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Importing Tractors to Australia (Part 1)

Even though I have always had a love for John Deere Tractors, it wasn’t until 2009 that I added them to my collection. Up until this time my collection only consisted of scale model John Deere tractors and other memorabilia.

 In 2008, while at our local tractor rally,  I began talking to some friends who had imported tractors in the past. It was at this point that my Dad and I began to plan purchasing two-cylinder John Deere tractors from the USA and bringing them back to Australia.

 A late Model A John Deere Tractor, with pressed steel frames instead of the cast frame on earlier models, was high on my list of tractors to purchase. There aren’t many John Deere imports into Australia compared to Ferguson and International Tractors, and although there are the shipping costs involved in importing the tractors into Australia, high production John Deere Vintage Tractor models  are cheaper in the USA than in Australia.

It took me 6-12 months to research importing tractors and look into tractors to purchase. Having a family friend who works for a shipping agent was a huge help. I decided to travel to the USA with a family friend, Peter Hancock, and spend time throughly cleaning the tractors to ensure they passed the strict Australian quarantine regulations. We spent a total of three weeks in the USA and were able to spend some time visiting the John Deere’s Headquarters, museums and factories in the Moline Illinois area. 

The above two photos are the model A John Deere from the Tractor House Website.

Taking the Model A for a drive once we got to Oklahoma, the #5 sickle mower attached

The  two main internet sites I used for my tractor search was Yesterday Tractors Magazine and Tractor House . My first purchase was a 1949 John Deere Model A purchased from Tulsa Oklahoma, not far from Oklahoma City where I had arranged with a family friend, Bill Boulton, to have the tractors shipped and stored until I arrived in the USA.  The purchase and delivery of the Model A to Oklahoma City was easier than expected due to , the seller and Bill Boulton having a mutual friend. The tractor came with a John Deere two bottom plow and a John Deere #5 sickle mower, an added bonus, as there aren’t many John Deere implements in Australia and would complement the collection once restored. The tractor was in very good shape, having no welds to the frame, throttle handle and clutch lever as is the case with some two cylinders. When I did eventually get the tractor home and began restoration, I realized it had a cracked cylinder head, a known weak spot on these particular tractors. I have since completed the restoration of the A and it can be seen on other post on this blog. In the future I will do a blog post about the restoration .

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