Old Tractors: Can They Still Get the Job Done?
By Tom Seest
At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.
Tractors are large vehicles designed for heavy hauling duties. You might also see them used at tractor-pulling events where competitors use one tractor each to pull a weighted sled along an artificial dirt track.
Most older tractors feature unsynchronized transmission designs that require their operators to manually double clutch or power shift when changing gears, increasing risk and the potential for transmission damage or loss of control. This is less than ideal from an operational point of view.
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John Deere offered an array of models during its early tractor production days. Some were designed specifically for orchard use and equipped with special fenders; others were developed specifically to work in rice paddies with wider tires for traction. Some could run on either kerosene, gasoline, or diesel fuel, while early ones could even use any combination of those three, as well as LP gas or distillate.
By the late 40s, consumers had become overwhelmed with choices, and sales were declining rapidly. To address this situation, John Deere implemented its first-ever numbered series by using numbers instead of letters as distinguishing markers between various models. Customers found it much simpler to differentiate among their tractors!
The Model 40 tractor was the inaugural numbered model produced, replacing the old two-cylinder Model M, and was produced from 1953 through 1955 at Dubuque Works in Iowa. Over this two-year span, over 50,000 were manufactured – making this small tractor immensely popular among truck farmers and tobacco growers. Furthermore, its easy customization made it suitable for a range of farmers’ needs.
John Deere tractors began offering four-cylinder options after the release of its 40 series tractor in 1947; these four-cylinder models featured powerful engines compared to its two-cylinder Model M counterpart. By mid 1960, 2010 and 3010 series tractors became available and more powerful 4010 and 5010 models; these tractors marked John Deere’s move toward four-cylinder power plants.
John Deere Model 60 all-fuel tractors were popular during times of higher grain prices when non-gasoline fuels were less costly than gasoline; all-fuel tractors allowed farmers to save money while carrying out crucial farm chores; this proved especially valuable during these trying economic conditions when every dollar counted.
John Deere 60s were produced from 1952-1956, replacing the Model A as part of their product offering. They provided plenty of power at the time, which made them ideal for use across various applications on farms.
Distillate may no longer be widely available, but John Deere Model 60 all-fuel tractors can still be found for auction and collector markets. While these models don’t produce as much horsepower when powered by distillate instead of gasoline, they still prove useful in various farm tasks.
John Deere serial numbers contain six digits: the first represents their family, while three more indicate approximate engine horsepower. Finally, five and six indicate whether a tractor was sold with either an optional fuel tank or a Power Take-off (PTO) attachment.
John Deere model numbers can also help identify which year their tractor was manufactured, and typically, when there is an overlap in two or more years, the earlier of them is usually considered correct. Furthermore, the letters at the beginning of a serial number help establish what type of engine is powering each model.
John Deere Model 70 lawn tractors are among the finest on the market, boasting great versatility for multiple tasks. Equipped with plenty of attachments and accessories – including a snow blade, dump cart, pull-behind sprayer, and tire chains – you’re able to use it easily for all sorts of lawn work tasks. Furthermore, you can add a front loader, which makes transporting small loads around the yard simpler.
John Deere Model 70 tractors were produced between 1953 and 1956 as an upgrade to their Model 60s, becoming some of the finest tractors ever created by John Deere.
This model is considered a classic and is highly sought after among collectors and enthusiasts for its durability, reliability, and distinctive design. Even today, it can still be found used on farms around the world, a testament to its longevity.
Contrary to modern tractors, the Model 70 features an unconventional two-cylinder engine capable of producing 50 observed belt horsepower. Designed to run on both gasoline and diesel fuel sources, its engine can run for three hours without needing refueling; additionally, it’s simple and quick starting using either recoil or electric starters.
In addition to its powerful engine, the Model 70 is capable of towing a 21-foot disk using its Powr-Trol hydraulic system and independent PTO. When its big brother was introduced in 1955 as the Model 80 Diesel, it set a record fuel economy rate when tested in Nebraska.
John Deere Model 80 standard two-wheel drive tractor was manufactured between 1955 and 1956 in Waterloo, Iowa, and powered by a 7.7 L (470.7 cubic inch) two-cylinder diesel engine. Additionally, this tractor came equipped with a three-point hitch and hydraulic transmission, making the Model 80 an extremely popular and reliable farm tractor during its time period.
This tractor features a harrow and bale spike attachment for moving and loading bales of hay, as well as forestry cutter and pallet fork attachments, capable of lifting up to 50,000 lb (2,300 kg).
This John Deere tractor is in great condition and features air conditioning, heat, EROPS ISO pattern controls, and a backup camera as standard equipment. Additionally, 2-speed hydrostatic transmission, power quick attach, high flow hydraulics, and more make this an excellent value near St Clairsville, OH 44470. Pricing is firm.
This machine features very low annual hours. It’s extremely clean, boasting the deluxe cab, complete with air conditioning, power seat, and rearview mirrors; it is also equipped with loader/blade attachments such as a bucket, auger attachment, and pallet forks for additional versatility. This used tractor features a 540 PTO and 3-point hitch for maximum versatility, an engine in excellent working order, and excellent condition tires. Call now to arrange your test drive! This machine boasts a very reasonable price point with its remaining factory warranty in force – call now to set it up! Financing available. The John Deere 5085M loader features a non-self-leveling (NSL) bucket with an overall dump height of 41 inches (104.4 cm), as well as 72kW (170HP). It is suitable for use with smaller equipment, such as skid steers or compact track loaders, making this ideal for compact sites.
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