Transporting and maneuvering large planters over narrow bridges, gates, and county roads can be a challenge. Some farmers need the capacity and productivity of 40-foot planters to seed increased acres, and to complete their work within seasonal windows.

And yet, when transporting from field to field, they need a narrow configuration with plenty of under-frame clearance to navigate narrow roads and highways.

John Deere has solved this problem by introducing the new 177ONT 16-Row Max Emerge Plus Planter. The planter has been designed with more maneuverability, more productivity, greater reliability and narrower transport.

“Because of the new frame design,” says Bill Barr, project manager, John Deere Seeding Division, “we've narrowed the transport width to 12 feet, which is three feet less than our older model 16-row planters. We have also increased ground clearance to 22 inches. The end result is a more maneuverable planter that is more convenient for transport.”

Not only does the new frame design on the 177ONT Planter allow for narrow transport, it also features more strength and greater frame flex. There is also a telescoping hitch that couples closer to the tractor and allows more maneuverability while planting in the field.

“There are two frames available in the 177ONT Planter,” says Barr. “The non-fertilizer frame uses a 7×7-inch center frame tube with three eighths-inch thickness. The fertilizer frame has a greater wall thickness to carry the additional weight of a center mounted fertilizer tank.”

The fertilizer frame also offers an optional rear trailer hitch that allows towing of a fertilizer nurse tank of up to 2000-gallon capacity.

The three-section frame of the 177ONT offers the greatest frame flex of any John Deere planter, with a 21-degree wing flex relative to the center section. Planting over rolling ground or terraces has never been easier.

John Deere has redesigned the hydraulic system on this new planter. It is a simplified system that features two frame-raise heights — 11 inches for field operation and 22 inches for road transport.

“There are five less hydraulic cylinders, and seven fewer solenoid valves in the 177ONT system,” Barr explains. “This new design insures that the planter will raise and operate level in the field without frame-humping or wing droop, and will require less maintenance and no re-phasing of cylinders.”

The liquid fertilizer system on the 177ONT planter consists of a single center-mounted 600-gallon tank, central manifold, and a piston pump.

“We've increased the capacity by 40 gallons. And the single center tank design eliminates fluid transfers from tank to tank when planting on side slopes or terraces,” Barr said.

The use of a flow divider or central manifold provides a more reliable system that requires less maintenance. Clear hoses carry fertilizer from the central manifold directly to the fertilizer openers. Less plumbing and fewer fittings translate to fewer leaks and less maintenance.

The entire system is protected from contamination by an 80-mesh strainer in-line to the bottom of the piston pump. There are two unit-mounted fertilizer openers available — a row unit-mounted double disk opener and a row unit-mounted single disk injection opener. For those hard no-till conditions there is a redesigned frame-mounted, single-disk fertilizer opener available.

A new marker system has been designed for the 177ONT planter. It is a high-strength marker with a tri-fold configuration. The new design narrows in-field working width by eight feet compared to the older model.

“The marker arm winglets have been eliminated,” says Barr. “Operators can now get closer to fence rows and field edges.”

Marker hydraulics are above the marker arm to keep hoses and cylinders out of residue and soil. The cylinder rod also retracts when the marker is in the folded position, and this increases reliability because the rod is not exposed to the weather and elements when being transported or stored.

Marker breakaway protection is also standard equipment, and the float range ahs been greatly increased.

For more information on the new 177ONT 16-Row Planter, contact you local John Deere dealer or check out the Website at www.JohnDeereAg.com.