John Deere 2038R Problems [8 Issues & Fixes]

The John Deere 2038R is a highly versatile tractor used for various purposes like mowing, gravel drive leveling, dirt work, and brush pile moving. However, some owners have reported a series of issues that raise questions about its reliability. This article aims to summarize these problems and suggest possible solutions.

Common Issues with the John Deere 2038R

1. Faulty Mower Deck and Command Cut Actuator Motor

Owners have reported that the Command Cut actuator motor can be prone to errors, resulting in error messages and beeping sounds.


For minor Command Cut problems, adjusting the actuator might suffice. For recurring or severe issues, contact your dealer to replace the faulty motor or conduct an in-depth diagnosis.

2. Bent Loader Parking Stand

The parking stand for the loader may bend under load, causing the right-side latch to become unstable.


Consult your dealer for a stand replacement or structural check. One owner suggested upgrading to a Kubota-style stand that offers better durability.

3. Right Rear Wheel Comes Off

There have been reports of bolts shearing off, leading to the right rear wheel coming off the tractor.


Regularly torque your wheel bolts, especially after the first few hours of operation. If this issue occurs, consult your dealer immediately for an inspection and possible bolt replacement.

4. Mower Deck Failures

Various bolts and support pieces on the mower deck have been found to fail or go missing.


Constantly check all bolts for tightness every 10 to 50 hours and apply thread locker where necessary. Consult your dealer if the problem persists.

5. Loader Latch Issues

The loader’s right latch often comes off, even under light load, and can be difficult to re-engage.


While some have resorted to continuing to use the loader even with this issue, it’s not recommended due to safety concerns. Consult your dealer for a thorough inspection. Some users have suggested looking into whether there’s any adjustment in the frame mount that might correct a misalignment issue.

6. Service and Warranty Challenges

Although covered under warranty, frequent repairs can make owning this tractor a frustrating experience.


Keep all service documents and escalate your complaints if the dealer is unable to resolve the issues. If problems persist, consider trading in for a different model.

7. Missing or Loose Bolts

Some bolts on the tractor may come loose or even fall off during operation.


Owners are advised to check all bolts for tightness every 10 to 50 hours. Applying a thread locker can also help. If the problem persists, consult your dealer for an inspection.

8. Hydraulic Issues

Hydraulic problems can cause operational inefficiencies, especially in using the loader.


If you encounter hydraulic issues, it’s advisable to consult a technician for an immediate inspection and solution.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does John Deere 2038R have DPF?

The John Deere 2038R does not come equipped with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). The tractor uses a Yanmar 3-cylinder diesel engine that meets the EPA’s Final Tier 4 emissions requirements without requiring a DPF. This makes it easier to maintain and less complicated than engines with a DPF, which can require periodic regeneration cycles to burn off accumulated particulates.

Final Thoughts

While the John Deere 2038R is a robust machine built for a variety of tasks, the issues outlined here can significantly hamper its utility and overall owner satisfaction. A combination of vigilant maintenance and proactive dealership consultation can go a long way in resolving these problems. But if the issues persist and become too cumbersome, it might be worth considering a different tractor model that better suits your needs.