John Deere Spreader Wheels

The lugs on the John Deere manure spreader wheels were originally parallel. They were later changed to a criss cross pattern. It was my theory that this change was made to prevent the spreader from veering to one side when under a load in heavy soil. You can see the difference below.

I have so far found only four surviving examples of spreaders with the parallel lugs. I own two of them!

The early parallel lugs.

The later criss cross lugs.

I found the answer in the Theophilus Brown Diaries. On January 2, 1913, he wrote that he was requesting French & Hecht to "have lugs put on criss cross so that wheels will not slew to one side and so that rights and lefts can be avoided." My theory was correct! Here is that diary entry:


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