The John Deere L & LA
replaced thousands of
Horses on small farms
1941 John Deere L & LA advertisement
Late in 1937 the Deere Tractor Company brought out it's John Deere
Model L tractor to replace the Model 62.
The Model L was promoted as a lightweight, economical tractor that
could handle all work ordinarily done with a team of horses.
The Model L continued with the two cylinder engine, however it was a
vertical engine rather than the traditional horizontal. The transmission
was a standard automotive type with 3 forward speeds....2 1/2, 3 1/2
and 6 miles per hour.
A foot clutch replaced the hand clutch. The Model L could pull a
single 12 inch plow in second gear.
Having individual rear brakes the L could turn a 7 foot circle.
Adjustable rear tread was another nice feature for vegetable &
row crop farmers.
A full line of equipment for the Model L was manufactured. Unfortunately
the tractor lacked any mechanical or hydraulic lifting capability.
Model L 1937 to 1946
Model LA 1941 to 1946
In 1941 a second, larger L, the Model LA was introduced with a 540
rpm PTO, more engine power, more weight and higher crop clearances.
The LA was not a replacement for the L, but as an addition to the series.
The LA had a slightly larger bore than the L.....3 1/2 inches to 3 1/4.
The rated speed was 1550 for the L and 1850 rpm for the LA. Both
measures gave the LA about 45% more power than the L.
The LA had electric start and lights as an option, plus it had a 540 PTO
that wasn't on the L.
Model L unstyled
Model L styled
Model LI (industrial)
The Model L that directly replaced the Model 62 is referred to as
unstyled because it lacked the same type and form of sheet metal
Model A, Model B, and
Model G had.
The Model L and the Model 62 it replaced were somewhat identical,
the big difference between casually telling them apart is the JD logo
on the front was taken off the L.
The Model L was the first John Deere Tractor to Not have a rubber
tire option. Rubber tires were standard equipment. Electric starting
was an option.
Rear fender size was reduced from the 62 for the Model L. This was
to save cost and also had the benefit of being able to fit a mounted
sickle bar mower.
A larger cid Hercules engine was used, the NXB in tractors serial
# 625000 to 634840. It had a bore and stroke of 3 1/2 x 4 inches.
Beginning at serial # 640000 a John Deere built engine was used.
Both the L & LA ran only on gasoline. The main difference between
the Deere engine and the Hercules was that the Deere engine had a
one piece casting for the block and clutch housing. Plus it had
provisions for a starter and generator.
Serial number plates for both models are on the rear axle housing.
Serial # 634841 thru 639999 were scrapped. (no tractors built)
A new 1940 Model L cost $477.
A new 1946 Model L cost $516.75.
A new 1946 Model LA cost $577.25.
The original Model L was rated at 7.01 drawbar and 9.27 belt horsepower,
it weighed 1630 pounds.
The LA was 10.46 drawbar and 12.93 belt.
Charles Deere Wiman was president of the company from 1928 to 1942,
and from 1944 to 1955. Answering the call to serve his country, Wiman
saw military service in the U.S. Army during World War II. Burton Peek
was president during Wiman's departure.
Wiman passed away in 1955 and William A. Hewitt was elected to take
Next Model M
Back to Model
History of John Deere Tractors