John Deere's S690 combine offers 625hp.
John Deere is already the world's largest manufacturer of combines, producing more than twice as many as its closest competitor, but with the introduction of the new S-Series for 2012, the company is also now offering the most powerful combine at 625hp.
    Other features of the new S Series include: new threshing and separation from a new rotor; active tailings return and adjustable top cover vanes; new cleaning shoe and clean grain handling; new drives and transmission options; new high-performance residue options for the widest headers; new cab, controls, displays and electrohydraulics for increased comfort and control; larger grain tanks and a higher unloading rate; and the option of John Deere's exclusive new track design.
    In addition, new telematics and intelligent solutions for improved management and documentation mean this is the biggest development in John Deere's 100-year history of harvesting technology. The S Series is also totally focused on European small grain performance, and has been designed to provide customers with more performance, reliability and control, and deliver more high-quality grain into the store, as well as best-in-class residue management.
    John Deere's new S-Series Premium Cab not only keeps operators alert, relaxed and highly productive, it also features a logical and ergonomic design of all the important combine controls. Within the 30 per cent larger cab space, there is a more comfortable driver's seat with four-way adjustable air suspension, including lumbar adjustment for back support, allowing the operator to focus fully on the task ahead. A larger instructor seat provides extra room and comfort for a passenger, and if not needed it can be easily converted into a field office with space for a laptop computer.
    Due to the tinted safety glass around the cab and slim corner posts, the operator enjoys an almost uninterrupted view of the harvesting operation. With a camera installed, the cab's GreenStar 3 armrest display accepts video inputs, with customised automatic triggers to monitor the rear of the combine, the grain tank or the unloading auger for all-round visibility and control from one display. Adding to the operator's overall comfort are an efficient air-conditioning system, sunshades, a refrigerator and a premium radio package.
    The Premium Cab also provides effortless control over all harvest operations via the CommandTouch armrest, GreenStar 3 CommandCenter or 2630 armrest display, corner post display and dual-tilt steering column.
    The Master Control lever incorporates the feeder house, reel and return-to-cut controls with active stubble height and float pressure controls as standard, including an emergency stop, and full adjustment and activation for unloading ensure that operation on the move is made easy. Additionally, a new button enables activation of AutoTrac for straight-line harvesting, which allows increased field efficiency.

The S Series combine cab is the biggest yet offered by John Deere.

