From time to time, I get an email from a 4020 owner or fan who has a question about the serial number system for the New Generation tractors.

Now, I am no expert, but I like playing detective because it’s fun to try and make sense of something I don’t understand or know anything about.  And it’s a learning experience that I can take and hopefully use to help someone else.  So strap on your thinking caps and lets see if we can make some sense of this.

New Generation Tractors Serial Number Logic (if you can call it that)

The serial number of any 10 or 20 series New Generation, Waterloo built, tractor represents more than just a serial number.  It indicates the 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 or 8000 series type.  

It also identifies the chassis type; row crop, standard, high crop, row crop utility, industrial, or other designation.  The fuel type; gas, LP, or Diesel, and transmission type; Syncro-Range or Power Shift were also indicated.  Last, but not least, the serial number was part of this seemingly complicated sequence.  A letter suffix was added to also denote the place of production.  

The serial number sequence went through some changes, most of them occurring starting with the 1965 production year.  Lets start with the system prior to 1965.

Prior to 1965, the sequence started with two numbers then a letter. The first number indicated the Series Production Code followed by the Chassis Production Code.  Following the Series and Production Codes, a letter “T” indicated “Basic Tractor”.  The remaining digits represented the numbered order of production of the unit which can be used to determine the year of production.  It is interesting to note that a third digit (a number) indicating the Fuel Type Production Code (explained further below) was not added until mid-summer 1963 starting with the 1964, 3020 series, production year.  See the example at the end of the page for the 4020’s produced prior to 1965.

From 1965 on, the sequence started with the letter used as a prefix of “T” which, again indicated “basic tractor”.  The letter B would be used to indicate a sub variant such as the 4000 model.  The prefix was followed by the Series Production Code and the Chassis Production Code.  The third number indicated the Fuel Type Production Code.    The forth digit was a letter that indicated the Transmission Type Production Code.  The letter “P” indicated Power Shift and the letter “R” indicated Syncro-Range The remaining digits represented the numbered order of production of the unit which can be used to determine the year of production.  The last letter “R” represented the Deere Waterloo Tractor Works.  See the example at the end of the page for the 4020’s starting production in 1965.

Here are the codes listed for further reference:

The “T” (and “B”) Code

The “T” code indicated “basic tractor” and was the third digit until the Fuel Type Code was added to the sequence for the 1964, 3020 model year.  It became the fourth digit in the sequence until 1965 when it was moved to the prefix indicating the same “basic tractor” designation.  

Series Production Codes

1 = 3010, 3020 (w)

2 = 4010, 4020, 4000* (w)

3 = 5010, 5020 (w)

4 = 1020, 1520 (d)

5 = 2020 (d)

6 = 4320 (w)

7 = 2510, 2520, 7020 (w)

8 = 4520, 4620 (w)

9 = 7520 (w)

(w) = Waterloo produced tractors

(d) = Dubuque produced tractors

NOTE: The serial number system outlined here only applies to the Waterloo tractors.  The Dubuque numbering system is different.  Check out this link for the Dubuque system if you are interested.  Courtesy of Brandon Knapp at WeirdDeere.com

* The letter “B” would be the prefix used for a post 1965 sub variant like the 4000 model. 

 

Chassis Production Codes

1 = Row Crop

2 = Standard

3 = High Crop

4 = Row Crop Utility

5 = Industrial

6 = Special Row Crop Utility (export), or Special Standard (export)

7 = Lanz Standard, or Industrial Offset (5010)

8 = Orchard

 

Fuel Type Production Code*

1 = Gasoline 

2 = Liquid Propane (LP)

3 = Diesel Fuel

 

*Not added as the third digit until mid-summer 1963 starting with the 1964 3020 series production year.

 

Transmission Production Codes

P = Power Shift

R = Syncro-Range

The last letter “R”, starting in 1965, represented the Deere & Company Waterloo Tractor Works in Waterloo, Iowa.

Note:  There were some other indicators used in the New Generation serial number sequences.  Here are a couple of miscellaneous notes to add to the above information.

~Early 1964 3020 and 4020 tractors may have serial number tags different from later production with 3020 or 4020 stamped on the tag.

~Not all “Industrial” models use the chassis-type indicators in the same way.  A “5” usually indicates an industrial model.  In the case of 5010 tractors, however, it indicated the John Deere 700 model which is in fact the tractor-shaped industrial model.  The 5010 tractor referred to as “industrial” is the offset tractor with operator platform beside the engine.  The 4020 “industrial” tractor was designated as the JD 600.  

Check out a great explanation of the JD 600 by clicking here.  Thanks to Brandon Knapp!!!

There’s a pretty lengthy explanation of the serial number logic plus a few curveballs which Deere & Co. threw in for good measure.  If anyone disagrees or has other facts that note other than what I’ve portrayed here, please email me.  I welcome any clarification that anyone can offer to help make this as accurate as possible. 

Now here is how the serial numbers apply to the 4020 specifically.  See the chart, following the two examples, for production year with serial number correlations.

4020 Serial Numbers Dissected

Serial Number sequence for the 4020 for models prior to #91000

An example serial number: 21T6500

  • The first number represents the tractor series production code.  In the case of this example, it’s the number 2.

  • The second number indicates the chassis type production code; 1 = Row Crop, 2 = Standard, 3 = Hi Crop 4 = Row Crop Utility, 8 = Orchard

  • The letter “T” indicates “Basic Tractor”

  • The last set of numbers is the actual serial number of the unit. In the case of this example, the tractor was built in 1964.

Serial Number sequence for the 4020 for models beginning with #91000

An example serial number: T211P091000R

  • The letter prefix “T” indicates “Basic Tractor”

  • The first number represents the tractor series; 2 = the 4020 model

  • The second number indicates the chassis design productions code; 1 = Row Crop, 2 = Standard, 3 = Hi Crop 4 = Row Crop Utility, 5 = Industrial (example JD700 or “5010”), 6 = special row crop utility (export), or special standard (export), 7 = Lanz standard, or Industrial offset (JD 700/”5010″), 8 = Orchard

  • The third number indicates the engine type; 1 = Gasoline, 2 = LP,  3 = Diesel 

  • The next letter in the sequence indicates the transmission type; P = Power Shift, R = Syncro-Range

  • The last set of numbers is the actual serial number of the unit 

  • The last letter R denotes the tractor was manufactured at Deere’s Waterloo Iowa Tractor Works 

4020 Serial Numbers by Production Year

Year

From

To

1964 65000 90999
1965 91000 118999
1966 119000 145659
1967 145660 173981
1968 173982 200999
1969 201000 222159
1970 222160 249999
1971 250000 260790
1972 260791 UP

 

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