VIDEO: Silage harvesters star in local celebration of John Deere 50th

Ireland’s largest ever demonstration of John Deere self-propelled silage harvesters took place last Sunday at Ardgehane near Clonakilty, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Deere in Ireland.
VIDEO: Silage harvesters star in local celebration of John Deere 50th

The event organised by the West Cork Vintage Ploughing and Threshing Association raised money for local charities.

The celebration event included threshing, vintage silage cutting, music and dancing, machinery auctions, and tractor building.

Proceeds went for ASD units in Kilbrittain National School, Gaelscoil Chloch Na gCoillte, and to the Aspect AS Support Service.

More than 14,000 are estimated to have attended the main John Deere 50th celebration at the company’s UK headquarters in Langar, Nottinghamshire.

One of the exceptional machines on show there was a 1996 6400 tractor, driven 225 miles to the event by contractor Michael Tucker, from Cullompton in Devon.

This machine has worked 48,000 hours, equivalent to 6.5 hours every day, 365 days a year, for 20 years — or nearly 1.5 million miles driving at 30mph.

There were over 200 John Deere vintage, classic and modern tractors and other heritage machines at Langar, spanning 100 years of production, with at least one tractor representing every year from 1962 to 2011.

Some of the heritage tractor highlights included a 1916 Overtime Model R belonging to Malcolm Robinson of Horncastle in Lincolnshire, imported from the US during World War One.

A 1919 Waterloo Boy Model N belonging to Harry Williams, Mold, Flintshire, was the first tractor produced by John Deere in the US after it bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company in Iowa.

A 1924 Model D belonging to John Deere dealer Frank Sutton of Raglan, Monmouthshire, is the oldest tractor in Europe bearing the John Deere name.

And a 1943 Model BN belonging to Brian Wright, Langford, Nottinghamshire, may be the oldest working John Deere tractor in the UK.

It is still used to hoe sugar beet every spring.

There were 11 examples of the iconic 4020 tractor that dates back to 1966, the year John Deere Limited started trading from Langar.

Another tractor of note was the original 5010, exhibited for the first time in the UK by Lundell (Gt Britain) Ltd at the 1962 Royal Smithfield Show.

Owner David Leech, co-organiser of the JD50 heritage event along with his brother, Peter Leech, also owns the first 5020 tractor imported into the UK from the US.

More recent examples on show included the John Deere 8000 Series tractors introduced in 1994, the first in history to have their design concept patented, and the popular 6910 full-frame tractor, Europe’s biggest-selling model in 1998.

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