How it started
The origins of the John Deere industrial line-a short summary.

Many of the early John Deere tractors were used for industrial work-grading roads, etc. Although they did well, the tractors were not designed for such work.

Some Pictures of normal Deeres doing industrial work
See a WaterlooBoy in action, with a grader
See a 1923 D (non-industrial) in action, with a grader
See an early D, modified for use on the road
See yet another WaterlooBoy in action
See a D pulling a Briley grader in 1925
See a rear view of the D pulling a Briley grader

The Model D was modified for industrial work in 1925-26 with the addition of hard rubber tires (even in doubles or triples), higher speed final drives, and a variety of wheel weights. See one of these tractors, here. See another, here. No one has a list of serial numbers for the above tractors, and none seem to have survived.

In 1928-29 and in 1931 a series of John Deere Ds were modified into self-propelled graders. To learn more click here.

Later, in 1935, a deal was made with the Caterpillar Company. Caterpillar wanted a wheeled tractor to sell and John Deere accommodated them. The John Deere tractors were painted in the Cat. scheme of Highway Yellow and Black. Some tractors were painted in a requested paint scheme-such as red, for one BI. The DI was designed first, then the AI, and finally the BI. The AI, BI and DI industrial line was closed in 1941 because of low sales.

During World War Two and after, Deere even tried to supply the military with tractors, learn more, here.

The LI was introduced in 1938, for many of the small jobs such as mowing. The MI was first produced in 1950, for basically the same jobs. Then came the first numbered series (such as the 40) which replaced the lettered tractors, with better features and options. After these were the 20 Series, 30 Series, and the 40 Series. The 40 series tractors were DESIGNED for industrial work, not just adaptions of the farm tractors.

By 1959, John Deere had a large line of industrial equipment. See a lineup by clicking the picture.

Finally came the biggest change in the industrial line since 1923...

In 1960, Deere introduced tractors with MORE than two cylinders. Things have been confusing (for me!!) ever since. You can learn more about them, Here.

If anyone can help with any info, and I mean ANY, feel free to email.

Most information came out of articles from Green Magazine

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