TRACTOR TEST: The 6155R has proved to be a best seller in the UK and Ireland — we reckon it accounts for 20-25% of Deere’s sales in these two markets — so could the 6R185 be the next big thing for those wanting more power in the same package? Read on to see what we think of a 136kW/185hp tractor that boosts to 172kW/234hp.

Following on from our April test on the John Deere 6R150, many of the good and bad points apply in equal measure to the 6R185, which shares the same cab, operation etc.

Yet there are differences. For starters, there’s the engine. Instead of four cylinders, the 185 has a six-pot, 6.8-litre Deere Power Systems
motor under its shiny green bonnet. And the PVS abbreviation in the engine designation indicates that instead of two in-line turbos (PSS), the charger sports variable geometry. We were keen to see what this and the extra displacement brought to the performance party, so we asked the DLG to hitch up the test tractor to its dyno.

But a quick note on the cooling pack: unlike the 6R150, Deere splits the radiator pack. The intercooler on the higher-horsepower 6R tractors sits almost horizontally above the other rads and is supplied with air from below by a hydraulic-drive fan — relatively elaborate but effective, according to John Deere.

Almost a 40hp boost
On the DLG dyno, only 112.2kW/150.5hp of the promised 136kW/185hp engine power arrived at the back-end at nominal speed. It’s a good thing that the claimed 14kW/18hp of extra power was a good deal higher when the pto maxed out at 132kW/177hp. To this you need to add the boost, which kicks in during pto and transport work as well as when hydraulic power is in demand.

With IPM (Intelligent Power Management), the engine power increases to 165kW//211hp at nominal speed and even 172kW/230hp maximum power, according to the brochure spec sheet. Of this, the DLG was able to find 141.3kW/189.5hp and 149.4kW/200.3hp at the pto stub shaft — which is fine. The diesel consumption is also more than acceptable: 261g/kWh at rated speed and only 236g/kW at maximum power (without boost) are very good — especially since the Deere also only consumes a max of 10g/kWh of AdBlue to comply with Stage V exhaust emission regs.

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