John Deere X540 lawn tractor

by Tim
(Wisconsin)

The John Deere X540 is the best lawn tractor I've ever owned, at least through 50 hours of use. This tractor has a 26 hp liquid cooled engine which provides more than enough power for mowing even tall wet grass as well as ample power to run attachments; in my case a 47" two stage snow blower and a 30" mechanical rear tiller.


The first thing you notice when engaging the PTO to run the mower is that that tractor is so quiet you wonder if the mower is actually running. This is a pretty good sign that the tractor isn’t underpowered.

The deck cuts evenly and discharges cleanly. The deck is also very simple to remove or attach; it’s about a 2 minute job in either case. Deck height adjustment is done with the turn of a knob with cutting height ranging from 1” to 4”. The tractor has a Reverse Implement Operation feature that allows you to operate the mower while traveling in reverse. The deck also features a clean out port for attaching a garden hose and rinsing the deck without removing it to prevent grass clipping buildup.

The tractor provides a comfortable ride with an adjustable seat, cruise control and a cup holder. The tractor has power steering; as an option you can get 4 wheel steering but in my opinion the turning radius is so tight with the power steering that you don’t need the 4 wheel steering. I had debated buying a zero turn mower but needed a tractor to operate the other attachments and with the power steering it’s almost like having a zero turn mower that can operate other attachments. The X540 also handles different terrain easily with a wide stance and a rear wheel locking feature.

Maintenance is fairly straightforward. The oil drain plug and oil filter are easily accessible. Access to other fluid fill points and the air filter is simple as well. The few grease ports that need servicing are easy to find too.

I would highly recommend this mower to anyone that has a substantial amount to mow. I use it to mow about 2 acres, till a fairly large garden and remove snow from about 200 feet of driveway which helps to justify the price. The mower sells for about $7,500; with the snow blower and tiller I paid a little over $10,000. Most dealers are pretty good about discounting the mower and attachments when you bundle them and John Deere is usually offering no payments and no interest for one year.

Comments for John Deere X540 lawn tractor

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Nov 16, 2015
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confused
by: Anonymous

please speak enlgish language that mechanics can understand rather than high tech x540 builders do

Nov 16, 2015
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by: Anonymous

wow, these latest comments sound like something that should be posted on the big bang theory, have to be a lawyer to figure out what your talking about.just fix the problem, thank you,.

Nov 03, 2015
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Can anyone tell me what the lastest posts are about?
by: KK

Nov 3 2015 from Abbott.
Oct 29 2015 from Abel.
Sept 30 2015 from lily which if spelled properly I assume it would be Lily.

Seems odd that with all the X540 smoking complaints and the other complaints with this John Deere tractor that all of a sudden the last three posts seem to be oblivious to any problems with the X540 and all three read rather oddly.
The really odd part is if you click on the names of the posters it has something to do with a charter bus company or Atlanta?
I think these three nonsensical posts should be removed.

Jun 10, 2015
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negatives to positives
by: Anonymous

so with all the comments on the x540, the negative outways the positive huh, so what do ya think? mine smokes like crazy, isnt that crazy, lotta money here

Apr 02, 2015
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John Deere diesels and decks are crap
by: christian taylor

X595 engine smoking and knocking around 600 hrs and the 62C deck had mowed like crap even after paying the local JD dealer enough to buy a used Murry turd.

Jul 18, 2014
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scag
by: Anonymous

i agree with you on the finicky part on the john deere, like the x540 but takes getting used to ta figure out the right way to make it work for the long haul, which is a bunch of b.s considering what you pay for them,all the clutch problems with the sheared off bolts to the crankshaft that have to be replaced under warranty, the uneven cuts ( which i had at first) until i did the research to figure out how to even out the mowing deck, all which isnt fair considering the price of these tractors, they should already be set up properly, ( in my eyes), but thats just the way everything is nowadays, blow smoke , makeup excuses for garbage products at rediculious prices to make the higher people more richer, thats the way our society is now

Jul 08, 2014
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Dontbuy JD
by: Erick Y

If you want a quality mower buy a Scag 61" tiger cat, I have had up to 6 JD riding mowers from x325 to x540, I'm sick of them being finicky. Scags are replacing all my JD riding mowers.

