One Texas County tractor enthusiast owns a unit his counterparts won’t find – no matter how hard they look.
That’s because Wayne Cook built it himself.
And Cook did it entirely from scratch, fashioning his “Wayne’s Deere” tractor at his property between Roby and Plato mostly with parts from other farm implements and power equipment.
The rear end includes parts and wheels from a vintage John Deere manure spreader, and the front end parts and wheels came from an antique one-horse wheat drill that Cook has had for 50 years and was formerly owned by his father. The unique machine’s seat was donated by Cook’s oldest brother, and it’s powered by a six-horse engine from a Briggs and Stratton garden tiller.
“The only things I bought to build it was a chain and two sprockets,” Cook said.
A long-time construction worker who did jobs all over the Midwest before retiring, Cook was raised in Lynchburg and has owned his 240-acre farm for close to 40 years. When he was done with the nuts and bolts portion of the tractor project, he outfitted it with a bright green paint job and yellow lettering, resembling a John Deere. He said his wife wasn’t sure about the lettering.
“She said, ‘John Deere doesn’t say John’s Deere, it says John Deere,’” Cook said. “Oh well.”
So far, Cook hasn’t had much luck showing off his unusual piece of farm equipment. He had planned to ride it in this year’s annual Roby parade, but was sick the day of the event. He then intended to take it in early October to the Ozarks Older Iron Club’s fall festival in Cabool, but other obligations took priority.
“I haven’t got to show it off much,” Cook said, “but I will.”
Cook is a former Older Iron Club member and is in the process of refurbishing a 1929 John Deere GP Widetread tractor. He said he’s considering producing another homemade model.
“I’m thinking about it,” he said. “I’ve got beef cattle, so I don’t have to work with them all day long, and I like to fool around with this stuff when I’m done.”