Review: John Deere 6250R

Farm Trader spent some time with Murray Chesterman from Drummond & Etheridge in Rolleston to see just what the 6250R has to offer

Most manufacturers have taken note of this and released tractors to target this market. Among them is John Deere, which has expanded its 6R range with two new larger models: a 6230R and a 6250R. These put out a max 300hp when the boost kicks in, giving impressive power to weight.

New John Deere 6250R – infusion of power and technology

On a recent trip to the South Island, I spent some time with Murray Chesterman from Drummond & Etheridge in Rolleston to see just what the 6250R has to offer. While it was great to see these new tractor models, what I was most interested in was the Command Pro joystick that is optional in both models.  


Autotrac is standard on the 6250R and 6230R

Under the enlarged bonnet is a 6.8-litre, six-cylinder John Deere Power Tech engine. This is essentially the same engine found in the smaller tractors in the range, but for these two larger models has been beefed up with reinforced cylinders and pistons to handle the increased power.

The extra power is primarily developed through a new two-stage turbocharging system in which a Variable Geometry Turbo multiplies the pressure created by the first fixed vane turbo.

This set-up gives a wider torque band with low-speed torque under varying conditions and is said to maximise power output while keeping a lid on fuel consumption.

A 50hp boost kicks in only after certain parameters are met, for example, when above a 15km/hr travel speed or when the PTO is under load and moving above 1.5km/hr.

As you expect from modern tractor releases, the engine uses a range of systems to meet Tier 4 final standards. These include exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), and Diesel Exhaust fluid (AdBlue).

Importantly, an EGR cooler and larger improved cooling packs have been fitted to keep the core temperature down and prevent heat shimmer. A variable speed viscous fan is also used. This only runs as required to help keep the temperature and fuel consumption down.

The new models also feature a 750-hour engine oil filter, fuel filter, and engine oil intervals when genuine oils are used, further helping to reduce parts and servicing costs. Fuel tank capacity sits at a generous 470 litres.


Farm Trader’s Brent Lilley with Murray Chesterman from Drummond & Etheridge

As standard, the two largest 6R models come with a ZF auto power transmission. Once again, this is similar to the well-proven transmissions found in the smaller John Deere tractors, although, these have been beefed up to handle the extra power being put through them.

The result is stepless continuous power up to 50km/hr, and speed is maintained by adjusting to changing load conditions. At 50 km/hr, the engine speed will reduce to 1650rpm to reduce fuel consumption and noise. Active Zero is a recent development and means the tractor can be brought to a complete stop while still in gear.

The transmission holds the machine stationary until it’s told to move via the joystick or the pedal. As you would expect on a John Deere, the engine and transmission are in a full frame that provides the backbone of the tractor from the front to the back.

While the merits of this might be arguable on a smaller tractor, at this horsepower, it does give some distinct advantages. It creates a stable platform, allowing higher carrying capacities on the front linkage as well as the loader, transferring the forces to the rear of the tractor.

Hydraulics and PTO

An improved hydraulic pump puts out 160 litres per minute, which should be adequate in most situations. Up to six SCVs can be specified at the rear. These are all adjustable on screen in the cab and are colour-coded, so can be assigned to any of the buttons on the joystick or the toggle switches on the command arm.

The rear hitch has a decent 10.4-tonne lift capacity appropriate for the heaviest implements. A three-speed PTO is standard and can be specified from the factory with 540, 540E, and 1000 or 540E, 1000, and 1000E. This is interesting when many other tractors this size come with a four-speed PTO.

Up front, the linkage has a max lift of 5000kg and can be ordered with up to two SCVs off a mid-mount valve. A single speed front PTO is also an option, which I’m sure will be common on most machines.

Cab and suspension

Spacious and comfortable interior across the 6R range

Essentially, this is the same Comfort View cab as found on other John Deere models. In my opinion, this is one of the best cabs on the market. It’s large, bright, and roomy. It is also exceptionally quiet for the operator and is backed up with low decibel levels.

A recent change across the range is the ability to order it from the factory as a four-pillar panoramic cab with large doors, or a five-pillar cab with a smaller door and a window on the left-hand side. I think this offers the best of both worlds, with great visibility and easy access.

