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Vacuum is created by a hydraulically driven vacuum blower assembly mounted on the planter frame. The vacuum blower requires a tractor with a closed-center hydraulic system and a separate selective control valve (SCV). For tractors with open-center hydraulic system, a vacuum 540- or 1000-rpm power take-off (PTO)-driven hydraulic pump system is available. PTO pumps offered from the factory are limited to 15-row applications or less.
Different vacuum levels are required depending on the crop being planted. A hydraulic control valve lets the operator regulate vacuum blower speed, changing the vacuum level. On late-model John Deere tractors, vacuum levels are set from the tractor seat using the SCV controls. The control valve is not needed in those applications. At full flow, the system flows up to 18.9 L/min (5 gpm) per motor.
Convenient vacuum gauges located on the planter hitch give a visual indication of the vacuum level. When using a SeedStar™ monitor, the vacuum level can be displayed on the monitor. Consult the vacuum metering seed charts in the operator's manual for initial vacuum setting recommendations.
All planters with vacuum metering systems have case drain motors on the vacuum blowers. Case drain lines will have a flush-face case drain coupler on the planter and will require a corresponding flush-face case drain coupler on the tractor. The flush-face coupler simplifies implement attachment by allowing operators to easily identify the case drain. The unique hose tip is unable to connect to another coupler on the tractor, ensuring the correct setup.
It is important to connect this case drain hose to prevent the continuous and complete draining of hydraulic fluid due to the relief feature that opens the coupler when the pressure reaches 10 psi. This relief feature is designed to protect the motor shaft seal if for any reason the case drain hose was not connected to the tractor. The flush-face hose tips have less back pressure than ISO case drain tips, and the flat surface makes these couplers easy to clean, providing less chance for contamination.
The case drain line is also used with all Central Commodity System (CCS™) fan motors.
Seed variable-rate drive provides the ultimate planting productivity by utilizing one, two, or three hydraulic motors (varies by model) to turn the seeding drive shaft. Hydraulic control of the seeding drive allows for on-the-go seeding rate changes right from the display mounted inside the tractor cab. Combine this seeding flexibility with the map-based planting option, and seeding rates adjust automatically based on the prescribed map.
Variable-rate drive offers the following advantages over common, ground, or contact-tire drive systems:
Single- or dual-motor systems for variable-rate drives are available for all John Deere planters except the 1785 Rigid Frame. Variable-rate drive is available as a factory-installed option for all applicable planter models.
Single- or dual-motor systems are available as field-installed attachments for most planter models; however, a three-motor variable-rate drive field-installed attachment is not available.
Seed variable-rate drive requires the SeedStar™ monitor and a radar input signal. Either tractor or planter radar may be used. Planter radar is ordered separately.
NOTE: Peanut seed meter disks require the Variable Drive Transmission.
The MaxEmerge family of row-units have never seen a more versatile and efficient design until the MaxEmerge 5. The 5-family row-units improve productivity, increase uptime and lower the cost of ownership like never before.
The MaxEmerge 5 row-unit was designed for improved performance and serviceability.
Serviceability and changing crops has always been a focus of downtime and potential seed loss. MaxEmerge XP row-units (shown on the left) are designed with the meter and hopper as one component. The frame covers the meter so that it cannot be accessed. Cleanout of excess seed requires the operator to take the entire hopper off of the row-unit and to turn it upside down. The MaxEmerge 5 meter (shown on the right) is accessible without having to remove the box. The MaxEmerge 5 design allows large hoppers to be cleaned out the same as mini-hoppers, simply by opening the meter dome and catching the seed as it falls out. This improvement allows operators to change seed varieties easier and three times faster than it took them on the previous MaxEmerge XP units and provides more uptime during the tight planting window.
The vacuum meter system gently pulls and holds individual seeds to the holes of the seed disk for population control and spacing accuracy, equaling better crop stands and profit. Vacuum seed meters can plant a wide variety of crops and seed types by simply changing seed disks and adjusting vacuum level. Vacuum seed meters are available for planters with MaxEmerge 5 row-units.
Additional features of the vacuum seed meter include:
For difficult to singulate seeds, a flat seed disk and double eliminator is a viable alternative to traditional cell-type seed disks. By design, a flat seed disk requires higher levels of vacuum than a cell-type disk because there is no pocket or cell to hold the seed. The higher vacuum level will pull more than one seed to the holes in the seed disk. The double eliminator is set to cover a portion of the hole in the seed disk and is the mechanism to knock multiple seeds away as the disk rotates.
Double eliminators are required with flat-type seed disks only and should not be used with cell-type seed disks. The knockout wheel is also recommended in conjunction with the double eliminator and flat seed disk to ensure seed is ejected from the disk.
Flat and celled type seed metering disks are available to allow planting a wide variety of seed types.
