The John Deere Model "D"
It is 1923 and the times are changing. No more Waterloo
boy tractors are being built by John Deere but successful testing
on the model "D" prototypes are over and production
can now begin.
The central and western plains are becoming the
bread basket that is starting to produce the world's food. More
and bigger power are being required to turn the sod and plant
and harvest the crops that can grow in these rich and fertile
The John Deere Company has built an entirely new
tractor from stem to stern. A new side by side two cylinder motor
is developed for this new model and the chain drive system, that
is sealed and runs in oil, is a left over from the last Waterloo
Boys built. The last Waterloo Boy had a serial number of 30400
and the first production model "D" sold, started with
The first 50, built in 1923, could be exacted apart
by the "ladder" side radiator and fabracated front axle.
All 1923 - 1925 models had a spoked flywheel, and became known
as the "spoker D's". The first thicker and smaller spoked
flywheel model, to be the same weight, was shipped to California
on October, 8, 1924, number 31280, to allow a PTO to be installed
on the side of the transmission. The installation of the PTO also
required some modifications to the steering to accomodate this
feature. The first "D" with a solid flywheel left the
factory on Jan. 2, 1926. Two speed transmission was introduced
in 1926. Splined flywheel and crankshaft in 1927. Also in 1927,
the bore was increased to 6.75, which remained the same to their
end of production in 1953. In 1928 a three speed transmission,
improvements to the platform, fenders and an enclosed PTO were
being tested. The three speed never found an adoption in the unstyled
models of 1929 but all other improvements did.
Some experimenting was done with, "half track"
type rear drives and three power units with transmissions were
shipped to Washington State, to Lindeman Power Company, to be
outfitted with full length tracks. Sure would like to get my hands
on one of those. Go good with my standard "Lindie"
The Depression had it's effect on the company and
sales were bad for a couple years. However things got back to
normal about 1934 and again the company was in full production.
The first (Depression "D") was serial #115300, produced
in 1931, and the last one built was # 116272, in 1934. The three
speed was adopted at this time and rubber tires were becoming
The "D" could always be used as an industrial tractor
but in 1935 there was a line of "D's" produced, and
painted yellow, and given the designation of "DI". the
"I" stood for Industrial. The only changes that depicted
it from other model "D's" was the paint, frame and seat.
It had a cushion seat with a back rest that was situated at right
angle to the tractor's mainframe. Only 100 were built through
1941, even after the regular unstyled model "D" ended
in 1938, the industrial model remained an unstlyed until 1941
1939 brought styling along with many other advancements such
as electric starting and lights. Along came another war, WW11,
that clamped off the rubber tires, anything copper and any price
increases during the war. The Deere "D" continued to
advance with individual brakes that could be operated either by
foot or hand. These brakes were optional only and had to be ordered.
Different size drive chain sprockets could be ordered for faster
or slower speeds. So! All you "D" people out there.
Be sure you know the tooth count when ordering from your supplier.
The Model "D" was in production longer than any other
tractor model, including all other make models. (1923 to 1953)
The demand was so great for the Model "D", that even
after they had officially ceased building them, they found that
there were enough spare parts in inventory to build another 92
tractors. Because of the orders still pouring in, even after production
had ceased, these parts were moved to the alley (street) between
two of the buildings that were used to build the model "D"
tractors, that were now renovating for other production. These
92 tractors were assembled in the street with regular hand tools,
thus these tractors were and still are called, (streeter D's).
- 1923-1927 (unstyled)
Serial numbers --30401-53387
Bore & Stroke---6.50 x 7.00
HP--Drawbar---22.53--------- Nebraska Testing-- ------PTO------30.40
- 1927 - 1953 (1939 to 1953 were styled)
Serial numbers --53388 - 191670
Bore & Stroke---6.75 x 7.00
HP--Drawbar---28.53--------- Nebraska Testing-- ------PTO------36.98