The lighting package can be tailored to the intended usage. The full package gives up to 12 LED lights around the top of the cab to light up 360 degrees, as well as four lights on the belt line and fenders, and six at the front of the bonnet.

A combination of any lights can easily be selected on the main screen, ensuring exactly what you require is lit up. Improved Triple Link Suspension (TLS Plus) on the front axle gives an even, smooth ride, especially when carrying heavy weights.

It automatically adjusts the sensitivity and synchronises with the hitch. The cab suspension has been upgraded along the same lines to a semi-active system. This is now linked to several other components, so as movement changes, the pressure in the rams are adjusted by the cab suspension control.

CommandPro multifunction joystick

The new CommandPro multifunction joystick

For me, the most interesting thing on this tractor is the Command Pro multi-function handle (joystick). Although this is now available across the John Deere 6R model line-up, this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use it out in a paddock.

On both these larger 6R tractors, Command Arm with the optional Command Pro joystick is John Deere’s answer to what some have said their tractors have been missing. I gather they have spent a considerable amount of time in research and development to get it exactly right.

First impressions are interesting. It’s probably the first time in more than 20 years that I’ve climbed in a John Deere and not been familiar with the controls. However, it’s amazing how quickly it started to make sense.Push the joystick forward and the tractor will accelerate to the maximum speed.

Pull it back to decelerate eventually to zero. A button on top gives the choice of three settings that control how quickly the machine accelerates. Two adjustable pre-set speeds can be selected with buttons and activated by simply pushing the joystick to the right.

Holding the joystick to the left and then forwards or backwards allows the operator to creep (0–2km), which is handy when hitching implements. The palm of your hand wraps comfortably around the joystick, and on top, within easy reach of your thumb and finger, are four two-way toggle switch buttons.

With letters A to D, as well as three buttons numbered 10 to 12, this gives a total of 11 customisable buttons at your fingertips. These configurable buttons can be used for any of the following: front/rear hitch, front/rear PTO, any of the front/rear SCVs, iTEC headland sequences, auto trac, engine rpm speed memories, and ISOBUS functions.

The ability to set ISOBUS functions onto the joystick is a standout for me. It worked well with the triple mowers and opens up the possibilities to control a wide range of machinery without having to take your hand off the joystick.

With all controls laid out within easy reach on the command arm, regardless of how the joystick buttons are set up, you can always find the controls on the armrest.

Buttons and switches for everything are logically laid out, including for the linkages, PTO, iTECH, 4WD, engine rpm, air conditioning, and radio. At the front of the armrest, a 10-inch colour touch screen is easy to reach, see, and use.

A completely customisable home screen will display whatever is desired, and the main menu with icons and a row of buttons make navigating your way through and adjusting almost any settings on the tractor relatively easy.


All round, this machine gets a definite thumbs up. It packs a lot of punch, not only with power and agility but also with some seriously impressive technology. Improvements to the transmission make it as good as pretty much anything on the market, with active zero stopping and a creep mode being standout features.

I reckon they’ve nailed the Command Pro joystick. It’s easy to get the tractor moving even if you have never used it before and offers a massive amount of customisation with 11 configurable buttons quite literally putting almost anything required at the operator’s fingertips. The ability to assign ISOBUS functions helps future-proof the machine.


  • Reliable engine with a dual turbo, delivering an impressive amount of power
  • IVT transmission with improved features such as active zero and a creep mode
  • Up to six customisable and assignable SCV valves at the rear and two at the front
  • A large, bright, well-finished cab
  • Smooth ride with improved active front axle and cab suspension
  • Command arm puts all the machine controls at easy reach
  • Command Pro joystick with 11 customisable buttons


  • Only a three-speed rear PTO
  • IPM power boost only available in certain applications

John Deere 6250R specifications


John Deere PowerTech 6.8L 6-cylinder dual turbo

Power rated/boost


Fuel rank capacity



Tier 4 final with EGR, DPF, AdBlue


ZF – AutoPower IVT

Max Speed


Linkage front/rear

5/10.4T lift capacity

Rear PTO



160L/min up to 6 rear and
2 front SVCs


9.3T unballasted





Turning circle 


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Video: John Deere 6250R

Photography: Laura Batten

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