Mini-hopper row-units, which are used only with the Central Commodity System (CCS™) are compatible only with crops that the CCS is approved to plant.
NOTE: Due to small seed size and low planting populations, sugar beets can be planted with mini-hopper style meters by adding hopper extensions and not using the CCS tank. These hopper extensions can also be used for planting test plots.
The MaxEmerge 5 meter shape has also been redesigned for better seed flow. The mini-hopper design allows the planter to successfully operate on side hills up to 14 degrees.
Both the MaxEmerge 5 vacuum meters are equipped with a heavy-duty hub spring and disk latching handle. The spring ensures the seed disk stays properly positioned when operating flat-style seed disks and higher vacuum levels. Proper seed disk positioning means repeatable seed singulation, time after time. The disk-latching handle is designed for easy operation and effortless seed disk changeover. The hub is also machined to tight tolerances to further ensure alignment of metering components.
The vacuum seed meter is capable of operating at faster planting speeds than mechanical meters. However, planting accuracy will be influenced by seedbed conditions and the operating characteristics of the seed meter. Rough seedbeds and fast planting speeds (above 8.9 km/h [5.5 mph]) typically deteriorate seed placement accuracies when using seed tube technology.
The chart illustrates the effect operating speed has on population when using the vacuum meter. The operating band (color area) illustrates how the vacuum meter performs in relation to the desired population (indicated by horizontal line). The width of the band is due to various sizes and shapes of seeds and planting rate variations.
When operating on slopes above 15 degrees, increased or decreased population may result. To minimize this effect, reduce speed and consider using a flat style seed disk with increased vacuum level.
The ProMAX 40 Flat Disk: The flat-disk planting solution field-proven to work since 1991
The design of the ProMAX 40 Flat Disk position allows seed to be released from the optimum position above the seed tube. The flush-face seed tube allows the seed to drop uninterrupted through the tube.
The ProMAX 40 Flat Disk utilizes flat holes and a higher vacuum level to ensure every hole is populated with a seed. A double eliminator gently removes multiple seeds at each hole for precise population control. A knockout wheel makes certain that each hole is clear of any debris after the seed is released from the disk.
The unique cell disk design allows planting a variety of seed sizes without any additional parts or individual meter adjustments. Another advantage of cell-type seed disks is the lower vacuum requirement compared to flat-style seed disks. Lower vacuum levels mean less hydraulic demand from the tractor. Most planting conditions call for a flat disk, if you are limited in hydraulic capacity, cell disks are recommended.
One of the trademark capabilities of John Deere planters has always been the ability of the Tru-Vee™ openers to provide an ideal seed furrow.
The thickness of the Tru-Vee opener blade is 3.5 mm (0.14 in.) this blade thickness will provide extended wear life.
The MaxEmerge 5 row-unit also provides better Tru-Vee opener bearings for longer life. The double-row ball bearing provides up to three times the wear life as the single-row bearing.
Also, to help with meter access of 56-L and 106-L (1.6-bu and 3-bu) hoppers the hopper shutoff feature was added. With the shutoff engaged, the meter cover can be opened without first having to remove all of the seeds from the hopper. Lever down, the seed flow is on, lever horizontal and the seed flow is off.
There are significant changes to the MaxEmerge 5 Mini-Hopper. One update is the straight feed from the Central Commodity System (CCS™) hose to the mini-hopper to ensure a continuous free flow of seeds. This design change reduces the potential for plugging issues with larger seed size and the use of seed treatments. By drawing air from the CCS tank the vacuum source is now cleaner, preventing meter debris buildup.
Ductile iron casting is a unique high-tech process that produces a single-piece row-unit shank this enables alignment from the seed trench to the closing wheel.
The row-unit head is also designed using the ductile iron-casting process. The row-unit head provides the mating joints between the row-unit parallel arms and the row-unit shank. It is also the upper attaching point for the seed meter and seed hopper.
Ductile iron casting of the row-unit shank and head assembly provides a row-unit that is 25 percent stronger than other competitive welded row-units.
Rubber tire closing systems are used for most conventional, minimum-till, and no-till planting conditions. The spacing between the wheels is adjustable so the closing system can meet the needs of those who want to plant small seeds at shallow depths.
The wheels can also be staggered fore and aft to enhance residue flow. Four levels of spring force are available and are easily set with the integrated T-handle adjustment. A lower force spring can be obtained from parts, if a lower amount of force is required.
Additional closing wheel options include:
John Deere planters provide consistent seed depth control in all field conditions. Depth control is a function of the Tru-Vee openers, the downforce system, and the gauge wheel assembly.
The gauge wheel itself is made of durable nylon composition with a concave profile. This profile gently firms the sides of the seed furrow, ensuring a well-defined trench. The shape reduces rocks and residue being picked up and thrown onto the drive chains and row-units, and helps to prevent rooster tailing of soil.