Jun 11, 2014
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smoker
by: Anonymous

doesnt matter, if its smoking its still using oil, a bummer starting it in a garage attached to the house, stinks the garage up, they need to tell you this when you purchase this very expensive tractor, thats all i ask

May 28, 2014
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Engine smoking
by: Anonymous

The Kawasaki V-twin engine design has the pistons laying horizontally like a BMW motorcycle engine. When you first start the engine, all the oil is in the sump and may be contacting the pistons until it starts and the oil pump takes some of the oil from the sump to lube engine parts. As long as it stops smoking shortly, you don't have a problem.

May 27, 2014
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Hydrostat tension spring flaw
by: John

I have owned my x540 since February 2009.I really like the unit but from then till now I've had to replace the hydrostatic tension spring 5 times. The local dealer can't seem to help other than to keep replacing the spring. It seems there is a design flaw in this spring Part number M167072. The one end is reinforced with what seems to be a vinyl covering, but the other end is not. To me it seems the spring should be reinforced on both the ends in order to stabilize the part and make it more durable. It's really embarrassing to be going along mowing your lawn and all of a sudden the tractor stops moving but the motor and all else is running fine. Neighbors using a lot cheaper mowers, are not impressed with my expensive name brand mower just sitting there in the middle of my acre lawn refusing to move! Has anyone else had a issue like this?

May 01, 2014
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X540 Cutting badly?
by: Steve D

Re the last comment on cutting badly. This is not my experience I get a great cut from the mower. I would check that the blades are installed correctly The cutting edge should be towards rear of the blade, dealers are not always that clever. I would like to reiterate the problems I have had and a few tips that might help other owners. Firstly I have had the X540 for 4 years and have had the same clutch problems, I have had 3 new clutches the last time I contacted John Deere directly and complained. The the rep came out to the dealership and a new crank was fitted. Since it was repaired I decided to experiment with the deck The torque that a full speed 26 hp engine imparts to the clutch on engagement is massive trying to turn a stationary set of blades on a 54 inch deck. Firstly I always run the mower without the gaurds over the pulleys as the build up of crap when you mow will wear out the belt as it builds up beneath the gaurds. you may notice its not possible to engage the blades on a cold engine it can't take the strain. I can now engage the blades on a cold engine by simply wetting the belt all over with a hose. The effect is amazing as the belt slips initially when you engage the blades and there is a smooth speed up of the blades the sound of engagement is realy noticiable. Also with the gaurds off it is realy easy to clean the deck when you have finished cutting, I do this every time I cut grass preferably with compressed air if the grass is dry. Also I clean under the deck with the washing system, although it is not perfect it reduces the build up of crud underneath. If you use a flat piece of ground clip on the hose after wetting the belts then start the engine put on full speed raise the deck to full height then adjust the height setting to minimum height then engage the blades and lower the deck to the ground this has the effect of sucking up the water from the ground and you will find that the cleaning system is more effective.
You can cover up the gaurd securing holes with pieces of plastic stuck on with silicone to stop to much grass coming up through the holes when cutting. Re safety with the gaurds off, with the safety cut outs on the JD unless to realy try to damage yourself by extending your foot to a rotating pully there is no danger and it will extend the life of the cutting belt, infact in 480 hours I have not had to replace this belt.
As I can't afford to buy another €7000 mower I do these things to stack everything in my favour. I know these problems should of been modified by John Deere but as it stands they haven't so I have to put up with what I have and do my best to lengthen the life of my X540 clutch. Feel free to cantact me by email at sloggit1@gmail.com if you have any comments or any tips for me (serious ones)

Apr 29, 2014
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mowing
by: jerry

I have 50 hours on my x540 54" deck. have not been satisfied with the grass cutting since I had mower. mower knocks grass down instead of cutting it at any height or speed. Went back to Meade Tractor where I purchased mower an they said it was the blades. Sold me a new set an still have the same problem, the salesman told me the 700 series cuts better lol. I asked him to check with john deere an he said they wouldn't tell him anything. is anyone else having the same problem as me. email me at jccshrader@yahoo.com.

