The M and the Dubuque Works     
And other Dubuque built Tractors of the 50's

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In 1942, Deere and Company realized they needed to compete with the Ferguson 9N, IH A, and Allis B and they needed a better method to attach implements to the tractor.  The Ferguson System was a big selling point of the Ford-Ferguson tractors.  Development of the model 69 began.

Engineers envisioned a new design that could be built into many configurations, like a tricycle, standard and crawler.  The L and LA could not fit this vision.  The two cylinder engine design would certainly be used.  

By 1943, the first Model 69's were produced and testing in the spring of 1944 brought refinements to the design.  The new Model 69 incorporated the Henry Dreyfuss styling to it's Waterloo sisters.  Late in 1944 the design of the hydraulics was complete and testing of that began.  Named the Touch-O-Matic and fitted with various brand new Quik-Tatch implements, extensive tests were performed at Moline and the new Laredo farm.  Testing showed many improvements were needed and the model 69 evolved into the model M.

In the summer of 1945 the first model Ms were shown to John Deere dealers.  Testing was still being conducted at Moline and Laredo but excited dealers were ready to order.  The M was not scheduled for production until mid 1946.  

Deere considered producing the model M at the Moline plant but as WWII was ending Deere realized there would be a tremendous jump in the demand of farm equipment.  Moline would have to be expanded just to keep up with demand of machinery it already produced.  It could not also produce the new model M.  Clearly, a new plant was needed.

In January of 1945, a site for a new plant was selected in Dubuque, Iowa.  Construction began almost immediately and was completed in mid 1946.  The M was not the first equipment built at the Dubuque Works.  The L series power units were, having moved from Moline in late 1946.

Production on the new line of M tractors began in April 1947.  It was a completely new tractor from the ground up.  The Dubuque Works was built specifically to produce this line of tractor for Deere and Company.  The MT and MC were not produced until 1949.

The serial numbering was each version had the same serial number range. This is why the Model 40s were numbered as they were.  There were four of each serial number produced, one of each model.  Each year picked up were the last one left off. 

The models produced were the M, MT, MI and MC.  The basic tractor had an engine and transmission offset to the left side to allow the operator to see better during cultivation.  Lights, cigarette lighter, and front end weights were other popular add-ons.  The M only had one front facing headlight, mounted on the left side, if equipped with lights.

The MC used the Lindeman undercarriage components made at Yakama and shipped to the Dubuque Works for assembly.  M chassis were shipped to Yakama and Lindeman assembled them there also.

A new engine was used on the M.  It was available as a gasoline or all-fuel version.  The grill was in the Deere tradition of the A and B models.  In an effort to compete with the Ferguson 3 point hitch, a Touch-O-Matic hydraulic system and Quik-Tatch hitch and implements were designed for the M.  

Full production on the M began in April of 1947 for the 1947 model year at the brand new Dubuque Works, and continued until September of 1952.  The MC and MT began in December of 1948 and the MI began in November of 1949.  A total of 87,812 units were built.  Serial numbers on all models began with 10001.


Horsepower - drawbar 18.2 tractor, 17.5 crawler Horsepower - belt 20.5 tractor, 21.2 Crawler
Compression - gas 6:1 Bore & Stroke 4 inches x 4 inches
Compression - All fuel  5.15:1 Displacement 101 cu. in.
Electrical 6 volt positive ground Gears 4 fwd, 1 rev 

*from JD M  Service Manual

 A 1951 MT, owned by Earl Meyer. Rhonda West says of her 1951 MC, "I've owned this MC for 20 years, and love it. It?s done a lot of work around the horse farm I have in southern NY. I have the original manuals on it. It's serial # 14932."  It has had it's tracks replaced at some point with 40 style pads and sports a non-JD grill guard.
 An early M, correctly restored. Note the large font of the John Deere lettering and the cast front wheels used on serial number 10001 to 43250 (47-50). A JD MC with the model 100 tool carrier and cultivator attachment.


I would like to add some M photos of different models.  If you have a picture of your M you would like to share, send it to us.  A jpg image or bitmap image is preferred.  Please send your name, and any info about the tractor you would like and I'll add it to the caption.              Click to email photo.


Designed and built by DL