One hundred years of John Deere tractors will be on show at the John Deere 50 Celebration & Heritage Event at Langar near Nottingham on September 24 and 25, 2016, when John Deere Limited publicly celebrates its 50th anniversary in the UK and Ireland.John Deere customers and fans are invited to join the anniversary celebrations by registering their attendance on the John Deere website at www.JohnDeere.co.uk/50years, with a chance to win special 50th anniversary merchandise in a prize draw.As well as trade stands, static machinery exhibits and working demonstrations of tractors and implements, this special free outdoor event will feature activities and entertainment for all the family. These will include archery, laser clay shooting, falconry and skydiving displays, synchronised kite flying and live music. There will also be a range of local food and produce as well as a licensed bar.A parade of 50 vintage, classic and modern John Deere tractors and machinery will start with a 1916 Overtime Model R tractor, belonging to Lincolnshire farm manager Malcolm Robinson. This will also include the iconic 4020 tractor, marking the beginnings of John Deere Limited at Langar in 1966, and represent every decade up to the present day, finishing with John Deere’s new flagship 620hp four-track 9620RX.The Overtime tractor was given credit for helping the World War I effort by putting in many hours of overtime producing food for the war zone and the home front. John Deere’s first step into tractor production worldwide came in 1918 when the US company bought the Overtime’s manufacturer, the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company in Iowa, who also made the Waterloo Boy. This machine’s simple two-cylinder design became a feature of John Deere tractors for another four decades.Later in the 20th century, John Deere three wheel, high clearance tractors came into East Anglia from America at the end of the Second World War under the Lend-Lease deal. For a short time in the early 1960s, a few dealers sold large John Deere tractors such as the 4010 – the UK’s first 100hp tractor – and 5010. These were imported from the USA by Lundell (Great Britain) Ltd of Edenbridge in Kent, who initially pioneered the use of large horsepower tractors in the UK, and who were bought by John Deere in 1962.John Deere Limited started trading from Langar in January 1966, and the original premises are still in use today as the company’s visitor centre and national parts distribution centre. Of the original dealers who continued with the new company from that date, two are still John Deere dealers today and are owned by the same families – Ben Burgess in Norfolk and L E Tuckwell in Suffolk.In addition to the 4020 tractor, several of the machines that represented the John Deere Limited product line in 1966 will also be at the event, including the first 5010 and 5020 tractors sold in the UK, ploughs, the C10 cultivator and the 530 and 630 combine harvesters.“Aside from the historic two-cylinder John Deere tractors on display, the main focus of the event is to gather together examples of John Deere tractors and machinery sold through John Deere’s UK and Irish dealers from 1966 to 2016,” says heritage event organiser Peter Leech.“At the moment we have registered tractors for every decade from the 1940s, but we would still love to hear from anyone with more recent machines, especially classic models from the 1980s and 1990s – even up to the modern 30 Series tractors. It’s an event for everyone, so tractors of all ages are welcome.”Owners of old and new John Deere machines who would like to attend the event should submit an application form, downloadable from www.JohnDeere.co.uk/50years. The website also features more details of the history of John Deere Limited in the UK and Ireland, together with a timeline of key dates.
