Blog Series Icon

INTERESTING IRON

The John Deere 4230: A chip off the ol’ block…

Author

Ryan Roossinck

January 14, 2021

John Deere 4230
The John Deere 4230 is a workhorse, and lots of ’em are still earning their keep on farms across the country! This one only has 4453 hours on it, and it sells at a retirement auction on Tuesday, January 19, 2020! Click the photo for details!

SEE THIS JOHN DEERE 4230

We’ve dug into plenty of Generation II tractors in the past, but never at the “little brother” naturally aspirated models. Well…today we talk about one. The John Deere 4230.

The 4020 was one of the most popular “modern” tractors to ever come from Waterloo, and with good reason. It was really handy – for a farm in the late 60s, it was just about the perfect size for any job you could throw at it. It was a dependable tractor that seemed like it was up for the task at hand.

When they designed 4230, the engineers at Deere took all of the best things about the 4020 and carried them forward. To that, they added very modern styling, a small bump in horsepower, and a couple fairly major innovations. Those innovations would forever change farming as we know it…just like the 4020 did. In that respect, I suppose the 4230 really was a chip off the ol’ block!

Don’t call it a “cab”

In the late 60s and early 70s, America’s farming landscape grew very rapidly. According to census data, the size of the average farm in the midwest grew somewhere between 30-35%. With farmers covering more ground than ever before, they were spending more time on the tractor than ever before.

Until 1973, cabs were largely an afterthought. Farmers wanting them would buy the tractor and then buy a glass box from an aftermarket manufacturer and bolted it on. They didn’t fit real well, they weren’t real roomy, and generally weren’t all that comfortable. Yeah, they kept the rain off your head, but that was about it.

1206 ICB Copy
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be comfortable in that…

Deere watched the farming expansion unfold, and realized that they needed to change the way they looked at building a tractor. For the 4230 and its siblings, the tractor had to be designed around operator comfort.

And that’s exactly what happened. Instead of building a tractor and then a cab, the engineers designed the Sound Gard Body structure to encompass the entire operator’s platform. It was a massive change in thinking, and proved to be a really smart move!

Sound Gard Bodies isolated the farmer from the tractor. They rode on rubber bushings as opposed to bolting directly on to the frame. The bushings helped reduce vibration. Additionally, the curved front glass angled to deflect the noise away from the operator!

You’ll note that I keep referring to the Sound Gard “Bodies” as opposed to cabs. Deere was very intentional about NOT calling them Sound Gard “cabs” in their marketing. It’s a little bitty detail, but to Mother Deere, it was a pretty big deal! This was a big departure from traditional aftermarket cabs; they called it something different to grab the farmer’s attention. As you can see…it worked.

No more “in between gears”…

One of the issues that farmers experienced toward the end of the New Generation tractors was being stuck “in between” gears. The 4020 only had 8 forward speeds regardless of the transmission. Inevitably, farmers would run into situations where they felt like they were in between gears. Running in a lower gear meant winding the motor tighter than it should be. Running in a higher gear meant lugging the motor down where it wasn’t being efficient. Neither situation was a good one.

The introduction of the Quad Range transmission was a great big help in that regard. It gave the operator sixteen forward speeds; it was a lot easier to find the perfect speed with sixteen choices than it was with eight! Furthermore, within each range, the Quad Range would let you power shift the 1/2 and 3/4 shifts. That added a fair amount of convenience as well.

The Quad Range was a great gearbox for Deere, and they were produced for about 20 years. And while they’re not completely bulletproof, they’re pretty darn tough. There’s a bit of an art to shifting them (one that I haven’t exactly mastered).  But if not abused, they can last 10,000 hours or more before they need rebuilt. There’s a lot of die hard Quad Range fans out there, too. My buddy Kyle told me that he’d rather sit through eight hours of Dicamba training than drive an early Powershift for two!

If the data in our TZ Pro database (139 comparable sales) is any indication, the Quad Range vastly outsold both the Powershift and Synchro options!

Overall, the 4230 sold reasonably well. Not like 4430s did, but that was expected. By 1973, there were plenty of implements that a 100-horse tractor couldn’t handle very well, but the 4430 could. I believe the 4430 ended up outselling the 4230 by almost 2 to 1 over the 5 year production run.

The 4230 you can bid on right now…

Still, there are thousands of these tractors out there on the farm earning their keep, including this beauty near the Illinois/Indiana state line. It was among the last of the 1975 models, it’s a Quad Range tractor, and it’s only got 4453 original hours on it! It’s very clean on the inside, and the tinwork is clean and straight as well! Overall, it’s a lot better than average example of the John Deere 4230!

0119Sullivan4230cab
This interior looks pretty good for 46 years old!

Bidding is live on the auction right now, and it doesn’t end until January 19, 2021. As I write this blog post, the bid is sitting at $8250. That said, there’s still 5 days left on this auction. When it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this tractor sell for $18K+.

There will always be demand for clean, low-houred workhorses, no matter what horsepower range you’re talking about. This is one of ’em!

SEE THIS JOHN DEERE 4230

If you’re looking for a Deere for your operation (or collection, for that matter), start your search here.

 

IMG 3592
The John Deere 4230 was also one of the most customizable models in the Generation II lineup. Here are a handful of the variants all in the same barn in Iowa! Left to right, you’ll see a Hi-Crop, a HFWD open station, a gasser, a factory convertible front end, and a low-profile model sold to fruit & nut growers! If I remember right, these are all powershifts as well!

 

 

 

You May Also Like

Image of Article
Article series icon

INTERESTING IRON

Closing a Chapter: Rob Plendl’s 55-Series tractors

Author Image

Ryan Roossinck

March 27, 2024

Image of Article
Article series icon

ANALYSIS, EQUIPMENT VALUES

What’s My John Deere 333G Compact Track Loader Worth?

Author Image

Megan Schilling

February 20, 2024

Image of Article
Article series icon

ANALYSIS, EQUIPMENT VALUES

What’s My John Deere S780 Worth?

Author Image

Megan Schilling

December 15, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

INTERESTING IRON

Interesting Iron: The Origin Story (and a sweet 4455)

Author Image

Ryan Roossinck

October 25, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

ANALYSIS, EQUIPMENT VALUES

What’s My John Deere 8130 Worth?

Author Image

Megan Schilling

October 05, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

INTERESTING IRON

John Deere 6030 Non-Turbo: One of 45.

Author Image

Ryan Roossinck

September 27, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

INTERESTING IRON

Hillsboro Equipment: Thriving at 75!

Author Image

Ryan Roossinck

August 17, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

INTERESTING IRON

LEGOs, Landmarks & the John Deere 7000-Series

Author Image

Ryan Roossinck

June 15, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

ANALYSIS, EQUIPMENT VALUES

What’s My John Deere 3025E Worth?

Author Image

Megan Schilling

June 12, 2023

Image of Article
Article series icon

INTERESTING IRON

The Kankakee Cold Case: Grandpa’s lost John Deere 4020

Author Image

Ryan Roossinck

February 22, 2023


 

Find an auctioneer and dealer near you

Farm Equipment Financing & Loans
Discover why ag equipment buyers are choosing Tractor Zoom as the go-to-platform for securing their next equipment loan.

Tractor Zoom is connecting farm equipment sellers and buyers faster than ever before. Finding farm equipment at auction or at a dealership has never been so easy.

Copyright © 2024 Tractor Zoom Inc. All Rights Reserved