As part of a new buyer’s guide series, we check out desirable second-hand tractors looking at their perks and pitfalls.
In its six-year life cycle, it was to prove one of the most sought-after models in Deere’s nine-model 6030 Series and that means tidy, low-hour examples are still changing hands at keen prices.
Packing 155hp - and offering up to 180hp thanks to intelligent power management - the 6.8-litre PowerTech Plus six-cylinder engine with variable geometry turbo uses cooled exhaust gas recirculation and common rail fuel injection to meet Stage 3a emissions.
At the time of manufacture it was a relatively lightweight machine which punched well above its weight, and quickly gained popularity.
The Mannheim-built 6930 retains John Deere’s proven full frame concept, modular transmission and lifelong components such as the Perma Clutch 2.
When introduced, it was available in Premium specification only. Standard series followed in 2008, with the lower specification suiting cost-sensitive buyers.
Premium spec models get intelligent power management which offers up an additional 25hp. The extra power is provided during rear pto operations when the tractor is moving and the pto system detects a load, or during transport when travelling above 8.7mph (14kph).
The PowerTech engine has though, been hampered by head gasket failures. Most were rectified early on by Deere under warranty. And supporting evidence of a correct repair will bring piece of mind when buying used – if in doubt, get the serial numbers checked.
And if the head gasket has never been done, prepare yourself for some expenditure. If the tractor has less than 3,000 hours and is under five years of age, there could be some assistance available through the official dealer network.
Inconsistent fuel quality has also been known to cause issues with fuel injectors, particularly among earlier models. It is likely few tractors will have been refilled from a finely filtered fuel supply – typically 10 microns – and most are likely to have had, or may soon need, injectors replacing.
A remanufactured injector programme with hardened tips has taken the sting out of buying new electronic injectors for the PowerTech Plus six-pot and those using EN590-quality diesel should have escaped the problem.
A set of remanufactured electronic injectors are likely to set you back close to £2,000 including coding, representing a saving of about 75 per cent over new.
Similarly, the EGR valve gave cause for concern on early models and again, the most probable causes were narrowed down to poor fuel quality.
The 6930 brings numerous styling and ergonomic changes over its predecessor, the 6920. A contoured bonnet gives a narrower look and feel. Optional Xenon work lights provide better visibility at night and the cab is rated at 70.6dBA – at the time, it was claimed to be the quietest on the market, in its class.
Lucky buyers might find a few models fitted with an optional hydraulic cab suspension system. A leather seat and steering wheel were also on the options list.
The left-hand shuttle reverser is integrated into the steering column, just like the windscreen wiper lever and the direction indicator – the latter is self-cancelling.
A one piece, right-hand console incorporates the most often used controls and buyers had a choice of mechanical or electrical selective control valves for hydraulic functions.
Deere’s CommandCenter on the 6930 Premium-spec tractor is a combination of an information centre and set-up monitor in full colour display. It also allowed operators to choose from three modes for the standard fit triple link suspension (TLS) Plus advanced front axle suspension system.
Using Auto, Max or Manual modes, the system automatically produces a progressive spring adjustment to provide the best ride quality under extreme conditions.
In 2009, the Standard spec 6930 also gained access to TLS as an option for the front axle. Based on the Premium model’s TLS Plus design, it features a heavy duty Panhard rod with maintenance free bushes. TLS front axle suspension is permanently active and offers +/-50mm of suspension travel under all working conditions.
Lesser specification 6930 Standard-spec means IPM is off the menu, and maximum engine power is pegged at 163hp. Trim changes are cab-related and there are fewer transmission options too – expect to find Power Reverser 16/16 (30 and 40kph), PowrQuad Plus 16/16 (30 and 40kph), and PowrQuad Plus 20/20 and 24/24 (40kph only) on Standard 6930’s.
Most Standard-spec models are likely to be equipped with PowrQuad boxes and, as long as they have had an oil change every 1,500 hours, are reputed to be tough and trouble-free.
All models built during 2010 brought improved fuel efficiency, while tweaks to IPM yielded five more horses. Power was put down using the 24/24 PowrQuad Plus 40kph transmission as standard. The AutoQuad Plus or AutoPowr 40kph or 50kph transmissions were optional – the 50k boxes were accompanied by air brake systems and only available on the Premium specification tractor.
And it is the 50kph versions which are most likely to see braking issues. Although 50k tractors enjoyed four-wheel braking, problems were often narrowed down to poor trailer brakes which placed a higher dependency on the tractor’s oil-immersed brakes.
As a result, brakes should be inspected every 3,000 hours to assess condition, so look for service history or receipts to show any work which might have been carried out.
Door and window seals can suffer signs of scuffing from heavy-handedness, while seat trims can wear thin. Fading green paintwork and peeling decals can easily detract from what is essentially a tough, lightweight workhorse.
As with any secondhand purchase, condition is everything.