Apr 29, 2014
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mowing
by: jerry

I have 50 hours on my x540 54" deck. have not been satisfied with the grass cutting since I had mower. mower knocks grass down instead of cutting it at any height or speed. Went back to Meade Tractor where I purchased mower an they said it was the blades. Sold me a new set an still have the same problem, the salesman told me the 700 series cuts better lol. I asked him to check with john deere an he said they wouldn't tell him anything. is anyone else having the same problem as me. email me at jccshrader@yahoo.com.

Feb 20, 2014
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do they still make the x540
by: Anonymous

considering the comments, do they still make the x540 warranty tractor?

Nov 08, 2013
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buying
by: Anonymous

is this true on all the talk on the x540? i was thinking about purchasing one soon, now i'm questioning my opinion.

Oct 29, 2013
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smoker
by: Anonymous

my x540 is a big time smoker on start up. is this normal?

Oct 25, 2013
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wassup
by: Anonymous

my jdx540 be a smoker,wassup with dat, talk at me homee, is that be right?my stuff should be hooking up in thee right area,paid a chunk of stuff for dat trator, whut up wit dat

Oct 18, 2013
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Different Prices for different folks.
by: Anonymous

It's nice to know that someone reads the reviews posted here and yes people do read them. I like to research products that I buy and your reviews do help a lot. You would think that if your $7000 lawn tractor had a linkage problem after just two months that the dealer would do you a good turn and fix it under some type of goodwill.
Maybe we should all buy the cheapest lawn tractors that do the job? We would have lots of money left over to pay for a lot of linkages and such.

Oct 18, 2013
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wow imagine that
by: Anonymous

wow, imagine that, another negative on the x540

Oct 18, 2013
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Piece of crap mower
by: Carol

We bought a JD 540 lawn tractor and after only 2 months, it had to have the linkage repaired and they said it is NOT covered by the warranty. They said it is all our fault and we did it, even though we told them that all we did was mow the damn grass! I am so angry I could spit. We went on JD reputation that we would be putting our cash into a great mower.

Sep 19, 2013
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more expensive jd
by: Anonymous

have, meaning they didnt last either?it would be pretty awesome if my car mowed. grass, i'd be getting off pretty cheap on that, but it wasnt on monster garage getting that done.thanks for the input

Sep 19, 2013
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Too funny
by: Kk

Hey anonymous,

I like your post about us JD owners that are complaining about a simple tractor. I do detect a hint of jealousy of anyone that can afford something that actually cuts grass that is worth more than two thousand dollars. Can your 2000 dollar car cut grass? Sorry, but have to ask? Don't get pissed off. You bring up a good point.
Maybe we are indeed the fools in that we should be buying the cheapest tractor out there that will do the job.
I never bought the X540 because of the price that I was quoted but I have bought more expensive JD tractors.
Thanks for the reality check.

Sep 18, 2013
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come on all you jd owners
by: Anonymous

all you jd owners prove all the negative wrong, all new stuff is crap, bring the price down worth biting for, other than that shut the pie whole, look at all the negative on a 9000 dollar x540, we are all getting reemed for a product not worthy, for crying out loud its a tractor not a vehicle drove on the roads, at that i bought a 2000 dollar vehicle ive been driving for 8 yrs and no smoking or nothing, a car not a tractor

Aug 02, 2013
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x540 clutch problem
by: Anonymous

I am on my third clutch in 18 months, bolt sheers and of it goes, after the second time the dealer changed the crank, said it was out of balance, put in the new crank and bottom end said all would be well, 12 months later today June 11th the clutch broke again, I am only mowing 3 acres a week, I had a 345 for 10 years never broke or had any problems with it. The dealer is fixing it again under warranty, should have bought another 345 but was talked into the x540 by the dealer, major mistake on my part. Very disappointed John Deere owner.

Jun 25, 2013
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motor smokes
by: Anonymous

135 hrs and mine still smokes a bit, sometimes more than other,seems like every dealer gives you a different story(or excuse)for the issue at hand, their all your friends until theres a problem with there so called strong built kawasaki motors, i totally agree with you, no motor should smoke on startup, period, fix thee issue or drop the price considerably to make it more tolerable to bite the inconveinance, i could see this on a cheap department store brand for a few thousand but not on a 7to9 thousand gig,look at it this way, they are all smoke blowers, (the dealers) as far as im concerned.

