/ / / Milestones


1837 - 1958

1837 A man named John Deere started a company with a revolutionary plow fashioned from a broken sawmill blade. This humble start would go on to help America—and the rest of the world—grow for nearly two centuries.

1956 After 119 years as an agricultural equipment company, Deere & Company formed the Industrial Equipment Division (later named the Construction & Forestry Division) as a separate entity from the farm machinery business. An investment of $15 million—including $2.4 million for manufacturing facilities—was authorized for the industrial program.

1957 Fifteen John Deere industrial tractors made their Chicago Road Show debut at the International Amphitheater.

1958 A milestone in design engineering was achieved with the development of the first all-hydraulic bulldozer, the Model "64."

1959 - 1967

1959 While farm machinery sales increased 11 percent, industrial sales leaped 82 percent to $48.2 million.

1961 Construction began on Deere & Company Administrative Center, designed by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen.

1965 The first integral machines with the new industrial model numbers were the JD440 skidder and JD480 forklift, and the JD350 and JD450 crawlers. Division sales volume hit $100 million.

1966 John Deere introduced the first commercially available rollover protection devices (ROPS), later releasing the patent to the industry without charge. This technology is still used throughout the industry today.

1967 Total manufacturing space at the John Deere Dubuque Works reached 528,300 sq. ft., and the company introduced the world's first articulated-frame motor grader (JD570), considered the most significant advancement in motor grader design since 1928.

1969 - 1974

1969 Industrial sales jumped to $197 million.

1970 Overall Deere & Company sales surpassed $1 billion, with $217.5 million contributed by industrial equipment sales.

1971 The "Nothing Runs Like a Deere" slogan was chosen for advertising John Deere's new snowmobile line. The tagline far outlasted the snowmobile line, which was sold in 1984.

1973 More than a million square feet of new floor space was under construction at Dubuque Works; 960 acres of land were acquired north of Davenport, Iowa, for a new factory.

1974 The manufacturing of 28 models of crawlers, wheel tractors, four-wheel drive loaders, a landfill compactor, scrapers, forklifts, log skidders, a motor grader and an excavator broadened the company's base in the industrial machinery business. Deere Davenport Works began production.

1978 - 1982

1978 Deere & Company sales passed $4 billion for the first time, with industrial sales reaching $857.5 million, a 28 percent increase in one year.

1979 John Deere construction equipment sales passed $1 billion for the first time.

1981 The industrial product line included 68 models: 22 construction machines, 29 utility machines and 17 forestry machines.

1982 The company grew nearly twice as fast as the equipment industry in the previous decade, with more than 65 industrial products.

1987 - 1999

1987 Deere & Company celebrated its 150th anniversary.

1988 Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corporation was formed to manufacture and distribute hydraulic excavators in the Americas.

1995 John Deere construction equipment line grew to 60 products and $1.35 billion in sales.


  • John Deere Construction Equipment acquired Timberjack and the division's product line grew to more than 100 models of construction and forestry equipment.

  • Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products began shipping tracked forestry machines from its facility in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

  • Construction & Forestry Division formed a strategic alliance with Bell Equipment of Richards Bay, South Africa, for exclusive marketing rights to Bell-manufactured articulated dump trucks in North, Central and South America.

2000 - 2010

2000 John Deere Industrial Equipment Division officially became the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division.

2005 John Deere and Bell Equipment expanded their strategic alliance, and the first articulated dump truck rolled off the line at Deere Davenport Works.

2006 John Deere is the recognized world-leading manufacturer of agricultural and forestry equipment and first tier competitor in North American construction.

2007 Total Machine Control (TMC) is introduced in the 310SJ and 410J Backhoes. TMC is an innovation that replaces "wobble sticks" with controls built into the seat armrests.

2009 John Deere rings in the new with the first wholly original construction machine form in decades - the 764 HSD, or High Speed Dozer, that can transverse concrete and clocks in at a rapid 16 mph.


  • John Deere begins shipment of the 744K Loader, the first piece of construction equipment over 75 horsepower to meet EPA Interim Tier 4 (IT4)/EU Stage IIIB emission regulations.

  • John Deere WorkSight™ – a suite of high-tech solutions that includes Service ADVISOR™ Remote Diagnostics and Programming – is introduced.

2011 - Present

2011 At ConExpo-Con/AGG® 2011, the company unveils two hybrid loaders under development – the John Deere 644K for the construction market and the 944K for construction and quarries.


  • The 644K Hybrid Loader is John Deere's first hybrid-electric construction machine.

  • John Deere produces the 250,000th Backhoe at the Dubuque Works factory.

  • 175th Anniversary Banner

2015 Product History Timeline