If you’ve seen the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Harrison Ford plays the character Indiana Jones, perhaps you’ll remember the closing scene where the crated up Arc of the Covenant is rolled into a seemingly endless warehouse. That’s a good vision to have when trying to understand why the small staff at the Deere & Company Archives can’t possibly be familiar with everything stored there.

Most of the documents and records kept at the Archives would be of no concern to anyone interested in vintage John Deere products, or even in company history. These records would bore the most enthusiastic Deere fans to distraction. Being forced to look through them could be regarded as cruel and unusual punishment. But then there’s the other stuff...

Readers already know about the fabulous photograph and literature collection, and the priceless Serial Number Registers. And there’s some equipment stored there. Not a lot, even when compared with perhaps a hundred private collections; and it’s in varying condition, from restored to very poor, but all of it is meaningful and worth the warehouse space.

A few years ago, shelf storage space was dramatically increased through the use of what I would call racks on rails. Instead of a workspace-sized aisle between each system of shelving, there’s the ability to enter where desired by simply pressing a button. The whole affair spreads apart at that location, sort of like Moses parting the Red Sea. The rest of the racks are still snugged up to one another, conserving a huge amount of floor space.

When the system was installed, it provided the opportunity for more records to be relocated from long-term warehouse storage to “up front” office area access. The crate containing the Arc was discovered, if you will accept the analogy.

On a trip to the Archives in April, Neil Dahlstrom asked me to take a look at some ledgers. They had been boxed long ago, and were labeled as a Duplicate Set of Serial Number Registers from Waterloo. Dated during the production of the New Generation, from 1960 through 1972 (there may be more beyond that date), they are in fact additional production information that was not known to exist; information that is not in the Serial Number Registers. The Serial Number Registers were produced by computer at that time, and had been for the last several years of the Two-Cylinder Era. These recently discovered ledgers are comprised of hand entries, and list the assembly date rather than the shipping date of each tractor.

We looked first at the 4020 Ledger marked 1969, and noticed some (usually) five-digit numbers in the far right column under “miscellaneous.” Several pages later, some of these same entries had the additional notation of “LP Tank #.” These Ledgers list the number of the LP-Gas tank! While that may not seem to be too important to most readers, the information can serve as assurance that a restorer has the original tank; or when investigating a theft,

the number can be of additional evidence. As with all component numbers, the information will be retained by Deere & Company. However, persons wanting to verify that they have the correct tank for their tractor will be given a “yes” or “no” response. This can be done during Serial Number Researches by Two-Cylinder.

Starting with the 1969 model year in August 1968, Standard Tractors were no longer coded as (2) in the middle digit of the serial number prefix. Consequently, all 1969 and later New Generation Standard Tractors built at Waterloo appear as Row-Crop Tractors (Code 1) in the Serial Number Registers. At least for the 4020 (the 3020 Ledgers have not yet been examined), Standard Tractors are marked “std” in the miscellaneous column. We now have a way to count and to verify Standards!

Since the assembly date rather than the shipping date is provided in the “lost” Ledgers, we can now count actual production and complete the 1972 information that appears in the Production Log. As it is, the Production Log ends with the month of February 1972. When additional information to complete the Log is gathered, one model at a time, it will be published in Two-Cylinder. Those who have a copy of the Log may then write the information in, using a pen that will make a permanent entry on the heavily coated paper. Going through the records for so many thousands of tractors, counting the model codes for each type and fuel, will take awhile.

Hi-Crop and Industrial Tractors are also noted in the miscellaneous column, usually as “HC” and “Ind”, but these tractors are also able to be identified by their serial number prefix. There appears to be no advantage in using these Ledgers, other than being able to get an accurate count for the Production Log.

Also in the miscellaneous column were the notations (again, everything is handwritten) of “spc” and “sepc,” which seemed to be exclusive to a portion of 4000 (rather than 4020) Tractors. This was not a familiar code or abbreviation, and its meaning is unknown. Help from readers would sure be appreciated.

There were a variety of notations in the miscellaneous column that are believed to refer to the tractor having been equipped with Power Front-Wheel Drive. Back in the day, at the Tractor Works, PFWD was called “hydrostatic front drive” and “hydraulic front drive.” Sometimes just “hydro.” In informal correspondence, such as scheduling memos, the term “HFD” was often used. A thorough count and serial number recording was taken, which spanned two days, and it appears that 621 4020 Tractors were built with the Power Front-Wheel Drive option. The figure may seem like a lot to some, and few to others. I remember the period quite well, being involved in a project that took me into every area of the plant. PFWD-equipped 3020s and 4020s were present on a regular basis; it certainly seemed daily. Looking back now, I suspect that they




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