John Deere spent almost a month this summer in Columbus, Ohio, training their 4,800 dealers on its new iron and technology coming in 2014. I arrived with other media during the last wave of 1,200 dealers to witness the event and drive the new 7R series tractors.
As with all engine-powered equipment companies, Deere talked about their version of Tier 4 Final engines designed to meet the tougher emission standards, found on the new tractors. But the bigger news is the new e23 Power Shift transmission, the redesigned CommandARM and a 7- or 10-inch video display. Dealers were also impressed with two new completely redesigned self-propelled sprayers, tracks for combines, as well as new FarmSight capabilities.
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Luke Gakstatter, Deere’s VP of agriculture/turf sales and marketing for the U.S. and Canada, kicked off the dealer show by emphasizing, “It’s really all about delivering distinctive value. But we can’t do it alone, it must be done through the power of our partnership with our dealers.” He emphasized Deere’s three value drivers – performance, uptime and cost of operation. “And our new products and services truly embody these three values.”
In his talk about technology, he drove home the importance of FarmSight, and packaging it up to truly provide unique solutions for producers. “All of us recognize the significant opportunities that exist in production agriculture, to take a significant amount of data that is generated from the farm, and we’re all about helping producers invest in real solutions that add value, such as JDLink, MyJohnDeere, our wireless data transfer and remote display access.”
“We have a proud heritage of innovation at Deere,” Gakstatter added. “We’re spending $3 million per day on R&D, as we know we have to continue doing things different. Real innovation is needed.”