I’ll get right to the point… When researching New Generation Tractors of the 1969–1972 model years, that are now
equipped with Power Front-Wheel Drive (PFWD), the results have been quite disturbing. Let’s start at the good end:
almost all of the 4620s researched have checked out just fine. In other words, the owners have PFWD-equipped tractors
that can be verified as such at the Deere & Company Archives. But, there are big problems at the other end. Only a portion
of the 3020s and 4020s being researched are able to be verified as having been originally equipped with PFWD.
Here’s how the research is being done: There are two separate ledgers that list these tractors. The first ledger, known as the
Serial Number Register, has been used all along — for many years — to research tractor production information. It takes several
of these Registers to cover all of the 20 Series New Generation Tractors. The second set of ledgers was discovered only
months ago, and this set has the added benefit of listing LP tank numbers, Standard Tractors, and tractors built with Power
The accuracy of the second set of ledgers was unknown, as all entries were done by hand. So, a few dozen known PFWDequipped
tractors, mostly 4020s, were checked against these ledgers. In all instances they matched the records.
Discovery of the ledgers was reported on these pages several issues ago, and an ever-increasing number of readers have
been requesting research on their tractors to verify the PFWD. Unfortunately, the number of 4020s that appear to be
authentic PFWD-equipped tractors is “about half.” It’s too early to determine (there have not yet been enough reported) if
3020s are going to fare any better than that.
The argument can be made that there were omissions in the ledgers; that some of the tractors not showing “Hydro” or
“HFD,” etc., in the ledger really were equipped with PFWD at the factory. However, this is not the way Waterloo Tractor
Works records have been. I’ve studied them regularly for over 30 years, and verified errors are few in number among some
two million-plus tractor entries. Further, the ledgers do match every documentable PFWD-equipped tractor for which hardcopy
records have been available. For example, some owners have managed to acquire copies of original dealer or customer
sales receipts. In a few instances, we have been able to verify that a tractor was originally equipped with PFWD, but the
system has since been removed. In addition to the production records in the ledgers, there is typically evidence of the on-off
switch on the tractor’s instrument panel.
So, does this mean that a tractor equipped with PFWD but is not listed as such in the ledger is a fake? I’m not ready to
say that, as there could be some errors of omission in the ledgers. It’s too early in the process to make a conclusive statement.
However, this can be said… With the known available information, tractors now equipped with PFWD that do not show as
such in the ledgers or other iron-clad evidence cannot be verified as having been built with PFWD at the factory, so the document
supplied by Two-Cylinder for those tractors will not show “Power Front-Wheel Drive.” Only for those tractors
showing a proper PFWD notation in the “Misc.” column of the second set of ledgers, or on other irrefutable evidence supplied
by the owner, will Two-Cylinder provide a document indicating “Power Front-Wheel Drive.” Since two separate
ledgers must be accessed and cross-referenced to arrive at the correct information, the price of the research is $50.00 plus
shipping. In the event that the tractor records do not show PFWD equipped, the additional $15.00 will not be charged. The
price of regular research is $35.00 (refer to back cover).
Happily, most of the tractors that appear to their owners to be a Standard have checked out as a Standard. There are two
notable exceptions: Apparently, Standard Tractors equipped with a factory cab were not recorded as “Std” in the “Misc.”
column of the second set of ledgers. We don’t know why, but this has been consistently true for about 25 such tractors now.
Perhaps cab installation was at a remote location, and the information was not conveyed back to the individual(s) responsible
for the ledger entrees. And, there have apparently been a few Row-Crop Tractors converted to Standards. I’m reluctant to go
in the direction of ledger omission here, because there has been no evidence of that except in the instances of factory cab
equipped. As with the PFWD-equipped tractors, we cannot show a tractor as a Standard unless the ledger agrees. However,
those that are factory cab equipped will bear a notation that mentions this situation. We’re working on appropriate wording
at this time.
Some readers, possibly the majority of them, are unfamiliar with Power Front-Wheel Drive. John Deere Day DVD No.
22 shows the system close up and in field operation on a 4020 Diesel. Since this DVD also provides a considerable amount
of other information of the era ( John Deere Days 1968 and 1969), it is recommended viewing. We also recommend saving
money by doing the “Pick 3” or “Pick 4 or More” packages, or by becoming a Gold or Platinum Level Member and getting
generous discounts pretty much across the board (toys, DVDs, research, etc.).
Readers with questions about the above information are invited to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.