John Deere D170 Lawn Tractor – Review


When you hear the name John Deere, you automatically think an American icon.  It is the brand that Americans have depended on for years to get their work done.  My first tractor was a John Deere 155C which I purchased at Home Depot.  When you get a J. D. tractor from a big box store, the local John Deere dealer sets them up, so you do not have to worry about it being improperly assembled.  I do however recommend buying them from your local J.D. dealer because of the great level of service and the place is like a candy store for grown men.  Our local dealer Buck Bros is great, they delivered and gave us a run down on the tractor.  A John Deere tractor can easily last a lifetime with the right care and maintenance.

OK enough about the brand let’s get to the tractor.  The D170 is the top model in the 100 series of tractors. The tractor looks sleek and modern, it really is a great looking piece of machinery .  It has a 3 blade 54″ deck and a 26 hp, 725 cc motor which makes it perfect for even the biggest of yards.  The v-twin motor is made by Briggs and Stratton and has some John Deere tweaks added to it that make the motor more durable.  It has an 18″ turning radius which is awesome, it really does a good job around trees.  The build quality of the tractor is good, the solid welded frame doesn’t flex even on the most uneven of terrain.  The Hydro/automatic drive is silky smooth, precise speed control from 0 to 5.5 mph forward  and 0-3.2 mph in reverse.  Throttle and choke are integrated into one easy to use lever and it even has a cruise control feature.  The low profile tires tread lightly and do not damage the lawn, a few times in the drainage ditch there was some slippage, but not much.

The house next to me has been in foreclosure and they never mow the lawn, so it was a perfect time to test out the power of the D170.  The  grass was up to my knees in some spots and it had rained the night before.  I put the deck in the highest setting and proceeded to cut, the tractor had plenty of power.  I had to go slow to allow the blades to discharge the clippings, I learned this the hard way as it stalled out on me once.  After that I had no issues cutting the overgrown grass.  The deck is engaged with the pull of the color coded yellow PTO switch.  There is also an Reverse Implement Option (RIO) button that allows you to keep the blades engaged while you reverse.

The deck can cut anywhere from 1″ to 4″ and is controlled by a lever on the left of the unit.  The lever is in a bad position, every time I went to get off of the tractor I would hit the lever.  The chute is on the right side of the tractor so it is just easier for me to get off on the left side where the lever is.  The seat is adjustable and even has a lumbar feature that works rather well.  The seat flips up to access the gas tank. The gas gauge uses the weight of the fuel to calculate how much fuel is left in the 2.4 gallon tank.  This feature is neat, but I am not sure how accurate it will be over time.   The unit has lights for those of you that want to mow at night, I can barely mow during the day let alone at night.  The plastic hood just pulls up to reveal the engine and all the filters and serviceable items are easily accessible.  The cast iron front axle even has Zerk fittings, something you do not usually see in this class of tractor.

The mower is almost effortless to operate and has a nice solid ride. I pulled around a lawn sweeper with ease. The mower felt safe and planted even on angles in the drainage ditch.  It had plenty of power and ran smooth.  We had a few neighbors check it out and they had nothing but good things to say about it.  At around 5 hours the deck started to squeak a little bit, something that I am sure John Deere will lube when it goes in for the first service.  It has a deck wash system that connects to a garden hose to clean the underside of the deck.  A respectable 2 years or 120 hours is the warranty on this green machine and at a retail of $2799 is a great feature packed way into John Deere ownership.  Plus you will be the envy of all your neighbors and there are a ton of accesories available from John Deere.



  1. Dan:

    Great reports.
    Your review on the John Deere was right on!
    Your news letter is greatly anticipated in our house.
    Keep up the great work!

  2. I just purchased this fantastic machine. I also have the power flow 6.5 bushel bagger. I am surprised at how much the tractor engine vibrates. I had a the LA100 for 7 years which had the 19.5 hp Briggs engine. There was not any vibration whatsoever. I am surprised the extra 6 or so horses added that much vibration. Does your tractor vibrate too? I am considering bringing it back as I am a bit nervous the flywheel is out of balance. Thoughts?

  3. I hate my John Deere D170. I maintain this vehicle according to its recommended schedule (although they seem to recommend a LOT of maintenance).

    The first 2 years were reasonable. We use the vehicle on the weekends to mow the lawn and pull a small harrow to manage horse manure. We have a 5 horses on flat land. In the beginning, I thought I might have purchased “too much” vehicle.

    Now — after 220 hrs of use — I have very little power after 20 minutes of operation. I end up pulling the harrow myself back top the shed, and the vehicle can barely get back to the garage with NO LOAD. No mower, no harrow. I weigh about 200 lbs.

    I haven’t abused or overworked this vehicle. What a disappointment. Welcome any thoughts.

    – 4’x4? Harrow.
    – JD Wagon – used less than 1x per month
    – JD Leaf sweeper – hardly used as all because it doesn’t work that well


    • I’m guessing pulling that harrow killed the hydrostatic transmission. These are mowers, not really garden tractors. You need something a lot beefier to pull something like a harriw.

  4. I also have a D170 that has run great. However, while mowing recently, it started getting slower and slower, then would no longer go forward, but I was able to goslowly backward about 5 feet when it stopped moving altogether. I have no clue what to start looking for in way of fixing this issue. Any suggestions?

  5. google the d170 trans axle , they are underrated and slip and slow down over time and u can buy a upgrade kit . I have a D170 and it is a POS!
    I would never buy another JD
    They guy who did this review is a dud


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