1959 John Deere 830 'Rice Special'

Mud Covers

Rice specials had 'mud covers' which kept rice field mud from entering the brakes and axle housing. Above, the axle housing mud covers.

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PO Box 333, Holland, Texas 76534

Owners: Monk Ivicic & Sons

The production of two cylinder John Deere tractors ended in 1960. Manufactured from 1958 to 1960, the 830 was the last and largest. The 830 is a 'wheat land' type of tractor designed basically for pulling large plows in large wheat fields. A few 830's were labeled as 'Rice Specials.' These were equipped with mud protection devices, to prevent mud from entering working parts. 'Mud covers' covered the brakes and axle housing ends.

Our 830 has serial number 8301339. I suspect its manufacture was completed on New Year's Eve 1958, because it was shipped to Sugarland, Texas, on the first work day of 1959. It a 'Rice Special' and did perform a lot of work in the mud--the rice fields of south Texas. Moisture from the mud promotes rusting, and this is greatly enhanced when 'coastal salt elements' are mixed with the moisture. This 830 was badly eaten up by this rust, and many holes were present in the sheet metal.

Rice specials had 'mud covers' which kept rice field mud from entering the brakes and axle housing. Above, the axle housing mud covers.

Tires/wheels: The 7.50 x 20 (front) and 28.1 x 26 (rear) are not original but they give the 830 a unique look.

1959 John Deere 830 'Rice Special' serial #8301339. (Photo taken 1998.)

Dave Phillips from Academy, Texas, brought this 830 from the rice territory to our central Texas area in August of 1992. I just happened to be at Dave's farm when he pulled in with the 830. It looked bad--the tires were rotting and some were flat, the engine was stuck and had been rained into, I could see through the various sheet metal parts, and parts were mis-matched or missing--but I bought it mismatched from Dave anyway, about 15 minutes after he arrived! I didn't know he was bringing an 830 that day, and I didn't know I was about to buy one. Sometimes strange things can happen when collectors of old tractors and engines get to thinking.

My initial thought was to replace all of the sheet metal, but you just don't find these on every street corner. A few years passed as I searched for parts sometimes obtaining them from other states. I picked up a pair of fenders in Oklahoma which also had rusted holes but not as extensive as the original ones. I replaced the bottom part of the nose piece with a dented (but better) one, and replaced one side of the nose piece which incidentally, was welded up to the top piece at the factory. By this time, I decided the search for parts was over and it was time to start patching.

I finished the 830 in September of 1998 and took it to our annual Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association Show which is held on the first Saturday/Sunday weekend in October, at our show grounds in Temple, Texas. Only six years and one month had passed since I first laid eyes on it in 1992!