During World War II, a shortage of tractors in Sweden led to the development of the so-called "EPA" tractor (EPA was a chain of discount stores and it was often used to signify something lacking in quality). An EPA tractor was simply an automobile, truck or lorry, with the passenger space cut off behind the front seats, equipped with two gearboxes in a row. When done to an older car with a ladder frame, the result was not dissimilar to a tractor and could be used as one. After the war it remained popular, now not as a farm vehicle, but as a way for young people without a driver's license to own something similar to a car. Since it was legally seen as a tractor, it could be driven from 16 years of age and only required a tractor license. Eventually, the legal loophole was closed and no new EPA tractors were allowed to be made, but the remaining ones were still legal, which led to inflated prices and many protests from people who preferred EPA tractors to ordinary cars.
Many early row-crop tractors had a tricycle design with two closely spaced front tires, and some even had a single front tire. This made it dangerous to operate on the side of a steep hill; as a result, many farmers died from tractor rollovers. Also, early row-crop tractors had no rollover protection system (ROPS), meaning if the tractor flipped back, the operator could be crushed. Sweden was the first country which passed legislation requiring ROPS, in 1959.
The earliest tractors were called "standard" tractors, and were intended almost solely for plowing and harrowing before planting, which were difficult tasks for humans and draft animals. They were characterized by a low, rearward seating position, fixed-width tread, and low ground clearance. These early tractors were cumbersome, and were not well-suited to getting into a field of already-planted row crops to do weed control. The "standard" tractor definition is no longer in current use.
John Deere has an extensive line of available row crop tractors ranging from 140 to 400 horsepower (104 to 298 kW).