The Hendrix High Crop Tractors: High-Steppin' in Florida! - Tractor Zoom
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The Hendrix High Crop Tractors: High-Steppin’ in Florida!

Nov. 24, 2021 • Interesting Iron

high crop tractors for sale at a south florida auction

See the details on all these Florida high crop tractors!

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a collection of WORKING high crop tractors that are this nice. The Jim Mills collection of high crop tractors was utterly amazing, but they were all sold at a Mecum Gone Farmin’ auction a year or two ago. I was there for that one, and they were GORGEOUS. However, they weren’t really working; they were all beautifully restored.

These, on the other hand…they’re field-ready. That’s a different kind of cool, as far as I’m concerned.

Now, before I forget, let’s get the basics out of the way.

Sale Information:
Date: December 4, 2021 – 9AM Eastern
Location: 12210 Loxahatchee Rd, Parkland, FL 33076
Bidding Format: Online & Onsite
Auctioneer: Weeks Auction Co.
Contact: Jeremy Weeks – 352.351.4951

Hendrix Farms: Farmin’ South Florida for nearly a century!

Tractors aside, though, let’s talk about the sale for a minute, because there are a couple of neat aspects to it.

  1. The Location
    This sale is in south Florida, in the greater Boca Raton/Pompano Beach area. It’s basically a 700-acre vegetable farm that backs up to subdivisions and Bimmer dealerships, y’know? For those of us who live in the midwest, it’s hard to imagine a farm with palm trees on it that’s 10 miles away from the beach…yet here we are!

    Screen Shot 2021 11 24 At 09.22.24 AM
    Heck, there actually ARE a pair of BMWs in the Google Street View photo!
  2. The Farm Backstory
    The Hendrix Farms back story is one of those great American success stories that farmers love. See, the Hendrix family has been farming this ground for nearly a century! Their dedication to growing high quality produce has always been stronger than their desire to cash in. They’ve never sold out, despite numerous offers! To put it in perspective, here’s where their land lies, relative to the beach.

    Screen Shot 2021 11 24 At 09.51.25 AM
    The green circle is where Hendrix Farms is located. It’s prime real estate if there ever was such a thing!

At any rate, the Hendrix family is retiring from farming after all these years, hence next Saturday’s auction. As I understand it, they’ll still hold on to the land, though. I don’t know what the long term plans are for it, but I know that it’s not going to be developed. I think it’s probably more likely that it’ll be rented out to local growers in the area.

It’s been a good run for Hendrix Farms, and the retirement is well-deserved. They’ve got quite a bit of equipment crossing the auction block, including over a dozen high crop tractors! Let’s take a look at ’em!

Here come the high-steppers…

John Deere 4240 High Crop
Of all of the John Deere SoundGard high crop tractors, the 4240 seems to be the most common. (There are four of them on this particular sale!)

I’m sure that lots of you know what high crop tractors are, but in case you don’t…think tractors on stilts. For farmers who grow vegetables or tall crops like sugar cane, they’ve been a part of the landscape for years. Now that there are more chemical options for maintaining the plants, you’re starting to see them less frequently, but they’re still out there. Operations like Hendrix Farms still use them to this day!

They go by lots of different names: high crop, high clearance, hi-clear, hi-crop, etc. But, at the end of the day, they all follow the same basic recipe. Farmers with tall crops need extra ground clearance as to not disturb the foliage while it’s growing. Tractor manufacturers responded by building tractors with an elevated operator station, a front axle with drop spindles, and rear drop housings attached to either end of the back axles. The result is the same as I mentioned earlier; a tractor riding on factory installed stilts.

To find one or two high crop tractors on a sale isn’t super out of the ordinary, but this sale has 14 of them – 15 if you count the Ford 3600 that’s set up as a sprayer! That’s got to be the biggest bunch of field-ready tall tractors we’ve seen in years!

The Hendrix high crop tractors

Now, all that having been said, I’m a little light on information on these tractors for now. The team at Weeks Auction Co. is working on putting a full catalog together, but as of now, it’s not ready. However, let’s poke around and take a look at some of the highlights, and I’ll share the info I do have with you!

