on Monday, March 11, 2013
Unconventional tractors were common in John Deere's engineering offices. One of the company's more creative engineers, Theo Brown, recognized that the general-purpose tractors intended for cultivating single rows - the John Deere L, Farmall A, and Allis-Chalmers B - had a common fault. The power plant of the tractors was between the operator and the row to be cultivated. Brown surmised this caused the operator to work in uncomfortable positions in order to see what he was doing, so Brown set about designing a tractor with better visibility. In 1941, he introduced a new concept at John Deere - the Full Vision tractor. The goal of his Full Vision tractor was to provide the operator with an unobstructed view of the ground both directly in front and directly to the rear. Five were built in the early 1940s.They were loaned out to farmers who tested the tractors for a month and suggested improvements. When a driver said the regular seat did not give enough back support, for example, a 3-inch strip was welded around the back. Originally the tractor was maneuvered with a steering wheel, but because it obstructed the view, it was replaced with handles. In April 1942, the tractor was taken to the Experimental Farm where it was tried out in the field, both with an integral 14-inch plow and an integral cultivator. Starting June 8, 1942, this tractor and cultivator were used to cultivate corn at the Experimental Farm and later at a private farm, where the crop was cultivated three times, an equivalent of 125 acres. It never made it to full production and is a rare find today!