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The John Deere New Generation line (beginning with the 2010 and its sister models) was truly revolutionary. It represented the first modern, four-cylinder tractors the John Deere company had ever manufactured. Many tractors in this line turned out to be incredibly reliable and are still in use today – most notably, the 4020 John Deere. However, a few losses came alongside the victory. In my opinion, the 2010 is a tractor to steer clear of.

The 2010 was a huge advance for its time. The Deere company tried out lots of new strategies with the New Generation line, and the 2010 included a new engine design. The engine had an inventive deck plate to hold the sleeves in. The deck plate rested directly on top of the sleeves, using some O rings to make a seal.

This is another one of those ideas that sounds great on paper but doesn’t work as well in the field. As the tractor is used during the day – especially if it is turned off and on frequently – the engine naturally expands and contracts. The all-in-one design of the deck plate makes this tiny amount of expansion and contraction a big problem. The O rings aren’t enough to maintain a seal.

In addition to the engine difficulties, the model is also susceptible to a wide variety of PTO problems.

John Deere abandoned the deck plate idea when this model’s production was through. After the 2010, no additional models were made with deck plates. This is great news for the reliability of other tractors in the New Generation line, but it’s bad news for owners of these tractors. A low demand for parts means that parts are difficult to find and expensive.

The 2010 was a huge advance for the time. Nostalgia is strong with these tractors, too. For many farmers, the 2010 was the first modern tractor they owned. The live power, live hydraulics, and ergonomic design were game-changers for the industry. Restoring one can be a real labor of love – just know what you are getting into!