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Why are John Deere's Green?

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Les
AC's originally were green too. Legend has it that the manager of AC's tractor division was on a trip to California and saw some orange flowers on a grassy green hillside. This gave him the inspiration to change the color to orange. Talking about color, why were the original AC garden tractors yellow instead of orange! Cub Cadets were the same way, also the original Massey's. Was it keep from "cheapening" the image of their farm tractor by using the same color on a lowly garden tractor? Nobody has ever been able to give me an answer. I am certain that a lot of farm dealers did not want to sell garden tractors because they thought they(themselves) were too "high and mighty" to do so. Maybe that is why AC & IH went with yellow. Ironically, garden tractors are what kept a LOT of farm dealerships open in the 1980's.

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AGCO918
wild poppies is what harry c merriet brought back to wisconsin and had the paint mixed to persion orange.up to the 28 or 29 the tractors were green as les said .from the first 6-12 with the sterns boat motor to the 20-35 all ac tractors were green .starting with the 25-40 and 30-60 E tractors WERE ORANGE FROM THERE ON. deere has to be green so the dealers can get top dollor ,overpriced parts ,and buying a name .Allis Chalmers is orange because they, stand out from everybody else and were more than 10 yrs ahead of their time and very underrated for the price you paid for the the tractors were the poor farmers tractor and got the job done as good and if not bettter than the competion. AGCO918 CHAD E SHAFER(AGCO918)

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Les
First true Row crop design -- IHC Farmall 1924, AC All Crop 1930 First 3 pt. hitch -- Ford-Ferguson 1939, AC D-14 1960 First Factory Cab -- MM UDLX 1938, AC 190XT 1967?? First Tourque Amplifier -- IHC Super MTA 1953, AC power director 1957 First Roll Over protection -- John Deere 1966, given to entire industry First "live" PTO -- AC WD 1948 Hurray! First diesel farm tractor -- Oliver 88 1948, AC WD-45 diesel 1953 First 6 cylinder engine -- Oliver 77 1938, AC WD-45 diesel 1953 First Power Shift -- John Deere 4020 1963, AC 8030?? 1980? First turbocharged diesel -- AC D-19 1961 Hurray! First front wheel assist -- MM G704 1962, AC ???? First major mfg 4x4 tractor -- John Deere 8010 1959, AC7580 1975(The 440 was a steiger) First to provide super high pressure hydraulics that actually gave some farmers a hypodermic injection of hydraulid fluid -- AC First to have "greaseworms" in their power articulation joints that caused the joint to go bad every 200 hours -- AC First to make cultivators that didnt even make it once across the field before falling apart -- AC First to make a totally rediculous manure spreader that unloaded from the front spreading cow crap all over the guy running it -- AC First to make a cruddy trap door in a combine that you could actually knock a hole in and have corn leak though, especially at night when you cant see what is going on, and even when the trap door is not damaged you have to run in first gear or you spray corn out the back, hence the term "silver seeder" -- AC Farming can be very frustrating at times!

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AGCO918
LES, the d21 in 67 was the first ac with fwd.The manure spreader design you are talking about is used today by knight speader,which i know first hand from work is one very good design throwing out chicken manure from the side is neat to see throwing out about 20 to 30 feet. I am glad you put the facts on here on the other companies but ac is not give the credit ithey deserve is my oppion only.I will always be ac no matter what anybody says about them.All companies have good and bad points ,some you pay for the name and paint and parts are way over priced. A ex. of ac is i had a light switch go out abot 10 yrs ago on my wd ac and was sent to a case ih dealer to get the same switch for a vac case.You dont see j deere making parts for that fit other brands do you? i love this website preserving simplicity and ac lawn equipment.thanks kent for this great site you have . ps wagner was building 4x4s in the late fiftys and got jd in that market.wagner couldnt make tractors of there own because jd wanted the market all to themselfs having to sign a agreement not to make tractors while they made them for jd.it is a same ac isnt around as ac because they had a lot of products in the works when bought by deutz in dec.6 1985. ac had the largest dozer in the 70s, the hd41 with 525 hp until cat built a bigger dozer.the T16 sugar baby was acs 1st 4x4 in 63 with 150 hp. agco918 CHAD E SHAFER(AGCO918)

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Les
According to Norm Swinford's book, the front wheel assist D-21's were experimental and were not commercially available, therefore the first front wheel assist AC's were the 8000 series, almost 18 years after MM and Oliver were selling them to farmers. The experimental "Sugar Babe" was a converted hydraulic loader which was also never commercially available because it was proved to be totally unreliable for farm work. Wagner was not a major farm equipment maker but was in the construction equipment business. Steiger was the first 4x4 but they were not major either. Deere took a bold leadership step with the 8010 and lost a lot of money on it. You should read all three of Norm Swinford's books. Very interesting reading. The AC story is sad indeed, as they made many very fine products but were just over-diversified. They invested their capital into making products as diverse as refrigerators and water softeners, rather than improving on their best products(as Deere did). Therefore they never became a market leader in anything. The IH story is similar.

