Farm Progress

Harley Koenig likes his 2510 John Deere

My Favorite Tractor: 1966 Model John Deere 2510 has 6,000 hours on it.

Harlen Persinger

May 4, 2017

2 Min Read
FAVORITE TRACTOR: Harley Koenig primarily uses his 2510 John Deere to cut weeds, mow hay and provide rides for the grandchildren.

A 1966 model 2510 John Deere Tractor checks in as the favorite tractor for Harley Koenig. It was purchased, along with an attached 246 John Deere 7-foot mower, off the showroom floor by Koenig’s father, Laverne, for $3,500 from Berning Implement in Reedsburg. “At that time we only had a model 50 and a John Deere A,” recalls the Reedsburg farmer, who tills 140 acres of corn and soybeans. “I had to climb aboard to learn how to shift because it was so much different than the hand clutches on those other tractors.”

The 2510 raked hay, ran the two-bottom plow and two-row cultivator, disked, drag-hauled manure, moved chopper boxes and operated the two-row mounted New Idea corn picker. Features included a narrow front end, power steering, a complete hydraulic package, eight forward and two reverse gears, cushion seat and attached toolbox. This row crop gas tractor had a road speed of 15 to 16 mph, 52 hp rating on the drawbar and a 90-inch wheel base. It used a 2020 engine fitted to a modified 3020 chassis. There were 15,114 models built in Waterloo, Iowa, between 1965 and 1968.

In 1990, Koenig purchased the 2510 from his father for $2,500, and he estimates it has operated around 6,000 hours. Today, it’s primarily used for a couple of days to cut weeds, mow hay and provide rides for the grandchildren. The only required maintenance is changing the oil, but it does need a new set of rear tires. “I first drove the tractor when I was 16, and one day while dragging, I hit the electric fence while sweeping around a corner. It took some fix-up time and Dad’s blessing in order to continue that job,” Koenig adds.

“In those youthful days I always enjoyed raking hay with this tractor, and it remains my favorite because it had excellent maneuverability, was easy to get on and off, and always delivered top-notch performance. The 2510 has been an integral part of the family for over 50 years, and as my dad notes, “That was money well spent.”  

To have your favorite tractor featured, send in a photo of yourself with your tractor, along with a 150-word write-up about the tractor, to: 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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