The John Deere 9600 series of combine harvesters are midrange harvesters suited to both small grain and corn harvesting. They are commonly used on both small farm operations and as part of larger harvesting crews. The 9610 model adds a range of upgrades and new features to the 9600, many of them centered around the 9610's centralized digital display.
The 9610 model introduces a centralized digital display located in the upper right corner of the windshield which replaces many of the analog gauges found on the 9600. The digital display provides readouts for ground speed, engine and header rpm, coolant and oil temperature, fuel levels and machine and operator hours. The readout is capable of displaying any two of these data points at once, which can be individually cycled through using a pair of scroll buttons located on the turn signal lever.
The 9610 increases the engine power from the 9600's 260 horsepower to 275. This was largely due to the larger drive cylinders of the 9610, which increased the spacing between concaves from eight to ten inches. Note that the increased power is only a major advantage when harvesting corn, as the maximum header rpm for small grain headers remains well below the engine's full power. However, the 9610 also has a road speed of about 26 mph compared to the 9610's 22 mph.
Feeder House Improvements
The 9610 underwent a number of feeder house upgrades, including a larger feeder house rod. The rod was also changed from a hex rod to a round rod to avoid warping. The new rod helps compensate for the 9610's greater intake speed when harvesting corn. The 9610 also features a variable speed feeder house which requires less engine power when harvesting small grains, and a new system of venting fans which direct dust from the feeder house down and away from the cab. The unpowered ventilation system for the 9600 feeder house often resulted in clouds of dust in front of the cab, which could obscure the driver's view in a tailwind.
The three main drive belts of the 9600 harvester were combined into a single auto-tightening serpentine belt in the 9610 model, which improves the timing of the various drive mechanisms and reduces slippage. The 9600's sieve and chaffer knobs are replaced in the 9610 with levers which provide a finer degree of control and greater ease in switching between previous settings. Sliding belt shields on the 9610 replace the 9600's swing-up shields, although the 9610 retains the swing-up side guard for the entire belt drive.