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AGCO918
Les : you are right on they had to much differant areas,not doing just one thing but i will defend them forever nomatter what anyone says about them. I have all of the books that are availible on allis chalmers plus have a pretty good libary on the other companies as well ,dont know why people have their views on ac the way they do.You have brought up good points on here about the other companies but,you are alot older than me so you have been around ac alot more than i have. I have a passion for ac because my family farmed with ac and i have been ac every since i was old enough to remember. AC was into so many markets that is good and bad as you have said,but i have heard so many good things about the company and have a hard time with people in general when it comes to defending allis chalmers because i think the notill drill being one of ac s 1st was one of their better products along with the dozers ,combines and tractors.agco918 CHAD E SHAFER(AGCO918)

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Les
Boy you are really right about one thing, anybody who had to farm with AC's was a really poor farmer! Seriously, AC made some fine tractors, but to call them ahead of the industry is just not correct. AC was a follower, not a leader. I have rode a 1972 AC 200 for 14 hours one day, then got on a 1963 JD 4020 power shift for 14 hours the next day. Believe me, there is one hell of a comfort level difference! Same story with a Silver Seeder model F vs. a Massey 510, night and day difference. In fact I just talked to my cousin last June, that 1963 JD 4020 power shift has been used continuously and has NEVER been touched. Truely amazing

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JohnInMI
My father now has 5 John Deere 4020's. There are damn nice tractors (he still likes his gas WD-45 better - it just isn't big enough). The first one he purchased when I was in high school and we completely repainted it. Easy job and it still looks great today. Now that I'graduated college and moved away there is no one there to throughly clean and wax it and make it look perfect though :( Les, what are the names of Norm Swineford's books, I'm looking for a Christmas present for my Dad and that sounds perfect. Is the 8010, the 4 wd without the cab and ROPS? I'm not familar with it. I've spent many an hour in at John Deere 7020 which I believe was from the early 70's (BTW I think it has the same bore and stroke - block- as the 4020 Diesel, but the 7020 was torbo charged and intercooled - that's why the 4020 lasts forever - factor of safety of 10!!) AC had something similar to the powershift on the 7000 series tractors, which was the hi/low range toggle button on the floor. It was as great of a shift difference as John Deere, but it helped to go to low when plowing the uphills with our 7050 and high on the flats. I've welded the AC culivators together also. One last question, Why didn't the Minnie Moe's and Oliver (a much better looking green) make it?

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goatfarmer
In the last years of Oliver,and I think in the last years of M&M,they were owned by White Motor Company. I've heard 'bout anything they touched turned to garbage. Used to be the Oliver headquarters,and manufacturing plant here in South Bend.Mostly sat empty since 1985,now finally getting torn down,and redeveloped. kenny L

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AGCO918
The 7020 jd was 146 hp and oliver and mm and cockshutt where all bought by white in 63,64, and mm in 69 marketing the same tractors with a differant decal and paint color. Allis chalmers 8000 series were the newest in the line when bought out by deutz in 1985. The 4-220 and 4-305 were the 4 wheel drives at that time.White on my oppion was one of the better farm equipment companies .I havent heard anything about any of their tractors being garbage around here in ohio,indiania area because there was alot of them around in this area.The older olivers ,were known to have some problems with motors in the 1800 series and maybe 1900 series.JD is not on my hated list just overated and overpriced.AS far as allis chalmers being a follower ,i dont agree at all with that.I respect peoples oppions on here but ac was the 1st on rubber and so many other things but not a follower at all.GOOD and Bad in all products and yes ac had bad products,every company did when coming out with new products but ac was ahead of their time and got a bad rap for some of their products and i respect les on his oppions but i will always be ac. AGCO918 CHAD E SHAFER CHAD E SHAFER(AGCO918)

