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Have you ever come across a diesel engine with a different brand label under the hood of some of those John Deere tractors? Do you suspect that the engine looks like a Kawasaki, Yanmar, or Briggs ; Stratton with just a John Deere logo stuck on to it? You may be wondering then if John Deere out sources its engines form other engine manufacturers and if it does, who does it get them from and how much does it outsource compared to manufacturing engines in-house.
Who makes John Deere tractor engines? John Deere now mostly manufactures its own diesel engines, especially for the commercial grade or large agricultural tractors, but it does have a history of out-sourcing. Some of their tractor engines are also manufactured by Kawasaki, Kohler, Yanmar, and Briggs ; Stratton (B ; S).
So yes, John Deere does not always make its own engines- it also out sources!
About John Deere engines
John Deere is a world accredited US-based company that manufactures agricultural and construction machinery, drivetrains, diesel engines, and also household lawn machineries like lawn mowers, lawn tractors and pressure washers.
It has been around since 1837, and started designing and manufacturing its own diesel engines in 1949. Since then it has produced many innovative, high-quality series of diesel engines which can be serviced at 4000+ locations across the world. As an estimate, they have manufactured more than 5 million diesel engines!
Their diesel engines are made not only in the US (Waterloo) but also in other countries like India, France, Mexico and Argentina.
John Deere is one of the leading heavy machinery brands in the world and its engines are some of the best performers with regards to their power, efficiency and durability. The company logo appropriately has a deer on it and their tagline is “Nothing runs like a Deere”!
Who else makes John Deere tractor engines?
Although, as mentioned above, John Deere is a leading diesel engine manufacturer and makes its own engines for all of its large, commercial-scale agricultural tractors, some of its small-scale tractors and lawn mowers also use engines from other manufacturers, especially those that are manufactured overseas.
Kawasaki, Yanmar, Kohler, and B ; S- these are some of the names that John Deere out-sources from.
Their compact and sub-compact tractors often have diesel engines made by Yanmar. Yanmar actually manufactured tractors for John Deere for almost 30 years! Yes, not just the engine, but the entire tractors were built by Yanmar for years.
Although now most John Deere tractors are powered by their own engines, it has extensively out-sourced in the past and many of the John Deere compact tractors you will find will have a Yanmar diesel engine under the hood.
The John Deere lawn mower tractors still frequently use engines by Kawasaki and Briggs ; Stratton (B;S).
Although John Deere does not own any of these companies, the engines it outsources from them are tailor-made to John Deere specifications and then branded with the John Deere logo.
Premium price for lesser quality?
The reservation a lot of people have with John Deere putting other makes of engines in their lawn tractors and “cheaper” machinery, is that their quality may not be as good as a real Deere engine. People worry about their engine going “bad” sooner and also think that they are better off buying a tractor from another maker which is more affordable instead of buying a John Deere and having to pay the price premium for the name without even getting an original Deere engine.
Some people also believe that this is just a smart business move by John Deere for making more money, as they use cheaper engines and parts from other makers, add their name to them, and then sell them at very absurd and high prices.
The other downside is that although the engines are made by manufacturers like Briggs ; Stratton, John Deere adds their own special modifications to it so a user cannot replace the engine in their tractor with any other standard engine. A user will always have to buy from John Deere and keep paying the high prices even for replacements, making them costly in the long run too.
John Deere also has agreements with their manufacturers which state that they cannot sell John Deere parts to customers directly. So a customer has only one option, and that is to order from John Deere and pay the extra for the brand name.
However, users cannot claim anything serious because there is no fraud or underhanded move by John Deere as the makers they use produce standard, good-quality makes that are specifically built according to John Deere specs, and they are not secretive about this out-sourcing either. The engines made by Yanmar or Briggs for John Deere are also marketed openly as such.
Most notably, their commercial machines are completely John Deere-manufactured from head to toe, with original John Deere diesel engines.
Are John Deere mowers made by MTD?
A couple of sources do say that the low-end, small-scale John Deere tractors for home use are made by MTD.
Which is better John Deere or Husqvarna?
Most people vote for John Deere, because their tractors offer more reliability and durability, hence reducing costs for maintenance and repairs in the long run. This comes at the cost of a higher initial price though. Husqvarna lawn tractors have a wider blade and they also deliver more horsepower for a lower price, but their expected maintenance costs are high.
Which is better John Deere or Cub Cadet?
Again, John Deere is more expensive than Cub Cadet. However, John Deere comes out as the winner in terms of reliability and also does slightly better in performance tests. Brand reliability does matter and says a lot about user experience too. Among users, John Deere has always been the most reliable choice and so it is the better option (albeit at a higher price).