    The controls of the CommandTouch armrest console are intuitive and quick to locate. All commonly used functions are activated via hot keys, such as harvesting adjustments, transmission and HillMaster controls, air conditioning, radio and lights. The new cab's digital corner post display provides a quick overview of all primary machine information, that is forward speed, engine rpm, losses and warnings, and includes a new power meter. This displays the current percentage of power being used, enabling the operator to increase utilisation of the machine's overall harvesting capacity when required.
    The GreenStar 3 CommandCenter display puts further fundamental machine and crop information within easy reach, making adjustments quick and simple. Using just one display, the operator can activate a number of settings, including automatic combine adjustment. Intelligent solutions such as HarvestSmart automatic feedrate control, Harvest Monitor yield monitoring, AutoTrac guidance and AutoTrac RowSense also enhance visibility and provide intuitive control. This eliminates the need for additional displays and also puts a full touch screen within easy reach at the end of the armrest. Other service-related functions include warning alarms, calibration wizards and on-board diagnostics. Ease of use and increased control of the harvesting operation were the key areas of focus in this new cab's development.
    The larger and more powerful GreenStar 3 2630 display is also available as an option, providing greater functionality and control. With its 26cm colour touch screen, this display represents state-of-the-art technology and supports the full John Deere i-solutions package, so it is ideal for those wanting full documentation.
    John Deere's web-based telematics solution gives machinery fleet owners real-time answers to the daily challenges that matter the most. JDLink features machine location, location tracking, geofencing to protect a machine from misuse, maintenance planning, fuel consumption information, machine hour tracking and harvest performance, and enables the fleet manager to determine, for example, if operators need more training.
    The JDLink integrated telematics solution is available with three specification levels, allowing it to be tailored to individual business needs.
    John Deere's new S-Series combines feature Stage 3B compliant 9.0- or 13.5-litre PowerTech PSX engines. These high-pressure common rail diesel engines are equipped with two turbochargers in series for higher boost pressures, a four-valve cylinder head for enhanced airflow, electronic engine control and an exhaust gas recirculation system to lower peak combustion temperatures, thereby reducing NOx. John Deere's diesel-only solution requires no urea, because the combination of a diesel oxidation catalyst and a diesel particulate filter reduces carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter.
    These PowerTech PSX engines provide a combination of three features - extra power, unloading boost of 50hp and simultaneous engine governing - to ensure the best engine characteristics and power level when harvesting a crop under load. This makes it easier to harvest up to the limit of the combine's capacity, especially when unloading while harvesting.
    From the massive engine gear casing to the rugged driveshaft transmission, every component is built for strength, simplicity and efficiency. The onboard diagnostic system finds faults fast, and service inspections or parts replacement can be carried out from either side of the machine.
    There are two transmissions available on the new S-Series combines, providing best-in-class comfort and control . The proven ProDrive transmission features smooth automatic shifting between two speed ranges. It offers speed selection for normal harvesting conditions or for faster field work and road transport, and allows individual speed adjustment via the hydrostatic control lever. ProDrive delivers up to 64 per cent more torque at a harvesting speed of 8km/hr, and makes light work of tough conditions.
    The newly designed three-speed Push Button Shift Transmission (PBST) is available on smaller models and makes gear shifting a truly simple exercise. From a standing start, the operator selects the gear by pressing one of three buttons on the armrest, and lets the combine do the work. As with ProDrive, this transmission applies the park brake automatically once the hydro lever is pulled into the neutral position.
The optional John Deere HillMaster system compensates for slopes of up to 15 per cent by levelling the entire combine body automatically on the move. Combined with the SlopeMaster side-hill kit, this provides full harvesting performance on slopes of up to 22 per cent. With HillMaster, John Deere offers the largest full body self-levelling combine in the industry, for additional comfort and performance. Hillmaster models cannot be fitted with tracks, and are limited to the 10,600 litre grain tank and 120 lit/sec unloading speed.
    High flotation tyres help to reduce soil compaction without having to compromise on machine width. John Deere now offers several new tyre sizes: the 680/85 R32 is for customers who require narrow transport widths with the best flotation; the 800/70 R32 and 800/75 R32 fit the same rims as 800/65 R32 tyres, but deliver almost twice the ground contact area, providing the highest levels of flotation and less soil compaction.
    John Deere's new tracks also improve flotation and minimise soil compaction by spreading the combine load over a greater contact area, which also helps to reduce the input costs of following operations. Load peaks are eliminated by the unique hydro-pneumatic suspension system, and the combine's efficiency is increased through ultimate traction and machine stability. This allows higher field working speeds and the best possible contour following by the cutting platform.
    For road transport, the combine's overall width of 3.5m and the five-axle carriage design meet all road regulations. Unproductive transport time is reduced to a minimum, since the combine can be driven at full speed.

John Deere has developed its own track system for the S Series combines.

    John Deere offers a full range of combine headers and attachments for all crops and conditions. The 600R Series platforms are now available with cutting widths from 4.3-10.7m. Set up in seconds, all 600R platforms offer single lever attachment of the electrical and hydraulic lines. The massive 660mm intake auger features four-way adjustment and provides plenty of feeding capacity. To ensure a clean cut, a counterbalanced epicyclic knife drive eliminates vibration.
    As an alternative, PremiumFlow headers are extremely versatile. Material is actively transported from the cutterbar to the feed auger at a constant flow rate, even in laid crops. Several other specialised headers and attachments are available, including the RapsProfi II for oilseed rape, a sunflower attachment and the 600C Series maize headers.
    The maize headers are available with an optional multi-speed feeder house drive system that delivers higher capacity feeding in the heaviest yielding crops. This reliable transmission provides up to 42 per cent more torque than the standard drive, and enables operation of the header in five speed ranges for the highest productivity.
    John Deere S Series combines feature a high-capacity feeder house with an extra long design for better visibility, a durable high-torque slip clutch and a 135hp reverser to remove the most stubborn plugged material. The feeder's front plate can be adjusted fore and aft to compensate for different tyre sizes, crops and working conditions.

