John Deere artics up for grabs

Six classic John Deere 8630s from the mid- to late-70s are for sale following Dutch contractor Jan Mantingh’s decision to wind down his activities.

by Steven Vale

20 Oct 2019

Located at Gieterveen, a village in the Dutch province of Drenthe, Jan has spent a lifetime with John Deere tractors, initially as a dealer.

Made from 1975-1978, he bought his first 8630 new early 1975, and for many years was both a land improvement contractor and John Deere dealer. A second new 8630 followed, and the last of four secondhand ones arrived during the mid-1980s.

They were all needed to pull some amazing in-house-made implements, which included a 6.0m-wide grader, a monster plough, a couple of 1.3m deep working subsoilers and a 20.0m³ scraper box.

The motor in four of the six tractors is the original 275hp John Deere 10.1 litre six-cyl version, all of which have been revised. Jan swapped out the engines in the other two for 14-litre V8 380hp Scania versions to provide more pulling grunt to pull the big kit. The plate on one of them still reads 380hp, but the engine was later replaced by a 460hp version.

The tyres are on all six tractors are good, and Mr Mantingh reckons to have kept them all in tip-top condition. The grader tractor did the most work, its clock showing around 10,000 hours. The rest of the fleet have done from 4,000 to 6,000 hours. Mr Mantingh is seeking €25,000 to €30,000 per tractor, some of which are on duals. Buyers must arrange transport.

The reason why he is selling his tractors is easily explained. For the past 20 years, he has not only single-handily serviced and maintained all six tractors and machines, but was also the sole pilot!

Often working 12 hours a day for several weeks at a time, these punishing hours would test a younger man. Mr Mantingh recently turned 75, which is the main reason why he has decided to call it a day.

He completed his last job in September 2016. Ever since, the tractors and machines have been housed inside a building on the outskirts of the village, leaving the enthusiastic mechanic to pursue another expensive and time-consuming hobby of restoring classic and vintage cars.