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Agricultural Machinery: Building Heavy Equipment at the John Deere Davenport Works Factory

Jul 09, 2023Jul 09, 2023

Agriculture is a vital industry that contributes significantly to America’s economy. In 2021, farming and food-related industries contributed around $1.3 trillion to the country’s gross domestic product, according to the US Department of Agriculture. John Deere, a company that started in 1837 by manufacturing steel plows, has evolved into a modern producer of highly technical equipment.

To keep up with population growth and address challenges like climate change, labor shortages, and invasive species, companies like John Deere manufacture heavy machinery for various agricultural purposes. At the John Deere Davenport Works factory in Iowa, workers assemble colossal equipment such as motor graders, dump trucks, planters, and sprayers.

The factory floor is equipped with modern tools and technologies that enhance efficiency and provide comfort. Tractor seats, for example, now include features like heaters and shock absorption, allowing farmers to work for longer periods without fatigue. Workstations are adjustable to accommodate workers of different sizes.

Assemblers like Annette Diericks use hoists to connect parts like transmissions and engines. These heavy implements are then installed into the motor grader’s engine frame. With the powerful engine and transmission in place, a finished motor grader can quickly flatten surfaces for road building or farming.

The assembly process also involves connecting mechanical parts to the frame using specialized tools to ensure appropriate torque. Computer-based smart tools assist the assemblers, like Shannon Adamson, in configuring parts correctly and applying the right amount of force.

The assembly line also manufactures articulated dump trucks and skidders used in logging operations. These vehicles are designed to operate in rough terrain and are fitted with special features like cooling packages and payload weighing systems. Robotic systems are used extensively throughout the manufacturing process to ensure efficiency and consistency in welding and painting tasks.

The factory produces a range of articulated dump trucks, including the John Deere 410 P-Tier, which can handle a payload of 82,157 pounds. Wheel loaders are also assembled, with giant buckets attached for tasks like moving materials. Assemblers like Mike Shaw use wireless remote controls to safely install these heavy buckets.

At the end of the assembly line, hydraulic hoses are connected, fluids are filled, and the equipment is ready for use. The machinery produced at the John Deere Davenport Works factory plays a crucial role in supporting the agriculture industry and contributing to America’s economy.