WATERLOO, Iowa — John Deere’s Waterloo, Iowa, engine plant, which began production 40 years ago, recently built is 2 millionth engine, according to a story in The Courier. The company marked that milestone as it completed assembly of that tractor, an 8345R model, at the Deere’s East Donald Street plant. The customer watched the final assembly as part of Deere’s “Gold Key” customer program.
“In 1918 we purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., so our history with engines in the Cedar Valley goes back nearly 100 years,” says Curt Cline, factory manager of the engine works. “The partnership with the community is most significant. In that period of time, our employees have retained a commitment to building high-quality products in here. So we continue to be a strong partner with the community. It is a milestone for production here in Waterloo.”
It isn’t all about tractors. The engine works also has produced engines for external customers, Cline said.
That diversified customer base helps the company and the community when the agricultural economy is down, said Darren Treptow, manager of worldwide marketing support for John Deere Power Systems. That includes engines for generators that heat buildings, air compressors, portable industrial equipment, wood chippers, specialty equipment used for harvesting fruits and nuts, as well as marine engines.
The engine was manufactured for AgriNorthwest, a large potato farming operation in Washington state.
“It’s an honor,” said Jerald Sanders, a farm manager with AgriNorthwest, which maintains a fleet of Deere tractors. He signed the tractor during assembly, one of the traditions with Deere’s “Gold Key” program.
Kevin Pasker, purchasing manager with AgriNorthwest, said, “It’s nice to be part of an organization that has customer service and reliability and has similar values as our organization does. John Deere does. That’s why we’ve aligned ourselves with them.”
His company has been doing business with Deere more than 20 years.