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Joe Dain Tractor Story

By richard - Posted on 13 November 2013

The experimental work on this tractor dates back to 1914. The inventor was Joe Dain, Sr. There were a few experimental machines put out, each year, until 1918, when 100 were built. These machines were built at a factory located on 10th Street, East Moline, Illinois. This was where the John Deere Harvester Works began its existence. Elmer McCormick, who later was Chief engineer at Waterloo, Iowa, supervised the manufacturing. The Dain tractor project was dropped upon the purchase of the Waterloo Plant.

The John Deere Dain tractor was supposed to handle three bottoms. This tractor was originally designed to sell for $1,200. The actual sale price is not known.

The engine was Mr. Dain's design, and was manufactured by an outside concern of unknown identity. It had 4 cylinders 4 1/4 by 5 3/4". It was a rugged engine, being heavier than most engines of corresponding power of that time. A feature of the engine being that the pistons and connecting rods could be removed without tearing down the engine completely. The same was true of the cylinder head, which could easily be removed for cleaning carbon and grinding valves.

Drive was by chain to all three wheels. The tractor weighed about 4,600 lbs., and with the 3 wheel drive it was thought to pack the soil less than other tractors.

This tractor had two speeds forward and two in reverse, high, two and five/eighths mph., and two mph. in low gear. This tractor had gear transmission which operates in oil. The transmission also was accessible for repairing, and it was not necessary to stop to change gears. They could be changed without clashing.

The tractor had no differential, this function was taked care of by a ratchet arrangement. The drawbar pull was 12 h.p. and belt 25 h.p. Height 4'9" and lubrication by forced feed oil pump, supplemented by splash, cooling by water, pump, radiator and fan. It had a Bennet air cleaner. The entire 100 machines were sold. It had been claimed that a second hundred machines were built but not all of that second lot were sold. From the experimental department reports, it seemed to handle the three bottoms very well in most conditions.


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To pull its 16.06 on the draw bar, it pulled 2365 pounds at a speed of 2.55 miles per hour. The speed with no load was 2.98 m.p.h. Download Ccleaner
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