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John Deere 2940 proves durable after 40 years

My Favorite Tractor: Sullivan, Wis., farmer purchased the tractor new in 1980.

Harlen Persinger

October 3, 2019

2 Min Read
Randall Wegner stands next to John Deere 2940 tractor
WORKHORSE: Randall Wegner of Sullivan, Wis., is proud to call his John Deere 2940 his “favorite tractor.”

Shortly after Randall Wegner rented a farm from his grandfather Ben Filenius, he purchased his first new tractor, a 1980 Model 2940 John Deere, from Sales and Service in East Troy, Wis., for $15,500.

“As a demonstrator, it had been on and off the sales lot a few times, so the tachometer showed 112 hours,” says Wegner, Sullivan. “With 85 acres of corn, alfalfa, wheat and 25 cows, it rarely sat idle. I plowed, disked, pulled a 327 John Deere baler and hauled manure in the wintertime, so it served as the ultimate workhorse for the farm.”

Major features include a 5.9-liter, six-cylinder, liquid-cooled diesel engine; 80 hp rating; wide front end; power steering; PTO; three-point rear Type 2 hitch; closed center hydraulics; partial power shift transmission; eight forward and eight reverse gears; wet disc brakes; 101.6-inch wheel base; 33.25-gallon fuel tank; and two lights in the front under the fenders.

This utility tractor was manufactured from 1980 to 1982 in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. The original tachometer now reads 11,000 hours. It has never been overhauled. However, Wegner has replaced the tires several times and added a new seat. Today, the tractor mainly operates a New Holland 1465 9-foot windrower and handles manure hauling chores.

“This machine has good measurability, is dependable, always starts, is handy, versatile and easy to get on and off,” Wegner says. “I would compare the 2940 to a pair of faded blue jeans, durable and well-worn.

“When I walked into that dealership 40 years ago, I nearly bought an International but switched gears because in my mind, the Deere was a better deal. Over time, it truly has become my favorite tractor.”

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.

About the Author(s)

Harlen Persinger

Harlen Persinger is a photojournalist who lives in Milwaukee. Since 2004, he has freelanced for regional and national farm publications such as Wisconsin Agriculturist and Farm Industry News, plus many others.

Persinger grew up on a farm in Grundy County, Iowa. He received a degree in ag journalism from Iowa State University in 1972. He has traveled to more than 40 countries and has been a member of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 1976. In 2016, he was the first photojournalist/freelancer to receive the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Persinger began providing college scholarships to 4-H’ers from his home county who have an interest in photography/journalism and agriculture. He was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2023.

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