John Deere 4520

John Deere classifies this tractor as a "compact" — but with such a large chassis and a beefy, turbo-charged 52hp engine, we feel it is much more of a middleweight contender.

This is a four-wheel drive tractor with raw strength and excellent traction. It also has electronic precision and impressive torque. In all, it delivers a high level of performance.
Our tester admits he is used to a cab and the demo unit arrives without one. It seems noisy, but in many other ways this tractor has a lot going for it.
There’s a choice of manual or automatic transmission, the manual featuring John Deere’s PowrReverser — a dash-mounted lever for easy forward-to-reverse-shifting without clutching. We are testing the eHydro version. This has Twin-Touch pedals that work with the natural motion of the foot, rather than being treadle-like. They are comfortable and effortless to operate.
Fitted with a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-charged common rail diesel injection engine, the 4520 keeps going when the going gets tough. It is designed to generate an impressive torque rise so that as the RPM drops under heavy load, the torque output increases. What’s more, the eHydro version features LoadMatch — a “construction style” electronic power management system that further maximises available torque by automatically adjusting the transmission speed under load. There’s no stalling this one.
LoadMatch is adaptable and makes this tractor suitable for a wide variety of jobs. It can be used in quick-response mode for loading work or in a slower mode for continuous operations, such as grass cutting. It can also be set to work as an infinitely adjustable creeper for spraying and aeration tasks. What’s more, the speed you choose is maintained on slopes. Top speed is 30km/h.
The tester quickly gains confidence using the 4520. “It’s a big tractor but it’s nippy to drive — it turns well and has a good speed,” he says. The controls are easy to use and all switches and levers are within easy reach. Even the PTO knob is well positioned on the right of the dash. To the right of the driver is a loader joystick. We are using a JD loader today, but it has a mind of its own and seems to do its own thing. An important point is that the implement and the power steering hydraulic systems are separate. The power steering takes the strain out of manoeuvring without robbing the implements of power.
Evidently, a lot of thought has gone into the 4520. The hood and mudguards are made of polymer. They are high strength and totally rustproof. This tractor is comfortable and a pleasure to drive – but we reckon it would be even better with the optional cab.

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