Small Farmer's Journal

or Subscribe

John Deere Model A Tractor

Many Journal readers rely solely on horse or mule power. Quite a few use only tractors and a whole ‘nother bunch prefer to combine power sources. A small group of farmer folk keep an old tractor around soley for belt power for such things as stationery threshing machines. A popular model for such jobs is the John Deere Model A tractor showcased in this article. The information we have is extensive, we are presenting just a small portion.

OPERATOR’S MANUAL

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

Clutch lever, throttle, fuel control and radiator shutter control are reached easily from the operator’s seat. Under your feet are the brakes, hydraulic power lift foot control pedal, and a large, comfortable platform on which you can stand if you so desire.

Familiarize yourself with all the controls provided for safe and easy operation of your new tractor. Regardless of your previous tractor experience, study this section covering controls carefully before you operate your tractor.

John Deere Model A Tractor

SEAT

The large, bucket-type seat is high up and well forward. You are generally out of the dust where you have a clear, unobstructed view of your work.

The seat (and seat standard) ride on a coil spring that can be tightened or loosened to conform with the operator’s weight for improved riding comfort. When working on rough ground or for heavy operators, more compression should be applied to the coil spring.

Whether you are tall or short, the seat can be adjusted backward or forward to a comfortable position by means of seat attaching bolt located directly under the seat.

John Deere Model A Tractor

STEERING

Due to the high, centered seat location, tapered fuel tank, and narrow, streamlined design, you can easily see what you are doing at either side. This design, coupled with a steering mechanism built to eliminate entirely objectionable wobble, backlash, or whipping of the steering wheel, even in the roughest going, permits you to work in freedom and comfort.

Smooth, responsive steering can be maintained throughout the life of your tractor by means of the adjustments provided for this purpose.

Adjustments can be quickly and easily made by your John Deere dealer’s serviceman.

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

SHUTTER AND FUEL CONTROL WITH HEAT AND OIL GAUGE

The temperature of the tractor is effectively controlled from the driver’s seat by means of a manually operated radiator shutter.

The engine temperature gauge is located in plain sight of the operator and indicates when to adjust the shutter.

For best operation, the engine should always be operated up to its proper temperature, which is 190°F. registered on heat indicator. This results in greater all-around economy, better lubrication and more power.

A convenient, three-way fuel control lever, located on the instrument panel, enables the operator to switch from gasoline to low-cost fuel or to shut off the fuel supply entirely without leaving his position at the wheel.

Also located on the instrument panel is the oil pressure gauge. This gauge does not in any way tell the amount or condition of the oil in the crankcase. It only indicates whether the oil pump is working. The indicator hand of the gauge should rest between the letters “M” and “H” when the engine is running fast idle. If pressure is not registered on the oil gauge when the engine is started, stop the engine immediately.

John Deere Model A Tractor

CHOKE

When starting the engine, set choke in full choke position. (On tractors equipped with electric starters, choking is accomplished by a button, mounted on the instrument panel.) On tractors not equipped with electric starters, choke lever is on the carburetor.

Over-choking or excessive use of the choke will flood the engine, causing hard starting.

John Deere Model A Tractor

ENGINE CRANKING

Hand Cranking: The flywheel method of starting is simple, safe, and easy. You simply grasp the flywheel and roll it forward slowly.

All controls are within easy reach.

John Deere Model A Tractor

Electric Starting: To start the tractor, pull choke, and step on starter lever.

The starter motor is geared into the flywheel which is protected by a guard.

John Deere Model A Tractor

BRAKES

Individually foot-operated differential brakes makes possible short turns to right or left at the row ends.

If the brakes are pressed simultaneously with both feet, they assure you safe stopping at high transport speeds.

A brake latch is conveniently located for locking each brake when doing belt work or when stopping the tractor on a hill or incline.

John Deere Model A Tractor

CLUTCH LEVER

The power required in putting the tractor in motion is gradually and smoothly applied to the drive system by slowly pushing the clutch lever forward. As the tractor picks up speed, give the lever a quick forward thrust until the clutch snaps into engagement.

By pulling back on the clutch lever, the clutch is released and the engine disconnected from the transmission. The pulley brake, which is a part of the clutch lever, stops the pulley from rotating, permitting easy shifting of the transmission gears.

SmallFarmersJournal.com is a live, ever-changing subscription website. To gain access to all the content on this site, subscribe for just $5 per month. If you are not completely satisfied, cancel at any time. Here at your own convenience you can access past articles from Small Farmer's Journal's first forty years and all of the brand new content of new issues. You will also find posts of complete equipment manuals, a wide assortment of valuable ads, a vibrant events calendar, and up to the minute small farm news bulletins. The site features weather forecasts for your own area, moon phase calendaring for farm decisions, recipes, and loads of miscellaneous information.

Spotlight On: Livestock

Fjordworks Zen and the Art of Training the Novice Teamster Part 3

Fjordworks: Zen and the Art of Training the Novice Teamster Part 3

By waking up so fully to the tasks at hand we are empowered to be more present, more available, and thus able to offer a compassionate and skillful response to the needs of our horses even as we ask them to accomplish heavy work on the farm. It is not up to the horses to trust us; it is up to us to prove ourselves worthy of their trust. What the horses can offer to us are new avenues to freedom and resilience, sustainability and hope.

