John Deere X304 lawn tractor

Price $3,600.00

This 42-inch John Deere lawn tractor comes with a 2-cylinder Kawasaki engine with an automatic drive system and electric PTO. It includes a comfortable high-back seat but lacks a washout port.

Recall notice

In September 2011, the recall of 36,500 John Deere lawn tractors, including model numbers X300 and X304, was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission because the cooling fan installed on top of the front-mounted Kawasaki engine can break. If so, the engine can overheat, causing the surrounding plastic to melt, thus creating the risk of fire and injury. See the CPSC recall notice for more details.

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About

The John Deere X304 is part of the Lawn mower & tractor test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Lawn tractor models like the X304 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Side discharging: A combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how evenly clippings were dispersed from the side-discharge chute.

Mulching: Reflects a combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how completely the mower distributed its clippings over the lawn's surface.

Bagging: Denotes a combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and a measurement of the effective capacity of the grass bag, determined when the bag was full or when the chute clogged and stopped collecting clippings.

Specs

Deck size (in.) Deck size The manufacturer's claimed cutting width, or swath, in inches. Rear-engine riding mowers are about 30 inches, and lawn tractors are about 38 to 48 inches or more. Mowers with larger decks take up more storage space, but cut proportionally faster and therefore reduce cutting time.
42
Engine power (hp) Engine power The manufacturer's claimed horsepower for the engine. All other factors being equal, an engine with more power will be able to handle tougher jobs (such as tall grass) without bogging down.
18.5
Engine manufacturer Engine manufacturer The brand of engine on the tractor or rider.
Kawasaki
Drive type Drive type Categorized by the drive system (engine and transmission), which controls a tractor's direction and ground speed. Hydrostatic-drive tractors let you smoothly increase or decrease ground speed infinitely with a lever or foot pedal. Gear-drive tractors involve shifting, clutching, and a distinct set of speed ranges. Tight-turning, "zero-turn-radius" riders use a dual hydrostatic-drive system to infinitely vary ground speed and allow a narrow turn radius by varying power to each rear wheel independently. Pedal-drive tractors use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to vary ground speed depending on how hard the drive pedal is pressed. Pedal-drive tractors do not have a hydraulic transmission like hydrostatic models, and they require shifting when changing between forward and reverse. Manual-drive tractors are similar in design to pedal-drive models except that the pedal is replaced with a detented lever that only allows several discrete ground speeds. They function like a gear drive tractor, but instead of a geared transmission, they incorporate a CVT. Rear-engine riders are smaller than tractors and have a rear-mounted engine.
Hydrostatic
Number of cylinders Number of cylinders The number of gasoline combustion cylinders in the engine.
2
Forward speeds Forward speeds All tractors with gear-drive transmissions have multiple forward speeds, usually five or six. Tractors with hydrostatic transmissions have infinitely variable forward speeds controlled by the operator.
Variable
Warranty Warranty The length of time the lawn mower is covered by its manufacturer for defects or repairs.
4 years

Features

Cuts in reverse Cuts in reverse Some tractors don't let you cut grass in reverse. While a good safety feature, this can also be inconvenient in tight areas. Certain models instead require you to engage an override switch.
Yes
Cruise control Cruise control Lets the tractor's driver maintain a constant speed without using the foot pedal.
Yes
Easy mode change Easy mode change One set of blades is used for side discharging, bagging, and mulching. This is much more convenient than models that require you to change blades for certain modes.
No
Blade change to mulch Blade change to mulch Requires a blade change to specialized mulching blades, usually provided in the optional mulching kit.
Yes
Blade change to bag Blade change to bag Requires a blade change from the blades provided to specialized bagging blades, usually provided with the optional bagging attachment.
Yes
Washout port Washout port Accepts a hose for cleaning the underside of the deck more easily than from above. Be sure to allow the underside to air-dry before stowing the machine.
No
Power steering Power steering Hydraulic or electric boost to reduce force required to turn the steering wheel.
No

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