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Deutz D 6806 suits Steve Birkholz’s German heritageDeutz D 6806 suits Steve Birkholz’s German heritage

My Favorite Tractor: The Sheboygan County, Wis., native bought the tractor in 2008.

Harlen Persinger

June 28, 2019

2 Min Read
Steve Birkholz and his Deutz D 6806 tractor
EASY TO HANDLE: Steve Birkholz uses his Deutz D 6806 to blow snow, operate his New Holland 316 baler and Gehl 12-foot hydra swing mower, and shuttle and lift logs with a 22 Dunham-Lehr loader.

There was little hesitation when Steve Birkholz of Plymouth, Wis., had the opportunity to pick up a 1976 model Deutz D 6806 from his neighbors. Helen Rotsteadt and her late husband had initially purchased the brand-new machine from Weiss Implement in Glenbeulah, Wis. The couple primarily used it for disking and dragging, operating a four-row planter and 10-foot grain drill, baling hay, hauling manure, and moving wagons.

“I was able to buy the D 6806, rated at 67 hp with 2,800 hours, in 2008 for $2,000. It had sat idle for a couple of years, and the paint was somewhat weathered,” says Birkholz, a hobby farmer and professional mechanic. “After working on the injection pump, it started right off and worked fine.”

Major and auxiliary features include: a wide front end, power steering, independent PTO, flat-top style fenders, two head lights and one side exhaust rear work light, full directional and brake lights, attached toolbox on the left front fender, 12 forward gears, and four reverse gears. Manufactured in Germany, the tractor has a 3.8-liter, four-cylinder, diesel air-cooled engine; a 24.3-gallon fuel tank; an operating weight of 6,070 pounds and a top road speed of 18 miles per hour.

In the past 10 years, Birkholz has added 500 hours on the tachometer. He uses the tractor to blow snow, operate his New Holland 316 baler and Gehl 12-foot hydra swing mower, and shuttle and lift logs with a 22 Dunham-Lehr loader.

Besides repairing the injection pump, his total costs for adding a new clutch, upgrading the tires and practicing routine maintenance were $1,500. Birkholz and his wife, Alicia, participate locally in the nonturbo farm class tractor pulling contest. He drives the D 6806 while she hits the track with a Ford 6600. Both have captured the $100 first prize a couple of times.

Besides the two Deutz tractors, Birkholz has two McCormick-Deering Farmalls — a Model M and a 450 — plus a Leyland 384 British-made tractor.

“That D is truly my favorite,” he says. “Along with handing out high marks for efficient fuel usage, I prefer the simplistic, well-designed, air-cooled engine. And besides, since I’m German, it fits my personality.”

Persinger writes from Milwaukee, Wis. To have your favorite tractor featured, email or send in a photo of yourself with your tractor, along with a 300-word write-up about the tractor, to: [email protected] or Wisconsin Agriculturist, P.O. Box 236, Brandon, WI 53919.

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