The John Deere Waterloo Boy Tractors
The John Deere Model “320” Tractor
The John Deere Model “630” Tractor
The John Deere Model “830” Tractor
The John Deere Model “A” General Purpose (1939–1946)
WATERLOO BOY TRACTORS: When researching tractor history and production records, it’s regular practice to cross reference various documents to assure that information is accurate. That has been somewhat difficult with the Waterloo Boy. They seem to stir the soul like no other tractor of the era because, after all, they did give conceptual birth to the John Deere Model “D”. The Waterloo Boy is the alpha of the entire John Deere Tractor line as we know it today… Not the Froelich, not the All-Wheel Drive. Consequently, the romance evoked by the real progenitor of John Deere Tractors has resulted in a fair amount of text having already been written about its history. Unfortunately, much of it does not concur with what we discovered during our research.
MODEL “320” TRACTOR: Rugged, dependable, understressed, sharp-looking, and almost always a good investment.Dubuque tractor aficionados are already well aware of the virtues of the direct-line grandson of the Model “M” (don’t let the model designation fool you, it was the “320” — not the “420” — that carried through with the basic drivetrain of the Model “40”).
The “320” was made in three configurations: Standard, Utility, and Southern Special.
MODEL “630” TRACTOR: The “630” was the last of the tractors in the Model “A” lineup, and right to the end it was composed primarily of parts that used the letter “A” as a prefix to the part numbers. Looking at it from that perspective, here was a tractor that was in its 25th year of evolution upon its introduction in 1958.
The “630” was offered in three distinct configurations: general-purpose, Standard, and Hi-Crop. An orchard model was not offered, as the “620” Grove and Orchard Tractor was carried over with its already well-established design. The slanted steering wheel and other features of the “630” were not an advantage for that limited-production low rider.
MODEL “830” TRACTOR: If you’re into green and yellow, this is a tractor you have to respect. Massive, muscular, and virtually indestructible. This broad-shouldered ground pounder is the two-cylinder heavyweight champion. There’s nothing quite like the majestic “830”.
Introduced in August 1958, the “830” hit the market nearly twenty years after the first experimental John Deere Two-Cylinder Diesel Tractor (which was based on the Model “D”) was being tested. The first production diesel built by Deere was the Model “R”. Destined to replace the “D” with 50.96 peak (corrected) horsepower, it stunned farmers in 1949 with an outstanding fuel economy of 17.35 horsepower hours per gallon. Less than a decade later, the “830” was developing 75.60 horsepower with nearly identical fuel economy performance. It was the leader of its class by a wide margin!
Referred to in Deere sales literature as “Mr. Mighty,” the “830” delivered the performance promised. The 471 cubic inch (7.7 liter) two-cylinder diesel engine, six-speed transmission, and overall chassis design transferred a greater percentage of engine horsepower to the ground than any of its competitors, and it did so with astounding regularity and reliability. Even among so many other Two-Cylinder John Deere Tractors with an earned reputation for long-lived quality, the “830” stands out as an example of exemplary engineering and manufacturing.
MODEL “A” GENERAL-PURPOSE (1939–1946): The styled general-purpose Model “A”, built from mid-1938 to early 1947 for the 1939 through 1946 model years, is one of the most common yet least understood and collected of any John Deere series.
During their era, they were the bread-and-butter of the John Deere Tractor line, being out-produced by the “B” only because of price. Many farmers who bought a “B” dreamed of owning an “A”, but couldn’t come up with some twenty percent more money during those tough times — Great Depression still ringing in their ears, and a war going on.
EXPO V: A photo overview of Expo V.
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