John Deere 6115M review | 2014 Top Tractor Shootout 2014 – Winner of Best Build Quality

By: Andrew Stewart

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3557 John Deere 6115M 1 Some last minute adjustments to the iTEC headland management system before heading out on the power harrow. 3557 John Deere 6115M 1
3375 John Deere 6115M with trailer The 114 litres per minute never stretched its legs lifting the 8-tonne trailer. 3375 John Deere 6115M with trailer
3524 John Deere 6115 heavy cast steel towers The heavy cast steel towers for the loader leave plenty of room to access key engine components. 3524 John Deere 6115 heavy cast steel towers
3534 John Deere 6115M Chris Hughes Chris Hughes giving the judges the low-down on the 6115M. 3534 John Deere 6115M Chris Hughes
3546 John Deere 6115M power harrowing The 6115M made short work of the power harrowing and, given how quiet the cab was, you hardly noticed the engine working. 3546 John Deere 6115M power harrowing
3560 John Deere 6115M controls Anyone who has driven a John Deere in the last 15 years will be familiar with this cab layout. 3560 John Deere 6115M controls
3562 John Deere 6115M steering column The steering column moves well out of the way, giving easy access. 3562 John Deere 6115M steering column
3566 John Deere 6115M dash The ‘new’ dash has a small command centre tied into it, where a small number of tractor functions can be altered. 3566 John Deere 6115M dash
3567 John Deere 6115M cab seat The upgraded seat now is as comfortable as the higher specced R Series and doesn’t disappoint. 3567 John Deere 6115M cab seat

At this year’s Top Tractor Shoot Out, the John Deere 6115M came up trumps, winning itself the award for Best Build Quality, as well as delivering in a number of other areas. Andrew Stewart reports.

Full list of Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 reviews

No matter the type of machine or model, John Deere has enjoyed its place at the top end of manufacturing, so the opportunity to test one of its offerings was eagerly anticipated by all the Top Tractor judges.

We had the privilege of testing the John Deere 6115M tractor, fitted with an H340 series loader. Agriquip sales guru Chris Hughes gave us the spiel on this particular model and clearly knew the tractor like the back of his hand.

Overall, it was a thorough and informative presentation.



Build Quality

Engine and Transmission

Cab and Controls

Linkage and Hydraulics



Verdict and Awards





3557_John -Deere -6115M-_1

Buyers have come to expect a certain level of build quality from John Deere and the 6115M doesn’t disappoint. The full frame chassis offers a great platform and the cast steel loader mounts were also a great feature.

The cab had a good quality, familiar cab layout and with a very comfortable seat and the low-level noise emitted, it would be a nice place to spend a day in.

The back end of the machine was well laid out and the sight glass for oil level, linkage ball holder, sturdy top link holder, and stabiliser arm adjustment made clear to the judges the quality of all the components on this tractor.

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This model came with an interim Tier 4 115hp (84.6kW) engine, with exhaust filter with diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The four-valve engine uses a variable geometry turbocharger with intercooler to deliver the 519Nm of torque.

All judges felt the size of this particular model was quite large for the engine on offer and the turning circle suffered as a result.

A 220-litre fuel tank should provide more than enough for a tough day in the field.

The John Deere PowerQuad transmission has a familiar feel for many operators and offers a 24x24 gear range, with four powershift speeds in all of the six ranges. The rugged reliability of the PowerQuad cannot be overlooked, although it could be considered dated by some.

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3567_John -Deere -6115M_cab -seat

Anyone who has driven a John Deere manufactured in the last 15 years will be familiar with the cab layout in the 6115M model.

The PowerQuad transmission offers comfortable familiarity, with all other controls being an amalgamation of the 6010 and 6020 series tractors over the years.

The slight difference is in the dash — not the shape but the digital command centre, where a small number of tractor controls can be altered to suit individual preferences. Controls feel naturally placed and are in easy reach for the operator.

The large comfortable seat is a very handy upgrade and is something that almost all of the other tractors had.

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The first impression of the back end of this tractor was one of simplicity. It is uncluttered yet user-friendly, which made attaching implements easy.

The drawbar pin with pull-over safety latch is something most Deere operators have come to terms with and saves the need for lynch pins, which the judges found very useful.

The power take-off (PTO) spline is easily reversed by removing a circlip to change from six to 21-spline, and a small storage slot for the linkage balls was another handy addition.

The 114 litres per minute (optional) from the pressure-compensated pump will prove more than enough for most applications and was up there with the top scorers of the day in this department.

The linkage didn’t score as well, but just shy of 5 tonnes will again be more than the average farmer will ever have to contend with.

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 3546_John -Deere -6115M_power -harrowing

It would be fair to say that ground conditions in bone-dry Waikato were less than ideal for power harrow work.

However, one of the best aspects of this tractor that really stood out during the power harrow test was the cabin noise, or lack of. For its size and power, the John Deere 6115M was remarkably quiet inside the cab.

This particular tractor was fitted with an H340 Series loader mounted on cast steel mounting frames, making it a very durable machine for loader work.

The bucket was one of the biggest we tested but, as mentioned earlier, the powerful hydraulics and loader suspension meant it didn’t buck around on the rough ground.

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There were pluses and minuses when it came to serviceability for the 6115M. Under the bonnet the radiator pack was quite congested and seemed more difficult to access than the other models tested, but the pull-out filter screens did make moving larger material easy.

The dual fuel filter system on the other hand was easy to see and service, while the dipstick for the engine is located in front of the left-hand front wheel and the sight glass for the transmission oil made daily checks stress-free.

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As you would expect from anything with the John Deere label, this model was built like the proverbial brick outhouse, with its full frame chassis and cast steel loader mounts, hence the reason it won Best Build Quality in our Top Tractor Shoot Out.

Sure, there were other tractors tested with better features, but in terms of build quality and durability, the 6115M was unbeatable.

Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 Awards Won:


Best Build Quality

Best Noise Control


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Make/model: John Deere 6115M

Wheelbase: 2,580mm

Dimensions: 4,490mm L x 2,820mm H x 2,490mm W

Engine: 115hp (84.6kW)

Dyno test (PTO actual hp): 540 / 540E / 1,000

PowerQuad transmission: 24x24

Max. rear hitch lift: 4,900kg

Fuel filters: Dual

Fuel tank capacity: 220 litres

Price as tested (incl loader): $122,000

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