Horseshoeing Part 1A

Horseshoeing Part 1A

Horseshoeing, though apparently simple, involves many difficulties, owing to the fact that the hoof is not an unchanging body, but varies much with respect to form, growth, quality, and elasticity. Furthermore, there are such great differences in the character of ground-surfaces and in the nature of horses’ work that shoeing which is not performed with great ability and care induces disease and makes horses lame.

Fjordworks Horse Powered Potatoes Part 2

Fjordworks: Horse Powered Potatoes Part Two

These types of team implements for digging potatoes were the first big innovation in horse powered potato harvesting in the mid-19th century. Prior to the horse drawn digger the limitation on how many potatoes a farmer could plant was how many the farm crew could dig by hand. The basic design of these early diggers works so well that new models of this type of digger are once again being manufactured by contemporary horse drawn equipment suppliers.

Fjordworks: Horse Powered Potatoes

Fjordworks: Horse Powered Potatoes

This is the account of how one farm put more horse power into the planting, cultivation, and harvesting of its potato crop. Ever since we began farming on our own in 1994 one of our principle aims has been the conversion of our farm operation to live horse power wherever feasible. This has meant replacing mechanized tools such as tractors and rototillers and figuring out how to reduce human labor as we expanded upon the labor capacity of our work horses.

On-Farm Meat Processing

The demand for fresh, local meat products – with no taint of industrial process – is absolutely staggering.

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Cheese

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Cheese

by:
from issue:

Yogurt making is the perfect introduction into the world of cultured dairy products and cheese-making. You are handling milk properly, becoming proficient at sanitizing pots and utensils, and learning the principles of culturing milk. Doing these things regularly, perfecting your methods, sets you up for cheese-making very well. Cheese-making involves the addition of a few more steps beyond the culturing.

Work Horse Handbook

Grooming Work Horses

The serviceability of the work horse may be increased or decreased according to the care which is bestowed upon him. If he is groomed in a perfunctory fashion his efficiency as an animal motor is lessened. On the other hand, if he is well groomed he is snappier and fresher in appearance and is constantly up on the bit.

Shoeing Stocks

An article from the out-of-print Winter 1982 Issue of SFJ.

Portable Poultry

Portable Poultry

An important feature of the range shelter described in this circular is that it is portable. Two men by inserting 2x4s through the holes located just below the roost supports and next to the center uprights can easily pick up and move it from one location to another. Frequent moving of the shelter prevents excessive accumulation of droppings in its vicinity which are a menace to the health of the birds. Better use will be made by the birds of the natural green feed produced on the range if the houses are moved often.

Camel Power in Georgia

Camel Power in Georgia

by:
from issue:

Last spring we got the bright idea to plow some corn with one of the camels, so we went to the shed and drug out the “Planet Jr. one camel cultivating plow”. My 86 year old Grandfather said “Son, don’t worry about thinning that corn, those camels are going to do a fine job of it, for you!” We plowed corn and I have some video to prove it, and as soon as I quit running over the corn and learned how to “drive the plow” we didn’t lose any more corn!

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Happ’s Plowing: A Chance to Share

by:
from issue:

Dinnertime rolled around before we could get people and horses off the field so that results of judging could be announced. I learned a lot that day, one thing being that people were there to share; not many took the competition side of the competition very seriously. Don Anderson of Toledo, WA was our judge — with a tough job handed to him. Everyone was helping each other so he had to really stay on his toes to know who had done what on the various plots.

Plans for Hog Houses

Plans for Hog Houses

by: ,
from issue:

Missouri Sunlit Hog House: This is an east and west type of house lighted by windows in the south roof. A single stack ventilation system with distributed inlets provides ventilation. Pen partitions may be of wood or metal. This plan takes the place of the original Missouri sunlit house since many farmers had difficulty in building it.

Multiple Hitching with One Set of Lines

Multiple Hitching with One Set of Lines

by:
from issue:

A great deal of interest has been shown the last several years in using multiple hitches in horse farming, especially in spring fieldwork. The question often asked is how to keep it simple and easy in driving and assembling the hitch as far as lines are concerned. We demonstrated our method at the Horse Progress Days at Mt. Hope, Ohio in 2003 and have been asked numerous times how we drove four, six and eight-horse hitches using only two lines.

Haying With Horses

Hitching Horses To A Mower

When hitching to the mower, first make sure it’s on level ground and out of gear. The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching.

Icelandic Sheep

Icelandic Sheep

by:
from issue:

I came to sheep farming from a background in the arts – with a passion for spinning and weaving. When we were able to leave our house in town to buy our small farm, a former dairy operation, I had no idea that the desire to have a couple of fiber animals would turn into full time shepherding. I had discovered Icelandic sheep, and was completely enamored of their beauty, their hardiness and their intelligence.

Types and Breeds of Poultry

From Dusty Shelves: A 1924 article on chicken breeds.

Plant Poisoning in Horses & Cattle

Plant Poisoning in Horses & Cattle

by:
from issue:

There are hundreds of plants that can be toxic to livestock. Some grow in specific regions while others are more widespread. Some are always a serious danger and others only under certain conditions. Poisoning of livestock depends on several factors, including palatability of the plant, stage of development, conditions in which they grew, moisture content of the plant and the part eaten.

Mule Powered Wrecker Service

Mule Drawn Wrecker Service

This will only add fuel to those late night discoursians about the relative merits of horses over mules or viciversy. Is the horse the smarter one for hitching a ride or is the mule the smarter one for recognizing the political opportunity which this all represents? In any event these boys know what they are doing, or should, so don’t try this at home without horse tranquilizers. Remember that politics is a luke warm bowl of thin soup.

Journal Guide