Archive for John Deere Technical

Properly maintaining your John Deere Hydrostatic Tractor will help to ensure that it will last a very long time. Failure to keep up with the maintenance of any machine will only mean more mechanical issues down the road.

The first thing you will want to do is check the engine components, like the air intake system, fuel, lubrication and ignition systems.

1) Do a thorough clean of the air intake and engine.
2) Do a compression check.
3) Check the valve-to-tappet clearance while the engine is cold.
4) Make sure the cylinder heads are free from carbon and cleaned.
5) Check the break points and adjust as needed.
6) Check and adjust the timing.
7) Make sure the spark plug is clean and okay.
8) Adjust carburetor, then adjust it to the governor rod.
9) Check and adjust governor linkage.
10) Check the air cleaner.
11) Check engine oil pressure.
12) Adjust the PTO.
13) Change the oil and the oil filter.
14) Check the battery and battery connections.

john deere hydrostatic tractorThen to make sure the tractor will run optimally, do the following adjustments as needed.

1) Make sure the brakes are adjusted properly.
2) Check and change/refill transmission fluid as needed.
3) Lube grease fittings.
4) Adjust the hydrostatic linkage.
5) Test the hydraulic system.
6) Adjust steering as needed.
7) Make sure the wiring looks clean and is all connected properly.
8) Check all the belts and make sure all fittings are tightened as needed.
9) Make sure the tire pressure is correct.

Take care of your John Deere and it will take care of you and your property for years, maybe a lifetime!

Inclinometers, or as they’re also called clinometers, will measure the angle of tilt, depression or elevation of a tractor. Tractors do not typically come with them installed as a standard piece of equipment. Many tractor drivers prefer to use their own senses when it comes to determining how they will do on a slope or hill while operating their equipment.

Many variables also come into play that an inclinometer will not factor in to its equation:
* Amount of fuel in the tank.
* Tire air pressure
* Number of implements being used
* Location of implements being used
* Bar uphill or downhill on a mower
* Fluid in tires
* Holes or divots in the ground
* Ground wet or dry
* Wind
* If you are pulling anything
* And many more….

inclinometer tractorHowever adding an inclinometer to your tractor can be a good safety measure. As you drive your tractor more and more, eventually you will get a better feel for how it operates on sloping ground. Adding that inclinometer can help you to gauge at what slope or tilt seems too much, you can eventually rely on your meter more and more to help you stay upright. There are varying opinions on what’s best, be sure you start by learning more about the tractor you drive, its weight, understand the center of gravity per the manufacturers specifications and do extra measures to make sure you stay safe operating it. Every tractor, operator and land conditions will be different. So take the time to learn more about your surroundings and what you’re driving!

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People have been plowing the soil for centuries.  It’s one of the most efficient ways to break up the ground to prepare it for growing crops.  It’s also embedded into John Deere’s heritage as it was John Deere’s plow that paved the way for the mega corporation that we know of today as Deere & Company.

What I want to do here, in this first segment, is break down the types of plows available and what is needed to get started.  For this article I will only be addressing the plows and options available in the garden tractor class.  But some of the principles and terminology will apply to the larger tractor classes.

First, what we need to find is the appropriate garden tractor.  Using the John Deere models as an example, here are some of the garden tractors available:  110, 112, 120, 140, 200 series, 300 closed frame series, 300 open frame series, 400, 420, 430, 4X5 series, GT series, 3X5 and GX series, X4X5/X5X5 series, the newer X500 and X700 series tractors.  That’s not the complete list but it gives you an idea.  What we want is a “Garden Tractor”.  Refer back to a previous article, “When is a Lawn Mower a Lawn Mower” to help identify what is considered a garden tractor.

Next we need a hitch.  There are two basic type of hitches available, the integral hitch (John Deere’s terminology for sleeve hitch), and the 3 point hitch.  Most garden tractors will have the Category 0 in the 3 point hitch type, but some of the newer John Deere garden tractors like the X4X5/X5X5 and the X700 series use a modified Category 1 type 3 point hitch.

The integral hitch would be used for the gear drive John Deere garden tractors, like the 110/112 and the 200 series tractors, and also can be used on the 120/140 and the 300 closed frame tractors and the newer 3X5/GT/GX series as well as the current X500 series tractors.  Most of these used the tractors lift system and some may even have an electric actuator as an option to lift the hitch.  The integral hitches are usually more economical and simpler in design and are readily available.  They used a single point for attaching and lifting the implement, i.e. the plow, and used a standard across the board 5/8 inch pin for attaching the implements.

Below is an example of an integral hitch on a round fender John Deere.

Here is an example of an integral hitch on a closed frame John Deere (140 shown).

The 3 point hitches are found in the 120/140, and 300 closed frame tractors and for these tractors, it uses an auxiliary mounted hydraulic cylinder and is plumbed to the tractors hydraulics.  These hitches are more expensive and harder to find than the integral hitch, which can also be used for these tractors.  These 3 point hitches are category 0 hitches, which mean they used 20 inch width spacing for the lower arms and 5/8 inch pins.  Below is an example of a 3 point on a closed frame John Deere (shown with an A-frame adapter).

