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Tractor Profile

John Deere Model R

Picture of a John Deere Model R
Photo by Mark B., from the YT Photo Gallery

The John Deere Model R, the last of the lettered tractors, was the first diesel-powered tractor produced by John Deere with a gasoline starting engine. It was also the first tractor they produced that had an optional steel cab. The photo above shows the tractor with this option. This was a powerful tractor destined for larger farms.

The John Deere R was produced from 1949 through 1954 and approximately 21,000 were manufactured. The weight of the tractor was around 7,400 pounds. In 1954 you could purchase one of these for a mere $3,650.00


The Specs

Air Cleaner: Donaldson
Carburetor: Marvel-Schebler SL-2 (on Starting Engine)
Ignition: 6-volt Delco Remy
Engine: John Deere I-head, horizontal two-cylinder.
5.75 x 8.00 bore and stroke,
Compression ratio 16:1,
416 CID
Speed: MPH forward 2.12, 3.33, 4.25, 5.33, 11.50 and 2.50 reverse
Fuel Tank Capacity: 22 gallons (main), 0.25 (auxiliary
Rated RPM: 1000
Cooling Capacity: 13.62 gallons
Rear Tire: 14x34 inches
Front Tire 7.50x18 inches
Length: 147 inches
Width (Front): 79.50


Nebraska Tractor Test Results

TEST NO. 406

Model: John Deere R Diesel

John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works, Waterloo, Iowa

DATE TESTED: April 19 to April 28, 1949

Deere's first diesel tractor opened the 1949 testing season at the Tractor Test Laboratory. Featuring a two-cylinder horizontal, I-head engine, this tractor was rated at 1,000 rpm and carried a 5.75 x 8 inch bore and stroke. Also featured was a Deere-built two-cylinder starting engine with a 2-6/10 x 2-5/16 inch bore and stroke and a rated speed of 4000 rpm. A glass sediment bowl broke during the limber-up run, otherwise no repairs or adjustments were noted during 57 hours of engine operating time. Bare weight was 7,603 pounds. Standard equipment included 14-34 rear and 7.50-18 front tires. Advertised speeds of 2-1/8, 3-1/3, 4-1/4, 5-1/3 and 11-1/2 mph were provided. Third gear was used for Test H. Results indicated a fuel economy of 15.19 horsepower hours per gallon of diesel fuel, along with a rated output of 34.45 drawbar horsepower, a pull of 3140 pounds 4.11 mph and slippage of 4.7%. A Test G maximum pull in low gear tallied 6,644 pounds at 1.88 mph with slippage of 15.01%. Tests B & C at 100% maximum belt load indicated an economy of 17.35 horsepower hours per gallon at 48.58 horsepower, while Test D at a rated load of 43.52 belt horsepower produced an economy of 17.63 horsepower hours per gallon of fuel.


Serial Numbers

Serial Numbers (From 1949 to 1954)
The serial number is located on a plate on the right side, above the belt pulley
Year Starting Serial Number
1949 1000
1950 3541
1951 6368
1952 9293
1953 15720
1954 19485

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