John Deere A (1934-1938)

The John Deere A, produced from 1934 to 1938, marked a significant milestone in the agricultural industry as John Deere’s first true row-crop tractor, replacing the GP. This iconic two-cylinder letter series tractor was manufactured in Waterloo, Iowa, USA, and played a pivotal role in modernizing farming practices during its time. With various versatile variants tailored to different agricultural needs, the John Deere A became a reliable workhorse, known for its robust engine and adaptability. It was also notable for being the first Deere tractor to come equipped from the factory with rubber tires, contributing to enhanced traction and efficiency in the field.

John Deere A Specs
Model Year1934-1938
SeriesTwo-Cylinder Letter Series
TypeRow-Crop tractor
ManufacturerJohn Deere
Built inWaterloo, Iowa, USA
Total Built300,000
ARStandard front axle
AOSNarrow orchard
AWAdjustable wide-front
ANSingle front wheel
AWHHigh-crop, adjustable wide-front
ANHHigh-crop, single-front wheel
Engine Detail
ManufacturerJohn Deere
FuelAll fuel
Cylinders2-cylinder, 4-valve
CoolingLiquid-cooled horizontal
Displacement309 cubic inches (5.1 liters)
Bore/Stroke5.50×6.50 inches (140 x 165 mm)
Air CleanerOil bath
Compression Ratio4.45:1
Rated RPM975
Firing Order1-2
Starter TypeManual
Oil Capacity9.25 quarts (8.8 liters)
Coolant Capacity38 quarts (36.0 liters)
Sparkplug Gap0.030 inches (0.762 mm)
Point Gap0.021 inches (0.533 mm)
Intake Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeUnsynchronized gear
Gears4 forward and 1 reverse
ClutchDry disc
Drawbar (claimed)18 hp (13.4 kW)
Belt (claimed)24 hp (17.9 kW)
Drawbar (tested)18.72 hp (14.0 kW)
PTO (tested)23.63 hp (17.6 kW)
Belt (tested)24.71 hp (18.4 kW)
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOTransmission
Rear RPM540
Serial Numbers
Ag Front24×4 steel
Ag Rear50×6 steel
Ag Front (Alternative)5.50×16
Ag Rear (Alternative)9/10/11.25×36
Length124 inches (314 cm)
Width83 inches (210 cm)
Width (with wide front)86.325 inches (219 cm)
Height60 inches (152 cm)
Height (with high-crop front)63.875 inches (162 cm)
Weight3783 lbs (1715 kg)
John Deere A Overview

The John Deere A, a revered agricultural relic with historical significance, holds a cherished place in the world of tractors as a collectible model of paramount importance. Produced from 1934 to 1938, this two-cylinder letter series tractor stands as a tangible representation of a pivotal era in American farming history. It is not merely a machine; it’s a tangible piece of the past, a testament to the evolution of agriculture.
What sets the John Deere A apart is its role as John Deere’s first authentic row-crop tractor, supplanting the GP and revolutionizing farming practices. Hailing from the heartland of farming in Waterloo, Iowa, USA, it embodies the Midwestern spirit of hard work and innovation. With a total production run of 300,000 units, the John Deere A was more than just a tractor; it was a symbol of progress and prosperity for countless farmers.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the John Deere A is its versatility. It came in several variants, each tailor-made for specific agricultural needs. From the standard row-crop model (A) to the orchard version (AO) with no exhaust stack and shielded fenders, and even industrial adaptations (AI), John Deere ensured that this model could meet diverse demands.

What truly makes the John Deere A a collector’s dream is its historical significance as the first Deere tractor to roll off the factory line with rubber tires. This seemingly simple innovation marked a groundbreaking shift in the industry, enhancing traction and reducing soil compaction. The introduction of rubber tires was a game-changer, and the John Deere A was at the forefront of this transformative moment.

For tractor aficionados and collectors, the John Deere A holds an almost mythical status. It represents an era when American agriculture was undergoing a rapid transformation, and it played a crucial role in the mechanization of farms across the nation. Its sleek, iconic design, featuring those unmistakable two-cylinder engines, harkens back to a time when craftsmanship and durability were paramount.

The John Deere A, with its historical significance, varied models, and pioneering role in agricultural technology, stands as a prized collectible. Owning one of these tractors is not just about possessing a piece of machinery; it’s about preserving a slice of American farming heritage and paying homage to the generations of farmers whose hard work and determination were interwoven with the John Deere A’s legacy.