Jun 23, 2013
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Smoking on startup
by: Shaun Martin

This is unacceptable. No gas engine should smoke on startup. I've put 44.3 hours on this mower in a year and it still smoke. My dealer said it would go away at 25 hours. He says that it's fine and to be expected but when I asked him what he would give me on trade in he said "it wont be pretty". I'm getting a Kubota tractor next.

Jun 04, 2013
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Too pricey for me
by: KK

When I read the comments on this site I can tell you I won't be buying the John Deere X540.
I had inquired about the new X540 that was siting out front of the dealership just yesterday. I was quoted $9,200 for the tractor with no attachments.
Doing my homework now and found out that this tractor is not great unit plus the price quoted to me is an insult.
Thanks Dearland Farm Equipment but you can keep your high priced junk.

May 25, 2013
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wheels that wobble
by: Anonymous

the wheels on the mowing deck dont last very long, they seem to melt away in the centers which wops them out then get real wobbly, im in the process of pressing brass bushings in the centers for longevity, hopefully this will make them last a bit longer, got 1 done,seems to be ok,any other suggestion out there?

Feb 20, 2013
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Keep the Deere, out with the rest
by: Anonymous

After deliberating for months on what new mower to buy, decided on a Deere X540. For the guy posting that Deere is just an overpriced, green-painted Husqvarna - you're wrong. Did the Husqvarna thing last year. Bought their flagship mower and begged my dealer to take it back after a few weeks. Comparing Husky to Deere is like comparing Cadillac to Kia.

Tried out a Gravely ZTHD. Kinda liked it but not right for me. Tons of money for a gimmick as far as I'm concerned. Yes, you will pay more for a Deere. However, they have the best reliability rating, lowest maintenance costs and best warranty of all manufacturers.

I've used several Deere mowing products over the years - loved all of them. My folks use a X595 and it's like driving a diesel Cadillac with 4WD. As much as I cringe at the thought of paying $7K for a mower - I'll do it. Nothing else has impressed me or really compares quality-wise to Deere.

Call me a Deere honk if you want but over 30 years and several Deere tractors and mowers (3 tractors, 4 mowers) I'm a believer for life. Good quality, service, product support and parts are avaialble in the unlikely event you need them. Only replaced them because I wanted to trade up. In fact, the last tractor I sold with 500 hours for only $2K less than I paid for it. You get what you pay for.

Feb 16, 2013
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3 bagger hopper
by: Anonymous

if you buy one of these, dissasemble the chute area for i found that the steel area has a tentansy to start to rot out from grass buildup and holding moisture, bad news, this is the 3 bagger leaf and debris sucker system, lotta money for something built cheap like evrything else nowadays,plus the paint peels off really bad causing rustout

Jun 17, 2012
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My New X540
by: Texas

I've only had my X540 three months and I like it very much. I traded in my old John Deere 316 on this one. I mow four acres with it and I've put 28 hours on it since I bought it. The dealer let me use it for a week before I had to commit to buy. He also let me use a JD Z-Track 710A for a week - I loved it, but it couldn't do my hilly slopes safely. I was aware of the smoke during start during the try out period, but to me it's no big deal. I love this tractor and plan on getting the plow attachment in the future.

Jun 04, 2012
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dealer comments
by: Anonymous

according to my john deere rep, he said that it uses a little of oil on startup, he didnt say anything about an enrichment on startup, do you have a kawasaki motor? everybody is getting different stories, so what is it, mine doesnt smell like fuel on startup, smells like burning oil, rep says its no need to worry, its minimal usuage, they need to tell customers this when you purchase these expensive tractors

Jun 02, 2012
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Like my 540
by: Montana Man

This is our third JD tractor and after 287 hours I've had no issues with it. I mow 5 acres of rolling terrain and it's easy emough for my wife to use. No problems with the clutch at all, but it does smoke a little at start up, but this is the Yamaha cold start fuel enrichment system working according to my dealer. I also plow the driveway with it in the winter. Great tractor!

May 13, 2012
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build them worth the money
by: Anonymous

its obviuos theres clutch issues with these tractors so why hide the problems, look at the comments, its not like theres only 1, fix it, you charge enough, if you havent had any, good for you, dont post that everthing is good, feel for the people that had problems, jd needs to know of the issues, fix them, they ask an awfull lot for the product they sell, the consumer isnt getting rich only the owners and manufacturer of the product because they are cheaping out just like everyone else nowadays and the consumer is whats getting the low end of the deal.

