Dealers took a chance to escape reality with a trip down to Orlando to test out new products and models John Deere has been working on.
John Deere's 2014 Ride and Drive event is a two and a half day event that gives dealers a chance to test out the equipment and speak face-to-face with the Marketing and Training teams at John Deere. The dealers are broken up into groups and sent to stations, each with a specific focus. After a brief educational presentation, the dealers got to hop up on the equipment and become familiar with the products they'll be selling to their customers.
The highlight of this year's event was the release of six new compact utility tractors: the 4044M, 4052M, 4066M, 4044R, 4052R and 4066R. These tractors were built off of six years of customer research on what operators liked and didn't like of both John Deere and competitors' tractors. At the event, dealers were also able to hop up on these tractors and test them out against competitors' models on obstacle courses, and doing normal tasks such as lifting logs and moving dirt.
Tuesday morning, most attendees seemed interested in John Deere's newest feature: the Hitch Assist, which comes standard on the 4R Series. The Hitch Assist allows operators to control the tractor from the ground as they go through the process of hooking up an attachment. It cuts down on the time required by eliminating the need for operators to go back and forth to line up the tractor to the attachment. As an optional kit, customers can also get the Hitch Downforce on the 4R, which provides additional downward force to the 3 point hitch and rear elements.
A few other highlights of the event:
- The new H180 loaders for the 4R Series features a self-leveling option and a Quik-Park mounting system that allows for removal/mounting without the need of tools.
- The D170 Loader is both 4M and 4R compatible and is made for the customer who doesn't need to take the loader off their tractor.
- The 485A Backhoe can be installed in five minutes, which was demonstrated and timed at the event.
- Although the hitch lift capacities of the new tractors seemed low to some dealers, testing in the field proved that their weight limit was in fact higher than advertised, and also higher than other competitors advertised as well.
- The 4R Series meets the customer’s request for more tool storage, offering a center console storage area and a left hand fender tool compartment, as well as an optional toolbox attached to the front of the tractor.
For more information on these and other John Deere tractors, click here.