Farming & Fisheries

FARM CLASSICS: Sleeker John Deere launched in 1974

July 28th, 2022 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Tipping the scales at 3.3t, the tractor’s cast rear wheel rims add nice weight to the tractor which aids traction.

Share this article

FARM CLASSICS with Peter O'Brien

JOHN Deere’s 30 series was launched in 1972, replacing the outgoing 20 series tractors. The smaller models in the line-up were manufactured at the Mannheim factory in Germany, with their larger siblings manufactured in Waterloo, Iowa, USA, which is still the case today for most John Deere tractors.

Initially, the tractors continued the ‘horse shoe’ type bonnet and nose styling of their predecessors, which was updated to a sleeker and rounded version in 1974. The indicator mounted on the decal strip being an endearing characteristic of this new mid-70’s styling.

The 3130 was the largest model produced in Mannheim, being the sole tractor under 100hp to boast a 6-cylinder engine. The 5.4l power unit produced 89hp when released, however John Deere made many considerable engine tweaks during its lifespan to improve the engines performance, resulting in a more fuel efficient 92hp motor.

The transmission provides 12F and 6R gears with the gear sticks located in the good old fashioned between the legs position. The gear box provides three gears, available in two ranges which is then doubled thanks to a Hi-Lo on the move splitter which is activated using a handle under the steering wheel to the left. Both 540 and 1000 speed PTO are on offer, with a lift capacity of 3.4t.

Tipping the scales at 3.3t, the tractors cast rear wheel rims add nice weight to the tractor which aids traction.

The Sekkura built OPU cab was released in 1974. A superior cab to the previous Duncan cab, the OPU-Operators Protection Unit-is a roomy and well laid out unit with great visibility.

As well as the Hi-Lo splitter, the hand throttle and PTO lever are also located around the steering column.

Two hydraulic spool valves are positioned below the seat to the right which are a little bit of a stretch, but the slim console of the lift controls is mounted on the mudguard and is comfortably reachable. The high roof is often fitted with a sun roof, while sliding side windows also provide ventilation. Interestingly, the 3130 was also available in 4wd format-John Deere taking notice of growing trend of 4wd tractors.

However, John Deere the 30 series delivery of 4wd was different to its competitors. Instead of taking a drive line from the gearbox to the front axle, John Deere employed a hydraulic fur wheel drive system, with a hydraulic motor in each hub of the front axle.

Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork


Tractor John Deere 3130

Horsepower 89/92hp

Engine John Deere 5.4l

Years of manufacture 1972-1979

Tags used in this article

Share this article