Why Are John Deere Tractors Not As Good As They Used To Be?

john deere tractors not as good as they used to be

John Deere is an iconic tractor brand that has been around for many years. However, some people believe that the company’s tractors are not as good as they used to be.

Why is this? What has changed? In this article, we will take a closer look at John Deere tractors and explore why some people think they have gone downhill in terms of quality. Stay tuned!

Why Are John Deere Tractors Not As Good As They Used To Be?

There are a few reasons why people think John Deere tractors aren’t what they used to be. Some say that the quality of the tractors has decreased, while others claim that the company has stopped innovating.

Why are John Deere tractors not as good as they used to be? It’s a combination of a few things, but it comes down to business decisions. It seems as though John Deere is focused on building products cheaply, sacrificing quality but still selling them at their historical premium prices. John Deere dealers have become slack in turnaround times, and spare parts cost a small fortune.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that John Deere needs to start paying more attention to its tractor line if it wants to keep up with the competition. In today’s market, many high-quality tractor brands are available, and John Deere needs to do something to stay ahead.

They’ve Entered Too Many Markets

John Deere is a massive brand and hugely popular, so it makes sense they would expand into different markets and sectors. Unfortunately, with expansion comes a lack of quality and the focus moves from being the best tractor brand to covering too many products.

A few examples of John Deere’s recent expansions include:

  • Lawnmowers
  • Gator Utility Vehicles
  • Diesel engines
  • Golf carts
  • Snowmobiles
  • Skid steers

By expanding into all of these markets, it’s no wonder the quality of John Deere tractors has suffered. They can’t focus on being the best at everything, and this lack of focus has led to a decline in quality.

Outsourcing Tractor Builds Too Much

Another reason why John Deere tractors are not as good as they used to be is that the company has outsourced too much of its manufacturing. In the past, John Deere tractors were made entirely in-house, which meant the company had much more control over quality.

Now, however, John Deere outsources the manufacturing of many of its components to other companies. This means that John Deere has less control over the quality of its products. As a result, there have been more reports of problems with John Deere tractors in recent years.

Monopoly On Replacement Parts

Spare parts for John Deere tractors are a bit of an issue. John Deere has used Briggs & Stratton engines. Still, they are essentially white labeled as John Deere engines, with certain modifications, so it’s not possible to replace the engine with a standard specification one.

This is also the situation for other parts, transmissions, belts, transaxles, pulleys, wheels, and bearings, to name a few.

The problem this has created is there’s only one place you can order replacement parts, and that’s from John Deere themselves, as agreements are in place with manufacturers who aren’t allowed to sell directly to people like you and me. This, therefore, increases the wait time and the price.

Safety & Ergonomic Improvements

I want to be fair in this article, so I’ve got to mention the modern safety implementations and how comfortable the tractors are in general.

As every company must these days, John Deere does put a significant focus on the safety of their machines and the ergonomic quality. The safety elements added compared to older tractors are enormous, there are too many to list here, but you can feel at ease when using a John Deere.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the most reliable tractor brand?

Many people believe that John Deere tractors are not as reliable as they used to be. Other tractor brands that are often considered to be more reliable include Kubota & Cub Cadet.

Do John Deere tractors hold their value?

John Deere tractors from pre-2000 hold their value well, as the build quality is fantastic. Newer models’ value drops after their warranty ends as they are too costly to run in the long term.

What was the best tractor John Deere ever made?

The best tractor John Deere has ever produced is the 4455 MFWD, which was introduced in 1987. This tractor is still considered to be one of the best on the market and is highly sought after by collectors and farmers alike.


I want to be clear, I think John Deere is overall a great company; they’ve produced great machines for a long time, but over recent years the quality has suffered, and I, for one, look forward to the day they re-focus on their roots and begin to improve the mowers and tractors.

There needs to be more attention on their customers and less on the profit margin. We need more flexibility when repairing our machines, as they go wrong from time to time.

I’ve used John Deere tractors for years and will continue to do so as they serve an excellent purpose. However, I do find myself using my Kubota or Cub Cadet more and more.