Was the Deere 20 series 20% better?


I read some discussion recently on whether the two cylinder 20 series tractors got their designation by having 20% more horsepower than their predecessors. Is this true? While Deere didn't boldly proclaim it they certainly hinted at it in some of their literature. You have to admit if the 620 wasn't thusly designated because it had 20% more power than the 60, it's a heck of a coincidence. After all they could have called it the 61 or 60A, "Super 60", "60 Plus",  "Green Wonder Machine" or a thousand other things.

Tags: John deere 20 series two cylinder antique tractor classic tractor

The first tractor Deere sold


As we all know the first tractor to bear the John Deere name was the model "D". First Waterloo built tractor anyway, as some would point out that a few years earlier the All-Wheel-Drive or "Dain" as it was known by many was built in a quantity of 100 and some seem to have been retailed before Deere proveriably swept the whole thing under the rug. 

When Deere and Company bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine company in 1918 they began selling the Waterloo Boy tractors.

However before any of that, in 1910 when the Gas Traction Company of Minnesota needed a plow for their 19,000 pound "Big Four" tractor to pull at the Winnipeg Plowing meet, they chose a John Deere seven bottom. Shortly thereafter several of Deere's branch houses began selling the giant tractor and advertising of the day sometimes refered to it as "our Big Four tractor". 

In 1912 Deere attempted to buy the Gas Traction Company of Minnesota but a deal could not be struck. Had it been, the term "Johnny Popper" might never have been heard nor their famous sound. 

Tags: John Deere tractor two cylinder antique classic collector tractor

What green is John Deere green?


Is there a better day than St. Patrick’s day, when everyone is wearing green to start a new website for Green Magazine?


Since I have been working at painting a tractor I’ve been doing more thinking than usual about what is the real “John Deere green”.  I’ve been asked my thoughts on the differences between the current Ag and Classic greens available from Deere, when changes were made etcetera hundreds of times over the years.


Let’s start with this Ag and Classic green thing. The two varieties of green you can currently buy from you friendly local John Deere dealer. To my eye, Classic green is darker and bluer than Ag green, and looks more like what I saw back in the late 1970s when the 40 series New Iron Horse tractors were introduced. There is some evidence to support this, because I have been told by a Deere parts guy that the part number for Classic is the same one that Deere paint got when these tractors were introduced. Back in the 1990s, that shade of green kept the same part number but had its name changed to “Classic”. The new lighter, more yellow color that was introduced was called “Ag” and had a new part number.


So what color should I paint my spoker “D”, 70, 730, 4010, 4020? I have no idea. Personally if I were going to only use Deere paint I would  us Ag on everything but my 40 series Gen II tractors. Some say that the color changed between the 4010 and the 4020. This might be true, though I would day the color changed between the early and late style (console) 4020s. I have always noticed that on the few color photos I have seen of new tractors taken back in the 1940s or 50s, the tractors seem dark, really dark. Darker than even Classic green. You must also consider that in the century or so of Deere tractors that formulations and applications must have changed many times.


So if you think that I may confused you, consider this quote about Deere paint from Deere vice president C.C. Webber in 1905. “Our apple green color color even of the best quality is too delicate a color to carry a sufficient load of varnish. We suggest that the apple green be restored to its bright green and darkened as much as possible and yet remain the same to the eye of the trade.”

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