Green Machine: 1987 John Deere AMT 600

050516 Barn Finds - 1987 John Deere ATM 600 - 1

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Another non-car here, but if there was ever a barn-related vehicle, this is it! (well, other than the tractors, and the bull) This 1987 John Deere AMT 600 is in Moriah, New York and is listed on eBay for $2,000. It predates the famous Gator that everyone probably thinks of when they think of John Deere AMT-type machines. These had an optional electric dump box on the back as shown here on YouTube; pretty cool.

050516 Barn Finds - 1987 John Deere ATM 600 - 3

The John Deere AMT, or All Materials Transport, was the first in a series for Big-Green as far as small ATV-like haulers goes. The AMT series (600, 622, 626) ran from 1987 to 1992 when the famous John Deere Gator came out. You may have seen a newer version of the Gator at a major league ballpark near you, or at a golf course being used by the greens crew. The new John Deere Gators are even in the military, in the M-Gator A1, and similar; with thousands of them deployed around the world. Of course, being a John Deere, parts are still available.

050516 Barn Finds - 1987 John Deere ATM 600 - 2

The seller says that this AMT 600 has a “new seat, brakes, brake cables, and belt. No cracks in plastics.” These weren’t fast machines but, just for kicks, here’s a guy on YouTube “racing” one. Although, with only a 600-pound payload, he’s pushin’ it.. These AMTs came with a 286cc Kawasaki engine and a belt-drive transmission with chain drive to each side to the rear wheels. They weren’t super good off-roaders, as this guy proves on YouTube. This is the equivalent of when you get a piece of meat stuck in your teeth, and then you finally dig it out, you don’t just get rid of it, you chew it again. This guy just can’t leave that route without conquering it; ha! These are nice haulers for anyone with a farm or some property and a need for hauling wood or dirt or almost anything. Have you ever wanted one of these, or have you ever owned one?

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  1. Dave Wright

    We have 4 of these here at the ranch. 3, 626’s and one military version we are putting back together. We use the 626 every day. It is also a 5X4, has a conventional steering wheel and side by side seating with the electric dump bed. Very handy vehicle. Not much speed, tops ar 20 MPH…….down hill…….but we have never had it stuck. The drive wheels are chain driven with no suspension or Differintal. I am looking forward to getting the military one going, it is a 6X4 with a Yanmar 3 cyl Diesel. It has a different bed that is larger and folds flat at all 3 corners. The tires are more aggressive and a bit larger. Still no suspension. These are fun useful vehicles.

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    • Dave Wright

      And many parts for these are no longer available from John Deere. There are some very active dismantlers that have parts but common wear parts can be a problem. One guy in Washington state in particular.

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  2. Kevin Harper

    A good friend of mine has one of these.
    Can you say understeer. With a load on it you have to stand up and lean over the handle bars in order to get the front to bite.

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  3. Howard A. Howard AMember

    I have a friend that has the side by side seating model, and they do save a lot of steps, especially on a farm, where sure as heck, something that breaks down is usually as far away as you can get. It can get stuck, it’s not a 6×6,( 5×6?) but gets around pretty good. John Deere has long been an innovator when it comes to new products, and an Asian 4 wheeler just won’t fit in on a farm surrounded by green machines. Cool find, don’t break it though. Like any green machine, parts aren’t cheap.

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  4. Eric Dashman

    I had a Gator about 15 years ago with the electric dump. We got it for my (ex) wife. It was the 4×2 version and had probably 2000 hours on it when we got it. It had been used at UNC-CH and was in good shape. Cost us $3000, which is a pretty good price these days for used ones. They’re typically $4K and up used. Never had any problems with it. Unfortunately it went to her in the divorce and I’m sure she sold it for cash fairly quickly. The electric dump wasn’t the most powerful and I recall having to “help” it when I had a heavy load. I wouldn’t mind having another one.

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  5. Scotty G

    Ha, I didn’t know that I had dyslexia before this, grant!
    My apologies, dang it.

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    • grant

      No apologies needed Scotty. Autocorrect gets the best of us all and I get cheeky when I can’t sleep. You seem to find unusual stuff, keep them coming!

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  6. FiremanDan

    When Don Johnson aka Miami Vice /Nash Bridges had his ranch in Aspen, Colorado. I worked on his vehicles, Harley Davidsons,Atvs,ect. He had one of these little John Deeres. When we updated to a Polaris Ranger the dealer had 0 interest in a JD trade in. And that week the neighborhood bear tore the seat off. So I ended up with it. Put a western saddle on where the seat was previously and took it to my dad’s ranch in the Midwest. …he uses it daily. The old Marine is in his 80s and says it easier to saddle up the JD than wrangling a horse…..Gung ho ….and carry on.

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