John Deere’s digital security

John Deere’s new PIN code locking system helps deter the theft of valuable GreenStar in-cab displays and StarFire satellite receivers.

John Deere in-cab displays are vulnerable to theft, due to their ‘plug and play’ design.
John Deere’s in-cab displays are vulnerable to theft, due to their ‘plug and play’ design.
Photo: John Deere

The popular ‘plug and play’ design of John Deere displays and GPS receivers makes them more susceptible to theft than some other systems on the market. Until now, they could only be mechanically locked.

To increase the level of protection, John Deere has introduced a built-in PIN code lock, similar to that used on smartphones, for both components.

The PIN code for the display and the receiver are entered via the John Deere display. If the user forgets the code, he/ she can continue working for a limited period of up to 72 hours. After this, a ‘master unlock code’ is required.

This can be generated easily in the StellarSupport online portal via the farmer’s MyJohnDeere login, which grants access to any John Deere component previously registered on that StellarSupport account.

The new PIN code locking system is available for the John Deere 4240 and 4640 universal displays and the StarFire 6000 receiver. It is bundled with the recent 19-1 software update, which permits the upgrade of these specific displays and receivers.

An addition to existing security features
The security feature complements the range of precautions already introduced by John Deere to deter thieves.

The company’s tractors sold in the UK and Ireland, including the 6M- 6R-, 7R-, 8R- and 9R-series models, carry both the CESAR Datatag security system and an immobiliser system as standard.

This means that while any other John Deere tractor key will still fit the door and ignition, the tractor will not start without the proper key.

A number of other security-related items are also available from dealers. These include lockable fuel tank caps and separate door lock keys, as well as immobiliser systems from the John Deere-owned Vapormatic all-makes parts business.

Protecting the machine
In addition, all 7R- 8R- and 9R-series tractors have JDLink telematics fitted as standard, with a one-year communications licence free of charge.

JDLink offers machine optimisation, remote diagnostics and remote access functions, as well as the option to geofence the machine, so that an SMS or email message is sent automatically if the machine moves outside a predefined area.

JDLink also allows a ‘curfew’ to be set; this alerts the owner if the machine is turned on during a predefined period, such as between 10pm and 6am.

This system is standard on the large tractors mentioned, and is also available as a factory-fitted option on 6R-series models. It can also be field-fitted on any other vehicle with a 12V power supply.