John Deere debuts 4 Family compact utility tractors

February 26, 2014 -  By
Product: John Deere's 4052M

John Deere’s 4052M, as well as 5 other 4 Family models, will be available in dealerships in April.

Product: John Deere's 4052M

Jonathan Nordrum, of MN Equipment Solutions, tests out the 4066M.

John Deere introduced its 4 Family of compact utility tractors (CUT) Feb. 25 at its 2014 Ride & Drive in Orlando, Fla., the company’s annual dealer training event.

Comprised of six models—the 4044M, 4052M, 4066M, 4044R, 4052R and 4066R—the new CUTs are slated to hit dealerships in April.

The models were designed based on six years of customer research on its older CUT lineup.

“Customers told us they wanted to spend less time installing and removing implements, wanted the ability to carry and store more tools, desired a more comfortable ride and requested the ability to work in low-light conditions,” said Scott Schadler, John Deere product marketing manager.

John Deere’s response is as follows.

The 4M, alongside John Deere’s 5055E utility tractor, is presumed to compete against Kubota’s MX5100. It’s list priced around $5,000 more than the MX5100.

Looking beyond the seat for comfort, the 4M’s operation station features a flat floor, ergonomic controls and a fully independent PTO. The machine is equipped with a hydrostatic transmission with Twin Touch pedals.

Hydraulic options are available for using attachments and optional wheel spacers may offer 11 inches of additional room on the axle.

Photo: 4R Series

The 4R series features a transmission control pad that was built to resemble car controls.

Product: John Deere 4Rs

A John Deere professional shows dealers how to use Hitch Assist on 4Rs.

Boasted by John Deere as its premium CUT, the company expects its 4R to be a competitor to Kubota’s Grand L. On cost, the 4R’s list price is 3 to 5 percent less than the Grand L. The 4R is listed at $33,672.

A power reverser transmission on the 4R slows the transmission down when the operator uses the forward or reverse control function, eliminating the need to use a clutch to change direction.

A buzzed-about standard feature on the 4R was its Hitch Assist, which allows operators to control the tractor and hitch from the behind the machine using a three buttons on the fender, eliminating the need to go back and forth from the seat to the attach a hitch. The feature won an AGRITECHNICA award in 2013.

Per customer request, the 4R offers plentiful tool storage with standard tool boxes in the center consoles storage area and left fender as well as one optional on the front of the machine.

To address comfort, the seat on the 4R may swivel 15 degrees to either side for ease of exit from the machine. It may don additional work lights as well that can be installed on the ROPS.

An optional switch-activated downforce kit, useful for posthole digging and tillage, is available for the 4R. Like the 4M, optional wheel spacers provide 11 inches of additional width.

The H180 loader, compatible with the 4R, dons bucket loops.

The H180 loader, compatible with the 4R, has bucket loops.

All 4R models feature integrated hydrostatic transmission controls on a single panel that resembles controls on a car. Functions include eThrottle that matches engine RPM to hydrostat pedal position; LoadMatch to automatically adjusts engine-speed based on load; MotionMatch to adjust the responsiveness of the transmission; and SpeedMatch to enable automotive-style cruise control.

In hand with the 4 Family launch, John Deere rolled out new implements, including the D170 loader, H180 loader and 485A backhoe. The D170 loader is 4M and 4R compatible and a factory-installed option on the 4M. The H180 is 4R compatible and features a self-leveling option and a Quik-Park mounting system that allows for removal/mounting without the need of tools. The loader also dons bucket loops. The 485A backhoe can be installed in five minutes, the company says.

All 4 Family tractors come standard with an open operator station. An optional ComfortGard Cab is available on the 4R.

Photos: Sarah Pfledderer/Landscape Management

About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

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