May 13, 2012
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build them like they used to be
by: Anonymous

all you john deere fans answer me a question, will my x540 kawasaki motor hold out for years with the smoking on startup issue? i cant be thee only one with a smokie motor on startup, this issue should be adressed, admit it john deere, thats just not normal, fix the problem, re-engineer the motor, as much as it costs for the tractor they should be able to get it solved, its. a bunch of b.s with all the excuses that its normal, no motor should smoke at all on startuup, fix it period or change to a different motor like a old style kohler, they just dont build things like they used to, tired of all the excuses to fit the situation, stop blowing smoke and fix the problems rather than talking crap.go back to the old stuff that worked in the firts place rather than cheaping out like everything else, been around to know when youve had smoke blown so stop the b.s,

May 05, 2012
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Clutch update
by: Steve D

Hi I posted back in April re my X540 clutch. It has been repaired by the retailer for free and the clutch assembly has been modified by john Deere I believe. Fingers crossed it will last a long time.

May 03, 2012
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Does great on 6 acres
by: Retired Farmer

I've had my 540 for two and hakd years and mow 6 acres of semi-hilly terain with it and it has performed flawlessly. I prefer it to my big John Deere with the bush hog, because it is more stable on the hills and has better traction. My 540 has 657 hours on it and the only problem I've had with it was replacing the starter after my son left it out of the barn in the rain for a week. I sharpen the blades every 55 hours and replace them every 100 hours. I still have my old 214 John Deere purchased in 1981 that I also sometimes use to mow and have done nothing to the engine but replace the fuel filter and spark plug, as well as regular oil changes. This is the closest thing to my old 214 I've used.

Apr 30, 2012
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issues
by: Anonymous

i try to limit the times i engage and disengage the clutch, ive rarely had the clutch stall out the motor, unless i dont let the motor warm up enough at first,agree with the level problem with the mowing deck when you have that heavy blower attached to the chute end, clutch still seems to be holdind out at 100hrs so far,do love the power steering,dont car for the smoking on startup though.

Apr 09, 2012
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X540 Clutch
by: Steve D

Having bought a JD X540 some 3 years ago I had the first clutch break when I was mowing, it all just came out in front of the mower as I was going along that was at around 120 hours from purchase. Yesterday whilst towing a small trailer not cutting the grass the clutch fell out again the bolt securing it to the engine has just sheared off, no reason what so ever that is at 340 hours. This what must of happened the first time but because the blades were turning it wrecked the clutch completely, this time the clutch is intact. Now I have to get the dealer to repair it and admit there is a problem with the design or the materials used. You don't expect to pay €7000 and have to replace the clutch every 18 mths I would appreciate any feedback from others who have had the same problems. Other than this problem I have had no other real problems.

Apr 05, 2012
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Poor quality
by: jamey ray brandon

125 hours, Been tryin to trade for a different brand since 100 hours. I am just fed up with the quality. In case you JD lovers didnt know this thing is primarily a husky with green paint and a cheapened kawi engine. Dont believe me ? look up book price on it, says x540 by huskyvarna. and you cant use most kawasaki engine parts on a deere, it is a cheaper version made for JD, check out the number of cooling fins on a deere vs. any other kawi made for anyone else. we have had deck problems from day 1( cheap guide wheels with no bushings, thin deck material, 2 clutches, and a blade vibration since new that makes your hands numb). the deck scalps when u turn , and if you were as dumb as i was and sprung for the pull behind bagger, it is near imposible to have a level deck. It is either too high on the right with no blower , and level with, or level without and too low with the blower. suction is mediocre. Blade speed is mediocre, and the blower is an all plastic contraption that looks like it was designed in 10 minutes. And last but not least, IT'S A $7500 mower, CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME CLEAR COAT PAINT JOBS? After all my reasearch Ive got my heart set on a Gravely. True industrial quality like we all expected from JD. 7gauge deck, 4000+ hour hydros, clearcoat paint, 12,000 rpm blade speed(vs JD @8000rpm) big bearing spindles, 13 mph top speed, rubber discharge shute, roller bearing guide wheels, and you can engage the blades without killing the engine. I have a 25 year old snapper that still looks operates new that cuts better than my 540, and a 30 year old mtd with a 18 hp briggs that will out mow my 540. All in All x540 is the worst mower for the money I have ever owned.

