It's unlikely to find a farmer who hasn't heard of John Deere tractors. Over the decades, the brand has become an icon of quality when it comes to tractors and agricultural machines, both in America and globally. However, to this day, many people still find themselves wondering; where are John Deere tractors made? Are they all made in the USA?
In this article, we're looking to dive into this historic company and answer all your questions on John Deere. Let's start with how it all began.
John Deere Brand History
It all started with a steel plow. In 1836, John Deere, a then-unknown blacksmith, moved from his hometown of Rutland, Vermont, to Grand Detour, Illinois, to escape bankruptcy. Deere set up his shop in the small town, where he began serving as a general repairman and manufacturing farming equipment such as pitchforks and shovels.
Barely a year after setting foot in Grand Detour, John invented the self-scouring steel plow. It became an instant commercial success and incredibly popular with farmers who worked heavy soil on the prairies. Before John's invention, the farmers had to regularly clean off the rich prairie soil that constantly stuck to their cast-iron plows, a problem the steel plow solved completely.
Following this success, John Deere became a dedicated plow manufacturer. By 1941, he was making 75 plows a year. And in 1841, he built his first factory in Moline, Illinois. In 1863, the company invented the horse-powered ride-on plow, popularly known as the Hawkeye Riding Cultivator.
It wasn't until 1918 that the John Deere company built its first tractors. The company had acquired the Waterloo Gas Engine Company, the makers of the Waterloo Boy tractor, to set the transition in motion. Surprisingly, they made and sold 5,634 tractors in their first year of production.
This would mark the beginning of a century of sustained development and innovation in tractor manufacturing. As a result, John Deere established itself as a leading manufacturer and became a household name in the industry. Several decades later, John Deere is now a multi-national company that extends beyond agricultural equipment.
Currently, John Deere has a large footprint across many other industries, including forestry, construction, gardening, landscaping and outdoor recreation. The company is still well known for its innovative ethos, with a keen focus on making products that benefit the customer directly. Today, John Deere operates in 35 countries across the globe with 100 factories building a wide and impressive range of machinery:
- Combine harvesters
- Forage harvesters
- Sugarcane harvesters
- Seed drills
- Field sprayers
- FEL attachments
- Telescopic handlers
- Feller bunchers
- Log loaders
- Diesel engines.
Where are John Deere Tractors Manufactured?
John Deere has maintained its roots in the United States. Its world headquarters remain where it all started- Moline, Illinois, USA. The company produces various types of tractors in four US states; Georgia, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Iowa.
John Deere had gone international by 1912 on the back of its global success with farm equipment, even before it ventured into the tractor business. From the 1950s, the company built factories to manufacture tractors in Germany, Spain and Mexico. At present, John Deere tractors are manufactured at 43 locations in the US and 104 locations in both North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Interestingly, different tractor models and series are made in different factories.
a). Made in the USA
These are the factories that make American-made John Deere tractors:
- Augusta, Georgia: Utility and compact utility tractors
- Waterloo, Iowa: AG tractors
- Greeneville, Tennessee: Garden and lawn tractors
- Horicon, Wisconsin: Garden and lawn tractors
Other John Deere equipment made in the USA include:
- East Moline and Moline Illinois - Large combine harvesters, hydraulic cylinders, planting equipment
- Waterloo - Foundry operations, drivetrain operations, service parts operations
- Iowa - Tillage equipment, cotton harvesters, forage equipment, motor graders, sprayers
- Dubuque, Iowa - Tracked forestry equipment, skid steer loaders, backhoes
- Wisconsin & Tennessee - Lawn-care machinery
- Louisiana - Cane harvesting equipment
- Fuquay Varina, North Carolina - Golf equipment
b). Made Internationally
The following are factories outside the US that also manufacture John Deere tractors:
- Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Russia: AG tractors
Other John Deere machinery made internationally include:
- Brazil - Harvesters
- France - Power systems
- Finland - Harvesters and forwarders
- Germany - Harvesting machinery
- Mexico - Construction equipment, 4- & 6-cylinder engines
Types of John Deere Tractors
Over the decades of being a leading manufacturer, the Deere company has produced over 700 tractor models to meet every farmer's needs. So what makes up the expansive lineup?
