Don t buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry: John Deere Review  -- John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Don t buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry: John Deere Review -- John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum

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 05-09-2003, 22:15 Post: 54593
bernie123



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

I cannot recommend John Deere compact tractors to anyone. I have had horrible safety, reliability, and factory service problems with mine. For instance:

The power steering hydraulic steering shaft broke completely into, causing a complete loss of steering. The driver was only going about 1 MPH but if he had been going faster he could have been killed.

My tractor's reverse is not working. Before it quit completely it was slipping out of reverse by itself after a few feet of movement, and making a horrible gear grinding noise. It is my understanding that is a design problem with a bolt coming loose inside the transmission (that was later corrected). JD did not and will not recall the tractor and fix it free. The transmission has to be completely torn apart, which will cost you more than a few bucks. They won't even supply the parts free. This is really sorry.

My tractor had the wrong tire sizes (12 inch) and it took me four years worth of calls to John Deere before I figured out it was suppose to have 15 inch tires, and I discovered that myself. With a front-end loader I knew the tires were too small but could not find out from JD a fix for the problem of being undersized. The tractor even turned over on me once when I picked up some dirt. Now I need to buy new tires and rims, at my expense. Those 12-inch tires have sidewalls about like your motorcycle and were always getting penetrated by something, completely ruining the tire. Their smaller tractors have these tires as the correct size. Don't buy any tractor with 12-inch Agri tires. You will be sorry.

JD factor people completely ignored all of my problems because the tractor was out of warranty and referred me to a dealer. Dealers were no help, of course, and couldn't correct factory problems anyway.

The safety roll bar is dangerous. If you are looking back at a bushhog or plow and hit a bump, your head will crack the roll bar. It needs more bow to avoid the problem. I finally padded the roll bar, but the design is the problem.

The factory people have the sorriest attitude you will ever want to experience. They apparently have no respect for the consumer's safety or investment and apparently are not concerned about reliability. This probably applies to all of their tractors. My local tractor dealer does not even want to take a JD trade-in. He says the parts are too high and the tractors have too many problems. From my experience, I agree.

There are many more problems with this tractor - electrical, fuel gauge, switch shut-off not working because the solenoid is broke and cost about $115, but you are beginning to get the idea. Don't buy any JD compact tractor and I would think twice before buying any JD product because of their attitude toward the consumer.

The $90 repair manual is a disgrace. I just cannot believe they would publish such a sorry manual and then charge for it. I almost bet you can buy better manuals for your lawn mower, which didn't cost $15,000 to $20,000.

My tractor is a JD 855,but I believe my comments apply to all of the models in that series, and some comments probably apply to JD in general.






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 05-09-2003, 22:29 Post: 54594
MXMASTR



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

Interesting to say the least. I haven't had much experience with John Deere other than recently visiting numerous dealerships. In my experience, they were very arrogant, unfriendly, and stop your heart overpriced. I will try to give them the benefit of the doubt because their name is so well known (like Harley Davidson) and maybe that is what makes them so cocky. Hope your luck changes.
Later on,
Charles






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 05-10-2003, 00:37 Post: 54597
bernie123



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

If you think the dealers are bad, you should try dealing with JD Headquarters people. Here is a quote " Your tractor was designed and manufactured with the intent of meeting and exceeding all applicable engineering standards at the time it was manufactured. We maintain this position that it meets all such standards of design, manufacturing and safety."

In view of the facts in my case, do they actually have their head in the sand, or in some worse place.

Surely our engineering standards are better than this. I think I have seen toys designed better.








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 05-10-2003, 05:20 Post: 54601
dcsmith01



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

That is intersting. Everything I have heard about the 855 is that it is one of the BEST compacts ever made?