Mar 30, 2012
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i agree
by: Anonymous

i agree with the last comment on the x540, smoking motor being a inconvenience on startup, they never tell you that when you purchase it, needs to be figured out somehow, tractor well built other than that.

Mar 30, 2012
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smoking issues
by: Anonymous

smoking issues are still a bummer on startup especially if you are starting it up in a garage that is attached to the house,yes, no i am aware that the kawasaki motors do that, but it still is a drag and should be addressed, no motor should puff smoke on startup,you would think that all the engineering that is in these jds they could at least aleviate that problem somehow, other than that the tractor is a good one.

Mar 28, 2012
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long life of JD
by: Anonymous

I have 2.25 acres to mow, and I know it will be $60.00 a pop or more to have it done professionally. I currently have a JD 285 that is 23 yers old. I have put minimal parts into it. I am now trading it in for an x540 If I figure mowing the lawn 1.5 x /week @ $60.00 each time for a 24 week season I would have spent $49,680. on lawn care in that 23 years. Buying long lasting JD just makes sense!

Mar 12, 2012
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So Far So Good
by: Anonymous

I've got a X540 with 450 hours on it. It hasn't caused us a bit of trouble yet. We had to purchase this machine because our last mower was overheating after a couple hours into a mow. This was because it was air cooled; but the JD is liquid cooled and I have never overheated it. Last year we ran it for 6 hours straight in 95 degree weather and she just kept on going. Maintenance on this unit is a breeze. I can have all fluids, filters, and plugs changed in about 45 minutes. I can take the deck off, clean it, sharpen and balance blades, grease zerks, and replace it in about 20 minutes.

Traction is excellent. I've taken this unit places I wouldn't take my 4X4 Kubota BX2360 because of its excellent handling and its weight; its easy to keep it from rolling, not to heavy to sit on the fender and feel confident about it!

Dec 14, 2011
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no clue
by: Anonymous

the amount of money that you pay for the 540 should come with no issues, right? so no clue is a bunch of b.s, right? most people wouldnt pay that much for a car, especially in this economy, except the fact that they dont build them like they used to, look at whats posted on the negative sides of jds, its not made up

Dec 14, 2011
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no clue
by: Anonymous

for the amount of money you pay for a bogus 540 you could hire out lawn care for a long time, in regards to the no clue

Nov 27, 2011
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JD X540
by: Anonymous

I have a JDX540. I have almost 200 hours on this machine. The only issue i have is the blower design does not allow the blower to lifted over 3" high during travel; not that big of a deal. If your deck is falling off and blades are hitting you do not have a John Deere. This is a wonderful piece of equipment with great power, performance and handling. If you are not satisfied with a JD X540 you should hire it out because you clearly have NO CLUE.

Nov 21, 2011
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Snowblower Attachment
by: Wifey

Trying to help out hubster. We bought a new 2011 JD 540 with snow blower attachment and we can't get the blower attached. It's resting on the ground. He put all 4 weights on the back and it isn't working anyone know how to attach those things properly?

Nov 13, 2011
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JD x 540 Hydralic lift and power sterring
by: owensAnonymous

I think the pump is going make a lot of noise while turning steering, loweres deck quitely and rasies with noises, I also need to know if this is a sealed unit or can it be serviced

Nov 06, 2011
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bogus x540's
by: Anonymous

had a international harvester with a 1 lunger kohler 12 hp with way more than a thousand hrs on it that never smoked,wish i'd never gotten rid of it, as in x540 to thee 300 series, there is a difference, need the 4 yrs of warranty because nothing is built as good as older models as far as im concerned, you can say that cause according to you, youve never had problems, must have thee luck of the draw,people just dont make up stuff to make jd's look bad

Oct 25, 2011
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Some of you guys are bogus
by: Anonymous

Those of you posting here about your major problems with your John Deere are bogus. Any of you reading these ridiculous claims of problems, don't believe them. Any make can have a few problems once in a while - that's why there's warranty, and a JD X540 has 4 years of warranty!
Anyone who knows anything about a Kawasaki engine knows they puff smoke once in a while, when starting. It's helped my John Deere 320, which compares to the current X540, keep running strong for over 17 years now. I've never replaced an electric clutch. I have over 1000 hrs on it and have used it hard, blowing snow, tilling, pulling a drag, blading and mowing.
Next time you want to bad mouth John Deere, think twice, as most people have had good service from their John Deere's. I guarantee the other makes are having way more problems. Go ahead and try a different brand, you'll be back.