1966 John Deere 3020 Diesel Syncro High Crop

John Deere 3020 Diesel Syncro High Crop

This 3020 is likely one of the less-common tractors on the sale. As best as I can tell after a little bit of research, I think this is one of only 284 Diesel Syncro High Crops made. For being in its work clothes, it’s in pretty good shape! (My guess is that it was repainted at some point; it’s real salty air down there…)

(I’ve heard/seen two numbers regarding 3020 High Crop Diesel Synchro production – 284, and 46. I think I feel a little more confident in the 284 number, so let’s go with that. Either way, it’s the only 3020 High Crop you can buy on December 4, 2021!)

Oliver 1650 High Crop

Oliver 1650 high crop

I didn’t have time to get up to the Floyd County Historical Museum this week to try and track down production numbers on Oliver high crop tractors, but it’s safe to say that they don’t show up very often. Aumann Auctions has had a couple roll across their block, and Mecum gets them periodically, too. Still, it’s pretty infrequent. This one will need a few things to make it right, but the sheet metal is pretty straight and I believe it’s all-original!

Ford 7710 High Crop

Ford 7710 high crop

This guy. This guy is the real oddball. I’ve talked with at least five different guys who’ve had some experience with high crop tractors and I can’t find a single one of ’em who’s ever seen a 7710 high crop before. That includes Tim Weeks, a guy who’s family has been selling equipment in south Florida for over 40 years! Tim did tell me that the tractor originally came to the Hendrix family from an auction in Homestead, FL some years ago. He also mentioned that he’s looked it over pretty carefully and thinks that it’s a factory-built high crop – not an aftermarket kit. The rear drop housings and the front axle drop spindles all look like they were factory installed. (There’s a pair of Ford 6610 high clearance tractors on this sale with the same factory installed goodies on them, too.)

Very curious to see what this tractor will bring, and where it’ll end up!

1983 John Deere 4250 High Crop

John Deere 4250 high crop

This one is a pretty early production tractor. With a serial number of 2798, I’d say it had to have been built within the first month or two, and I’d imagine it’s probably one of the first 4250 high crop tractors Deere built. Looks pretty clean, too!

At any rate, there are lots more high crop tractors on this sale, and as far as I’m aware, they’re all working/have been worked within the past year or two. The neat thing about this auction is that there is some collectability to these tractors. They’re not my cup of tea – I’m not a fan of heights, and being an extra couple of feet taller on the operator station doesn’t appeal to me at all. I’m tall enough. I don’t need the extra ground clearance! It’s kind of a niche-y market, but it’s there.

The other side benefit of the niche-y-ness of the high crop market is that they oftentimes go for a little less than their row crop counterparts. Oftentimes the For the right type of collector, it could be a perfect way to get in to the hobby fairly inexpensively.

Based on what I know right now, I don’t see any of these tractors setting unbelievable record prices, but you never know! It’ll be fun to watch!

Other high crops selling next weekend…

Here’s a few more photos of some of the high crop tractors on the sale. Cool stuff!

John Deere 4240 High Crop Tillage Setup
This John Deere 4240 4-post is set up for cultivating. It’s got a Quad Range transmission in it, too.
John Deere 4230 high crop
They say that there were less than 400 total John Deere 42- and 4430 high crop tractors built!
Ford 6610 high crop
This is one of two Ford 6610 high crops on the sale. It’s not perfect (and neither is its twin sister), but they’ve helped put a lot of produce in kitchens across the country!
John Deere 7400 high crop
I can’t swear to this, but I think the 7400 series might’ve been the last generation to feature drop spindles and rear drop housings (the traditional setup for a high crop tractor).
7410 1
This 7410 is sort of a high crop, and sort of a row crop at the same time. The traditional setup has been replaced by taller wheels and tires. It basically accomplishes the same thing without the extra moving parts. (They look awfully weird, though!)
Ford 3600 Sprayer Setup
This is the super-high-crop setup. I’m almost sure that this is an aftermarket kit that was specifically built so that these tractors could be turned into sprayers. I saw one of these at a Minnesota Ford Collector’s auction earlier this summer and I’m about positive they said it was an aftermarket deal.

Here’s the details on the sale one more time.

Sale Information:
Date: December 4, 2021 – 9AM Eastern
Location: 12210 Loxahatchee Rd, Parkland, FL 33076
Bidding Format: Online & Onsite
Auctioneer: Weeks Auction Co.
Contact: Jeremy Weeks – 352.351.4951
Link to all the assets on the sale

Want to find a row crop Deere instead? Browse over 150 of ’em here!

Blue tractors more your style? Find those here!

 

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