John Deere mowers are one of the best brands of lawnmowers that are available on the market. With proper maintenance and care, a John Deere lawnmower should last for many years after purchasing.
Read on to learn more about the history of John Deere, their mower product line, and why so many people swear by this beloved brand.
Who was John Deere?
Born in 1804 in Rutland, Vermont, was an American manufacturer and blacksmith who invented the first steel plow in the world.
When he first moved from Vermont to Illinois in 1837, he found the crop soil in the midwest was much harder and the cast iron plows were not working well, leading him to create his plow.
The Steel Plow
As a blacksmith, Deere was familiar with many different types of metals. By choosing hard steel and shaping the blades, not unlike a pitchfork, Deere’s steel plow was a hit. By 1841 he was producing 70-100 steel plows each year.
By 1843, the steel plow was so popular that Deere needed to move to accomplish his dream of selling his product outside of Illinois. He moved closer to the Mississippi river which allowed him to ship his award-winning plow to other American states.
The steel plow was named “The Plow that Broke the Plains”. Deere said while accepting an award that he would never put his name on a product that does not have in it the best I have in me.
The End and Beginning of an Era
Deere transferred his company to his son Charles in 1857 and in 1868 decided to incorporate the business as Deere & Company. Throughout the 1890s while the main focus on Deere & Company was their still famous plow, the company started to make bicycles for a few short years.
Competition Breeds Innovation
In the early 1900s, Deere & Company faced its toughest competitor with the creation of the International Harvester Company. In 1912 the new owner, Charles Butterworth, began the expansion of the company into a tractor line.
Their success in manufacturing their own tractor line was not as popular as they had planned. Instead of foregoing it, Deere & Company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. There they received the plans for that companies successful tractor.
Deere during World War II
During WWII, the owner of Deere & Company was conscripted into the US Army. The company was then tapped to create a War Production Board to help aid in the American war efforts.
It was on this board that Deere produced farm machinery for the Army as well as military tractors and even an M3 tank. Additionally, Deere produced ammunition, aircraft parts, and military laundry units to aid the U.S. Armed Forces.
On Pace for Global Domination
From the 1950s until the 1980s John Deere became a global leader in agricultural farm equipment for both large and small land plots. Plows, combines, harvesters, tractors, and other light farm equipment made up the bulk of Deere’s product lines during this period.
It was during this time that Deere, known for manufacturing within the United States, expanded rapidly. Deere purchased and constructed factories in Argentina and Canada. Many awards and Fortune 100 & 500 rankings later, John Deere was a powerhouse.
John Deere Introduces the Lawn Tractor
During the rise in popularity of lawn keeping during the 1960s, John Deere set out to make their mark on the lawn mower market. The launch of the 100 lawnmower was such a success that Deere produced the 60 model shortly after.
The 60 model John Deere lawnmower was the first of its kind. Made for tight, urban yards, the mower came with its own set of attachments like a dumpcart, sprayer, and snowblower.
A Million Lawn Mowers Later
In the mid-1980s Deere set out to make some big changes to its line of lawnmowers. Against the backdrop of manufacturing their 1 millionth lawnmower, Deere launched the 430 mower with the first Yanmar 3-cycle engine.
With a diesel engine, power steering, and a hydrostatic drive, the 430 weighed in at a whopping 1,110lbs. This was by far the largest and bulkiest mower on the market at the time.
Not to exclude those with small lawns, the R-series mower was released in the late 1980s and featured 5 speeds, a tighter turning radius, and an electric starter.
The LT Series Lawn Mower
In the 1990’s Deere & Company saw their next hit with the LT Series mower. What became their most popular mower ever, the LT Series was built with large spaces and comfort in mind.
With the rush of Americans leaving large cities for smaller suburbs during that time, the lawnmower business was once again booming. The LT Series featured a wide cutting deck, oversized comfortable seat, and a gas tank twice as large as previous models.
The LT Series again featured many different attachments to add versatility to the lawnmower. Some of the attachments available for the LT Series were
- Snow bucket
- Utility cart
- Lawn sweeper
- Sun canopy
John Deere Mowers Today
Since the 1990s John Deere has made marginal upgrades to newer models of mowers. The early aughts saw Deere expand their selection of available attachments while the 2010s and beyond have focused on fuel efficiency and carbon emission standards.
Today John Deere has manufacturing plants located throughout the United States and Canada. With a workforce of 80,000, John Deere & Company is one of the largest employers in the United States.
Quality Meets Consistency
John Deere is known for quality products and their line of lawnmowers is no different. Consistently winning best-in-class awards and outperforming their competitors, Deere manufactures mowers for a lifetime.
Parts and repair technicians are readily available to keep your John Deere mower running for a lifetime. The initial upfront cost of a Deere mower may be expensive, but the quality of craftsmanship will pay for itself long term.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.