As you’re picking up your next load of John Deere tractor parts for a repair, you might start to wonder about the history of this successful brand. Before Deere made tractors, they made a number of what are now tractor parts. In fact, John Deere incorporated made popular tractor parts before tractors as we know them even existed! Through their long history, the John Deere company has been an architect of the modern tractor’s design.
The Beginning of John Deere
John Deere was a real person, a blacksmith born in 1804 in Vermont. He moved out to Illinois in 1836, where he opened a shop as a general repairman and manufactured gardening tools, like pitchforks and shovels. Deere’s shop hit real pay dirt when he invented the self-scouring steel plow, which worked better in the rich Midwestern soil than the iron and wooden plows farmers were using at the time. Deere’s steel plows enabled western expansion into the Great Plains in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Soon, John Deere was the number one plow manufacturer in the world! It had expanded its lineup to include a number of other tractor parts as well, but it still lacked the final piece: a tractor. In 1912, John Deere’s board of directors decided to give the green light to design a new tractor for the company to introduce to the world.
After a long design process, Deere’s board voted to manufacture 100 All-Wheel-Drive tractors with friction-drive transmission and a high-speed, four-cylinder engine. However, the All-Wheel-Drive was too expensive for the farmers in 1917 at $1200, so only 90 were ever built. But John Deere still needed a tractor.
The first true JD tractor was originally developed by another company, Waterloo Gasoline Engine, that John Deere bought in 1918. Soon, John Deere began manufacturing and selling the simple, rugged, and cheap Waterloo Boy tractors and thrived for the next six years. John Deere was truly a tractor company.
John Deere Tractors & Ford Tractors Go Head-to-Head
Soon after, Ford began muscling into the tractor market with the Fordson. With Ford’s assembly line technology, the Fordson was far cheaper than the Waterloo Boy, and it was more compact, which farmers liked. So John Deere got back to work on a new prototype.
Soon, the model D tractor was born: a compact, rugged two-cylinder engine tractor that could burn any distilled fuel and pull a three-bottom plow. The model D became a best-seller. Over the next 29 years, John Deere sold 161,000 model Ds, which firmly established Deere as a leader in the tractor space.
The tractor that vaulted the John Deere company to true prominence, however, was the model A. Introduced in 1934, the model A had a powerful 23.5 hp motor with an innovative one-piece transmission, allowing it high-crop clearance. Instead of a clunky mechanical shift system, the model A implemented a hydraulic shifter, allowing for smoother adjustments in torque. Finally, its adjustable rear-wheel tread and multiple variations, like the AO for orchards, AN with a narrow front axle, and AW with a wide front end, made the John Deere model A sell over 620,000 models before it was retired. This model cemented that Deere won the tractor fame.
John Deere Tractors Modernize with the World
Since then, John Deere has consistently been the manufacturer of some of the best-selling tractors of all time, and its name is synonymous with tractor quality. In fact, John Deere became so popular as a brand it inspired counterfeits in Sweden!
The company, GMW, made perfect copies of the John Deere model A and B with slight variations, so they wouldn’t be sued for copying John Deere parts. Luckily, the owner of GMW banked on gasoline engines when European farmers were embracing diesel, so the company was short-lived.
From the early days with the model A, to the current iterations of the 6020, 7020, and 8000 series of tractors, John Deere has consistently designed and manufactured tractors and other machinery to the highest quality. Their tractors last a long time, so usually John Deere owners only need to purchase replacement JD parts when they break and replace them on their tractor. That commitment to longevity, and the availability now of John Deere tractor parts online, has made the John Deere brand a mainstay in the farming industry.
John Deere Parts for Sale in Southern Louisiana
When you bought your John Deere machine, you bought it for life. As the premier tractor salvage company in the United States, we here at Broken Tractor make sure to have the best John Deere lawn tractor parts, John Deere excavator parts, John Deere backhoe parts, and John Deere dozer parts on hand, so you can grab the part you need and get back to work as soon as possible. We even have John Deere Wheel Loader & Skid Steer parts! If we don’t have the part you need, simply fill out our parts request form, and through our nationwide network of salvage yards, we will find it for you! Whether you’re in Slidell, Hammond, or elsewhere in southern Louisiana, stop by our Baton Rouge location to find the John Deere equipment parts you need today to get back to work without a Broken Tractor!