They Put Tracks On Deere Garden Tractors

After Irvin Zimmerman and his sons finish working on old Deere garden tractors, they no longer mow. But they look pretty awesome with rubber tracks and are ready to do plenty of other work, such as plowing and tilling.


   “It makes a nice little garden tractor with less compaction and more traction,” Zimmerman says of the hobby he started with his sons after reading a FARM SHOW article about a person who put tracks on a mower.


   Their first attempt was a decade ago, putting snowmobile tracks on a Wheel Horse mower. The tracks were too light, so they tried steel tracks and then rubber tracks. After much trial and error, the Zimmermans now use the rubber tracks used on Ditch Witch stand-on track loaders. They also have a laser cutter and CNC lathe to make rollers and idlers for the track.


   “We pull the front axle out completely and put in a pivoting hard bar, so the tracks oscillate for a better ride and traction, especially on uneven ground,” Zimmerman says.


   The biggest accomplishment was figuring out how to use the original steering and power steering lines, by hooking up the steering motor to pressurize the brake calipers for steering.


   The Deere 430 garden tractor they altered attracted interest when it was featured in Lawn & Garden Tractor magazine. The article writer liked it so much that he convinced Zimmerman to sell it to him.


   “We have three more in the making (430s) plus a smaller Deere 332,” Zimmerman says. “We’re planning to take them to shows.”


   Though it took years to figure out the design, due to his work as a trucker and now owner of a tool and rental business, the resulting track design impresses collectors. Zimmerman may offer modifications or kits to others in the future. Meanwhile, it continues to be a good family hobby. The four oldest sons are grown up and married, but he has three younger sons who work with him. It won’t be long until his young grandkids will be old enough to drive the “Deere Tracks” and help plow and till the family garden.


   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Irvin Zimmerman, 9891 N. Mt. Zion, Fortuna, Mo. 65034 (ph 573-789-0590;;