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What Year Is My John Deere Tractor? [Inc. VIN Chart]

You might not realize it, but there is a way you can tell what year a vehicle was manufactured just by using the VIN. If you have a John Deere tractor and are wondering what year it was built, we can help you. We researched this farm vehicle from multiple professional sources, so you'll know for sure what year it was made.

In a tractor with a 17-character VIN, the 10th character of the John Deere VIN will tell you the calendar year it was manufactured.

Now that we know how to tell when a John Deere tractor was built using the VIN, we'll dissect the characters of the VIN one by one. You might also be wondering how long your John Deer lawn tractor will last or why the John Deere 318 was so popular. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!

What each character of the VIN on a John Deere tractor means

The VIN on any vehicle can tell you a lot of helpful information. As John Deere has been around for generations as a brand, the VIN and various forms of identification have changed over the years. Older models will have a five- or six-digit serial number, while newer ones will have a VIN that is 13 or 17 digits long.

This post will focus on models with 17-character and 13-character VINs. These VIN systems are extensive and provide the most information about each character.

The factory code leads off.

For the 17-character VIN, the first three characters in the VIN are the factory code. This will tell you where the vehicle was manufactured. If your VIN is 13 characters, the first two are the factory code.

Some characters will reveal the model number.

The next set of numbers will tell you what model John Deere you have. If the VIN is 17 characters, the code will be revealed with characters 4-8. If your John Deere has 13 characters in the VIN, the model code will be characters 3-6.

The 13-character VIN has an emissions tier code.

The seventh character in a 13-character VIN will be a letter. This letter will tell you what tier emission system the tractor has. Any John Deere tractor with a 17-character VIN will not have an emission level designation.

The check digit

The ninth character placement for a 17-character VIN is the check digit. This is meant to be a failsafe if any of the other characters are accidentally keyed in incorrectly.

The most detailed information is revealed in four characters

In a 17-character VIN, characters 9-12 give a lot of detailed information. The ninth position is a security code, the tenth is the calendar year of manufacture, and the 11th position is the transmission code. The 12the position is the wheel or track designation.

The last digits are unique to the vehicle.

In a 13-character VIN, the last six characters represent the tractor's serial number. This is a unique sequence of numbers. If your tractor has 17 characters, this serial number represents the last five digits.

Below, we have a chart that explains the VIN characters on a John Deere tractor with a 13-character VIN:

See the source image

Below is a VIN chart for a John Deere tractor that has a 17-character VIN:

Example definitions

You can also decode the VIN online for free at VIN Decoder. Enter in the full VIN, and this website will give you all of the information that the VIN provides.

Why was the John Deere 318 so popular?

The John Deere 318 lawn tractor was one of this manufacturer's most popular models. From 1983 until 1992, the 318 was a staple in many suburban neighborhoods and rural properties.

The John Deere name carries a lot of weight among consumers. Though this brand does cost more, the longevity, quality, and reliability of their equipment helped to make the 318 one of the most widely used lawn tractors in the United States.

Where are John Deere lawn tractors made?

John Deere has multiple manufacturing locations. Some will produce lawn tractors, while others work to build the various other tractors, implements, and equipment that carry the John Deere brand name.

In the United States, two locations produce the John Deere lawn tractor. They are located in the following four cities:

  • Greenville, Tennesse
  • Horicon, Wisconsin

Other manufacturing plants throughout the country, including ones in Iowa and Illinois, make other John Deere equipment.

Internationally, you can find John Deere facilities in Mexico, Finland, Germany, India, and Brazil

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/autumn-afternoon-gm458923651-22043923?phrase=john%20deere%20lawn%20tractor

Are John Deere lawn tractors reliable?

John Deere has a solid reputation for reliability. The farm machinery and implements they have produced for decades have proven trustworthy to consumers year after year. 

The lawn tractors made by John Deere are equally reliable. Their mowing equipment is long-lasting and dependable, so long as you take care of it.

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/john-deere-sign-against-blue-sky-gm458566425-16151398?phrase=john%20deere

How long will a John Deere lawn tractor last?

You might be surprised to learn that a John Deere lawn tractor can last many mowing seasons. Even if they aren't cared for properly, you can expect this machine to cut grass for at least ten summers. If this tractor is maintained and treated right, you can expect it to last upwards of 20 years.

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/john-deere-store-gm458696799-17088612?phrase=john%20deere

Don't mow when the grass is wet.

To get the most out of your tractor, you'll want to be careful about using it. The most common mistake John Deere lawn tractor owners make is cutting wet grass. This is more damaging to your mower's engine than you might think.

Wet grass is heavy. This makes the mower's engine strain more than it should. This extra strain will take years off the John Deere tractor's life.

Wet grass is also accompanied by muddy ground. This can also bog down the mower propulsion system and the blades.

Mind the blade settings

Use the 3/4 or 1/2 cut when mowing. Yes, it will take a bit longer. But it puts less strain on the tractor's engine.

Keep the blades sharp! Dull blades won't cut as well and make the mower work harder.

Factory-recommended maintenance is a must.

Maintaining the John Deere lawn tractor will take some effort. But the proper maintenance will go a long way in keeping your mower functional year after year.

Change the spark plugs at the end of every season. You will also want to make sure you routinely add a fuel stabilizer. Only use an approved fuel, as any other will mire your fuel injectors.

Keep the lawn tractor CLEAN. Wipe it down after every use. Don't allow clumps of grass and dirt to accumulate underneath.

Some parts will need to be lubricated now and then. Check your owner's manual for a complete list of these parts and a comprehensive list of every maintenance item.

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Final thoughts

The VIN on a John Deere tractor will reveal a lot of helpful information once you learn how to decode it. Decoding the VIN can be done for free online on various websites. Whether you are using a John Deere tractor for your farm or one of their lawn tractor models, proper care and maintenance will ensure that it will last for seasons.

We hope this post on the John Deere Tractor answered all of your questions. For additional helpful information, we suggest reading the following posts:

John Deere Tractor Won’t Start Just Clicks—What Could Be Wrong?

Kubota Tractor Won’t Start Just Clicks – What Could Be Wrong?

What Is A Side-By-Side (SXS Or SSV) Vehicle?