When Did John Deere Start Manufacturing Construction Equipment?
John Deere was mainly an agriculture-focused company for over 100 years. They then began manufacturing construction equipment in the 1950s, and specifically debuted the industrial tractor in 1957.
Let’s take a look at the manufacturing history of John Deere construction equipment.
- 1950s: In 1956, John Deere made a $15 million investment into building manufacturing facilities to build construction machinery separately. A year after this initial investment, John Deere debuted 15 industrial tractors at the Chicago Road Show. In 1958, the model “64” was released, becoming the first all-hydraulic bulldozer for the company.
- 1960s: In the 1960s, we saw the introduction of the JD440 skidder, JD480 forklift, and the JD350 and JD450 crawlers. This decade was also the time that the JD570 articulated-frame motor grader—which was a very significant advancement in construction equipment production.
- 1970s: Once the 70s came around, the production facility, Dubuque Works expanded more than a million square feet. A new location was also purchased in Davenport, Iowa. This new location, Deere Davenport Works, later announced 28 new models of machinery—including wheel tractors, crawlers, scrapers, loaders, and more.
- 1980s: The early 80s brought an expansion to the product line. At this point, the product line included 29 utility machines, 22 construction machines and 17 forestry machines.
- 1990s: By the mid-90s, Deere’s construction line grew to include 60 products. From here, Deere looked to Bell Equipment in South Africa to form an alliance, and ultimately make dump trucks, manufactured at Bell.
- 2000s: In 2005, Deere Davenport Works created and released its first dump truck. A few years after that, Deere introduced Total Machine Control with their 310SJ and 410J Backhoes, as well as introducing the 764 HSD—which was the first fully-original machine from Deere in decades.
- 2010s: In 2010, Deere started shipping its 744K Loader—the first piece of construction equipment with a horsepower of higher than 75 to meet regulations. That same year, the company also released John Deere WorkSight?.
For more information regarding John Deere construction equipment, contact your local John Deere dealer.