Deere has been recognised for its sustainable farming focus at this year’s DesignEuropa Awards for its John Deere 8 Series tractor, in particular for the four-track model 8RX. The tractor was an Industry Award finalist at the awards run by the European Union Intellectual Property Office, which celebrates excellence in design and design management. Introduced in 2019, the 8 Series range represents the latest and greatest of all of Deere’s efforts to reduce environmental impacts in agriculture. Among other factors, the 8RX’s four track design received a lot of praise, thanks to its drive technology, according to John Deere product marketing manager – large tractors Simon Schowalter. “With a tracked machine, there’s almost no slip, so you have a very different torque situation and different vibration frequencies that go into the tractor,” Mr Schowalter said. “That requires a different design from front to rear, including different axles, reinforced chassis components, and a dedicated suspension to get it right.” But, Schowalter explained the pay off for this can be huge. “The 8RX weighs about 20 tonnes,” he said. “But its footprint is over 4.6 square metres, so it exerts less than 0.4 kilograms per square centimetre pressure on the soil - that’s just as much as my own feet. “And with normal 900 section single wheel tires, about 25% of the field is rolled over whereas with the four-track 8RX, that’s reduced to 20%.” This results in a reduction of ground compaction and in less area of the field. “Less compaction means better water absorption,” he said. “That means less rainwater runoff, so less soil loss, reduced loss of the nutrients carrier in the rainwater, and more water available for crops to bridge dry periods with water also being the nutrient carrier. Schowalter discussed the other benefits available as well. “Basic fuel efficiency is 20% better than with tires,” he said. “And speed of operation can be improved as well. “Because of operator comfort, farmers can traverse their fields faster, especially over rough fields. “The tracks glide over rough terrain, so the operator doesn’t feel the bumps.” Schowalter said Deere was focused on bringing intelligence together with new drive concepts to improve agriculture.