Whether racing with a loaded grain cart to a waiting line of semi-trucks or lugging your largest ripper across the field, John Deere’s 9RT (or older 9000T) model line is the go-to workhorse for many farmers. Because the window of time to complete harvest, tillage, or spring field work is never very long, it’s important to maximize the uptime of your 9RT.
To keep your 9RT and field work running smoothly, it’s important to periodically review the health of your big Deere’s tracks. Whether it’s time to replace worn-out tracks or upgrade to a track model that better suits your farm’s soil conditions and pulling needs, keep reading for a list of available 9RT (and older 9000T series) replacement tracks. We’ve highlighted our favorite models below based on NTS Tire Supply’s customer feedback and our experience.
Camso: Proven Durability + Favorite Customer Track
Camso, the OEM track supplier for the 9RT (and customer favorite) offers several track models for the John Deere 9000T and 9RT series in both 30- and 36-inch widths:
- 2500 General Ag (9000T, 9030T & 9RT)
- 3500 General Ag (9000T)
- 4500 General Ag (9030T & 9RT)
- 5500 General Ag (9000T)
- 6500 General Ag (9030T & 9RT)
- 6500 Scraper (9030T & 9RT)
2500 General Ag - Friction Drive: Priced to Move
Camso bills the 2500 as its price-fighter, suitable for standard ag applications on tractors that work between 100 and 500 hours per year. Even though the 2500 is Camso’s “entry” replacement track, the company claims that its tread bar will outlast the competitors’ by 25%. The company also claims a 15 percent lower cost per hour (versus competitors) thanks to the track’s sturdy construction and lower price.
3500 General Ag - Friction Drive: OEM-Approved
The 3500 General Ag strikes a balance between reliability, quality, and price for those who work their tractors between 500 and 1,000 hours each year. Guide lugs are reinforced for improved side-load resistance when compared to the entry-level 2500. If you run a 9000T, this is a good choice if you’re performing general tillage, carting, and other chores that don’t quite measure up to “severe duty.”
4500 General Ag - Friction Drive: Your Top Choice from Camso
Our favorite, the 4500 General Ag, balances a competitive price with reliability and performance that suits the needs of most farmers running the 9030T or 9RT. 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.
5500 General Ag - Friction Drive: Top Performance for the 9000T
The 5500 General Ag is the severe-duty Camso option for those running a 9000T. Its taller, wider tread bar is designed to provide long-lasting performance under the most demanding field conditions.
6500 General Ag - Friction Drive
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 for tractors that perform ripping and other heavy duties for more than 1,000 hours per year.
6500 Scraper - Friction Drive
Camso adds even thicker (6.7 mm vs. 5.4 mm) cables to its 6500 General ag package to create the 6500 Scraper—the company’s heaviest-duty track. A blend of 6 different rubber compounds help the tread bars and track carcass resist chunking, cuts, and other damage under severe conditions. The lower, wider tread bars provide enormous grip on firm soils, such as those found on road construction sites.
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 Quality at a Value Price
Do you want a track with Camso specs but need to save money? Then look no further than Yieldmaster tracks. Manufactured by Camso, the Yieldmaster is nearly identical to the Camso 4500 General Ag save for the lug design and shorter guide lugs. It features “hauler step design” tread bars, which are designed to promote a smooth ride with good wear, cleanout, and traction properties. If your tractor works between 500 and 1,000 hours per season on general tillage, the Yieldmaster may be a good fit for your operation. Their warranty is the same as Camso too: coverage for 4 years or 2,000 hours.
Firestone offers two options for the 9000T, 9030T & 9RT series tractors:
- All Traction Class 5 (36-inch width)
- All Traction Class 6 (30-inch width)
All Traction Class 5
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 either 126 or 130 tread bars compared to the Class 6’s 96 or 98. Closer-spaced tread bars will generally give you a smoother ride. However, the tight lug spacing can affect performance during heavy-pulling applications. For carting or planting, however, the Class 5 is perfectly adequate.
All Traction Class 6
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. This results in greater traction and better clean-out in wet conditions. 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. Keep this in mind if you have to travel a lot of miles between your fields as you’ll have a tradeoff in comfort for the added traction in the dirt.
Both Firestone models include a 4-year/4,000-hour warranty.
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 9000T – 9RT series tractor with another set, there is one option available in the 30- or 36-inch width.
Continental Trackman® HP Extreme
At the heart of Continental tracks are galvanized wire cables, which resist corrosion and premature failure. The company also packs 50% more wires (12 wires per inch versus 8) into its track casings than the competition. The Trackman® HP Extreme—the company’s top track—includes MAXXTUFF™ steel belt reinforcement, which Continental bills as the strongest on the market. Compared to Continental’s basic 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.
Improve Traction & Avoid a Track Failure: Upgrade Tracks on Your John Deere 9 Series
There’s a lot riding on your 9RT’s tracks. Not only do they support the weight of this massive machine, they keep your operation moving forward when time is tight and you can least afford a breakdown. If the past few seasons have been hard on your 9RT’s tracks, call or drop a line to talk with an expert at NTS Tire Supply today.
Now is the time to outfit your big Deere with a set of replacement tracks ideal for your unique needs. No two operations are the same, so we’ll use our experience and expertise to find a pair of tracks that fit your budget and performance needs.