 The new Variable Stream Rotor developed for John Deere's S Series combines has been designed to be kind to straw.

    The new Variable Stream Rotor combines the proven single-tine separation system with a new high-performance rotor and new top covers with adjustable vanes, all specifically designed for high yielding crops and smooth material handling in tough conditions. The front of the separation module comprises three feed sections. In front of the rotor, the feed accelerator prepares the crop flow as the module spins, and material is delivered by the feed accelerator and the tri-stream feeding process around the whole circumference of the rotor. This provides smoother, more uniform material flow, especially in high-moisture, high-yielding crops and green harvest conditions.
    The crop then flows into the threshing section from the feed accelerator. Rifling grooves on the threshing elements draw the crop material forward more smoothly, allowing the rotor to deliver better threshing performance. Heavy-duty vanes propel the crop from the threshing section to the separating section. The elliptical design uses a pull-and-release principle for better performance in high-moisture crop conditions. Six angled rows of separator tines comb and penetrate the crop mat, which helps put more grain in the tank, especially in green conditions and crops with heavy material loads.
    The new adjustable top cover vanes can be used in one of two positions, either for high intensity separation or in an advanced position for better quality straw. Crop material is then swept away by the tapered rear discharge unit. A longer discharge grate under the beater ensures every last grain is sent to the tank, and vanes on the discharge housing spread material for a uniform flow to the chopper.
    The new S Series combine's cleaning system is the perfect match for the machine's outstanding threshing and separation capacity. The new shoe has a large one-piece chaffer and a 19 per cent larger sieve. This extended design makes it much easier to set the combine for performance, and the sieve settings can be adjusted quickly and electronically from the comfort of the cab. The chaffer needs fewer adjustments, even on slopes, and has the fastest speeds and the longest stroke on the market.
    When working the S680 and S690 combines to full capacity, the active tailings return system is a real boost. By handling returns that would normally go back to the separator (and thus lower separator performance), it increases the total capacity of the combine, and it is very easy to adjust. This system uses less aggressive concave settings than the ones in the separator, and handles sensitive crops more gently, to maintain high grain quality.

The flagship S690 now has a 14,100-litre grain tank that can be emptied in just 105 seconds.

    Depending on the model and HillMaster configuration, John Deere S-Series combines are equipped with a 10,600- or 14,100-litre grain tank, which features hydraulic power folding for one-touch opening and closing. The fold-away unloading auger can deliver up to 135 lit/sec of grain, which empties the largest grain tank in the industry in just 105 seconds. An electro-hydraulically actuated drive ensures smooth start-up of the unloading process, which can be monitored via the video function of the GreenStar 3 touch screen display.
    The S-Series combine residue management system features a new fine-cut straw chopper rotor and 44 winged knives to provide smooth spreading at widths of up to 9m. A PowerCast spreader is optionally available to spread even wider. Equipped with an electronic vane tailboard, the residue distribution system can be set and adjusted on the move from the cab display.
    With the combine's premium residue management system, the operator has the choice to 'chop or drop'. He can either drop straw and spread chaff, or chop straw and spread all the material during harvesting, simply by switching from chop to drop (or back) on the CommandCenter display in the cab. This premium chopper has 100 grooved knives in four rows, working against 57 stationary knives to achieve the finest possible cut.
    Straw and chaff can also be separated at the rear of the combine by dropping the straw in a windrow, while chaff is routed through the chopper and distributed over the full header width by the electronic vane tailboard.

John Deere S Series combine specification

  S670 S680 S690
JD PowerTech PSX, six-cylinder.
Displacement (litres)
9.0 13.5
Max power (hp)
Rotor type
TriStream Rotor (optional Variable Stream Rotor).
Rotor length (mm)
Rotor diameter (mm)
Threshing area (sq.m)
Separation area (sq.m)
Grain tank (litres)
10,600 14,100
Unloading rate (lit/sec)
3-speed PBST

For more information visit: