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June 2012 Archive for Your Favorite Tractor

RSS By: Your Favorite Tractor, Farm Journal

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Tractor Trendsetters: John Deere GP

Jun 12, 2012

Written by Larry Gay

In the early 1900s, farmers and the farm equipment companies were searching for a way to cultivate row crops with power equipment. Motor cultivators were built from about 1915 to the early 1920s, but not many farms could justify owning both a tractor and a motor cultivator. A better solution appeared in 1924 when International Harvester started producing the McCormick-Deering Farmall tractor. Now there was a 2-plow size of tractor on the market that could perform the usual drawbar, belt pulley, and PTO tasks plus cultivate row crops.

The Farmall used a high clearance rear axle and a 74-inch wheel tread to straddle two rows of crops. The dual front wheels ran between the two rows. In 1927, John Deere introduced a different configuration of row-crop tractor with its Model C tractor, which became the Model GP during 1928. The John Deere GP tractor was built to cultivate three rows with an arched front axle straddling one row. The 49.5-inch wheel tread enabled the front and rear wheels to run in the spaces beside the center row. A 3-row, tractor-mounted planter completed the system. One advantage of the relatively narrow wheel tread was it eliminated side draft while pulling a 2-bottom plow.

The John Deere C and GP tractors introduced a mechanical power lift to raise and lower the planter or cultivator. The operator stepped on a pedal to raise the implement at the end of the field and then stepped on the pedal again to lower the implement after making the turn for the next trip across the field. The power lift was also used to raise and lower the front-mounted sweep rake. Now there was a fourth method of using tractor power to replace manual labor.

The John Deere GP tractor was rated at 10 drawbar horsepower and 20 belt horsepower with its horizontal 2-cylinder engine which operated on kerosene. The transmission provided three forward speeds of 2.3, 3.1, and 4.3 miles per hour. The PTO and power lift were a combined system.

The 3-row concept did not become popular and the GP was joined by the GP Wide-Tread in late 1928 and early 1929. The GP Wide-Tread was designed to cultivate two or four rows as it had dual front wheels and a 76-inch rear wheel tread. However, the mechanical power lift did become a popular feature and was soon provided by the other tractor manufacturers.

Larry Gay is the author of four tractor books published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, including Farm Tractors 1975-1995 and Farm Tractors 1995-2005. These books may be obtained from ASABE at 800-695-2723 or, click publications and then click book catalog.

1979 IHC 1486 "Red Power"

Jun 11, 2012

1979 IHC 1486 "Red Power" owned by Gene & Bev Oeding, Luverne, MN. Restored by Randy Bartels, Garretson, SD.

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1968 John Deere 4020

Jun 04, 2012

Tractor of the month Fastline Tennessee edition.

This 1968 John Deere 4020 is owned by Adam Denton, Smithland, Tenn. It was restored by Adam and Paul Denton.
1968 John Deere 4020 Tenn

1959 Ford 871 Gold Demonstrator

Jun 03, 2012

Tractor of the month Fastline Mid-Atlantic edition.

This 1959 Ford tractor is owned and restored by Shane Sells, Kernersville, NC.
Shane found this Gold Demonstrator less than two miles from his house. It had been sitting under a cedar tree for the past 25 years. Together with his family and friends, Shane restored it to its former glory.
1959 Ford 871 Gold Demonstrator MidAtlantic

1966 Farmall 706

Jun 02, 2012

Tractor of the month Fastline Oklahoma edition.

This 1966 Farmall is owned and restored by Dean Grenawalt.
1966 Farmall 706 oklahoma

1959 John Deere 730 Diesel Standard Tread

Jun 01, 2012

This tractor was featured for the month of June in the Classic Farm Tractor Calendar.

Many John Deere collectors consider this as one of their favorite models. It certainly is for owner Dan Peterman, who operates Rusty Acres Restoration in Iowa. It was his father’s tractor—the one Kenneth Peterman was working on when he died from a sudden heart attack.
"It was two months before I could go ahead and finish it," Dan says, badly shaken by his dad’s death.
The engine, a twin to one used in the Model 720 that preceded it, showed maximum PTO hp of 56.66 at 1,125 rpm in Nebraska test No. 594. The John Deere 2-cyl. horizontal motor (bore and stroke of 6.125 x 6.125) totaled 376 cid. Its 6-speed transmission produced a top speed of 11 mph.
Don’t try to buy it because Dan won’t sell his dad’s 730.
1959 John Deere 730 Diesel Standard Tread
Owner: Dan Peterman
Webster City, Iowa
Considered one of the finest antique tractor restoration experts in the business, Dan speaks at the Gathering of the Green meetings, and write articles about restoration for Two-Cylinder management. He does not however, limit his work to John Deeres only.
The world-famous Classic Farm Tractor Calendar from Classic Tractor Fever is in its 21st year of publication, with the 2012 calendar available now. They have calendars, videos, books and much, much more. Click here to visit their online shop.
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