What year did John Deere first start using foreign made parts?
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Thread: What year did John Deere first start using foreign made parts?

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    green and red man's Avatar
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    Question What year did John Deere first start using foreign made parts?

    Not finding fault or anything, as we all know about the global economy and a company's desire to lower costs and keep profits high.
    I was having a discussion with a salesman at a dealer about an original top link for an older tractor and it got me to wondering when foreign made parts first showed up on tractors here.

    On a side note, with the loss of so many manufacturing jobs here in the US over past decades, my mind has been trying to get a clear picture on things.

    A buddy of mine is a machinist and Air Force war veteran. He first worked to build aircraft parts for a large company before he started his own machine shop doing custom work many years ago. In recent years, he had been kept very busy building parts for a computer-controlled assembly line for American Air Filter at a new location. Then a couple years ago, a Japanese company bought out the air filter company and that's when his work for that company came to a complete halt. When I attempted to call the phone at his shop I got a recording saying that the number had been disconnected. My first thought was that I had somehow misdialed the number and so I called it again to be sure. Nope, same results.

    So, I called his home phone and his wife told me what had happened. He had to start using a cell phone as his main business phone to reduce costs after losing work from that large company.

    There's a bottle company not far away that used to have three shifts of employees. You might not believe it now if you drove by there today. The grass usually gets pretty high before any attempt is made at having it mowed. The gates out front at the entrance are almost always closed and locked. My friend used to rebuild their machines at his shop. Not very many years ago, a French company bought the bottling company and within a couple years or so, it closed.

    I got off topic a bit, but you can see where some things are going.




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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by green and red man View Post
    I got off topic a bit, but you can see where some things are going.
    My job has me in industrial buildings daily. Just four or five years ago, we had customers that were running 3 facilities 3 shifts, 7 days a week, and leasing a 4th for a few months a year. Now, they're running one building 5 days. Another one of our customers was running around the clock a few years ago, bringing in temps and renting an extra couple of pieces of equipment just to sit idle in case one of theirs went down. Now? I was there last week. There were fewer than 20 cars in the lot, and a whole fleet of equipment is sitting idle. A handful of pieces are running. Entire sections of this massive, old facility simply sit idle. Literally, the lights are out.

    As much of a loss as it is, it's a testament to their spirit. They've found a way to keep it running, albeit at a much slower pace. While some of the jobs were lost, some were simply changed. Higher paying, higher skill level jobs than what they had been.

    Sorry, I've just continued the off tracking.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    On a positive note, The new 1 series tractors are built here in the U.S. in Augusta GA. I think I heard they built a new plant for these tractors, not entirely sure though.
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    T-Mo's Avatar
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    Deere has had a plant in Georgia for a while, at least 10 to 12 years. Not sure, though, of when and where.
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    Don't know the answer but Deere's SCUTS have been Yanmar (Japanese built) for a LONG time. The 1 series was a step away from foreign manufacturing to just some foreign parts. My 2305 says built in Japan right on the SN plate.
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mo View Post
    Deere has had a plant in Georgia for a while, at least 10 to 12 years. Not sure, though, of when and where.
    A lot of tractors I've researched lately (mostly 5XXX series) say they were built in Augusta, Georgia. The 5410 says it was built there until '01, but there may be some that are more recent.

    Something that's often forgotten about are outside suppliers/ logistics companies. John Deere has a warehouse facility in Greeneville, TN, and there is a company that produces fuel tanks for JD located in Gallatin, TN as well.
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    It's hard to tell what's what with todays convoluted supply chains. For instance, the front axle on my 4720 is a Dana/Spicer. Nice american company, been around forever, good reputation for quality. Then why is "Made in China" stamped on my axle? At this point we can't unring the bell....the world has changed and will never go back. There will never be a machine with any degree of complexity that is not a mixture of foreign parts. I do like that Deere is at least building allot of their product in USA/Mexico.
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    green and red man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    My job has me in industrial buildings daily. Just four or five years ago, we had customers that were running 3 facilities 3 shifts, 7 days a week, and leasing a 4th for a few months a year. Now, they're running one building 5 days. Another one of our customers was running around the clock a few years ago, bringing in temps and renting an extra couple of pieces of equipment just to sit idle in case one of theirs went down. Now? I was there last week. There were fewer than 20 cars in the lot, and a whole fleet of equipment is sitting idle. A handful of pieces are running. Entire sections of this massive, old facility simply sit idle. Literally, the lights are out.

    As much of a loss as it is, it's a testament to their spirit. They've found a way to keep it running, albeit at a much slower pace. While some of the jobs were lost, some were simply changed. Higher paying, higher skill level jobs than what they had been.

    Sorry, I've just continued the off tracking.
    It's good to hear that they've kept it going. Was a nice surprise to first read about a new manufacturing facility coming to the area here and this year actually seeing it being built. I forgot if it's actually owned by Boeing or a subcontractor. Anyhow, the building is huge. There's a railroad near it, so I wonder if a spur will be built to ship things in and out of the place?




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    green and red man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    It's hard to tell what's what with todays convoluted supply chains. For instance, the front axle on my 4720 is a Dana/Spicer. Nice american company, been around forever, good reputation for quality. Then why is "Made in China" stamped on my axle? At this point we can't unring the bell....the world has changed and will never go back. There will never be a machine with any degree of complexity that is not a mixture of foreign parts. I do like that Deere is at least building allot of their product in USA/Mexico.
    When I worked for Case, I tried to learn where all the parts were made, but that wasn't an easy thing to do. Stayed too busy to study things enough to compile a thorough list.




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    It was likely the same year they became a worldwide company...... long before I was born.
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