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.