FARM CLASSICS: John Deere 2850 – the Pocket Rocket

April 28th, 2021 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

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THE 40 series tractors gave John Deere a real foothold in the Irish tractor landscape, but many argue the more powerful, refined and economical 50 series secured John Deere as a major contester for a top spot in the market share for the 90’s and the 2000s. The 2850 was a nimble yet powerful tractor which was popular with both contractors and farmers.

Manufactured in John Deere’s Mannheim factory in Germany, the 2850 took over the reins from the popular 2140. Rated at 86hp, the 2850 produced slightly more horsepower to its predecessor through an up-rated version of the turbocharged hearty 3.9 litre engine. Fitted with a viscous fan for cooling, the engine boasted greater fuel efficiency and was a very responsive power unit. Inherited from the 40 series, an innovative feature was the ability of the wheels to tilt away from the engine on full lock, which allowed for great manoeuvrability.

The famed Sound Guard 2 cab (SG2) was familiar to that of the 40 series, boasting great all round vision. One major improvement was the addition of a short lever which controlled the high-low splitter. Conveniently located behind the hand throttle and within easy reach of the lift arms lever, the splitter could be quickly changed on the move when going got tough with the added optional extra of a 40km/hr transmission complete with 4wd braking. At the back end, 540 PTO speed is standard, but 1000 could also be specified while twin assistor rams gave a maximum lift capacity of a respectable 4 tons.

The single door SG2 cab also benefitted from an improved lighting package. Creature comforts of the SG2 cab include ample air vents in front of the driver’s forehead as well as a sunroof. Typical of its era, air conditioning is a factory fitted option. Excellent adjustment of the steering wheel as well as a comfortable Grammer seat allows the operator to find the desired driving position.

Renowned for its comfort and reliability, light weight yet packing a punch, the 2850 was one of the key tractors in the 50 series line up. It  significantly helped pave the way for the ever growing popularity of the green and yellow brand into the 1990s.

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John Deere 2850


95 HP


John Deere 3.9 litre

Years of manufacture


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