John Deere DI: A Yellow JD

John Deere D Industrial sports an unusual JD color scheme – it's yellow.


| August 1999



The John Deere D Industrial

The John Deere D Industrial: Fewer than 100 were made during a production run that went from 1936 to 1941. Gary Schroller's is a 1940 model, one of just two DI tractors Deere made that year. His daughter, Hannah, is at the wheel.

Everybody knows John Deere never made a yellow tractor ... everybody, that is, except Gary Schroller. Gary is the proud owner of a John Deere D Industrial, fully restored to a screaming yellow that'll make you want to put on your sunglasses. 

The DI was originally sold to a township road department in Kansas, Gary said. It was designed for road work: It has higher speed gears and steering brakes. The seat is mounted sideways so the driver could watch the road patrol. The clutch and throttle are mounted on the left.

"It had high speed sprockets," Gary said. "There's just no power in the lower gears."

And then there's that color.

"It was painted yellow at the factory," he said, "which most people doubt was the original color. When I show it, everybody questions the color. I've got to explain it, and show them the archive photos."

"I talked to an old farmer at the state fair when I showed it down there," he recalled. "Well, I got a lecture. He told me, 'I farmed with John Deere all my life, and they never made a yellow tractor.' He shook his finger at me and everything!"