For Ron Meloche, collecting John Deere lawn tractors is more than a hobby...it’s part of his history.
A Family’s History
For many people, personal passions are discovered. But for Ron Meloche of McGregor, Ontario, his passion was inherited. When Ron was a kid, his dad began collecting lawn and garden tractors. But in 1973, a special John Deere model first caught his eye.
“When I was 11 years old, my dad bought a [John Deere] 110,” says Ron. “It was a brand new lawn mower, and I was hooked. I was the one who used to cut grass and that was my lawn mower, and I still have it today.” When Ron’s dad passed away, Ron and his brothers took over their father’s 13-tractor collection along with 4 John Deere lawn tractors and 27 pedal tractors… and the legacy lived on.
Sparked by his love for that first mower, Ron has continued collecting John Deere mowers exclusively. With fifteen models in his possession, ranging in make from 1964-2013, all but one are still up and running. “A few I use around the yard, but we take them to the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show once a year.”
But these aren’t just showpieces. To this day, they’re still getting used and passed down to Ron’s kids. “My daughter has got two at her place; she uses my 275, and my son uses the 210.” With no signs of slowing down, Ron’s still looking to add to his collection.
“My goal is to get a ‘63 [model]. My intent was that I’d get one lawn mower from every year of the older ones. My garage is 2,400 square feet and the two-car section in the back is full of John Deere.”
The John Deere Way
While the passion for collecting runs deep, loyalty to John Deere runs even deeper. Ron attributes this to his early childhood experiences. “I used to race my friends who would ride lawn mowers around town. We’d go behind the school and race them! John Deere always won. I [even] used it for a paper route when I was a kid.”
Aside from the happy memories, it was John Deere’s resilience, technology, and rich legacy that was something Ron could always count on. “John Deere has always been my go-to. When I bought my 1025 Sub Compact Utility Tractor, I researched [competing brands], and I still went back to John Deere because of dependability. They’ve done a good job in their designs with easy accessibility and durability … I was always partial to the green and yellow.”
As Ron works to complete his collection, there’ll always be a special place in his heart for the 110. “That one I’ll take to my grave.”