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Les
The old JD 404 was used in the 4020, 4320, 4520, 4620, 4430, 4630 and the 7020. In the late 60's they had some engine problems, mostly cavitation erosion, other than that they were bullet proof. Norm Swinford is an avid tractor buff and probably the most knowedgable AC man in the world. I cant remember the exact titles but I would recomend both Amazon and ebay searches. He did two large volumes, one on AC tractor and farm products and one on AC Construction. I have seen the construction book on ebay for $25 a couple of times. The original AC 4x4's, the 7580 and 8550 had greaseworm problems real bad, the power joints lasted maybe 200 hours if your were lucky. When they brought out the 4W-220 and 4W-305, they cut the shaft speed in half! When they brought out the 8000 series with fwd, the 8070 4x4 could almost out-perform the 4W-220 for a lot less money so it was dropped. A lot of the 300 or so 4W-305's sat around for many years and were re-labeled as orange Duetz-Allis. As were a lot of the 8000 series tractors. Those AC cultivators were crap werent they! And people wonder why Deere took over! Oliver started cheapening their tractors during the late 60's, lots of fuel injector problems, cracked heads, etc. Cheaper to buy initially. MM is probably the saddest story of all farm equipment makers, In the late 40's they had the most durable tractors, superior tillage implements, one of the first good hay balers, a lot going for them. Corporate raiders got to them in the mid-late 50's and bled all of the money out. They fell behind real bad.

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Les
JD came out with the 8010 in 1959! The 8010 had tranny problems so they recalled every one, put in new trannys and re-labeled them 8020's. Legend has it that there is one original 8010 out there, owned by a guy in south central Iowa who would not let Deere take his back. JD only sold about 100 8020's and then discontinued them in 1964, just not enough sales to be profitable. In response to the 8020, IH came out with an even bigger 4x4, the 4300, and sold even fewer than Deere did. In the mid 60's Deere sold a few Wagner 4x4's painted green(which they DONT like to talk about), and in 1971 came out with the 7020, and in 1972 the 7520. Dollars and sense in the marketplace determine what tractor makes survive and which do not. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We often prefer one make over another for sentimental reasons, not logical ones. There is no right or wrong for those of us who love tractors. I like virtually all makes of tractors. To me, AC is not the best, not the worst, BUT one of the most interesting! That's what it's all about isn't it? You shouldn't try to re-write history.

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Guest
When did Moline go under? ive got an old mm seed drill and cultivator.....I had a nieghbor in the early 80s that worked alot of years with moline, had all kinds of cool MM regalia..... Doug

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Les
MM's first screw up - In 1951 they bought BF Avery, old plants, lots of production, right at the time the tractor market was moving away from small tractors. Flushed a lot of money down the toilet. ONE changed vote by their board could have had them buy Gleaner instead! second screw up - In 1955, White Consolidated(not White Motor) took over and started taking money out, resulting in less R&D, MM started falling behind other makes, particularly in hydraulics. third screw up -- Dealing with Turkey! Set up a mfg. plant in Turkey and foolishly allowed the Turkish government to dictate almost all terms. Big money dropped on that one folks! fourth screw up - Dealing with Massey! MM started selling corn pickers and other equipment to Massey for sale through Massey dealers. MM recieved out-dated tractor hydraulic technology causing a lot of customer dis-satisfaction. MM sold their biggest tractors to Massey for sale through Massey dealers which actually allowed a Massey dealer to sell a MM tractor cheaper than the MM dealer could sell it. Caused many MM dealers to drop the franchise. MM loses their leadership position in wheat country. fifth screw up - Selling out to White Motor in 1963, began to share technology with Oliver and Cockshutt! Could you even TRY to imagine two worse companies to team up with! Yea, I know,......Massey sixth screw up -- Faulty heat treating on bull gears in the G1000 tractor. Millions of bucks dropped here too! MM's reputation never recoverd even though the problem was fixed. Add in continuous labor problems at the Lake Street plant Virtually all MM implemets became painted over Oliver in 1963, and combines became yellow Cockshutts(actually, not that bad of a combine). MM tractors pretty much stayed MM up until 1970-71. At that time all of the smaller hp models were dropped in favor of yellow Olivers. The bigger MM's were sold in yellow, green, and cockshutt red for a year or two. In 1973, MM was reduced to the G955 and G1355 models, made into 1974 and a very few in 1975, these were Oliver drive trains with MM engines. During 1975, all Oliver, MM, Cockshutt models were discontinued in favor of charcoal colored White models, altough a few Oliver 2255's were made into 1976 in order to use up parts inventory. The White 2-150 retained the MM 585 motor until replaced by the 2-155 model in 1978(Hercules diesel). MM natural gas engines were made at Russellville Arkansas up until the early 90's. The old MM forklift line was renamed "White" and forklifts continued to be made at the Hopkins Minnesota plant through the late 1980's.

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