John Deere C850 Air Cart

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Easy-to-operate tank lids

The C850 has five tank lids to make filling convenient and quick. The three back tank lids are operated by pushing forward on the foot pedal and straight down on the handle. The lid slides out of the way, following the contour of the tank, so it does not interfere with the conveyor while. The tank lids seal tight by pulling upward on the handle and stepping back on the foot pedal. The three back tank lids offer a wide opening, making an easy job out of placing the conveyor in the right place during fills. The design is a single per tank design, providing for faster fill times.

The front 50 bushel tank has two options to make loading low rate products easier. If the grower is filling the tank with bags, the front lid is accessible from the bottom platform of the cart. The two front railings of the cart can be removed to allow for a truck to bring bags directly to the platform. As pictured above, the bottom fill location of the front tank has a bag splitter.

To fill the front tank with a conveyor, the top tank lid is easily reached with the hydraulic conveyance system.

Ultrasonic bin level sensing

The John Deere ultrasonic bin level sensing system will increase the accuracy of bin level read outs in the cab and on the cart side display compared to the paddle design. The accuracy of this system is within 10 percent of actual product in the tank. Product in the tank is measured utilizing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasonic) that are emitted from the unit and received back when they reverberate off the product in the tank. These sound waves generate a digital signal which can be mapped across the angle of repose for the product in the tank. Using calculus volume can be determined from the convex slope determined from the ultrasonic frequencies. When metering two products into one airstream, ultrasonic is able to improve the accuracy of detection up to 50 percent more than traditional paddle sensors.

Tank capacity and design

The total capacity of the C850 is 850 bu, measured by conveying product into the tank. The front tank is dedicated for low rate applications and holds 50 bu. The remaining three tanks in order of front to rear are 260 bu, 130 bu, and 410 bu.

John Deere air cart tanks are solid molded polymer, known for superior corrosion resistance compared to steel while providing semi translucency allowing for visual verification of product level in day-time operation. Each tank is mounted in a cradle frame to eliminate interference between each other. The polymer material does not require weldments like on steel tanks. Weldments on steel tanks are prone to failure over time as the metal is fatigued under stress.

The improved top bevel design on tanks allow for greater capacity and meets 850-bu capacity without the need for shoveling product into the corners while conveyor filling.

Each tank has a wide single opening, which means it is easy for access for the conveyor and entry to the tank. Inside each tank is a ladder for clean-out access. Ladders in the tanks have been designed so that material cannot build up on steps. Top rails have been capped and sloped to ensure product sheds from the surface. When cleaning out the cart, the tanks slope steeply at bottom for product to flow easily and each tank is accessible for fill and clean-out with the conveyor.

Tanks come equipped with digital pressure sensor, ultrasonic bin level sensing, and camera-ready harnesses mounted from the factory.

Camera ready

Conveniently monitor products in each of the four tanks and see what is behind the cart from the in-cab display. From the factory, the cart comes with an integrated camera wiring harness that brings connections up into the tank. The harnesses enable both CabCAM and Voyager cameras available from the John Deere dealership.

John Deere ActiveCal™ system

The more frequently calibration is completed, the more accurate a seeder will be. A number of variables, including product weight and changing climate conditions throughout the day, will have an effect on any volumetric metering system; with the John Deere ActiveCal system, calibration can be done from the cab of the tractor while seeding to minimize the variation in product metering. 

The process to calibrate the cart starts with the Gen 4 CommandCenter™ 4600 display in the work setup page. On the work setup page, the operator defines product types, rates and selects meter roller. Based on information enter into the work setup page, a preconfigured meter displacement value (MDV) will populate per meter. An initial manual calibration will give the most accurate MDV to start with, however, the preconfigured MDV will be a good starting point for growers who do not wish to manually calibrate.

The operator engages ActiveCal while stationary and once the button is selected on the screen, begins seeding. When enough product has been metered out, typically after about 8-12 acres of seeding, depending on the product, the Gen 4 CommandCenter will prompt the operator to stop. When convenient to do so, the operator stops and the data points are calculated. New MDVs with percent difference is provided and can be accepted or rejected. If accepted, the system automatically calibrates to the new MDV. If rejected, the system continues at the previously calibrated numbers.


Model John Deere C850 Air Cart
Tow behind Tow-behind only
Quantity 4
First tank capacity 1820 L   (50 bu)
Second tank capacity 9460 L  (260 bu)
Third tank capacity 4730 L   (130 bu)
Fourth tank capacity 14910 L  (410 bu)
Drive type Hydraulic
Drive Hydraulic
Maximum rpm 550 lb. of seed per acre at 5.5 mph and 15 degree slope (300 lb. fertilizer and 250 lb. seed)
Diameter 69.85 cm  (27.5 in.)
Standard 800/70R38 SFT Mitas (19-psi)
Standard 800/70R38 SFT Mitas (19-psi)
Minimum transport width 6.62 m  (21.67 ft)
Minimum transport height 4.03 m  (13.25 ft)
Minimum transport length 14.6 m  (48 ft)
Weight empty 18552 kg (40900 lb)