I bought a John Deere tractor back in 2005 and I was very excited. I decided to purchase a John Deere because I thought I was buying quality and a tractor that would last a long time.
About 2 years ago I noticed that after running the tractor for 30 minutes it was slow going up hills (for the first 30 minutes it performed well).
It was better in cool weather then in hot weather. I just thought that I needed to change the drive belt and I put it off for a year or so. During that time the performance of the L120 tractor from John 'Deere continued to get worse.
I finally decided to change all the belts on the tractor. Well that did not help anything at all concerning the ability to pull up hills (15 - 20 degree slope).
I called the dealer (John Deere) and was told that my problem was my transmission. He indicated that the hydro-static transmission on the model (L120 and others like L130 , L110) wear out and need to be replaced. I explained that I only had 170 hours on the tractor and he indicated that is not much time but he insisted that the transmission was needing to be replaced. I ask him if the new one would last longer then 170 hours and he said NO it would not.
The price for the transmission was $700 and another $85 -$100 for the labor to replace it. I was shocked! I said you mean that your transmissions only last 170 hours? He said yes like I should be happy with that.
I ask can I pay more and get a transmission that will last. He said no, as if I was silly to even ask that question. He said that tractor is not for going up hills. I was again shocked.
What do you mean it is not meant to go up hills of even 15 to 20 degrees? Then what good is it? My answer to that is it is a poorly designed tractor and it has a transmission (transaxle) that is not suited for a quality piece of equipment.
I wish I had purchased a less expensive Cub Cadet or some other tractor---I thought John Deere meant quality---"Nothing runs like a Deere" .
I am highly disappointed and suggest that unless you have a flat area to mow then do not even consider the John Deere L120. By the way I think I paid about $2,400 including the bagging attachment.
A very disappointed John Deere customer! Well I do not plan on ever buying a John Deere tractor again.