John Deere has added three new models to its ever growing Gator crossover 4x4 utility vehicle range for 2016, including a more affordable mid-size machine.The Gator XUV 590i and 590i S4 four-passenger utility vehicles are designed for customers seeking a combination of performance and comfort, with a range of customisation and attachment options. Equipped with a powerful twin-cylinder 32hp, 586cc petrol engine and independent four-wheel suspension, the XUV 590i can accelerate quickly to a top speed of over 45mph.Both models are equipped as standard with power steering and an 875W/65A alternator to run auxiliary attachments such as lights, winches and sprayers without the risk of discharging the battery.Ground clearance is a minimum of 267mm (10.5in) on the 590i, which has a load capacity of 363kg and a towing capacity of 499kg. The S4 version has a ground clearance of 236mm (9.3in), a load capacity of 544kg with the rear passenger seat folded down, and is also capable of towing up to 499kg.Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the low noise and vibration levels of these new Gators, which are achieved by isolating the powertrain and utilising sound-dampening material around the engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) intakes.Other features on these two models include class-leading ergonomics and legroom, a large 28-litre fuel tank and a backlit instrument cluster that provides vehicle information such as speed, engine rpm, fuel level, coolant temperature and warning lights that include power steering plus seat belt and maintenance reminders.In addition to the two XUV 590i Gators, the new mid-size XUV 560 is aimed at those looking for a more affordable 4x4 utility vehicle but with the same levels of comfort and versatility expected of John Deere’s popular Gator range. Like the XUV 590i two-person Gator, this model also has a minimum ground clearance of 267mm (10.5in), plus load and towing capacities of 363 and 499kg respectively.Features on this machine include an ergonomic operator station, a quiet 16hp, 570cc V-twin petrol engine providing swift acceleration to a top speed of 28mph, independent four-wheel suspension and multiple attachment options. The carburettor is tuned for rapid throttle response, reliable cold-weather starting, smooth mid-range power delivery and quiet idling.The XUV 560’s roll-over protective structure provides easy entry and exit, three-point seat belts and side grab handles to ensure the operator and passenger are safe and well protected.This model also offers sealed underhood storage and features a large, one-piece cargo box made of a composite material that eliminates rust and dents and reduces noise. The truck-like tailgate can be opened with one hand, or removed for easier cleaning of the cargo area and to carry longer items.
A 78-year old Staffordshire man achieved one of his life’s ambitions when he took two John Deere tractors, spanning 50 years of production, for a spin at the company’s UK headquarters in Langar, Nottingham last month.“I’ve driven most things in my time but never a tractor of any description, and it has always been my dream to drive a John Deere,” says Tony Hales. Tony is a retired production director from Newcastle-under-Lyme who spent 50 years working in the ceramics industry in Stoke-on-Trent, and he has been married to his wife Ann for 54 years.“I only ever wanted to be a farmer from when I was a small boy. I spent much of my childhood riding around with the son of a neighbour who owned three cattle lorries, visiting cattle marts and even abattoirs.“My father spent a lifetime at Wedgwood, and I never wanted to follow in his footsteps. However, when I was old enough to start work he said that farm labouring wouldn’t pay and I had to get a proper job, so I became a copper plate engraver by trade and ended up working for Spode and then Chatsworth Bathrooms for the next five decades.”Tony and his grandson James Ackerley, who thought of the idea, were invited to visit Langar by the company’s product marketing manager Mark James, who collects and restores vintage and classic John Deere tractors in his spare time. Mark arranged for Tony to drive a modern 6175R tractor and the UK branch’s pride and joy, a specially restored 4020 model (nicknamed BEV after its number plate) dating from 1966, when John Deere Limited first started trading from the same premises.Mark was initially contacted by Tony’s daughter Elizabeth Ackerley, who wrote: “My story is that my father has always had one wish and it is to drive an old fashioned John Deere tractor. I would love to make this dream come true for my dad. He has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer and he is due to start some chemotherapy soon, but he still desperately wants to come.”“I’ve always wanted to drive a John Deere tractor, nothing else would do, although there were very few if any around in my youth – they were all Fordson Majors and Little Grey Fergies,” says Tony. “We’ve always talked about John Deeres in the family, and my grandson James bought me a scale Model L vintage tractor a few years ago as a present. For some reason I’ve always been attracted by the colour scheme – they mustn’t ever change it!“Driving the two tractors, it makes you realise just how things have moved on over the last 50 years. For comfort I preferred the modern tractor, obviously, but I should need six months to learn how to use all the electronics! It was also very noticeable how hard it was to change gear in the older model, but I really enjoyed driving them both, it was an absolute pleasure and definitely worth coming.“For a world-renowned company like John Deere to respond like this to my daughter’s request and be so helpful, it was really appreciated by the whole family. That’s a life’s ambition fulfilled, so I’m very happy.”The family has been invited back to Langar to take part in John Deere Limited’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which take place on the weekend of 24th & 25th September 2016. One hundred years of John Deere tractors will be represented at this special outdoor field show, which will also feature working demonstrations and displays, entertainment and activities for all the family. To register for this free event, visit the website at www.JohnDeere.co.uk/50years