Sep 13, 2011
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smoking motor
by: Anonymous

original motor smoked, they put new pistons in, still smoked, changed the whole motor ( all under warranty), new motor smokes, all this is only on start up, john deere rep personally come to my house telling me that all x540's with the 26hp kawasaki motors all smoke on startup and there should be no concern for it is very minimal oil usage, i find it a major inconveinance, if i knew this from the start i would of never purchased it.they need to reengineer the motors.

Sep 08, 2011
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2009 x540
by: Ron

I have a 2009 x540 with 465 hours. No smoking, surging, etc. No problems, period. The cut is as smooth as anything that I have seen. The power and quietness of the motor are impressive to me.

Aug 04, 2011
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TOP QUALITY
by: Anonymous

Best tractor ever, never any problems....I own two and they are the best.

Jun 07, 2011
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smoking motor
by: Anonymous

bought x540 new in 2010, motor smoked from the getgo, they pulled motor apart and put new pistons and rings in it, said that the new pistons had only 2 rings on each piston and should aleviate smoking issue, this is a crock for it still smokes just as bad, tractor is going back for same problem, told the dealership i want a whole new motor or new tractor, waiting on john deere's response, according to all thee other issues ive heard on these x540's im beginning to think i made a mistake buying this tractor, i had to write a nasty letter in response to my unhapiness with this product, lets see if john deere backs their so called quality tractors up

May 06, 2011
Rating
star
x 540 problems
by: Dave

I bought a new x540 last oct. I mowed once and had trouble with the mower on and off switch. Winter came and I put on the snowplow. The clearance level in the raised position was not adequate. The lift handle for the plow cracked. Spring, back to the mower, The blades could not be shut off after mowing. Mower clutch frozen. What happened to JD quality ?

May 05, 2011
Rating
star
WORTS JD I EVER OWNED
by: Anonymous

The deck pulleys broke off of mine this spring. Another 300 dollars down the rat hole on this piece of junk. Three clutches replaced also. No more john deeres for me!

Mar 26, 2011
Rating
starstarstar
Hydraulic Issues
by: Jensen

I am really pleased with the overall performance of this, my third new John Deere. I put mine away for the winter and today went to do first cut this year.
However, Big issue.. with the Hydraulics on power steering and also cannot lift deck... checked fluid... and no apparent leaks... anyone with any ideas...

Feb 11, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
So far, not to bad
by: Mike in Indiana

Although the price was really steep, Deere seems to have put together a good medium duty garden tractor. We have around 50 hours on ours so far and the only thing that has broken is the plastic handle that lets you raise and lower the deck / snow blade. Our dealer got us a new one right away (warranty). The tractor has plenty of power for our uses and I am getting used to the foot pedal movement controls. Fortunately, the forward/reverse motion stops as soon as you take your foot off the pedal because the brake pedal is impossible to reach quickly due to its placement (to close to the operator).

Hydro lift for deck/blade is a must and is really slick (except for cheap plastic control (see above). Also, is you plan to move snow, the optional rubber squeegee really makes a difference (at $67 bucks its an overcharge). All in all, happy so far and dealer is really great!

Dec 03, 2010
Rating
star
BAD CLUTCHES
by: Anonymous

No. You didn't get a lemon. They all have clutch issues by design. I have had three replaced already.

Nov 29, 2010
Rating
starstarstar
X540 clutch problem kills engine
by: Anonymous

I purchased a new X540 e/w the 54 inch deck and before I could use it the first time the engagement of the clutch would stall the engine. The blades would turn freely. After several calls to the dealer I returned the X540 under the 30 day guarantee and ordered another which is to be delivered this week. I just hope that the first one was a lemon and that the next one will work as well as my old 185 did that I traded in. The dealer still hasn't figured what was wrong with the first one.
I loved the old 185 so much that I am willing to give John Deere a second chance to get it right on the X540.
The X540 handles so well and I like it.

