This John Deere is a de­pend­able farm hand for the Ruehling fam­ily.


My fa­ther, Er­win Ruehling, bought this used 1959 John Deere 530 in 1962 for our fam­ily farm near Ban­croft, Ne­braska. At the time, the four-cylin­der John Deeres were in pro­duc­tion, but Dad wanted to buy a two-cylin­der model be­fore they were dis­con­tin­ued. I was 11 years old and driv­ing a John Deere 50 for all man­ner of field­work. When Dad bought the 530, it was a dream. I im­me­di­ately latched on to that trac­tor and made it my own. My grand­fa­ther, Al­fred, also drove the 530 oc­ca­sion­ally. The 530 was state-of-the-art for its time. It had power steer­ing, live hy­draulics, a live rock­shaft and a live power take­off shaft. We used the 530 for many types of farm op­er­a­tions. In the spring, it was used for both disc­ing and plow­ing. Dur­ing the sum­mer, it had a hay sweep mounted for stack­ing hay, it pulled a windrower for har­vest­ing oats, and we at­tached a baler for bal­ing hay and straw. When fall came around, the 530 was found wear­ing a John Deere 227 corn picker. In win­ter, it was used with a ma­nure loader and snow­plow. It was one of the most de­pend­able trac­tors we ever had, and it was a work­horse on our farm from 1962 un­til 2014.

I started restor­ing the trac­tor in 2015. It was dif­fi­cult to find qual­ity af­ter­mar­ket ig­ni­tion and wiring parts, so me­chan­i­cal is­sues en­sued. Steiny’s Farm Re­pair of Ban­croft, Ne­braska, helped get it up and run­ning with the ad­di­tion of an elec­tronic ig­ni­tion. Fam­ily friends Kevin and Chris Koliha com­pleted the ma­jor restora­tion work, and their paint job is ex­cel­lent.

The 530’s fu­ture will likely in­clude shows, pa­rades and putting around the neigh­bor­hood. Five gen­er­a­tions of Ruehlings have driven the 530, and hope­fully it will be around for gen­er­a­tion No. 6.

BE­FORE Three gen­er­a­tions of Ruehlings pose with the trusty 530. From left: Lo­tus, Scott, Liam, Ri­ley, Reese and Dale.

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