AutoPowr™/IVT™ transmission
8R Series Tractor

8R Series Tractor

Since introduction in 2001, John Deere’s Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT), also known as AutoPowr, has led the industry in precise, intuitive transmission controls for tractors. Changes in design for the 7R Series Tractors has improved efficiency over previous models. Improvements have been made in operation and control to more closely follow the 8R design. The John Deere Infinitely Variable Transmission (AutoPowr/IVT) utilizes a combination of mechanical and hydrostatic power, providing stepless and continuous power across an infinitely variable range of speeds.
A single-speed lever is used for intuitive and accurate control of ground speeds as slow as 50 m/h (164 ft/h) for creeper applications through 42 km/h (26 mph).  An optional 50-km/h (31-mph) configuration is also available.

AutoPowr/IVT options
AutoPowr/IVT transmission options require a cab with CommandARM™ controls. AutoPowr/IVT is not compatible with 2WD front axle.

1550 AutoPowr/IVT-40 km/h (25 mph) with right-hand reverser control and FieldCruise™
1551 AutoPowr/IVT-40 km/h (25 mph) with left-hand reverser control and FieldCruise
1553 AutoPowr/IVT-50 km/h (31 mph) with right-hand reverser control and FieldCruise
1552 AutoPowr/IVT-50 km/h (31 mph) with left-hand reverser control with FieldCruise
NOTE: The 50-km/h (31-mph mph) transmissions require additional equipment. Refer to online pricing information Price Pages for specific requirements.
Transmission options for controls and ground speed
AutoPowr/IVT 8R shown

AutoPowr/IVT 8R shown

Minimum engine rpm at maximum transport speed:

The electronic management system in the AutoPowr/IVT operates similarly to the traditional gear up and throttle back operation performed manually with other transmissions.  However, because the electronic management system is continually communicating with the engine and transmission, making appropriate adjustments based on inputs received from the tractor, it responds quickly and precisely to changing conditions.  This allows maximum efficiency and productivity from the tractor.  Because these changes are done automatically, it reduces the reliance on the operator's experience to make the appropriate manual adjustments.  Even the most experienced operator will see enhancements to tractor productivity while minimizing fuel consumption in most applications.
The AutoPowr/IVT is excellent in all farming conditions.

  • Provides a seamless range of speeds.
  • No clutching is required to start or stop the tractor.
  • Footbrake with integrated AutoClutch performs like the brake in a car with an automatic transmission; simply depress both brakes and the transmission ratios down to a stop from any ground speed. 
  • The John Deere-exclusive PowerZero™ feature, keeps a tractor stationary, even on inclines.
  • 7R Series Tractors offer a choice of two control strategies: a right-hand reverser control and a left-hand reverser control.
  • AutoPowr/IVT is only available on tractors with CommandARM controls.
  • AutoPowr/IVT is not available on two-wheel-drive (2WD) tractors.

For efficient and smooth operation, power is transmitted through the transmission to the final drives with minimum gear/clutch engagement.
The John Deere AutoPowr/IVT uses a hydromechanical, power-splitting design where a portion of the power is transmitted mechanically and a portion hydrostatically. A hydromechanical transmission is more efficient than a purely hydrostatic transmission because gears carry power more efficiently than a hydraulic pump and motor. By careful selection of the gearing, the AutoPowr/IVT carries maximum power mechanically both at normal field working speeds and at transport speeds, providing the maximum advantage of higher mechanical efficiency with the control and versatility of a hydrostatic transmission. The versatility of speed coupled with advanced electronic control make the John Deere AutoPowr/IVT an efficient transmission for a variety of applications.

  • The AutoPowr/IVT has a fully integrated electronic management system that allows the engine to communicate 100 times per second with the transmission.  Operating conditions are constantly monitored and relayed to the electronic management system, which automatically determines the optimum transmission ratio based on application.
The electronic management system maintains the selected travel speed at reduced engine rpm, when possible, to provide maximum fuel efficiency in most applications.

