Back in the late 80's and early 90's this was one of John Deere's midsize row-crop tractors. It, like the fifth-gen Toyota Celica, was available from 1989 to 1993. Unlike the Celica, this could be obtained from the factory with duallies. There was also a Hi-Crop variant available, with an extra foot or so of ground clearance, as well as optional Mechanical Front Wheel Drive, (MFWD). The fourth and final choice given to buyers was whether they wanted 16 forward / 6 reverse speeds in a partial powershift quad range transmission, or whether they'd settle for 15 forward / 5 reverse.

As spec'd, we don't have duallies, it's row-crop instead of Hi-Crop, I do get MFWD, but only 15 forward speeds in which to spin the tires.


(Full Disclosure: My boss bought this thing about 8 years ago to clear land, and this year it'll be my turn. He's letting me stay in a pretty nice house and paying me a bunch too.

Exterior: 9/10


Yes, it has an exterior, and that's a good thing, as it gives more area to slather on the green-and-yellow. [side note: would this make a great racing livery? enterprising photoshoppers should inquire]. Like most other large tractors, the 4255 is only available with a hard top, no convertibles, cabrios, targas, T-tops, sunroofs, moonroofs, or other foolishness allowed. This is because the ROPS, RollOver Protection Structure, is integrated right into the cab, making this essentially a factory-prepared stripped and caged "track car"... maybe that's going too far.


I suppose the argument could be make that's it's a 3 door hatchback with a sliding rear hatch, but I prefer to think of it as a flat-topped coupe.

Interior: 5/10

It's got a seat with a neat pneumatic suspension, the roof doesn't leak, it's somewhat soundproofed, there's heat and AC, and the VISIBILITY IS FANTASTIC. It's like riding the top of a 12 foot ladder; the only exception is directly in front of the hood, there's a blind spot a dozen guys could stand in.


Acceleration: 2/10


Gearshift is large orange lever, 15F/4R, and the small orange lever is your throttle.

Although the engine is a 7.6 liter turbo'd straight six, it must be mentioned that this is a DIESEL 7.6 liter turbocharged engine, which puts a different perspective on things. Even in neutral, it takes at least 5-7 seconds to rev from an idle at 680 RPM to full scream at a jaw-dropping 2300 RPM. As well as this, the 15 speed transmission takes a few seconds to re-engage after every shift.


According to specs, this beast will reach a startling 18.6 MPH in 15th gear, coming after at least a minute of accelerating.

Oh, and acceleration? There's no accelerator pedal, it's a hand throttle all the way, baby!


Torque: +5 Points

Because life isn't just about sports cars. It's rated to tow 17,000 pounds, which means to drag large implements through deep mud. Awesome, right?!


Braking: 4/10

Yes, it'll stop: multiple wet disc hydraulic brakes, with two pedals, one for the right side, and one for the left. Under most conditions, it's best to keep the brakes locked together with a neat little hinged clip between the pedals.


It'll stop just fine, but it's a hell of a lot easier to just keep downshifting and let the transmission take care of this "slowing-down" business.

Ride: 12/10

We've got 14.9R26 on the front, and 18.4R38 on the back. Plus, that floating pneumatic seat.


18.4R38 1* DT710 TL List Price $1998.16

Catalog #:471177Ply Rating/Load Index:1*
Size:18.4R38Rolling Circumference:208
Size (English Equiv.):18.4R38Overall Diameter:69.2
TT/TL:tubelessGross Flat Plate, in2:
Brand:GoodyearLoaded Radius:30.6
Inflation Pressure:18Rim Width:16
Max Load MPH:30Tire Width:19.4
Max Load pounds:5680Tread Depth 32nds inches:46
Special Order:noWeight:311

Handling: 7/10

Giant floaty tires and a power steering pump cranked up to 11 give you no feedback whatsoever. I suspect that if I shut my eyes and drove, I wouldn't feel a thing going through small ditches, running over the boss's F350, knocking down fences.... don't ask me how I know about that last one.


Gearbox: 7/10

Let's get this straight. We have a 15 speed sequential transmission. Sure, it might take a moment to think about things when you take your foot off the clutch, and sure, despite New York City's speed limit being lowered to 25 MPH it still can't keep up with traffic, and sure, there's no paddleshifters, but you've got a gear for anything you can think of!


Audio: 4/10

If you really like straight-six turbo diesels with a vertical central exhaust, you'll tolerate this. Otherwise, suck it up or wear ear plugs, because the radio doesn't work!


Toys: 5/10

The seat has armrests and that awesome pneumatic suspension. There's heat and air conditioning, and a radio/cassette player that doesn't work... I guess I'll have to knock a few points off for that.


There's an external toolbox!


Value: 8/10

With the average price hovering just over $40k, there's few things that can pull 17,000 pounds, lift 7000 LBS on a three point hitch, and provide 4 hydraulic ports and a 540/1000 RPM PTO.



Engine: 7.6L inline six turbodiesel

Power: 120HP at 2200 RPM

Transmission: 15 Speed Sequential partial power shift

0-60 Time: N/A

Top Speed: 18 MPH

Drivetrain: RWD, with MFWD

Curb Weight: 15,xxx LBS dry, +1500 or so with fuel, weights, and calcium chloride tire ballast.


Seating: 1 person* (unless you're pulling a hay wagon or something)

MPG: Up to 7.3 Gallons / Hour

MSRP: Don't know. Probably $110k or so, adjusted for inflation. Even after 25 years, they still go for $35k - $70k, depending on hours and options.

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