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 05-10-2003, 06:20 Post: 54603
cutter



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

Did you purchase this tractor new Bernie? The tire thing sounds amazing, but I suppose inattentiveness on the part of the shop could allow it to occur. The rest of the problems appear to indicate you ended up with a "lemon". Every manufacturer makes them, not every factory rep is there to make your life easy over it. I had that problem with my N/H but not the J/D I owned, the only bad experience I had was when I tried to trade it for a larger machine two years later and met with the dealer arrogance you refer to. A friend of mine owns an 855, never heard a complaint from him and I can testify my company's 755 took a world of abuse and never cried uncle. If you purchased used, perhaps the machine was seriously abused prior to you getting it?

There is a good deal of history on this site pertaining to J/D's unwillingness to admit to a problem, perhaps that is the category into which the transmission bolt problem fits. Did you touch base with more than one J/D dealer?

I am certain others on this site will have something to say about your experience, sorry to hear of it.






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 05-10-2003, 08:53 Post: 54611
DRankin



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

Just sifting through this, the wrong size tires sounds like was a used tractor.

Most of the other complaints could easily stem from the rollover mentioned. The transmission popping out of gear could be related to running the wrong size/mismatched tires in 4wd.

We also do not know how many hours are on the machine and there is an allusion in the story that it is used commercially or at least rented out or borrowed.

How many years since this model was offered new?






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 05-10-2003, 09:43 Post: 54615
bernie123



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

The tractor was not rented out. It was primarily used to mow part of 12 acres and used to move potting soil around and general utility use on a nursery. I inherited the tractor when I bought the nursery. The average yearly use was about 85 hours per year, with less than 1450 hours total. This is equal to driving your truck for 40 hours per week for 36 weeks. A long haul truck could rack up that many hours in two months. I consider this low use.

JD has a kit to fix the bolt coming loose in the transmission. You have to replace a shaft. Apparently a cap bolt holding a gear backs off by itself from normal use and vibration. This bolt holds on a gear necessary to go into reverse. The problem was fixed in the 90's by a carter key or something similar to prevent it backing out. JD did not recall the tractors with the problem, which reflects on their character and lack of concern for their customers. I was lucky to even find out about the problem at all because it is not documented in their service manual. Big secret it looks like.

I have no idea how the 12-inch tires got on the tractor, but I can almost assure you the original owner would not remove 15-inch rims and tires and replace them with JD factory 12-inch rims. If he did, the original rims would still be here, along with 30 other years of parts and junk.

The tractor was well cared for, but you have a rough ride on the 12-inch tires if you cross a rut, which shakes the loader excessively. JD is not concerned about the tire problem apparently or how it happened, even though it's unsafe with a loader. When you pick up a load with the loader, the low-pressure front tires flatten out. If you are on a little slope, It's then easy for the load to shift and then you are in trouble.

The power steering hydraulic cylinder shaft that snapped into, causing a loss of steering, looked like the metal was crystallized. This is dangerous and I know of no fix other than replacing the JD cylinder with one made by a quality manufacturer. Once again, JD factory people were not concerned about the safety problem. I would have had the part sent in for examination and testing (and provided free recall replacements).










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 05-10-2003, 10:35 Post: 54616
Chief



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

Bernie, if the tractor is in as bad a shape as you say. How much do you want to sell it?

If you think John Deere service and design is bad; you are in for a rude awakening. JD is no perfect but they are about the best out there in my opinion.

To be honest with you, it sounds to me like the tractor just needs a good going over and "start from square one" servicing and go step by step by the manual. Put the proper tires on the front and move on.

I understand that you are PO'd and blowing off some steam but I think the best idea here would be to get you and the tractor pointed in the right direction. It may cost you a few bucks in parts but I think you will be happy and the both of you better off.






