I'm rather irritated with the John Deere corporation right now. Some bean counter who works in an office has decided that it'll be more profitable to close the plant in Welland, Ontario and move it down to Mexico. That way, with 800 Ontario jobs lost, and 800 Mexicans being exploited for cheap labour, the only people who benefit are the guys in suits who likely have never even sat on a tractor.
Whatevs. So I won't be buying a Gator any time soon. I don't want or need one.
I never have planned on buying a brand spanking new tractor. I just like the old ones better! I don't want a plastic dash, or a computer telling the engine when to fire, or an air conditioned cab. Maybe if I was out harvesting 200 acres of crops I'd want that, but I won't have a huge industrial farm. I just don't need a big new tractor. Or a slick little one. I want a funky old tractor that works.
I found these on the weekend.
John Deere 1120. Made from 1967 to 1975. It's a 51hp 3 cylinder diesel. You know how my Jethro feels about diesel. He'd love to fill his Jetta from a big tank of red farm diesel in front of his garage.
As far as my old man is concerned, if we want a diesel tractor it should be a David Brown. You just don't see many of them, but also, I simply can't stray from my green and yellow upbringing. My dad spend the 70s farming with his three tractors: a 1948 AR, which has a story and is in pieces in the barn, waiting for me; a 1958 430- the same one Dad uses daily, recently restored and regularly featured here on Hick Chic; and a tall diesel 70 (I think 50s vintage) that spent most of its time getting fixed. Hmm, perhaps that's why Dad's not totally thrilled with the John Deere diesel. I'd think it was much improved by the 70s though. My ongoing research will tell me.
The tractor discussion can really drag out when I'm with my guys. Dad says after 1960 it's not really a John Deere anyways, because that's when they discovered that there's more to life than Two Cylinders. Things really did go downhill after that. No more of that wonderful rhythmic puttputtputtputt puttputtputtputt.
Jethro says his favourite tractor is the Ford 9N. I agree that it's a truly great tractor.
I'd also agree that the Massey 35 is a classic.
But I gotta go Green. I spent my entire childhood knowing that Nothing Runs Like a Deere.
How can I bring myself to have any other?
There were three 1120s on the lot on Saturday, all in great shape. One even had a loader on it! I want a loader. It's an essential piece of gear for moving manure and you know how much I love moving manure. They sell for about $5000 from what I can see, so I'm not getting one anytime soon, but maybe in a year or so I can afford it.
I like the big Deere badge right there on the front. It's like a belt buckle. It's like a big eye. I'd name my tractor The Cyclops.
Thirty years from now I'll be the chick version of my old man, grumbling about how my old tractor's better than that new crap they make these days down in Mexico. I'll sit on my porch and shake my head, squint my leathery eyes and croak, "They just don't make 'em like they used to."