- Why should I invest in a diesel garden tractor versus a gas-powered mower?
- What benefits does a diesel lawn tractor have that a gasoline one doesn’t?
- Can a really expect greater longevity/reliability with a diesel tractor?
We hear questions like these often. My personal choice is almost always diesel.
Why? Here are 3 top reasons:
1) John Deere diesel lawn tractors are robust, powerful machines.
If you have a larger area to mow, till, plow, etc., a diesel like the John Deere 430 can be a smart choice. These tend to embody the “Nothing runs like a Deere” slogan, with the muscle you need to get the job done.
Powerful and efficient, diesel lawn tractors are well-suited in applications where you’re cutting through high grassy and/or wet areas. Most people find that they’re able to accomplish the job more quickly and effectively than a gas-powered counterpart.
When you’re talking diesel engines, a discussion of torque and horsepower almost always pops up. For instance, a 16HP diesel engine will have more torque than a gas-powered lawn tractor that has a higher horsepower rating.
2) A diesel lawn tractor is fuel efficient…
…especially if you’re using the tractor on a regular basis. While gas and diesel are both petroleum products, diesel has up to 12% more energy by volume versus gas.
What does this mean for you? You get up to 12% more output from the engine for each gallon of diesel burned as compared to consuming a gallon of gas. For those of you using your lawn tractor with regularity, this can result in an appreciable difference in fuel usage over a period of time.
Adapted from a post on Weekend Freedom Machines, here are some numbers for you that show how a John Deere diesel lawn tractor uses up to half the fuel when compared to a gas machine.
Just remember that actual fuel consumption will depend upon the conditions you’re using the tractor in, as well as the tractor itself (transmission type, hours, how well it’s maintained, etc.):
|John Deere Tractor Model||Consumption at Half Load||Consumption at Full Load|
|316 (Serial # -285001)||0.9 GPH / 3.4 LPH||1.4 GPH / 5.3 LPH|
|318||0.9 GPH / 3.4 LPH||1.4 GPH / 5.3 LPH|
|322||0.9 GPH / 3.4 LPH||1.5 GPH / 5.7 LPH|
|325||0.75 GPH / 2.8 LPH||1.25 GPH / 4.5 LPH|
|330||0.4 GPH / 1.5 LPH||0.8 GPH / 3 LPH|
|332||0.4 GPH / 1.5 LPH||0.8 GPH / 3 LPH|
|345||0.8 GPH / 3 LPH||1.3 GPH / 4.9 LPH|
|420||1 GPH / 3.8 LPH||2 GPH / 7.6 LPH|
|430||0.4 GPH / 1.5 LPH||0.9 GPH / 3.4 LPH|
|425||0.94 GPH / 3.6 LPH||1.57 GPH / 5.9 LPH|
|445||0.98 GPH / 3.7 LPH||1.64 GPH / 6.2 LPH|
|455||0.79 GPH / 3 LPH||1.32 GPH / 5 LPH|
3) Diesel garden tractors are built to last.
Will a diesel really last longer than a gas garden tractor? That’s the question everyone wants to know. The short answer is yes, provided you perform appropriate maintenance activities.
Consider that a typical John Deere gas-powered garden tractor has parts that can (and do) go bad. These include:
- Spark plugs
A lawn tractor with a diesel powered engine does not have these parts to break down or require replacement. In many cases, you can store a diesel garden tractor for extended periods of time and start it right up – try doing that with a gas mower.
Another advantage is that many diesel engines can run for thousands of hours before needing an overhaul. Liquid cooled diesel engines, such as the Yanmar 3TNA72UJ 3-cylinder found in John Deere 430 garden tractors, give the engine a more consistent operating temperature which can increase engine longevity.
Want to learn more about classic John Deere diesel lawn tractors? You may find these articles helpful:
From 1993-2001, the John Deere 425, 445 and 455 Took Over as Kings of the Turf
The John Deere 420 (released in 1983), 430 (introduced 1984) and now infamous Deere 318 ruled the turf until the next generation of lawn and garden tractors were rolled out in 1993.
