Our First Little Tractor

our john deere

our john deere

You wouldn’t think buying a garden tractor would be the cause of angst, but when I’m involved…every angle must be considered. Is John Deere the one for me?

I spent two months perusing Craig’s List and tractor forums to find either a used tractor or to get feedback on which tractor to choose. Tractor people are extremely helpful, and the common advice I picked up was that it’s better to spend a little more up front than having to replace your machine in a few years.

I looked over Consumer Reports’ rankings, which focused on lawn tractors, and they ranked several machines well, but I wasn’t sure how lawn compared to garden. I talked to Daddy, who always swore by Craftsmen but then said “Deere has a lot of attachments.” Cripes! Attachments?

Well, yeah… there are lots of attachments! I looked online — snow throwers and blades and tillers… Hubby and I visited Whitesell Brothers here in Shenandoah and looked over their assortment of green and yellow machines. They were pretty… real pretty, but the salesman was helping someone else, and it was cold, so we headed home.

A few more weeks of tractor forums and Daddy’s words ringing in my ears, and we made the tough choice: an X320. I ordered it from John Deere online. It looks like a big riding mower, but it has a 48″ cutting deck and can push or throw snow if we get another “storm of the century.”

Within hours of ordering, Joe at Whitesell called to talk about delivery. They had the tractor in stock, but the bumper I added on had to be ordered.

By Friday, still no bumper, but I was itching to get that grown mown, so we arranged delivery sans bumper.  Joe at Whitesell came out and spent some time going over the tractor with us to ensure we were comfortable with it. I signed some papers, took some keys, and forced hubby to read the manual before he took off into the sunset (well, around the barn, but you get my drift) to cut a few acres of overgrown grass.

My Graddad at Work

My Graddad at Work

I think my granddad would be proud that I bought a John Deere. It’s no big machine like he’s using here, but when I climb on top, I feel the Morgan blood in me sitting a little taller.

I just hope we don’t need to use our 4 year warranty and that the bumper arrives before I run into something!

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

3 comments to Our First Little Tractor

  • Hi —

    Great to hear that you used Consumer Reports to help you research the purchase of your new tractor. Even though ConsumerReports.org is a paid subscription site we do have some helpful free content. Consumer Reports has some great information on lawn and garden equipment that may also be of interest to you. Here is the link to our lawn and garden page which has some useful free content.

    Kim H.
    Consumer Reports

  • Moon over Martinborough

    I grew up in suburban Detroit and never drove a tractor until my partner and I moved to rural New Zealand. We started borrowing our neighbor’s tractor to mow our olive grove. She’s a charming tractor and now I love being out there to mow. Maybe some day we’ll get a tractor of our own! Congrats on your purchase.

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