AutoPowr/IVT controls
Left-hand reverser

Left-hand reverser

Right-hand transmission lever

Right-hand transmission lever

Left-hand reverser
An easy-to-use left-hand reverser is available with the AutoPowr/IVT transmission on some models. The reverser control is located at the 10 o’clock position on the steering column for intuitive control.
The five-position, left-hand reverser column incorporates the following controls:
  • Forward direction selector
  • Reverse direction selector
  • Neutral position
  • Electronic park lock
  • PowerZero position
  • Allows for temporary stationary control of the tractor without using the brakes to prevent roll-back while operating on sloped ground.
  • Applications include headland turns on sloped fields or while temporarily stopped on uneven ground.
NOTE: PowerZero does not replace the electronic park lock. With the tractor at rest, the PowerZero position allows the operator to adjust forward/reverse set speeds (see AutoPowr/IVT speed setting).

Left-hand reverser equipped models use four main controls to operate the tractor:
  • Foot brake with integrated AutoClutch
  • Set speed adjuster
  • Speed control lever with two variable-speed bands
  • Multi-function left-hand reverser
The left-hand reverser control strategy separates the direction control lever from the speed control lever on the CommandARM™. This strategy is a good choice for operations requiring the right-hand to run multiple operations on the CommandARM or applications requiring constant directional changes.
Example: Loader work - The right hand is typically busy operating a joystick so the left hand can now control tractor direction.

Right-hand reverser

A convenient, right-hand reverser is available with the AutoPowr/IVT transmission on some models. The reverser is located on the CommandARM as shown above and includes the same functions as a left-hand reverser.

  • Forward direction selector
  • Reverse direction selector
  • Neutral position
  • Electronic park lock
  • PowerZero position:
Right-hand reverser equipped models use three main controls to operate the tractor:
  • Foot brake with integrated AutoClutch feature
  • Set speed adjuster
  • Multi-function speed control lever with integrated reverser
The right-hand reverser control strategy combines speed control and direction control into one multi-function lever conveniently located on the CommandARM. This is a good choice for most common field applications since tractor speed and direction are not constantly being adjusted by the operator.

Determining which control strategy is best suited for a specific operator depends on a few key factors. Consider the following in helping to choose between a left- or right-hand reverser (where available).
  • Operator preference and ergonomic benefits.
  • Operators in loader applications might prefer a left-hand reverser since direction changes occur frequently while their hands are on the steering wheel (near the left-hand reverser location).
  • Producers primarily in row-crop applications using features like AutoTrac™, or operating with the seat swiveled to the right for easy access to monitors and displays, might find the right-hand reverser more convenient to have speed and directional controls in one location on the CommandARM.
Set-speed adjusting wheel
Set-speed adjusting wheel

Set-speed adjusting wheel

The set-speed adjusting wheel is the rotational “thumbwheel” located on the speed control lever. The wheel is quick and easy to adjust with the thumb and rotates infinitely with no stop or start position.  The set speed adjuster is used to set the maximum commanded forward or reverse speed in each speed band.
As the operator moves the lever within or between speed bands, the electronic management system ensures smooth, quick and powerful acceleration or deceleration, regardless of load or ground speed.
While in motion, the speed lever must be in the speed band for which the operator desires to adjust the maximum set speed. When stationary, all set speeds, both forward and reverse, may be adjusted while the speed control lever is in the scroll position.
On tractors equipped with right-hand reverser controls, the engine must be running to make adjustments to the set speeds. On tractors with left-hand reverser controls, the engine does not have to be running; only the key switch needs to be on. 

The maximum ground speed selected in forward and reverse is shown on the cornerpost display.  Forward set speed 1 can be adjusted to a maximum of 20.0 km/h (12.5 mph) while set speed 2 can reach 42 km/h (26 mph) or 50 km/h (31 mph), depending on which transmission the tractor is equipped with. Additionally, set speed 2 must always be at least 10 percent faster than set speed 1.
For tractors equipped with right-hand reverser controls, there is only one reverse slot, and the maximum set speed is 20.0 km/h (12.5 mph).
On tractors equipped with left-hand reverser controls, the operator has a choice of two reverse set speeds with set speed 1 having a maximum of 10.0 km/h (6 mph) and set speed 2 adjustable up to 20.0 km/h (12.5 mph).

