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John Deere D140

*Est. $2,000
Reviewed
May 2013
by ConsumerSearch
John Deere D140

Pros
  • 48-inch deck
  • Great value, lots of extras
  • Durable construction, solid brand reliability
Cons
  • Three blades don't cut as smoothly
  • Button to mow in reverse can feel awkward
  • Mower-height lever can catch clothing

Bottom Line

Reviews say the John Deere D140 is a great value because it features many of the same amenities as the more expensive X304 (Est. $3,800) like a comfortable seat, electric power takeoff (PTO) and cruise control for about half the price. The wide 48-inch deck covers ground quickly, making the D140 ideal for larger properties. However, some owners say it doesn't cut as evenly as a smaller deck.

Performance

Three blades aren't better. With its 48-inch deck, the D140 can cut about 1.2 acres per hour. Owners at Deere.com, Lowes.com and HomeDepot.com give the lawn tractor high marks, saying it's ideal for large properties; some even mow up to 5 acres with it.

Users are generally happy with the D140's performance, but say its three blades don't bag or cut quite as well as other models. Reviews are also mixed on the three-bladed mowing. Some prefer the brute strength and wide deck to tackle large properties and are satisfied with the results, but others say the D140's 48-inch swath isn't always even and requires extra cleanup. Experts don't recommend a 48-inch deck if you have slopes steeper than a 15 percent grade because it doesn't cut as evenly when floating over hilly terrain.

Reviewers say a highlight of the D140 is the two-cylinder Briggs & Stratton engine that one user calls "smooth and steady." For convenience, this John Deere includes an electric PTO, cruise control, choke and headlights. A few owners report problems with the engine at Lowes.com, but 92 percent still recommend it.

Ease Of Use

Good service record. With a wider deck comes a larger (18-inch) turning radius, although plenty of consumers say the D140 is still quite agile. It's driven by a hydrostatic automatic transmission that shifts smoothly, users report. "This transmission is easy to use and will perform well for mowing and medium-duty yard tasks," says Paul Sikkema of TodaysMower.com.

The D140 is heavy and stable enough for slopes, snow blades and other attachments, Sikkema says, and many owners agree. It has a fuel gauge on the dash and a washout port for easy cleanup, two features lacking on the X304. Some users say the 2.4-gallon fuel tank needs refilling when mowing 3 acres or more. A few add that it's easy to change the oil with the D140's no-tools drain valve, but the grease fitting on the front axle is difficult to reach unless you add a 45-degree fitting.

According to a leading consumer organization, John Deere is one of the most reliable brands of lawn tractors. One Lowes.com customer says he spoke to mower repair shops before deciding what model to buy, and all five shops recommend the D140 for reliability and service ability. While the D140 averages high scores overall, a few owners mention durability issues after a few years.

This D140 includes a two-year or 120-hour warranty, which is shorter than John Deere's more deluxe lawn tractors. Users who need the warranty report good customer service experiences.

Safety

Sensitive features. The D140 meets lawn tractor safety guidelines from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), including requiring a complete stop before the D140 can mow in reverse. A few users say the reverse mow button can be cumbersome and occasionally difficult to press, but one Deere.com review says it takes "a few minutes to get [used] to but overall isn't a problem."

A switch underneath the seat turns the mower off if you stand up, another ANSI standard. Yet one HomeDepot.com user complains that the switch is too sensitive and turns off when he ducks under branches. Several consumers recommend adding the optional front bumper for extra protection.

John Deere includes a safety video with the D140, and a few reviewers say it's helpful for learning safe mowing techniques.

Noise

Less vibration. No professionals mention noise in their comparison tests, although experts say two-cylinder engines like the D140's vibrate less and are quieter. At Lowes.com, owners call the D140 "reasonably quiet" and say it's "quieter and smoother" than the competition. One HomeDepot.com post reads, "The whirring of the blades is louder than the engine."

Even with quieter lawn tractors like the D140, safety experts say it's always best to wear hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

This comprehensive review compares the John Deere D140 with 10 other wide-deck lawn tractors plus 29 narrower lawn tractors, 19 zero-turn mowers and two rear-engine riders. All models are ranked based on scores for handling, ease of use and performance in each cutting mode. A handful of owners also review the D140 here.

Review: Lawn Mowers & Tractors, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated

2. Lowes.com

More than 100 owners post comments on the John Deere D140, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5. Some reviews are pulled from Deere.com. Users say the D140's two best features are its quality and durability, and nearly all owners say they'd recommend this tractor to a friend. Many report that cut quality is excellent if you adjust the deck properly.

Review: John Deere D140 22 HP V-Twin Hydrostatic 48-in Riding Lawn Mower , Contributors to Lowes.com, As of May 2013

3. HomeDepot.com

Here the D140 gets 4.4 stars out of 5 from more than 60 owners, and most recommend it. They praise its smooth power, fast mowing and good handling on uneven ground, but some complain about the controls being too flimsy and obtrusive.

Review: John Deere D140 48 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Front-Engine Riding Mower , Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2013

4. Deere.com

About 25 consumers review the D140 at the manufacturer's site, giving it an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Many use the lawn tractor for large properties of more than 2 acres, saying the D140 cuts well on flat and sloped lawns.

Review: D140, Contributors to Deere.com, As of May 2013

5. TodaysMower.com

This landscape professional reviews the John Deere D140 in 2011 but posts no update for 2013. He calls the D140 overpriced compared to the 46-inch Craftsman 28857 Yard Tractor that features an 8-inch turning radius. However, he says the D140 is capable of handling ground-engaging attachments, can manage a snow thrower and does a good job mowing lawns up to 2 acres in size.

Review: 2011 John Deere 48 in 22 HP Riding Mower Model D140 Review, Paul Sikkema, 2011

6. MyTractorForum.com

Several forum contributors familiar with entry-level John Deere lawn tractors post mostly positive comments about the D140. Some advise stepping up to the D160 to use with a snow blower.

Review: D140 Quality?, Contributors to MyTractorForum.com, As of May 2013

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