Oct 24, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Awesome so far
by: Anonymous

Bought new X540 in May 2009. Has 120 hours on it to date. Installed class three automotive hitch on rear end to facilitate moving trailers around, and pull hay rides with 10 or so people on trailer. Use 48" blade to move snow. Cuts approx 2 acres with some hills and trees to steer around. I am a nitpicker for maintenance, change oil about every 25 hours. Yes every 25 hours. Change hydraulic fluid every 50. I learned to keep water hose away from deck with my last mower. Water speeds up decay of blade hubs and exposed bearings. I use an oil can and grease gun OFTEN. Awesome machine, NO problems to date. Would highly recommend!!

Sep 10, 2010
Rating
star
JD X540 is Piece of Junk
by: Anonymous

I have all the same problems with mine and I agree with John's comments.

Sep 10, 2010
Rating
starstarstar
Decks are junk
by: Anonymous

I have a X540 had 30 hours on it and the deck fell off while cutting grass so I took it back to get it fixed and the dealer said it was my fault it was brand new.At 100 hours I had to grind the end of blades down because the blades hit each other.So I took it back again after the 4th time John Deere fixed it they had to because it was no good to me they put a new deck on it. Than at 200 hours the clutch bolt fell out and wrecked the clutch $250.00 laider it was fixed I paid for that. Thats just some of the problems. For what you pay for a john deere its not worth it.Green is a bad color.

Aug 12, 2010
Rating
star
Worst tractor I've owned
by: John Ross

The title pretty much says it all. I dislike this thing so much that I'm willing to look for a comment post just so I can let others know what NOT to buy.

Why?

Rough engine, intermittent problems, smoking described by dealer as 'normal', TERRIBLE cut, even after 2 visits to dealer and countless hours spent on my own to address leveling, blade balancing, etc.

Not to mention a bagger that they want $1900 for, installed. John Deere will be the cause of their own demise. Now I'm stuck with this basket case until I can afford to trade it to some sucker who lives and breathes JD green; for what reason, I have no idea. A piece of junk for $6500, if you ask me.

Jul 26, 2010
Rating
starstar
Clutch Problem
by: Dennis Franz

Three clutches in two years. This is NOT John Deere quality.

Jun 27, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Deck Removal
by: Anonymous

John Deere states = The deck is also very simple to remove or attach; it’s about a 2 minute job in either case. HA HA... Got 50 ours on machine and the deck blade drive belt came off and got stuck is such a way the I had to remove the deck to reinstall the belt. Only took me three phone calls to JD and 45 minutes to remove the deck and less the five minutes to unjam and reinstall the belt. Then after three tries of reattaching the deck and a large bruise on my arm I called JD and had them send someone to install the deck again' JD arrived and re attached the deck, it only took him 25 minutes and two blocks of wood to balance the deck during the process'' WOOD ??? hmmm Btw I am 65 years old the JD man was 35.. Still love my deere BUY WOW.....

Jun 27, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
John Deere 540 clutch problem
by: Anonymous


If only John Deere could get the blade clutch problem fixed. In shop again for another clutch and only 190 hrs on it

May 23, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
X540
by: Anonymous

Under 15 hours and pouring out oil. Needs to have crank shaft replaced. Three weeks later and a dozen calls it is still not fixed. One JD service technician for a "gold star" dealer and he is out currently. Grass in the back yard is up to about 2 feet.

Feb 08, 2010
Rating
starstar
Poor customer service
by: Steve

The John Deere lawn tractors are not what they once were. I have owned a couple tractors but the X540 is the largest lawn tractor I have owned. I have used this tractor for three years and it has its third blade clutch in it.

The tractor runs great and has a 54’’ deck but it does not mow as good as the smaller decks. I have tried to talk to John Deer about getting help with the clutch problem but they have an excuse for everything.

I believe they spend more time coming up with excuses not to help customers then they do solving their engineering problems. Most likely I will purchase a different brand this coming summer.

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