From spring planting to fall grain carting, you might depend on a tracked machine to perform your farm’s most demanding work. Growers who run track tractors, such as the John Deere 8RT, enjoy their massive pulling power, which is partly due to their tracks’ large, stable footprint that results in excellent traction in both wet and dry field conditions.
Because a running Deere is better than a motionless Deere waiting for the service truck, it pays to periodically review the health of your tracks. The last problem you need during demanding spring or fall field work is a track failure. If it’s time to replace worn out tracks or upgrade to a track model that offers better performance for your unique needs, keep reading for a list of available 8RT replacement tracks. We’ve highlighted our favorite models below based on our experience and customer feedback.
Camso Tracks: Customer Favorite with a Durable Track Record
Camso, the OEM track supplier for the John Deere 8RT series tractors offers six models:
- 2500 General Ag
- 4500 General Ag
- 4500 General Ag - Side Slope
- 4500 High Traction
- 6500 General Ag
- 6500 High Roading
Available in 16-, 18-, 24-, 25- and 30-inch widths, Camso (formerly Camoplast) offers the most complete lineup of agricultural tracks for John Deere's 8RT series tractors.
Camso 2500 General Ag: Best Priced Track
Camso bills the 2500 as its price-fighter, suitable for standard ag applications on tractors that work between 100 and 500 hours per year. The company claims a 15 percent lower cost per hour (versus competitors) thanks to the track’s sturdy construction and lower price.
Camso 4500 General Ag: Our 'All-Around' Favorite
Our favorite, the 4500 General Ag, balances a competitive price with reliability and performance that suits the needs of most farmers. Equipped with Camso’s TrackShield™ carcass technology, the 4500 is 20% more resistant to punctures than its little brother, the 2500. Its tread bar balances traction, flotation, and cleanout for all-around performance in a wide variety of field conditions. This isn’t a specialist track: it’s designed to suit the needs of most growers under less-than-extreme weights and job duties. Camso recommends the 4500 for placement on tractors that perform tillage and row-crow applications for 500–1,000 hours per year.
Camso 4500 General Ag - Side Slope: For Hillsides
Longer inside guide lugs make this track the preferred choice for farming on hillsides.
Camso 4500 High Traction: Better Cleanout
The Camso 4500 High Traction track features fewer tread bars—78 versus the standard 100 tread bars—which provides a more aggressive traction and better cleanout properties.
Camso 6500 General Ag: Toughest Track
For the 6500, Camso declares a 30% per hour cost savings when compared to the competition’s tracks, due to the track’s sturdy construction. In fact, the company claims that you’ll see “an extra season of work” from these tracks thanks to the industry’s largest main cables, high-grade rubber compounds, and TrackShield™ carcass technology. The company recommends the 6500 General Ag for tractors that perform ripping and other heavy duties for more than 1,000 hours per year.
Camso 6500 High Roading: For the Road
Camso's 6500 High Roading track combines the toughness of their 6500 General Ag track with a single-angle lug design that provides a better ride on the road. However, it does come with the cost of less traction in the field.
In our experience at NTS Tire Supply, we’ve found Camso tracks to have excellent tread wear properties. What does this mean for you? A longer-lasting track. Camso is known in the industry for its vulcanized (glued on) lugs. While some manufacturers claim that this can cause the lugs to completely separate from the track’s body, we can tell you that, in our experience, this simply isn’t true, except in extremely rare circumstances.
We feel that Camso’s vulcanizing process actually adds to the tracks’ durability. Focusing on the carcass as a separate manufacturing step allows Camso to ensure that the cables are spaced and aligned perfectly in the carcass. This allows the tracks to align better and run true for a longer-lasting track. True to the company’s promise, we’ve found that Camso tracks do deliver uniform tread wear, which could translate into “an extra season of work” before you have to replace them.
Camso’s track lineup offers a 4-year or 2,000-hour warranty under agricultural usage.
Yieldmaster Tracks: Camso's Twin
The Yieldmaster track, manufactured by Camso and sold as a separate brand, is nearly identical to the Camso 4500 General Ag. It features a stepped lug design for a smooth ride and optimum traction and wear. The lug design and shorter drive lug length are the only features that set it apart from the Camso 4500 General Ag. The Yieldmaster has an identical warranty to Camso tracks: coverage for 4 years or 2,000 hours.