The bolt-through design utilizes an open bearing in the gauge wheel that allows an attaching bolt to pass through the wheel to the threaded hole in the gauge wheel arm. This simple bolt-through design provides for a positive attachment of the gauge wheel to the gauge wheel arm and allows quick removal of the gauge wheel for service.
Adjustability of the row-unit is critical to good performance. More available downforce options than any row unit in the industry
The ground-engaging drive wheel system is a simple, proven, and reliable way to power the seed transmission(s). As the drive wheel turns, power is transmitted through a single-pitch drive chain to the jack shaft, on to the seed transmission, and out to the seed meters. Slip-clutch protected, spring-loaded idlers and steel sprockets provide a smooth-operating, dependable chain drive.
The ground-contact drive system has the following common features:
1705, 1715, and 1725 Planters (except 1725 16Row30) are driven from one rear-mounted, ground-contact wheel.
A 1735 Planter is driven by one, front-mounted, ground-contact wheel.
Using ground-contact drive wheels much like the integral planters, the 1755 Drawn Planter utilizes two drive wheels.
Integrated innovation--that is what operators will appreciate with the SeedStar 2 monitoring system and GreenStar™ 2 (GS2) Display. An increasing number of acres combined with rising seed costs drive the need to easily understand planter functions and monitor performance. It is all about making every seed count and that is what SeedStar 2 delivers.
The SeedStar 2 monitoring system is a full-feature, color, seed population monitor used in conjunction with the GreenStar family of displays (Generation 4 CommandCenter™ controls with premium activation, GS 2630, GS 2600 Display or the entry-level GS2 1800 Display). Conveniently, SeedStar 2 planting functions are fully integrated with the full spectrum of AMS applications—guidance, coverage maps, and field documentation can be shown all on one display.
When a SeedStar 2 system is used on a planter, there is no need for a ComputerTrak™ monitor. All vital planting information is displayed in one central, easy-to-read location.
SeedStar 2 is a user-friendly system that has retained all the valued features of SeedStar and incorporated the next generation of enhancements. For example, on-screen, color indicators shows drive engagement/disengagement status. In addition, three color (black, orange, or red) planter at a glance bars visually inform the operator of row population status.
Not only does SeedStar 2 incorporate the use of color, it also utilizes an intuitive icon and folder based operator interface. Icons are easy to understand across many languages and reduce the need for text. Icons for planter main run page, planter setup, seed/crop setup, totals, and diagnostics are located in the soft-key region of the display. Setup is performed by selecting the appropriate icon and then choosing the tabs to enter/select information.
The SeedStar 2 monitor offers all of the features and functionality of the ComputerTrak™ 350 monitor and much more. SeedStar 2 monitors the following planter functions:
In addition, planter operational information is available within the SeedStar 2 monitor system. Such operational information includes population charts, seed disk vacuum settings, and setting recommendations for the piston pump liquid fertilizer system.
All SeedStar 2 systems have the capability, through a single controller, to perform both the seed monitoring and variable rate drive functions. SeedStar 2 monitoring is required for VRD population control. Even though the planter may not be equipped with SeedStar 2 VRD, the SeedStar 2 monitoring system is available and will allow for future installation of VRD.
SeedStar 2 retains all those SeedStar features that producers value and have come to expect:
The SeedStar 2 enhanced planter features include:
Pneumatic downforce provides convenient, simple adjustment of downforce for the whole planter from one location. The amount of downforce applied is infinitely adjustable from 0 kg to 181.80 kg (0 lb to 400 lb). Pneumatic downforce provides more consistent downforce throughout the range of row-unit travel than mechanical spring downforce systems.
Several pneumatic downforce system improvements have been implemented, including:
Such improvements to the pneumatic downforce system enable faster and more precise control of row-unit downforce while planting.
Each row-unit has a single, rubber air bag located between the parallel arms. The air bags are hooked in parallel so that air can be added or released from all rows at once from one location.
Pneumatic downforce systems are available as base equipment on all 1700 Series and DB Planters. The individual pneumatic downforce air bag assemblies, air compressor units, and 9.5-mm (3/8-in.) delivery lines are also available as an attachment for field conversion.
An improved compressor is used to charge the pneumatic system. This compressor can be located on the planter frame or in the tractor cab if desired. A gauge at the compressor indicates the amount of downforce being applied.
From the factory, integral planter models with pneumatic downforce will have an improved air compressor assembly with an in-cab mounting bracket, except the 1725 16-row and 1725 Central Commodity System (CCS™ ) Twin-Row Planters will have the air compressor assembly mounted on the planter frame. For drawn planter models, the 1755, 1765, 1765NT, 1775 Front-Fold, and 1785 Drawn Planters will have the air compressor assembly installed either on the outer hitch or wing frame members when the pneumatic downforce system is installed.