Diesel World - - Tractor Talk -

Four com­pletely new trac­tors de­buted that Au­gust day in Texas, the 36hp 1010, 47hp 2010, 60hp 3010, and 84hp 4010. All but the 4010 were fours of vary­ing dis­place­ments in gas, diesel or LPG, but the flag­ship 4010 was a new in­line six-cylin­der. The gas/lpg en­gine was 301ci and the wet-sleeved, di­rect-in­jected diesel shared sim­i­lar ar­chi­tec­ture but made 380ci. The 4010 came as a wide or nar­row front ad­justable-tread rowcrop, a fixed-tread stan­dard, or a high-crop. Later in ’61, an in­dus­trial model in yel­low paint was of­fered. In­ter­est­ingly, Deere rated the 4010 at 80 PTO hp, while the Ne­braska test gave it 84.

Among the high­lights of the 4010 was the Syn­chro-range trans­mis­sion. It fea­tured an in­no­va­tive par­tially syn­chro­nized 8-speed gear­box. It was di­vided into four ranges. You could quickly shift within the ranges with­out stop­ping; how­ever, you needed to stop, or slow way down, to shift be­tween the ranges. Only one lever was used and it op­er­ated in a straight line up and down with re­verse de­tents to the right. It was vastly dif­fer­ent from any­thing on the mar­ket and very handy. The fi­nal judges were the farm­ers, who liked the setup, and it proved durable for the most part. Only mi­nor up­grades were made for the in­tro­duc­tion of the up­graded 1964 4020 mod­els.

In three years of pro­duc­tion, which started May 2, 1960, Deere cranked out 57,573 4010s, more than 36,000 of them diesel rowcrops. The oth­ers in the 10 Series de­liv­ered sim­i­larly im­pres­sive sales. Ev­ery­one but the com­pe­ti­tion was happy with those num­bers and his­tory has judged the 4010, and the rest of Deere’s 10 Series New Gen­er­a­tion trac­tors, a whop­ping suc­cess. Good as it was, the 4010’s ma­jor claim to fame had been that it set the stage for what is prob­a­bly Deere’s most fa­mous and best-sell­ing trac­tor of the era, the 4020. That’s the trac­tor that set the mark for all the other manufacturers in the 1960s and early 1970s to beat. For that rea­son, the 4010 is one of John Deere’s cornerstone trac­tors.

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