1991 - Volume #15, Issue #6, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
John Deere LemonsI'm sure that the title of this article has already grabbed your attention and some of you readers are already becoming irate. Let me preface my comments by saying that I was born and raised on John Deere tractors. My grandfather was a John Deere mechanic until his death. I have farmed for nearly 25 years with only Deere tractors and mostly Deere equipment. Also, my father and I own seven antique Deere tractors.
However, I have come to believe that many Deere enthusiasts believe that every tractor built by Deere was the result of divine intervention. If, however, you want to be honest with yourself, you should realize that every company that manufactures items ๙ be it cars, airplanes, tractors or toasters ๙ makes some products that are mechanically flawed, or the original concept of the product missed the target. John Deere is no exception.
I realize that for every "lemon" tractor I have listed, at least 50 people will say "I owned one of those and it was the best tractor I ever had." I am not writing this to upset anyone, rather to stimulate some thought. Perhaps some readers will write letters to refute my opinions, or others to concur with them.
Please don't write to me. Write to this publication (FARM SHOW, Box 1029, Lakeville, Minn. 55044) so everyone can share your thoughts. So, take this story for what it is๙ something to stimulate discussion. You don't have to agree with what I say, but you do have to respect my right to say it.
A good, dependable, easy to operate tractor. I do, however, wonder why Deere did not use an overhead valve engine like the D which preceded it. Its biggest failure was the three row concept. The Farmall regular preceded it and trying to convince farmers to go three row rather than two or four was somewhat akin to sweeping back the sea. This attempt gave Farmall the sales lead for years to come.
Here again a good little tractor, but quite weird ๙ the belt pulley runs backwards at half speed, only a three speed transmission, and I don't think I even have to mention the brakes to anyone who ever had to work on them. However, was a tractor smaller than a 14 hp B really needed? Deere at that time rated tractors as to how many horses they would replace; in other words, an A re-placed four horses, a B replaced two horses, etc. What was theH to replace ๙ foundered ponies? It would seem the only thing smaller than a B should be a pedal tractor.
The six volt or long hood model. My grandfather had one on which I spent many hours driving and cursing it when it wouldn't start. The agonizing, tortured sound of the starter trying to turn the engine over is a memory I will take to the grave.
Models A and B
The late models with the stamped steel frames. Deere should have quit advertising about ease of maintenance with these, as anyone who has worked on the engine will attest to. Also, you did not want to put a loader on them because the frame just would not withstand the strain. I once saw one with the loader broken in two.
Model 70 Gas
Another well built dependable tractor which was basically a high compression G but it just did not measure up. The 13 by 38 tires hurt it by making it much faster than a G in the same gear. I worked for a man who had a 70 and a G with high compression pistons. We always used the G for the heavier jobs.
How could a company that just designed the 3010 and 4010 (posssibly the best tractors ever built) come up with such a morphadite. It lacked the front mounted hydraulic pump and hydraulic brakes. Deere found out they could not make disc brakes work any better than anybody else. The steering was like an old Case DC with the chicken roost, only it was hidden. I have always said the 2010 was Deere's attempt at building a Farmall.
Model 3020 Gas With Power Shift
A nice tractor to drive but it did not have enough power to get out of its own way. But one thing it did well was burn fuel. Had many of these been sold, our dependence on foreign oil would be much worse. My neighbor had one and it burned as much fuel per hour pulling 3 bottoms as my 4
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