From 1993-2001, John Deere produced a new series of lawn and garden tractors: the 425, 445, and 455. While these are all solid tractors that enjoyed a long, successful sales run, they’re not nearly as well-remembered as some of John Deere’s more popular earlier models like the 318.
One of the key advantages to these later tractors is that they have a foot controlled hydrostatic transmission versus the earlier series such as the 318 that had a hand control on the dash. Many people appreciate the more “modern” conveniences offered on these tractors.
From a body perspective, John Deere got away from using as much metal on these later series versus the earlier models. Some body panels were actually plastic versus metal, so they don’t feel quite as heavy duty as previous models.
Want to know what year your 425, 445, or 455 was made? Scroll to page 7 on this handy chart.
John Deere 425 Tractor Details
The John Deere 425 boasted a 20HP Kawasaki FD620D 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled V-twin engine. This was a 2WD tractor with power steering and a hydrostatic Tuff Torq K91 transmission. Buyers could also opt for four-wheel steering.
Mower deck size options included 48”, 54”, and 60” widths, all 3-blade with hydraulic lift. Plenty of useful attachments were offered, including a 54” front mounted blade, 46” single-stage snow blower or 47” dual-stage blower, and a Model 40 loader.
Here’s a link covering the 425 and 445 on Deere.com that you may find useful.
Production on the successful John Deere 425 ended in 2001.
Specs on the John Deere 445
Part of the successful 400 Series of lawn and garden tractors, the John Deere 445 was a step up from the 425. It offered owners a 22HP liquid-cooled V-twin 2-cyl Kawasaki engine with a shaft-driven hydrostatic transmission.
As with the 425 model, the 445 was a 2WD machine with power steering, though buyers could choose four-wheel steering if desired. 48”, 54”, and 60” width hydraulic lift mower decks were available on this model.
Other attachments included the 54” (front-mounted) hydraulic lift blade, a 46” (single-stage) or 47” (dual-stage) snow blower, and the Model 40 loader.
Here’s a link covering the 425 and 445 on Deere.com that you may find useful.
The last John Deere 445 rolled off the assembly line in 2001.
About the John Deere 455
Another member of the John Deere 400 family of lawn tractors, the 455 offered up a Yanmar 22HP 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled OHV diesel engine with a shaft-driven hydrostatic tranny. Like other members of the 400 series, the Deere 455 was a 2WD tractor with power steering (four-wheel steering was offered as an option).
The same 48”, 54” and 60” mower shaft-driven mower decks were also offered on the 455, as was the 54” blade and the 46” and 47” blowers (single- and dual-stage, respectively). Although the Model 40 loader was an available attachment, it was compatible with two-wheel steering models only.
This model isn’t as common as the 425 or 445, but it remains an excellent tractor that stays true to the John Deere legacy of quality lawn tractors.
As with the 425 and 445, manufacturing on the 455 took place at Deere’s Horicon WI plant and ceased in 2001.
Goodbye 80s…Hello, Y2K!
By the time the first of these tractors were produced, people had long said goodbye to the “decade of decadence” as the 1980s is sometimes humorously referred to. The 90s were now in full swing, and in 1993, the first episode of the enormously popular TV show The X-Files aired on September 10th of that year. Remember the famous tagline from that series? The truth is out there.
And who can forget Whitney Houston famous hit song, “I Will Always Love You,” or “That’s the Way Love Goes,” by Janet Jackson. If the music wasn’t playing, tv was, and the most popular show in 1993 was 60 Minutes, followed by Home Improvement and Seinfeld. Cheers aired its season finale while Hollywood super couple Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger tied the knot.
Seems like yesterday, doesn’t it?
To view any available tractors we may have in the 425, 445, and 455 series of John Deere garden tractors, click here.