When people think of the Northwood Auto Show the images that come to mind are usually shiny new automobiles. However most don’t think of tractors. Perhaps until now with some of big farming machines from John Deere on display throughout the show.
“We’re a specialty division, we show off other types of vehicles,” John Deere team captain Tyler Marifke said after his group got a few questions as to what tractors were doing at a car show. Marifke, a junior in Northwood’s entrepreneurship and management program, is from Elkhorn, Wisc. and chose to work the John Deere display because while he’s never been a farmer, he has fond memories of the big green and yellow tractors on display at his county fair when he was younger.
John Deere is the only tractor company with products at Northwood, with an area booth featuring three full-size agriculture tractors, two smaller utility tractors, a zero-turn mower and a “Gator” utility vehicle. A hay baler and a disc tiller also were on display. There is even an industrial generator and air compressor made by John Deere.
“We figured we’d knock them out with stuff,” said Marifke of the selection of equipment on display. By comparison, last year the Deere company display only featured a few lawn tractors. According to Marifke, the display has gone over well.
“The kids love it.” According to Marifke many of the kids are amazed by the size of the 6-foot tall tires on the big agricultural tractors. A few farmers were also impressed, with some saying they might look into them further.
The vehicles on display at the auto show are often know for speed, such as a 200 mile-per-hour Ford GT parked just yards from the John Deere area. The tractors can’t really compete with that, according to Marifke. The fastest one on display is a new John Deere 8225R that tops out at 27 miles per hour.
“They weren’t made to be fast.” Marifke added that the 8225R is John Deere’s newest model and has been on sale for only aweek. There are only 20 of them in Michigan. The one on display is fresh off the assembly line. The paint still had a fresh-sprayed smell to it when they received it, Marifke said.
The farming machines better match up against the most high-end cars in price. The center piece of the display is the gigantic eight-tired John Deere 9420 articulated tractor. The wheels on the massive machine don’t turn; instead the tractor pivots in the middle. In total the 9420 costs about $500,000.
Not all of the tractors will put you back half a million. Also on display is a John Deere 7230. This more basic model goes for about $45,000. According to Marifke, leasing and financing options are available.
All of the equipment was loaned for the display from the Bader and Sons chain of dealers. The agricultural tractors came from their Linwood dealership and were driven to the show. According to Marifke, the trip getting them there took two hours.