The “Big Tractor” or the “New Tractor” were both nick names we used for the 1949 A. It was our biggest and our newest tractor on the farm. I was around 8 years old a can now barely re member when Dad bought this tractor. It was a ti me, maybe 1959, when we needed a third bigger tractor to add to the fleet of a 44 A and B. What stands out in my memory is that he first brought ho me a John Deere 60 to try out. The 60 was so great and was I excited! Our neighbors had a 60 and I admired it. It even had power steering! So I was really excited that Dad was going to buy this big beauty. Well, I was very surprised to see the 60 go and in its place this narrow front end A with a smooth fra me and a fresh dealership paint job was rolled into the barn yard.
Sure, I was disappointed. I thought the 60 with its power steering and one stick shifting was great. My disappointment has not lasted. What remains is a genuine deep respect for this tractor. It is so very much more capable than the 44 A. This tractor, which we the nick nameD “The New Tractor” or "The Big Tractor" never failed to accomplish any task we put it to. For starters it pulled 3 bottom 14 inch trailer plow through any soil or condition on the farm. We pulled the hay bailer and wagons up our steep side hills. She ran a 5 foot flail chopper even though it didn’t have live PTO. It pulled the heavy ole Paypec corn chopper, the one with the Hercules engine, with a full wagon through the mud and gumbo of a fall silage season. It even plowed snow in the winter with model 45 loader on front. When folks ask me to describe the difference between the model B, the H and the model A I start by saying the A stands for “Attitude.” A hard working, no- nonsense, can do attitude that a farmer could count on to help get any job done. I’m very proud to have had a hand in preserving it.
This tractor had been restored by my father, brother and his son Tom about 1990. I don’t know what was done, but a nice paint job was applied. My Dad continued to plow and push snow and such with this tractor after the restoration. It had a run in with a tree and the engine started to have troubles. The engine needed some serious work done on the head and a new manifold was installed. I rebuilt the carburetor, generator, starter and put a new wiring harness on it. The clutch disc was cracked and replaced. I fixed all the dents and we put new rubber all the way around. In the summer of 2006 I finished the paint job and project just in time for my son's wedding. The shop was used as a party house for their rehersal dinner, so all tractors had to move. It worked out great as the A was one of the fleet to give rides to family and guests that were here for the wedding.