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 05-10-2003, 12:42 Post: 54617
bernie123



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

Chief, if you think a tractor company should not be concerned about a shaft from a hydraulic power steering cylinder snapping into, or not concerned about a bolt coming loose in the transmission that could have been easily prevented I think you should go to work for John Deere. They would love you and you would sell a lot of replacement parts for them. Personally, I cannot stand safety problems or failures due to bad design, inferior parts, or a "you bought it and now its yours" attitude from the factory people. Thank god we don't fly on airplanes made by people with that attitude. Since I have a pond and several other sharp slopes on my property, I could have wound up drown in the pond from the loss of reverse at the wrong time, or been killed on a slope by loss of steering. The roll over could have also killed me. I think you and everyone else who buys products should expect concern for safety and reliability and free fixes from any manufacturer or every product we buy will be crap. Anything that cost as much as this tractor should be at least as reliable as a 1940's Ford 8N don't you think? As a side thought, have you ever looked at the original selling price and the current price for all of those old small garden tractors, and then compared them to the new/resale price ratio of a modern compact tractor? I don't think these tractors will sell for twice their original selling price after sixty years.









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 05-10-2003, 17:16 Post: 54619
Chief



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 Don't buy JD compact tractors. You may be sorry

Bernie, first off I am trying to help you out here. With the attitude you are conveying here I don't think you will get much if any help at all from a dealer as they are going to be inclined to think nothing they do will please you.

Yes, I am and would be concerned about the points you brought up, but those are not common occurances with that model tractor. As a matter of fact I used to work for John Deere as a mechanic prior to my enlisting in the Army. Funny you should mention flying aircraft manufactured and maintained by a business with the same attitude? I am a maintenance test pilot for UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and trust me, the business I worked for, for 21 years had an even worse attitude.

The factory people are not going to do squat for you. The dealership people are going to do that provided you can establish a positive repour with them. No need to kiss their butts or anything like that. Start off buying some parts, like filters, etc. Start asking some questions about some of the problems you are having with your tractor while you are there. It sure doesn't hurt to act like you are looking at alot bigger more expensive model too. ;o) Just to get them wondering.

The wrong size tires is not John Deere's fault. Bottom line is that you are going to have to perform some maintenance on this tractor, pay someone else to do it, or sell it and get another. If you are not interested in doing the work yourself, ask the dealer to look at is and give you an estimate.

This tractor was made from 1989 to 1998, that says alot about how popular this model was. Assuming it is as old as you say and a 1989 model MFWD, it is worth around $6,000 in fair condition. Get it repaired and deduct the cost from your taxes. It is not going to get any better on the track you are on. Coming to the John Deere section to ask for and look for help is one thing, but you are not going to influence many owners here; at least speaking for myself. I also worked in procurement as one of my duties while in the Army. I purchased 15 JD 4710's that I have not heard so much as a peep out of that are still in Iraq, and the soldiers love them. John Deere was the only manufacturer who stepped up to the plate and worked with us. All New Holland did was threaten to go to court if we did not buy their TC45D. Kubota was not even interested because they could not meet specs. John Deere warrantied the engines for use with JP-8 fuel. Nobody else would. The 101st Airborne (who I am currently with until the golden retirment day this June) purchased dozens of JD Gators that the Special Forces took to Afganhistan. They did nothing but add oil and fuel. Put over 1500 hours on those machines with no maintenance and they were still running when they came back. They were a mess but running. All they required was normal services and tires.

The point is here, that nothing will last if not maintained well. I worked on Yellow Line John Deere and I'll be honest with you. None of them are fun to work on but the worst was the 450B & C track loaders and the damn HLR. In any case I hope you are able to get your tractor fixed to your satisfaction without have to pay your first born or you can work out a trade on a newer model. You sound like you are about ready for a nice new JD 4310 or 4410 ehydro! ;o)

Keep us posted one how things go for you. Good luck!






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > John Deere Review Forum

Thread 54593 Filter by Poster:
benfranklin 1 | bernie123 6 | bigbukhntr 1 | Billy 2 | BurbMan 1 | Chief 7 | cutter 9 | dcsmith01 1 | DRankin 6 | drcjv. 1 | harvey 2 | homedad5acre 8 | Jim on Timberridge 1 | kwschumm 1 | Lefty1 2 | Maynard 3 | Misenplace 3 | Morgan 2 | Murf 4 | MXMASTR 1 | Peters 3 | plots1 2 | slowrev 1 | tbarber 1 | usafretired 1 |




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