Archive for Garden Tractor

The John Deere 110 Garden Tractor

The model 110 was John Deere’s first Lawn & Garden tractor. In 1962 a design was laid forth to build a lawn and garden tractor that would offer many of the same features and wide range of implements that the bigger John Deere tractors offered. It would offer small rural and urban landowners alike the chance to own an affordable Small Tractor with a Big Farmer feel. The new tractor was designated the John Deere Model 110 in keeping with the current Ten Series Waterloo and Dubuque tractors. Ergonomically designed, with new features way ahead of its time, its exclusive Variable Speed Drive allowed for high speed mowing and super low end tilling. Its stout, and dependable Cast Iron 7 hp K-161 Kohler engine gave the tractor plenty of power to utilize the integral worktools. It was a great design, and was quick to become a big seller with 1000 models built for 1963. Features included:

  • Seven horsepower, air cooled, Kohler model K161 cast iron engine with electric start 
  • Peerless three speed transmission with speed variator that allowed slowing the tractor without interrupting power to the driven equipment
  • Rear tires and drive belts enclosed and shielded for operator protection. A full hood and grille protecting the engine, battery, starter, etc.

  • Quick -Tach style mounting of attachments

  • Scratch resistant fiberglass hood and fenders 
  • Triple safe starting 

  • Heavily built frame and front axle to handle heavy loads.
  • Adjustable tread rear wheels, important for mowing on hillsides.

 

Introduced as a seven horse model in 1963, for 1964 an eight horse Kohler K181S was utilized and the fiberglass fenders were replaced with steel. For 1965 the transmission was changed from three speed to four speed, and in 1966 Hydraulic Lift was offered as a factory only option. In 1966 a new 110 with Manual Lift cost $719 and the standard 38″ deck was $148.

Triple safe starting was a feature from the start. The PTO needed to be disengaged, the transmission in neutral and the key used before the tractor could be started. This feature was advertised by showing children playing and climbing on the tractor. Deere considered the safety feature to be a key selling point on the tractors.

The most obvious design change was in 1968 when the separate “round fenders” were replaced by a one-piece “fender deck” that was rubber mounted to the frame. The next significant change occurred in 1972 with a larger, heavier frame, choice of the 8 hp Kohler K181S or a 10 hp Kohler K241S engine.  Electric lift became an option in 1973.

The model 110 initially weighed approximately 500# with the later versions adding weight to a total of 775#. The 110 was designed as a garden tractor and Deere offered many integral attachments to suit the homeowner, as well as the commercial user :

  • Model 20 Compressor
  • Model 38, 39 and 46 (for 10hp)  mower deck
  • Model 36, 37, and 37A snowthrowers
  • Model 30, 31, and 31A rear rotary tiller
  • Model 42 and 43 blade
  • Model 80 dump cart
  • Model 7, 5a, and 5b sprayer
  • Front and rear slab weights and rear wheel weights
  • Tire chains, hub caps, cigarette lighter, and headlights
  • An integral hitch
  • Tire equipment options

Serial number breaks are as follows:

Year Serial Number Engine
1963 2,550 – 3,550 Kohler K161 (7hp)
1964 3,551 – 15,000 Kohler K181 (8hp)
1965 15,001 – 40,000 Kohler K181
1966 40,001 – 65,000 Kohler K181
1967 65,001 – 100,000 Kohler K181
1968 100,001 – 130,000 Kohler K181
1969 130,001 – 160,000 Kohler K181
1970 160,000 – 185,000 Kohler K181
1971 185,001 – 250,000 Kohler K181
1972 250,001 – 260,000 Kohler K181
1972 260.001 – 272,000 Kohler K241 (10hp)
1973 272,001 – 285,000 Kohler K181
1973 285,001 – 310,000 Kohler K241
1974 310,001 – 320,000 Kohler K181
1974 320,001 – Kohler K241

 

 

The John Deere 112 Garden Tractor

The model 112 came out in 1966. After the successful sales of the Model 110, Deere realized they need a lager size mower for the larger size jobs. The 112 carried on the same sleek styling of the 110, but with a larger motor and of course, a wider deck.. The new model 112 had the following specifications:

  • Cast-iron Tecumseh HH100 ten hp engine.
  • 4speed transaxle with super low for tilling
  • Electric start,
  • Worm gear steering
  • Fiberglass hood
  • 1.9 gal fuel tank
  • Dry type air filter
  • Variable speed drive

 

The 112 is truly a farm-bred tractor. They bring time saving performance and convenience that owners expect form John Deere. They are designed for everyone to drive with a triple-safe starting system to prevent dangerous unexpected starts. The variable speed drive gives you complete control to match the tougher job conditions without sacrificing engine speed or working efficiency. Hydraulic Lift was a new option for the 1966 model year on the 110 and 112.

The 1966 112 had a base weight of 642 lbs, and carried a $830 price tag. A 12 with hyd lift weighed in at 663 lbs and was $938. The #46 deck was $150.

The 1968 model year showed a lot of new changes. The fenders and platform were combined into a 1 piece fender deck. An adjustable cushioned seat provided great comfort. Slanted footrests provided a place to rest the feet while mowing. Headlights were placed right above the grill just under the front lip of the hood. In 1969 another 10hp was an option. You could get a K241AS 10hp Kohler. Hyd lift was still an option.

1972 brought another hp change. A 12 hp K301AS Kohler was standard. Manual and Hyd lift were dropped and electric lift was the only lift option. An electric PTO clutch was standard 1972,73. In 1974 a manually engaged PTO replaced the electric clutch.

Year Serial Number Engine
1966 2,551 -3,550 Tecumseh HH100 (10hp)
1967 3,551 – 100,000 Tecumseh HH100
1968 100,001 – 130,000 Tecumseh HH100
1969 130,001 – 150,000 Tecumseh HH100
1969 150,001 – 160,000 Kohler K241 (10hp)
1970 160,001 – 180,000 Tecumseh HH100
1970 180,001 – 185,000 Kohler K241
1971 185,001 -225,000 Tecumseh HH100 (10hp)
1971 225,001 – 250,000 Kohler K241
1972 250,001 – 260,000 Kohler K301 (12hp)
1973 260,001 – 300,000 Kohler K301 (12hp)
1974 300,001 – Kohler K301 (12 hp)

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.