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2009 John Deere 5101E Product Review

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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 95
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-03-21          161305

Hi All:

Having used my new 5101E since the beginning of the year now I thought that some of you might be interested in an update as to how this machine checks out. This model is an updated 5603; the economy version of the 5625, which is now the 5105M. Therefore we know the chassis and drive train are virtually identical to the other 4 cylinder former 5000 series except the engine has been supposedly tweaked up a couple hp.

First impressions imply that spending the extra 15 or so grand wouldn't be necessary for all those bells and whistles. Maybe not if you're a fairly low hour user like myself. But you don't have to spend much time in the seat before you realize that the ergonomics of this tractor aren't anywhere near what they could have been had Deere injected another $300 into production. A few items of note:

1. The right console is very inconvenient. The hydraulic and 3ph levers are uncomfortably far back so as to feel unnatural to reach or to leave your arm outstretched when using them frequently. Both knobs touch when passing by each other so you must reposition your hand at times to use them full range.

2. I prefer to have more leg room. It makes using the brakes less fatiguing; and I'm not overly tall.

3. I had a service call because the MFWD light didn't work when engaged. He had to take the tractor back to the shop because it was a confusing problem. The light came on when the key was turned to accessories but not when the tractor started or when the MFWD was engaged. Solution? No sensor!!! JD didn't go the extra mile to wire the linkage! There is no MFWD light, even though it's already live wired into the instrument panel.

4. JD has discontinued the 542 loader. Next in line for this tractor is the 563. Problem? The 563 was built for the 6000 series tractors. It comes with the Global Carrier; nice big bucket and all. But what if you have other JD attachments not compatible with the Global Carrier? You get the 500 carrier. There goes that nice big bucket. Oh well, with the 500 hd bucket the back tires touch the ground at least some of the time.

Contrary to what I've written, I do like this tractor. No mechanical issues to speak of. It has great power and is very maneuverable, considering its size. Some of the issues I've outlined are common throughout all of the 5 series tractors 65 pto hp and above, such as the light weight. You can't put enough iron on the rear wheels to handle that loader. Fluid in the tires is a MUST (unless you can leave a weight on your 3ph continually). My peeve is that a few hundred dollars would have made a world of difference in the "little things" department. I suppose it would also make a world of difference on how many 5xxxM's will sell too if the economy models are TOO nice.

By the way, I have emailed these comments directly to JD to give them some real world feedback. Thanks for reading such a long post.

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2009 John Deere 5101E Product Review

View my Photos
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1307 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-03-23          161339

Great review, thanks for posting it! ....

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