For many years, John Deere produced the General Purpose (GP) tractor that, while somewhat successful, wasn’t all that John Deere had hoped for. Therefore, in 1934, they produced the John Deere A row crop tractor.
It wasn’t long until John Deere started producing variations on this popular tractor. This began with with AR, which is basically the standard version of the John Deere A. The company could use many of the same parts for the AR that they used on the A. The R in AR stands for regular.
The new AR tractor was used in small grain farms, and with a few modifications it was also suitable for orchards and groves. Demand was high enough that in June of 1935, an orchard-specific model of the A was introduced. This model was designated the AO.
The “AR” was marketed for orchards and groves, as well as the small grain farm. Farmers purchasing a new “AR” tractor could purchase orchard fenders, differential brakes, a low air intake and a side discharge muffler to create a tractor that would better suit their needs and the conditions they worked in. Just a few months after the inception of the “AR”, though, in June of 1935, Deere and company made the decision to create an orchard-specific model of the tractor and tagged it the “AO”. The “AO” included low stacks and differential brakes as standard equipment. These tractors made it easier to order a tractor to suit orchard conditions and demonstrated to orchard and grove owners that Deere was producing a tractor aimed specifically at them. Eventually Deere produced the “AOS” which had a shortened wheelbase for better maneuverability.
Over the years, these A varieties were produced in both styled and unstyled versions. The following pictures are from a recent sale where I saw a few of A variations.
Here’s a photo of the John Deere GPO:
This is a John Deere BO. Unlike the John Deere AR and AO tractors, the BO and BR tractors were never styled, they were only available unstyled.
These tractors are highly collectible. My favorite is the styled AO. What’s your favorite?