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John Deere 4440
Although John Deere had introduced a successor to its 1960 New Generation of tractors, appropriately called the Generation II, it was the late 1978 “Iron Horses” which helped established the firm as a world leader in horsepower.
The five row-crop tractors in this line – consisting of the 4040, 4240, 4240 Hi-Crop, 4440, 4440 Hi-Crop, 4620 and 2840 – featured stronger or heavier internal components used throughout their design to provide stamina to back up the machines’ increased horsepower. A reflection of this can be seen in the tractors 3-point hitch capacities which skyrocketed from 14% to 29% in lifting capacity. Optional external lift cylinders on the three smaller models increased this power jump even further, to as much as 50% more than predecessors.
Drawbar performance was also greatly enhanced as a result of not only larger engines but also more iron in the tractors chassis. Each tractor weighed substantially more that its predecessor by 1,000 to 2,000 more pounds. In additional ,each model could carry more ballast than its predecessor.
In 1979 John Deere rounded out the Iron Horse lines with two new four-wheel-drive tractors in the 8440 and 8640.
Finally, the firm completed the Iron Horse line with the introduction of four 40 series small tractors consisting of the 2040, 2440, 2640 and 2940.