensive road test conducted by technical experts from the Schleswig Holstein Chamber of Agriculture in Germany on behalf of John Deere, the company’s newly designed DirectDrive transmission with double clutch technology has proved to be a highly fuel efficient and time saving alternative to existing continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).

DirectDrive transmission can lead to fuel and time savings in road transport applications.

DirectDrive transmission

Designed to complement the results of the standard PowerMix test, which focuses on field applications at speeds of less than 16kph, a road test was set up to assess the fuel and extra liquid consumption of three tractor makes covering four models from 237 to 261hp (maximum ratings), under varying load conditions. The 165km test track featured flat roads, junctions and hilly sections with slopes of up to 12 per cent.

Before testing, each of the tractors was prepared in the same way, with identical tyre pressures and ballast. The tractors were driven unladen and with an 18-tonne trailer filled with gravel, and four drivers from German contractors were hired to perform the tests.

After each drive, the machines were refuelled with diesel and, except for the two diesel-only John Deere tractors, with AdBlue. Throughout the test, fuel temperatures and machine performance details were recorded, as well as tractor speeds and test track related data. In total, the operators drove more than 5000km to achieve reliable test results.

John Deere 6210R

John Deere 6210R
Of the four machines, the John Deere 6210R equipped with DirectDrive recorded the lowest total liquid (diesel plus additive) consumption per kilometer in both categories, ie with and without the trailer. Total cost of the fuel used by the 6210R with its innovative transmission was five per cent less than the average cost of the combined fuel and liquid used by the four tractors.

“Since the DirectDrive solution combines the comfort of a stepless transmission with the efficiency of a mechanical transmission, higher average speeds were also recorded for the 6210R. The resulting saving would lower the overall operating costs even further,” says Alexander Berges, division marketing manager of John Deere’s Mannheim tractor factory.

“In conclusion, we can say that the 6210R DirectDrive tractor was indeed five per cent more fuel efficient than the overall average. And if you look at this five per cent cost efficiency improvement, it may be worthwhile considering when making a purchasing decision. Five per cent in terms of fuel efficiency is worth a lot of money,” says technical expert Herrmann Thomsen of the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Agriculture.

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