John Deere is a well-known name throughout the lawn mower industry. If you have ever visited the lawn mower section at Walmart or any other big box store, you have most likely seen their products on display. Now, if you open one of their mowers, you may notice the engine has a different brand imprinted on it. Why is that?
John Deere currently produces and distributes most of the engines you will find in their tractors and mowers, especially commercial-grade or very large machinery. But, they do outsource some of their engines to other manufacturers, such as Kawasaki, Yanmar, or Briggs & Stratton, to name a few.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into the world of John Deere’s engines. We will answer questions such as who makes these engines, where they are made, and whether they are good or not.
Who Makes John Deere’s Lawn Mower Engines?
The John Deere company began producing engines back in the 19th century, meaning they have been in this industry for a very long time. Although, they were not entirely self-sufficient all the time, particularly at the beginning.
That is why John Deere used to outsource its engines, as well as other parts, to other manufacturers, meaning the company paid those companies to build these parts for them, and then, would stamp their logo and sell it under their brand.
In fact, for decades, the Japanese company Yanmar not only produced engines but entire tractors for John Deere. Other companies such as Briggs & Stratton or Kawasaki also helped make the engines used in John Deere’s tractors and lawn mowers.
Recently, the company has started moving away from that approach. They no longer solely rely on others to make their engines. Most of the heavy machinery and commercial-grade products you see under the John Deere brand are almost entirely made by the company. That includes the engines, which their own factories produce and assemble.
However, they still recruit other companies to build some of their engines. That is why you will see their engines have different names or logos on them from time to time. But, that should not concern you as this is how they have been conducting business for a long time. Thus, the engines are still pretty reliable.
Where Are John Deere’s Lawn Mower Engines Made?
It comes as no surprise that a company as big as John Deere has numerous factories spread across the globe. Their in-house engines are either made in those factories or shipped there, after production in the U.S. But not every factory produces engines. The parts are actually built in separate factories, then assembled in one large piece.
Their engines are specifically made in Waterloo, Iowa. From there, the engines are then shipped to other factories in the U.S. Finally, they also have factories in Argentina, Germany, France, and Mexico.
What Brand Engines Does John Deere Use?
The engines John Deere makes for themselves are part of the John Deere brand. You will see that if you pop the hood and take a closer look at one of their tractors or mowers.
Of course, a lot of their products, particularly lower-end ones, are made by Kawasaki or Yanmar, to name a few. Therefore, the brand logo of these companies will be imprinted on those.
Is There a Difference Between John Deere at Lowe’s and at a Dealer?
It is a very common question asked by potential lawn mower or tractor owners. They want to know if they are getting the same product from their local big box store as they would from a John Deere’s showroom. The answer is both yes and no. Let us explain.
If the mower in question is the same model or has the same number, then it is the same product, whether it is sold at Costco or a dealership. You will not get ripped off nor get a product of inferior quality. You will get the same one, only sold through a different channel.
The difference is that your local big box shop (Walmart, Home Depot, etc.) will not have all the models made by John Deere. In case you haven’t noticed, most of the missing models are high-end products, and these products are sold by the John Deere company at their showroom. Any other retailer would be deemed illegal or unofficial.
The most recent models will not be available at other retailers either. It is all part of the business strategy frequently employed by these kinds of big corporations. They will produce different products based on the place where they sell them, but will keep the top-of-the-line models to themselves.
Of course, the higher-end products cost significantly more than their lower-end counterpart. So, if you are working on a tight budget, the lower price at Walmart will most likely suit you better. But, if you really want that top-notch quality and do not mind spending lots of money, you can go straight to the dealership and get your hands on a shiny new model.
You must also note a difference in terms of the availability of parts. Since the dealership is close to the factory, it will not have a shortage of spare parts and other accessories. Meanwhile, stores like Walmart or Home Depot may not have them at all times.
This is especially a problem when you are tracking down a specific part for a certain model. You know that not all the models in a series are going to be identical. So, finding the right fit for your product might give you a headache, unless you go straight to the dealership.
Are John Deere Engines Any Good?
John Deere has established itself as a staple in this industry through its wide range of options and quality throughout, and a great deal of credit must go to the way they make their engines.
They guarantee a reliable and durable engine that will help you achieve the lawn you desire, and they fulfill that promise. Their engines offer power as well as control to offer a premium experience to their users.
You can check users’ reviews and ratings to get a better idea. John Deere’s engines and mowers have constantly been at the top of quality lawn mower lists for years, and their diverse price range offers a product for each type of lawn owner out there.
What About Engines Made by Other Companies?
After learning that not every John Deere engine is made by them, as well as the differences between the dealership and retail stores, you may start to question the quality of their engines. Let’s see how we can dispel these fears.
First of all, outsourcing is nothing new in the lawn mower industry. You would be surprised by how many well-known brands use the exact same model. The reason for doing this is not strictly profit-related.
Companies such as Yanmar or Kawasaki are industry leaders that specialize in making engines. The reason for their reverence is that their engines are invariably top quality, durable, and reliable. That is why companies like John Deere outsource their products to these manufacturers.
Using a third party not only saves money but also gives them more chance to focus on other parts of the tractor or mower. Remember these machines have other integral parts as well. So, by offloading some of the work, they can focus on the rest.
Also, as already stated, most commercial engines are made in John Deere’s factories. And the engines that are outsourced respond to specific instructions. The manufacturers produce these parts solely based on the specifications of each John Deere product. Thus, no mismatching ever occurs.
As far as the differences between retailers go, it is also not much of a concern. A D105 sold by your local Home Depot will feature the exact same parts as a D105 sold at a dealership. They are shipped straight to each retailer or showroom from the factory floor. So, you are not getting an inferior product for the same model.
However, there is a difference in quality between high-end and low-end tractors and mowers. But, this contrast is by design, as higher-end products are supposed to have more features and improved performance.
It is not that your local retailer is selling you a lower-end product for the same price as the higher-end ones; they are simply bringing you a choice of lawn mowers and tractors at an affordable price to satisfy the general mass.
John Deere has been an industry leader in tractor and lawn mower manufacturing for decades, and for a good reason. They may not construct all of their engines but they do make sure the quality shines through every one of them.