Its nearly identical specs to the Camso 4500 General Ag and its slightly lower cost make the Yieldmaster an attractive choice if you’ll be mounting it on a tractor that works between 500 and 1,000 hours per season on general tillage.
Firestone Tracks for John Deere 8RT Series Tractors
Firestone offers two options for John Deere 8RT series tractors:
- All Traction Class 5
- All Traction Class 6
Firestone All Traction Class 5: Smoother Roading
Firestone tracks are constructed with one-piece vulcanization, a 4-ply main cable, and the company’s PRO-EDGE design, all of which promote reliability and protection against field obstacles. According to Firestone, the chamfered (grooved) tread bars are designed to cut down on soil disturbance, and their 6-inch pitch promotes a smooth ride down the road. Based on customer feedback, this appears to be true in the real world: customers generally comment that the Class 5 has a better ride quality than the Class 6. In fact, the Class 5 sports 118 tread bars compared to the Class 6’s 88. Closer-spaced tread bars will generally give you a smoother ride. However, the tight lug spacing does not make this track ideal for heavy-pulling applications. The Class 5 is a better choice for 8RTs that spend time carting or planting.
Firestone All Traction Class 6: Aggressive Tread
The Class 6 packs the same design and construction techniques as the Class 5 into a more aggressive package. Compared to the Class 5’s tread, the Class 6 is taller and has a wider pitch. These attributes combine to increase traction and improve cleanout. We consider this a fairly aggressive tread, which is best suited to heavy tillage applications. The downside to the increase in traction is a rougher ride down the road, thanks to the taller and more widely spaced lugs. This is something to keep in mind if you need to travel a lot of road miles between fields.
Both Firestone models include a 4-year/4,000-hour warranty.
Continental Tracks for John Deere 8RT Series Tractors
Introduced in 2010, the Continental Trackman® HP was the first friction-drive track fitted to John Deere tractors. At this time, we don’t recommend Continental’s replacement tracks due to customers experiencing some significant issues with them. Casing separation, which causes the cords to become exposed, seems to be a common problem. However, if you’ve had good luck with Continental tracks in the past and want to outfit your 8RT with another set, there are two options available:
Continental Trackman® HP
Continental galvanizes its tracks’ wire cables to fight corrosion and premature failure. The company also packs 50% more wires (12 wires per inch versus 8) into its track casings than the competition. A thicker carcass helps resist heat damage during heavy pulling and roading. Fully molded guide lugs and tread bars deliver longevity and a consistent rubber thickness, which will translate to a smoother ride on the road and in the field.
Continental Trackman® HP Extreme
The Trackman® HP Extreme adds MAXXTUFF™ steel belt reinforcement, which Continental bills as the strongest on the market. Compared to the HP tread, the Extreme’s center is wider, which allows for better cleanout in demanding (wet) field conditions. Taller tread rubber adds traction and tread life as well.
Carrying Extra Weight? Safeguard Your Tracks!
If you outfit your 8RT with mounted tanks or hang a heavy implement from its 3-point hitch, you’ll want to take these 3 important precautions to guard against premature track failure:
- Ideally, tractor-mounted tanks should be empty when traveling down the road.
- If you need to fill the tanks before you head to the field, watch your speed when roading. Top speed with all that extra weight will cause much greater heat build-up in your tracks. This can increase the chances of a track failure.
- Invest in a premium track. High-end tracks incorporate the latest technology in heat resistance and robust construction to ensure they can handle the challenges you roll their way.
Improve Traction & Avoid a Track Failure: Upgrade Tracks on Your John Deere 8RT
Call or drop a line to talk with an expert at NTS Tire Supply today. If spring fieldwork has taken a toll on your Deere’s tracks, now is the time to outfit it with the best replacement tracks based on your unique needs, including common soil types in your fields and the number of miles you travel down the road each season.
Interested in switching your combine, planter, or grain cart to a track system? Have a red tractor and are looking for replacement tracks? We handle all types of tracks for all types of tractors and implements, and we are eager to connect you with the best products to move your operation forward.