The Greatest Tractors of All Time

Well, it might be a less than likely article, and I wonder how many people are really there who are interested about the greatest tractor makes of all time.

Nonetheless, I have done a little research, visited a lot of farmer and automotive forums to find out about the greatest tractor makes of all times.

Anyone a little familiar with tractors would easiliy guess the no.1 spot. Yes, its the John Deere Model D. Other tractors that made the list are Massey Ferguson 399, New Holland 5 HP Tractor, Case IH Farmall and Fordson Model F.

Most of these tractors were ahead of their time, and many can still be seen running in the fields at full glory.

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John Deere Model D

The longest production span of the two-cylinder John Deere tractors was the Model D. The Model D was the longest produced tractor from the years 1923- 1953. The first model D rode on steel wheels with a 6.5x7.0 inch (later 6.75 x 7.0 inch) two-cylinder hand-cranked engine.

Massey Ferguson 399

The Massey Ferguson 399's brilliant red appearance stood out when the state of the art "Hi-line" silver cab was introduced in 1988. The engine was uprated to a 104 hp (78 kW) Perkins 1006 series engine and the cab updated in 1991. The company never had such bumper sales with a series of tractor since it first started decades previously. The years 199496 were good for Massey Ferguson when the Republic of Ireland and the UK had record sales of this series. The main reasons for this was its reliability, excellent cab, strong features and powerful engine the latter sometimes receiving dealer fitted turbocharger kits to boost the 399's power to the 125/130 horsepower mark, giving the farmer a lightweight, yet powerful tractor for field work where a larger tractor might damage the crop.

New Holland 5 HP Tractor

In the 1900s the first New Holland "freeze proof" tractor engine was produced. After that there were five different horsepower models mass produced by the New Holland Company. It all started with the small 1-1/2 HP engine which ranged up to 16 HP. The most popular (and important) tractor model offered by the New Holland Company was the 5 HP tractor in 1911. Later Ford bought New Holland and this brand was offered by Ford. Eventually, five different horsepower (hp.) models of the New Holland stationary engine were mass produced by the New Holland Company. The most popular seller among the line of stationary engines offered by New Holland was the 5 hp. model. By 1911, sales of the 5 hp. model New Holland stationary engine were up more than 253% over sales of the same engine in 1904.

Case IH Farmall

Case IH (J.I. Case and International Harvester) tractors are one of the worlds largest name brands of agriculture equipment. The Farmall tractor was produced in 1926 and by 1930 they sold 100,000 tractors. In 1932 IH introduced an updated Farmall with a more powerful engine, which received the designation F-20. The F-20 replaced the original Farmall, which became known by the retronym Regular (after the introduction of the F-20). IH also added other new tractors to the brand, which became known as the F-series. These included the F-30 (1931), the F-12 (1932), and the F-14 (1938). All Farmall tractors were painted a deep blue grey (not battleship grey) until middle 1936 around July through September, when a decision was made to change to a new color, 'Farmall Red'.

Fordson Model F

The first lightweight tractor that was built was a Ford brand name. The Fordson Model F was finished in 1916 and because it was mass produced and lightweight it made it affordable for the average farmer to own one. This tractor had 20 HP with a four-cylinder vaporising oil engine. It used a 20 horsepower, four-cylinder vaporising oil engine, a three-speed spur gear transmission (the three forward speeds ranged from approximately 21/4 to 61/4 mph From 1917-1928 the Model F sold three quarters of a million units, which is more than any tractor sold then and now.

Your Turn to Vote!!!

Which one do you think is the best tractor of all time?

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Comments 3 comments

Donald Nelson 6 years ago

Reliable,good pulling on the belt and drawbar tractor with a distinctlvely romantic sound. Excellent column. Thanks!


Nathi 6 years ago

I have always loved the Landini here in South Africa, but i must admit the MF 399 was a brilliant tractor. And there was the John Deere 1120...i hear it first came out in the 1960s and still runs smoothly today. We have one on our farm. My vote would go to the MF 399, what a tractor!


farmboy 4 years ago

i come from a farm and look forward to drawing in grass with a 399. My dad has two of them a 92 and 94 and there both running as smooth as ever. I think their greatest asset is their engine sound as you accelerate! best tractor ever!

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