Adjusting forward-reverse – speed ratio
The ratio of a reverse set speed to the corresponding forward set speed can be adjusted and set to operate independently or from 0.3 to 1.3 times as fast in 0.1 increments. Forward and reverse set speeds are the same at 1.0 setting (1 to 1 ratio). Adjustments are made on the transmissions advanced settings page on the CommandCenter™ display

Forward set speed is 4 km/h (2.5 mph)
and ratio is:

Reverse set speed
km/h (mph) is:


1.2 (0.4)


1.6 (0.8)


2.0 (1.2)


2.4 (1.5)


2.8 (1.75)


3.2 (2.0)


3.6 (2.2)


4.0 (2.5)


4.4 (2.7)


4.8 (3.0)


5.2 (3.2)


No ratio “reverse and forward” gears function independently of each other and are only restricted by set speed

  • The maximum reverse speed is 20.0 km/h (12.5 mph).
  • The reverse set speed is limited to 5 km/h (3.2 mph) faster than the forward set speed.
  • Only tractors equipped with a left-hand reverser have a reverse set speed band 2.
Multi-function and speed control lever
Right-hand reverser

Right-hand reverser

Left-hand reverser

Left-hand reverser

Speed control lever with left-hand reverser

Speed control lever with left-hand reverser

  • On a right-hand reverser, multi-function and speed control levers are combined into one lever.
  • On a left-hand reverser, they are separate levers.

The speed-control lever controls the commanded speed of the tractor.  Forward and reverse speeds can be programmed into the tractor using the set speed adjuster either prior to operating or while operating the tractor.  The maximum set speeds are achieved when the speed control lever is placed at the end of either speed band F1, F2, or R on right-hand reverser controls or 1 or 2 on left-hand reverser controls.
Ground speed is variable from a very slow speed at the bottom end of  speed band 1 up to the preset set speed 1 at the top end of the first speed band (position F1 or 1 shown above). The commanded speed is then variable from set speed 1 to set speed 2 at the top end of the second variable speed band (position F2 or 2 shown above).  Speed band 2 always begins where speed band 1 ended.  There is never a gap or overlap so speed progression is continuous as the speed control lever passes through the transition, although the rate of speed change may be different for each speed band.
As the operator moves the lever within or between speed bands, the electronic management system ensures smooth, quick, and powerful acceleration or deceleration, regardless of load or ground speed.  Commanded speed (determined by the position of the speed lever) and ground speed (calculated from tire size and axle rotational speed or radar speed) are displayed on the cornerpost display.

The multi-function lever controls direction, neutral, park, PowerZero, and scroll.  Refer to the above pictures for location of these positions.
Park (P) - Engages the electrohydraulic park brake. Lever must be in this position to start the tractor.

Neutral (N) - Allows the tractor to roll freely.

Scroll (3) - Tractor will be in PowerZero while in the scroll position. Use scroll position to adjust forward and reverse set speeds while stationary. The tractor will default to park immediately if the operator leaves the seat.
PowerZero (4) - In PowerZero, the transmission is operating but delivering zero speed, so the tractor will hold its position regardless of load or incline without using the brakes. This is ideal for loader work or operations where the tractor needs to be totally stationary for a short period of time. Lever must be held in this position or it will automatically go to the scroll position. As long as the lever is held in the PowerZero position, the tractor will not default to park as it does in the scroll position.
Forward and reverse directional control
On right-hand reverser controls, moving the lever to any position within F1, F2, or R slots determines tractor direction. On left-hand reverser controls, the left-hand reverser lever must be moved to either the forward or reverse slot for tractor movement and direction, independent of the speed control lever position. On either right-hand or left-hand reverser controls, the lever can be moved between forward and reverse without stopping to allow smooth, quick direction changes.