3 point hitches are also used on the 300 open frame series tractors, like the 318, 332, etc., the 400/420/430 tractors and the 4X5 series.  These will be category 0 same as the above hitches.  The newer X4X5/X5X5 and the X700 series used the modified category 1 hitches which means they used a 3/4 inch pins.  Some after market manufactures make a combination category 0/1 hitch which will interchange between a category 0 and category 1.  I’ve seen some people change out their category 1 implements by just changing out the pins to a 5/8 inch pins.  Below is an example of an open frame 3 point hitch.

The plows we’re discussing here is the single moldboard type plow.  There are also other types of plows, with multiple moldboard shares, but those aren’t that common in the garden tractor class. Most garden tractors can only handle a single moldboard plow, though the larger garden tractors like the 420/430 can handle a two bottom plow.  Single moldboard plows are usually in 8 inch, 10 inch or 12 inch sizes.  Manufacturers of the plows include Brinly,Agri-Fab,OhioSteel, and Simplicity, among others.  John Deere also has their brand of plows, but they are usually made by manufacturers like Brinly and are painted in John Deere green with John Deere decals on them.  Below is an example of a Brinly Sleeve Hitch Plow:

Below is an example of a 3 point Brinly plow:

 

A “new” John Deere plow (possibly made by Brinly) 12 inch Cat 1 Limited:

 

A John Deere 15 Plow (12 inch plow):

A John Deere 20 Plow (12 inch Plow)

Depending on what type of hitch you have, i.e. integral or 3 point, determines what type of plow you need.  The integral hitches can only used the sleeve hitch type plow, while the 3 point hitches can be used on both sleeve hitch plows and 3 point plows.  You can buy an A-frame adapter to adapt your 3 point to a sleeve hitch to use on a sleeve hitch plow.  Also you can buy or fabricate a 3 point adapter to use with another adapter to change out the hitch on the sleeve hitch plow to adapt to a 3 point hitch. Below is an A-Frame Adapter:

Brinly type 3 Point Adapter shown below:

Both the sleeve hitch plow and the 3 point plow will be offset to allow for the plow share to be vertical when the tractor’s right tires are in the furrow when plowing.  There are a lot of adjustments to be made before you can plow and during your plow, but we will cover those in the next article.  Below is a 3 point plow showing how it’s offset from the tractor.

Now that I have given you the basic information on finding a plow and locating the proper garden tractor, it’s time to go out and find the setup that you can afford and locate.  Stay tune for the next article: Plowing 101, Part II.

A BIG Thank You to Terry (T-Mo) on Green Tractor Talk for taking the time to put together this 2013 John Deere Calendar.

If you use this, please put a comment on the site letting Terry know his effort is being used by many people!

Here is the link to the PDF  

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Recently on Green Tractor Talk we had a member tip over his fairly new john Deere 1026R while moving around some dirt with his bucket.  The gentleman was nice enough to completely share this event with us, including pictures.  As you can imagine, this thread went on for some time and there were many, many philosophies on why he tipped his tractor.  Removing our-self from that situation, it got me thinking about the debate of iron bolted on the rims or liquid inside the tires for ballast.  I always stood on the iron side as that is the golden rule in today’s agriculture and I grew up watching Calcium Chloride leaks and watching what it does to tractor rims.  But, in reality, with today’s liquids, what really matters is that you have one or the other.  Yes, I said it, just go out and get one or the other.  But also remember, adding weight to the rear tires does little to nothing of removing weight from your front axle.  You MUST use a ballast box or use some sort of weight hooked on the three point hitch!

Let have a little fun and look at some pictures.

The gentleman with the 1026R was using a ballast box full of large stones AND had loaded his tires with rim-guard liquid.  Things can still go wrong when you are doing everything right, so be safe!

 

Here is a list of what he states he did right and wrong:

Things I did wrong:

1.  I raised my bucket about 3′ high while dumping the small load and that was just enough to start the roll.

2.  I failed to foresee and avoid the situation prior to attempting the maneuver.

3.  I failed to drop the bucket as the roll over began.
Things I did right:

1.  I had the ROPS up and my seat belt on.

2.  I was driving extremely slow across the bluff with full ballast and the bucket low (no loss of stability at that point).

3.  I had lowered the ballast box until is was just 6″ above the grass.

4.  I was in 4 wheel drive, low range with no more than 2,000 RPMs.

5.  I was stopped at the moment of roll over.

6.  I stayed inside the safety zone and kept my arms inside as well during the roll over event.
Things the tractor did wrong:

1.  It rolled over very quickly leaving little time to react to even drop the bucket.

2.  It dumped a couple of the rocks out of the ballast box and they rolled down the hill.

3.  The battery became slightly dislodged.
Things the tractor did right:

1.  It protected me (I didn’t even have a bruise).

2.  It killed the engine.

3.  It stopped as soon as it was on its side – no other motion in any direction.

4.  It only leaked perhaps 8 oz of hydraulic fluid, no diesel fuel and no oil.

5.  It restarted a few hours later and now runs fine.

How many people out there wear their seat-belt each time they are on the tractor?  You need to.  Use these lessons and learn from them.  No one was hurt here, but it could have been just the opposite if his seat belt was not used.

Think about it, no matter what you use, liquid or iron, it does not matter.  Each have their down side and there is no right answer.  Pick one and use a ballast box.

Be safe!