The grand ring parade of 50 classic John Deere tractors, spanning 100 years, created considerable interest at the event.
John Deere UK celebrates 50 years Fifty years trading was celebrated by John Deere Limited, the manufacturer’s UK division during late September. Company employees, dealers, farmers and contractors from across the UK attended an ambitious weekend event marking the anniversary. David Williams was there. Early years Illinois-based blacksmith John Deere founded the American manufacturing company in 1837. A self-scouring plough share, able to resist the clinging soil of the American prairies, was his first successful product allowing the fertile land to be used for food production where previous iron plough metal had been unable to work. Rolled steel was imported from Sheffield, UK for the manufacture. The business grew rapidly and
moved to Moline, Illinois in 1848 taking advantage of the Mississippi River for power and transport. In 1918 the company bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company which manufactured Waterloo Boy tractors, sold in the UK and Ireland since 1915, badged as ‘The Overtime’, and imported by a London-based dealer. In the mid-1950s John Deere & Company built a tractor assembly plant in Mexico and bought into the German Lanz tractor and harvester
The 1916 Overtime displayed next to a 1919 Waterloo Boy formed the start of the ‘Heritage’ line-up.
manufacturer, based at Mannheim. By 1963, the company had become the world’s largest harvester and tractor manufacturer and also entered the consumer product market with the introduction of its 110 lawn tractor, built in Wisconsin. At the end of the Second World War, John Deere 3-wheel, highclearance tractors were imported from the USA under the lend-lease deal. In 1951 John Deere Company Limited was set-up, with plans to establish a manufacturing plant near Glasgow. This was unsuccessful and, as a result, John Deere purchased Lanz with its manufacturing in Germany and Spain for access to established dealer organisations in these countries and France. In the early 1960s a number of UK dealers John Deere tractors brought in by an importer; tractors such as the 100hp John Deere 4010 and 4020 meeting the demands of larger UK farms. The 4020 was the first tractor available in the UK with powershift transmission. In January 1966 the Langar-based UK business started trading, from its present location, taking advantage of facilities which had been operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force as a medical store. The initial tractor line-up included the 710, 4020, 5010 and 5020 along with ploughs,
John Deere product marketing manager for Crop Care products in Europe, Mark James, owns six or seven vintage John Deere tractors, three of which were at the event including a 1943 Model A, a 1946 Model D, and a 1941 BR on which he is pictured. “I think John Deere has been so successful because it has always produced machines which are very capable,” he said. “With only a few exceptions over the decades, its range has been pretty reliable and it is a company which has always stood behind its customers in lots of ways. That is its greatest success.”
This 1966, 4020 was one of the first supplied by John Deere’s Langar business and is owned by the company. PONTEFRACT T: (01977) 795241 KEIGHLEY T: (01535) 632661 LEYBURN T: (01969) 621369
THROUGH & THROUGH
HULL T: (01964) 622351 STOCKTON ON TEES T: (01740) 630254 TADCASTER T: (01937) 835454 RIPON T: (01765) 692255
www.riponfarmservices.com 54 www.farmersguide.co.uk November 2016
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