The John Deere Model D is a classic tractor that holds a special place in the hearts of many farming enthusiasts. This iconic machine launched the John Deere brand and paved the way for modern agricultural equipment. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the tractor’s history and features, exploring why it remains a nostalgic favorite for tractor enthusiasts.

John Deere Model D Tractor

What Is the John Deere Model D Tractor?

The John Deere D Model tractor, introduced in 1923, marked a significant milestone in the history of agricultural machinery. It was one of the first tractor models built, marketed, and named John Deere, replacing the Waterloo Boy in the company’s product line. It was designed to be repaired and upgraded by experts over time, reflecting the increased importance of dealer support during this era.

What Years Did John Deere Make the Model D?

John Deere manufactured the tractor from 1923 to 1953. This three-decade production run reflects the tractor’s enduring popularity and effectiveness in the field. Regular upgrades and improvements ensured that the model remained competitive on the market over those 30 years. 

What Was a John Deere D Model Used For?

The John Deere D Model tractor was designed to be used for agriculture and as a workhorse on the farm. Its primary functions included plowing, harrowing, planting, and other fieldwork. Additionally, it was equipped to handle belt work, such as powering threshers, sawmills, and other stationary equipment. This made it an invaluable asset to farmers who needed a dependable machine for a variety of tasks.

How Many John Deere D Models Were Made?

Approximately 160,000 Model D tractors rolled off the line before production ended in 1953. This large number attests to the model’s popularity and the high demand for a reliable and versatile tractor that was backed by dealer support.

What Are the Key Features of John Deere Model D Tractor?

The John Deere D Model boasted several key features contributing to its success and longevity. These features included a two-cylinder kerosene-burning engine, high-tension ignition, and an enclosed drivetrain. The combination of these elements made the Model D a robust and efficient machine suitable for a wide range of agricultural tasks.

What Are the Key Specs of the John Deere Model D Tractor?

While the exact specifications of the Model D evolved over its 30-year production run, most machines have a few key things in common.


Model D tractors were powered by either a 7.6-liter or 8.2-liter two-cylinder engine running on kerosene. This engine design provided the necessary power for both field and belt work, making the Model D a versatile tool on the farm.


The Model D featured a two-speed transmission, allowing operators to choose the appropriate speed for different tasks. This flexibility made it easier to perform various agricultural operations efficiently.


With 15 horsepower at the drawbar and 22 horsepower at the belt, Model D tractors were powerful enough to handle a wide range of farming activities. 


The Model D’s mechanical features included a high-tension ignition system and an enclosed drivetrain. These elements contributed to the tractor’s durability and ease of maintenance, reducing downtime and keeping the machine running smoothly.

Power Take-Off (PTO)

The optional Power Take-Off (PTO) feature allowed Model D to power other equipment, such as threshers and sawmills. This capability extended the tractor’s usefulness beyond fieldwork, making it a valuable asset for various farming operations.

Dimensions & Tires

The John Deere D Model weighed between two and three tons, depending on the specific model. With a wheelbase of 70 inches, it was equipped with large, sturdy tires that provided stability and traction in various field conditions.

D Serial Numbers

The serial numbers for the Model D tractors started at 30401 in 1924 and ended at 191670 in 1953. These serial numbers can be used to identify the specific year of manufacture and other details about individual tractors.

Get Your Hands on a Piece of History With the John Deere Model D

The Model D tractor remains a beloved classic in the world of tractors. Its historical significance, reliable performance, and versatile capabilities have earned it a special place in the hearts of vintage tractor enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re a seasoned farmer or a collector, owning a Model D is a way to connect with a rich history of agricultural innovation and excellence. Explore opportunities to own and restore a piece of history with the Model D tractor and experience firsthand the legacy of this iconic machine.

Visit your local John Deere dealer to find the latest in advanced agricultural equipment.

John Deere Model D FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Model D tractor.

What Engine Type Does the John Deere Model D Have?

The Model D tractor is equipped with a two-cylinder kerosene-burning engine. This engine design was chosen for its reliability and efficiency in performing both field and belt work.

How Many Horsepower Is a John Deere D?

The D tractor produces 15 horsepower at the drawbar and 22 horsepower at the belt. This power output made it suitable for a variety of farming tasks, from plowing fields to powering stationary equipment.

What Features Set the Model D Apart From Other Tractors?

Several features set the Model D apart from other tractors of its time, including its high-tension ignition system and enclosed drivetrain. These elements combined to create a powerful, reliable, and versatile machine that could handle a wide range of agricultural tasks.

Are Parts for the John Deere Model D Still Available?

Yes, parts for the Model D tractor are still available through various suppliers and collectors. Enthusiasts and restorers can find original and reproduction parts to maintain and restore these classic tractors.

What Replaced the John Deere D?

The Model D was eventually replaced by newer models in the company’s lineup, such as the John Deere Model R and the John Deere 50. These newer models incorporated advancements in technology and design, continuing the tradition of innovation and reliability.

How Many John Deere D’s Were Made?

Approximately 160,000 Model D tractors were manufactured from 1923 to 1953. This production figure highlights the model’s popularity and the significant impact it had on farming practices during its time.

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