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John Deere Tractor Models – Taking A Look Through Time

Over the past century, John Deere has consistently introduced new ideas and technology in order to make lives easier. Whether it was developing the first steel plow for farmers in Illinois or creating the first seated cultivator, this company established its role as an industry leader from the get-go. Staying ahead meant breaking boundaries, something which came about when Deere purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company and officially entered the tractor business in 1918.

What was John Deere’s first tractor?

The first tractor developed through this acquisition was the John Deere Waterloo Boy N, which was in production from 1917 – 1924. Once the Nebraska Tractor Tests were introduced in an effort to ensure quality and set standards within an overcrowded market, this John Deere tractor model was featured in the first run.

The Waterloo Boy set the stage for all John Deere tractor models to follow. By gaining feedback directly from customers, Deere was able to produce a machine that was durable, economical, and reliable. This dedication led to a consistent evolution and by 1934, the John Deere Model A, the company’s first true row-crop tractor with an adjustable wheel tread, was created; this was followed closely by the Model B tractor. While these John Deere tractor models are considered vintage at this point in time, they were innovative enough to stay in production for almost 20 years.

Since entering the tractor business in 1918, Deere has continued to innovate and offer its customers top of the line equipment. As we consider the future of these machines, let’s take a look back at those John Deere tractor models that contributed to this legacy.

Unveiling the New Generation of Power

In 1954, a team of engineers began designing a new line of John Deere tractor models from scratch – this led to the development of the 1010, 2010, 3010, and 4010. This lineup, which included four- and six-cylinder variable speed engines, featured elements that were never before seen, including hydraulic power brakes and closed-center hydraulics for rapid power. From 1960 – 1962, more than 40,000 Model 4010 tractors were sold, leading to the development of the John Deere 4020. This success was inevitably passed onto the new design, which ­became the company’s best-selling tractor model, with more than 177,000 purchased.

From 1963 – 1972, this John Deere tractor model provided operators with several front-end options, including single-wheel, tricycle, and Roll-o-Matic; the 4020 also offered different tire sizes which could be adjusted to match various row crops. A major reason behind why this tractor became so iconic was the overall design of the machine. The rollover protection structure, which went from the top of the cab through to the rear axle, saved the lives of those farmers who operated on steep terrain. In addition to becoming a game changer in terms of safety, the John Deere 4020 also provided operators with a new sense of comfort while in the cab. Updated features included a deluxe seat and easily accessible hydraulic controls that replaced cumbersome levers at the front of the cab, something that paved the way for future designs at Deere.

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