Implement considerations and order requirements
Operators should carefully consider their implement’s towing speed limitations when ordering tractors equipped with the 50-km/h (31-mph) option.

Speed bands 1 and 2 can be configured to aid operators with instant speed selection in transport or field applications. Speed band 1 is commonly used as the field operating speed and speed band 2 is commonly used as the transport speed. However, there may be times when configuring the speed bands differently could improve operational efficiency.

  1. During field operation - Set speed band 2 for the desired working speed, and speed band 1 for end-of-row-speed. When approaching the headland turn, pull back the speed control lever to speed band 1 and make the turn. When the turn is complete, push the speed control lever to the end of speed band 2, and the desired working speed is commanded.
  2. During transport operation - Set speed band 2 for full transport speed and speed band 1 for turning. When approaching a turn, place the speed control lever to speed band 1, turn the corner, and then extend the speed control lever back to speed band 2. Transport speed will be resumed.
Foot throttle
Foot throttle

Foot throttle

Using the optional foot throttle in conjunction with the foot brake with integrated AutoClutch is the preferred method of operating an IVT-equipped tractor on the road. 
Using the foot throttle to make minor adjustments to tractor speed simplifies operation. 
When coming to a stop, let off the foot throttle, pull back on the speed selector lever (reducing both engine rpm and ground speed), and then depress both brake pedals (locked together). To resume movement, simply release the brakes, depress the foot throttle, and move the speed selector to the desired position.
NOTE:  Foot throttle is not available on track tractors.
Foot brake with integrated AutoClutch function
The electrohydraulically controlled brakes on AutoPowr/IVT-equipped tractors have an integrated AutoClutch function. 
  • At low idle only, the tractor will stop by depressing only one brake pedal. 
  • Pressing both brakes (locked together) simultaneously will stop the tractor from any ground or engine speed. 
Braking can be done on flat ground or steep slopes simply by using the brake pedals; it is not necessary to depress the clutch. 
  • It is recommended to lock the brake pedals together when operating on roads.
Foot brake with integrated AutoClutch

Foot brake with integrated AutoClutch

Stopping the tractor using AutoClutch
During transport, it may be desirable to use the AutoClutch feature to stop the tractor when approaching an intersection or turn. Braking the tractor using the AutoClutch at high ground speed and engine speed will require high brake-pedal force. Rather than using AutoClutch alone, reduce the engine rpm and pull back the speed selector lever to a slower commanded speed before applying the AutoClutch. This will help to reduce the force needed to stop the tractor with the AutoClutch. The tractor will accelerate to the previously commanded speed upon release of the AutoClutch and repositioning of the throttle and speed selector lever.

NOTE: The preferred method of stopping heavy towed loads is to slow the AutoPowr/IVT speed lever and lower engine rpm first, and then depress both brake pedals. (Brake pedals should be locked together.)
Using individual brake pedals - implement hook-up 

Individual brake pedals can be used to assist slow-speed off-road turning, such as hooking up to an implement. At low idle, the AutoClutch feature will stop the tractor if the operator depresses only one brake pedal.
To assist in hooking up an implement, depress either brake pedal while slowly increasing engine speed until the desired turn is achieved. Returning engine speed to a low idle while continuing to depress one brake pedal will slow the tractor to a stop.
CommandCenter controls


The CommandCenter is the central information system for tractors and allows the operator to program various settings tailored to a specific operation.
To access the tractor’s transmission settings, press the transmission shortcut key on the CommandARM™ console.
CommandCenter transmission shortcut key

CommandCenter transmission shortcut key

NOTE: For a detailed explanation of the CommandCenter AutoPowr/IVT, please refer to the operator’s manual.
The AutoPowr/IVT application settings employ three modes to take full advantage of the engine-transmission communication: Full auto mode, custom mode, and manual mode.
Full auto mode
IVT full auto mode

