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The John Deere "Potato"Tractors

Some notes taken from "The Big Book of John Deere Tractors", by Don Macmillan




The John Deere Company was and still is very interested in supplying to the various end user any type of machine which will provide revenue back into the coffers of it's manufacturing process. It's called, "business sense".

One of the out of the way industries was potato farming of the northeast and the northwest. Up to this time there were no adjustable rear wheel tractors out there and apparently no one was even thinking of it. However, in 1930, John Deere decided to build a special model, with the proper fixed width rear wheel arrangement, just for the potato farmers and the special width that their rows mandated. The mainframe was the regular "GP"tricycle model which had a 68" tread width and numbered, P5000 to P 5202.

The first 150 were special built as a "potato tractors", with some differences hear and there on the tractor, but the remainder was just the "GP" model with the different rear wheel width. All were produced on steel.

The "potato tractor" was only produced for one one half years and was dropped as a special design tractor. Needless to say, if you can get your hands on one of these tator babies, you got yourself a very rare piece of old iron.

After dropping the regular "GP" model as their 'Potato tractor", John Deere made a set of wheel adaptors to fit the advanced "GP", called the "GPWT". GP for general purpose and the WT for wide tread. This tractor used the flat head engine design (L head) and final drive reduction on the rear axle just as the other 'potato tractors". However, by now the newer "GPWT" tractors, as they were designated, had over the hood steering design that would be retained until the end of the age of the two cylinder, through the 20 series in 1958.

Cultivators were available in two, four and six row variations and were the put together on the tractor type with pipe through the frame design.

Bore & stroke --first 150 off line - 5.75 x.6.00
Bore & stroke -- remainder ------ 6.00 x 6.00
Ignition -Magneto- Fairbanks Morse R-2

Price = $1200.00

See picture of "GW Potato Tractor"