a). Row-Crop Tractors
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These have up to 360 HP. They are mostly used for plowing, tilling, planting crops and weed control.
b). Specialty Tractors
Specialty tractors are designed to navigate tricky grounds, such as moving through vineyards or under trees in orchards, driving on rough terrain and rocky roads, etc.
c). 4WD Tractors
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These are absolute monsters and the go-to option for those looking for super heavy-duty tractors from John Deere. They have up to 560 HP, meaning they can handle any terrain. These 4WD tractors are ideal for bigger farms.
d). Utility Tractors
These have up to 250 Hp and come with multiple handy attachments, making them exceptionally versatile. They are suitable for hauling, mowing and bailing.
e). Compact Utility Tractors
These farm tractors are low-power machines, with up to 66 HP. They're built for lighter tasks such as plowing, digging, garden maintenance, landscaping, mowing and loading.
f). Sub-Compact Tractors
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These are the smallest John Deere tractors. They're built pretty compactly and are easier to use, making them ideal for small jobs at home, such as landscaping, mowing and even animal management.
e). Track Tractors
Track tractors make up the 8 RT and 9 RT series.
What Makes John Deere Tractors Stand Out?
Since its humble beginnings, the company has always set out to build innovative tractors that fit every farmer's needs. First, John Deere tractors come well-equipped, helping cut down operational costs. Second, they have some of the most advanced features seen on tractors, including high engine power, high hydraulic system, upgraded transmission system, to name a few.
John Deere tractors are equally renowned for their power and durability. They have cast heavy-duty iron axles that allow them to perform rigorous tasks. Furthermore, the tractors come with innovative technology, from excellent brakes and impressive PTO to outstanding lifting capacity.
It's worth mentioning that you can also customize your John Deere tractor. This entails buying various attachments, such as a hitch, top link, bumper and several others to make your model unique. Just as important, these tractors offer premium comfort and safer rides in the field.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on John Deere Tractors
1. Which is the most reliable John Deere tractor?
The Row Crop 6150R is arguably the most reliable Deere tractor at the moment. It's a robust piece of machinery that includes solid power systems, making it perfect for fertilizing soil and harvesting crops. It also offers great visibility for the drive since it has a larger cab design than most models.
2. Which is the biggest John Deere tractor?
The 9620RX is, without a doubt, the biggest tractor from John Deere. It's powered by a powerful 14.9-liter 6-cylinder B20 engine with the diesel Cummins QSX15. It also has a massive 620 HP and weighs a whopping 62,000 lbs.
It has a spacious and comfortable CommandView cabin that gives the driver excellent visibility. This beast also features spring-loaded shock absorbers on corners to offer the driver a smooth ride.
3. Why are John Deere tractors expensive?
There are a couple of reasons why John Deere tractors are priced highly. First, the brand itself has earned a respectable reputation over the years. Second, the quality that goes into their products is undeniably superior; it's full value for your money at the end of the day.
That said, there's not much of a huge difference between John Deere tractors and other brands. It all narrows down to the machine's power, capacity, condition as well as specific requirements.
4. Who is John Deere's biggest competitor?
John Deere competes with the best tractor brands, such as Kubota, AGCO, CNH, Claas, KGaA and Mahindra.
5. How many farmers use John Deere tractors?
According to a 2012 study conducted among 2,000 Midwest farmers, a remarkable 67% identified John Deere as their primary brand. Furthermore, 77% of these Deere customer base considered themselves brand loyal. These findings further support that John Deere is the most recognizable brand in modern agriculture.
John Deere is a highly reputable company in the tractor business worldwide. With over 100 years in the trade, it's no surprise the brand produces some of the best tractor models we have seen on farms. If you plan on investing in a reliable tractor, there's possibly no better choice than the good old green and yellow John Deere tractor. The best part is, now you know which John Deere factory to get in touch with.
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