IVT full auto mode

Full auto mode enables the tractor to make adjustments to the transmission operating mode automatically, based on engine and transmission speed, and the load on the tractor. This should be the IVT setting for 95 percent of all applications. Full auto mode switches between load control and fuel economy mode seamlessly, with no involvement from the operator, as conditions and applications change. Fuel economy mode automatically switches off when the power take-off (PTO) is engaged to provide full PTO power. Operators can set the maximum forward and reverse speeds for the tractor in their particular application.
Custom mode
IVT custom mode

IVT custom mode

IVT custom mode settings

IVT custom mode settings

Custom mode allows the operator to set the operating parameters differently from Auto mode, for specific applications.
Custom mode settings
Operators can customize the auto shift engine speed droop as a percentage of the full engine speed. Also, operators can adjust the eco engine speed to choose the lower rpm used by the fuel economy feature. In addition, the load anticipation feature can be enabled for the hitch engagement, hydraulic engagement, or both.
Manual mode settings
IVT manual mode settings

IVT manual mode settings

Manual mode turns the automatic adjustments off and disables the fuel economy mode of the transmission. The transmission does not automatically adjust engine rpm to save fuel in this mode. This can prove to be useful in applications like a loader work where the variability of engine speed based on load is not needed.
Additional transmission settings
Additional transmission settings

Additional transmission settings

Additional transmission settings can be customized to the operators’ specific desires.
AutoClutch sensitivity can be adjusted on the transmission settings page in the CommandCenter™ display. Operators can choose from high, medium, or low sensitivity as to how aggressive the AutoClutch is. Based on load, travel speed, etc, the operator can fine-tune the AutoClutch by delaying response time, so that the trailer brakes are applied before AutoClutch engages. 
  • High: Is for light or no trailer (load) – Factory default
  • Medium: Is for medium trailers (load)
  • Low: Is for heavy trailers (load)
The AutoClutch sensitivity factory default-setting is set to high, which supports most operations.

Acceleration aggressiveness can be programmed - High, medium, or low. Acceleration aggressiveness options allow the operator to adjust acceleration aggressiveness settings to meet load requirements. The larger the trailer, the lower the acceleration aggressiveness setting should be. These settings allow the operator to minimize trailer jerking during acceleration.
AutoClutch sensitivity and acceleration aggressiveness settings are available in all three modes – Auto, custom, and manual. Remember, although these two settings can be adjusted, the default settings will provide the correct sensitivity and acceleration required in the majority of operations.

Throttle position and electronic management system

When utilizing AutoPowr/IVT in auto or custom mode, it is important to have the engine throttle control set to the maximum position. This ensures the electronic management system has full control of the engine speed, and it will automatically adjust engine speed downward as necessary to achieve maximum fuel economy.

Load anticipation feature

A load anticipation feature is standard equipment on all tractors equipped with an AutoPowr/IVT transmission. The load anticipation feature allows the AutoPowr/IVT to predict how much load the engine expects from the activation of the hitch or a particular selective control valve (SCV) function.

Load anticipation is activated when:

  1. An SCV is commanded to flow more than 25 percent, or when it is in continuous flow, the tractor will boost the fuel economy engine speed.
  2. An SCV or the hitch lever is placed in the detented position, when the hydraulic load is decreasing. The system learns this load from a SCV or hitch lever movement in the detent position only, resulting in a decreased engine load (raising the implement).  The AutoPowr/IVT remembers the load change, and when it detects the same lever starting a movement in the opposite direction (that is, lowering the implement), it automatically responds with a short engine rpm boost to provide more power to handle the oncoming load increase.
This provides the tractor an engine speed boost before the implement engages the ground.  For example, if an operator lifts the implement out of the field, fuel economy mode will kick in to start reducing engine rpm as a headland turn is made.  When the load anticipation feature detects the implement being lowered as the result of a SCV or hitch lever movement, an engine speed boost will automatically be commanded prior to the implement engaging the ground.

NOTE:  The load anticipation feature also activates when using SCV or hitch functions programmed within iTEC™ sequences.

Last Updated : 24-Jun-2011