The John Deere 520
a real Gem of a
Tractor to Operate
Full 3 Plow Power on the Drawbar, Belt and Power Take Off -
4 row planting and cultivating - the John Deere Model 520 Tractor.
John Deere Model 520 Manufactured 1956 to 1958
Replacing the Model 50, the John Deere Model 520 Tractor
developed about 16% more power than the Model 50. Introduced
in July of 1956 the 520, along with it's bigger brothers the
620 and 720 offered a fresh new bold and bright look along
with many improved and advanced features.
The 520 was advertised as a full 3 plow tractor with 4 row
capacity in planting and cultivating.
Bore and stroke was 5 1/2 x 6 3/8 inches, 302.9 cid, 1325
rpm, compression ratio of 6.38 to 1, drawbar 34.31 and 38.58
No other versions of a 520 tractor were made other than the general
purpose although a farmer could get a tricycle, single or wide front end.
There were three choices in an engine: gasoline, all fuel or LP gas.
photo of our working model 520 tractor
The oval grill medallion was adopted with the 20 series replacing the
scrolled metal John Deere.
The horsepower and weight of the 530 and 520 were just about equal to
the late Model A.
Because of the gearing, PTO speed was 529 rpm instead of the traditional 540.
It was 540 on the Model 620 and 547 on the
The cost of a new 1958 Model 520 tractor was $2,300.
Shipping weight was 4960 pounds.
The 20 series was originally supposed to be called the 50 series. A last
minute change cancelled the 50 designation. It is believed the 20 was used
because these new tractors gave a power increase of about 20% over
the old 50, 60 and 70 models. Some studio photos were even taken with
the 50 designation before the change.
With the help of Henry Dreyfuss a major breakthrough in operator
comfort was introduced on the 20 series tractors...the Float Ride seat.
This design used rubber torsion springs and a shock absorber to ease
the bumps and sometimes rough ride of the farmer. The new seat was
also adjustable for the weight of the operator.
To develop the seat, Dreyfuss contacted Dr. Janet Travell of Harvard
University. Dr. Travell had done extensive work on healing back
injuries and also in what caused them and how they could be avoided.
Dr. Travell's studies are what Dreyfuss used when designing the
float ride seat.
The float ride seat was an option for an extra $38.50.
When Deere was developing a seat for the New Generation Tractors,
Dr. Travell once again got the call. Dr. Travell even went to Waterloo
and drove a tractor in order to better understand what the operator
The John Deere Float Ride Seat
Next: John Deere 620
Deere 420 Tractor
History of John Deeres