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John Deere 4020 handles a lot of chores

Dennis Hemmersbach on John Deere 4020 tractor
EASY TO HANDLE: “I like the 4020 because it is easy to drive, maintenance-free, has excellent maneuverability and features the right power for the job that needs to be done. Everything just lines up perfectly when you are baling hay,” says Dennis Hemmersbach of Norwalk, Wis.
My Favorite Tractor: Dennis Hemmersbach purchased his 1970 Model 4020 in 1990.

Dennis Hemmersbach has high accolades for his favorite tractor, a 1970 Model 4020 diesel John Deere.

“For years most of my chores were handled with a Model 2640 Deere utility tractor, but it lacked the power needed to do bigger tasks. I always wanted to own this particular model, because it has a narrow front end and was handy to maneuver and easy to steer,” he says.

“After seeing an advertisement in the paper, I purchased it from a farm 120 miles away near Edgar for $9,500 in 1990. The price was right, and there had only been two previous owners,” he says. The 4020, which now has run 12,000 hours and is rated at 85 to 95 hp, is used on the four-bottom, 12-inch plow and the manure spreader, and operates the John Deere Model 35 chopper and 366 baler, along with disking, mulching and hauling wagons.

Features include: power steering, differential lock, six-cylinder engine, complete hydraulics, eight forward and two reverse gears, two lights in the front fender, and one light in the rear. All the levels for steering are located on the right side of the seat.

At 11,000 hours, Hemmersbach replaced the valves, and last year added a new rollbar for $140. The tractor doesn’t use any oil and always starts in cold weather.

The Norwalk, Wis., farmer milks 40 Holstein cows and farms 160 acres. He has always had a passion for green equipment. His present inventory includes a 1970 Model 4020, 1971 Model 4320, 1980 Model 2940, 1981 Model 4455 with a front-wheel assist and a 2013 Model 6115R.

The 4020 experienced great popularity. More than 184,000 units were built between 1963 and 1972 in Waterloo, Iowa. It was one of the most beloved tractors of its time.

“I like the 4020 because it is easy to drive, maintenance-free, has excellent maneuverability and features the right power for the job that needs to be done. Everything just lines up perfectly when you are baling hay,” Hemmersbach says. “Someday it will be sandblasted, repainted and fully restored. This has been an all-American tractor for our farm, and I definitely made the right decision to bring it here after seeing that ad years ago.”

Persinger lives in Milwaukee, Wis. To have your favorite tractor featured, email or send a photo of yourself with your tractor, along with a 300-word write-up about the tractor, to: fran.oleary@farmprogress.com or Wisconsin Agriculturist, P.O. Box 236, Brandon, WI 53919.

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