Testing the John Deere 8R

Spectacular looks and a large cab with a massage seat (optional) are innovations for the John Deere 8R 410. Its performance is also impressive.

Thanks to a partnership with BMW Designworks in California, the new 8R is recognizable even from afar by its sharp lines on the cab roof, daytime running lights and colored mirrors. The only pity is that the size of the mirrors suffered from the styling change. And if you look at the large fender extensions at the back, they certainly do their job, but, in our opinion, not so chic anymore…

9L displacement and twin turbochargers

A peek under the easy-to-open hood reveals that the latest generation 8R is powered by the famous Deere Power Systems (DPS) six-cylinder 9L engine (8R 280, 8R 310 and 8R 340). only one turbocharger, but with variable vane geometry (VTG). Variator was used to change the fan speed on the old Stage IV engine, the new 8R series goes back to a viscous fan. Perhaps a fan with adjustable blades, such as the Hägele Cleanfix that John Deere uses on the X9 combines, would be even more efficient. In the latest generation 8R, components such as the alternator (250- or 330-amp versions are currently available), air compressors and air conditioner have been moved from the hot zone behind the engine forward, closer to the radiator. According to John Deere, this should significantly extend the life of these components.

High Power

According to the brochure, the 8R 410 tractor we tested has 302 kW/410 hp and a maximum power output of 326 kW/443 hp at 1,900 rpm. Added to this is Intelligent Power Management (IPM), which provides an extra 35 hp at a rated speed of 2,100 rpm when operating with the PTO and towing at speeds above 23 km/h. To see if the John Deere 8R lives up to the brochure’s promise to deliver 94% power to the wheels, we put the 410 on the DLG test rig. At rated power without a supercharger the power takeoff reached almost 277 kW/371 hp. Finally, it is worth mentioning the supercharger, which produced 303 kW/406 hp at rated speed and a maximum of 311 kW/417 hp at PTO, which is a very good result.

Low fuel consumption

Diesel consumption is similar: 223 g/kWh at rated speed and 221 g/kWh at maximum power – almost as economical as the famous 8400R. The same goes for AdBlue consumption, which the 8R has a very low 5-6 g/kWh, despite Stage V compliance. So we are not surprised that in the powermix measurements the result is 240 g/kWh (+ 9 g/kWh AdBlue), values comparable to the 8400R (238 + 9 g/kWh) – very good! With the increase in diesel tank capacity from 690 liters to 764 liters, we’re sure to be ready to go on the longest days, even with heavy transport tasks. Despite the fact that the 8R is not a typical transport tractor,

In addition to the well-known Powershift 16/5 and continuously variable transmissions, John Deere offers the optional Powershift e23, which is the only transmission available on all five models. While the simple 16/5 transmission is only available on the 8R 340, the AutoPowr stepless transmission is also available on the 8R 370. The top-of-the-line 8R 410 is available only with the e23 transmission, which John Deere recommends for heavy-duty traction work. As for traction: the question is how much the machine can actually pull. According to DLG, the 8R 410 tractor has reached a maximum power output of 280.5 kW. At 93% of rated power, that doesn’t quite match what John Deere promises. But we want to be fair: performance is excellent – and in professional tests so far, only the stepless Fendt 1050 Vario has pulled more (but its engine also has 54 kW / 73 hp more power).


The specific fuel consumption of 239 g/kWh (+6 g/kWh AdBlue) when towing with a manual transmission is a very good result. However, the fact that the e23 is a manual transmission – despite all the automatic features – has typical drawbacks. For example, the minimum speed of 2.5 km/h, even with large mulchers or tillage implements, is exaggerated and with faster ones (PTO), such as a round baler, speed jumps become quite large (12.7/14.8 /16.9 km/h…) – with a continuously variable transmission these problems do not arise.