John Deere 855

The John Deere 855 garden tractor was a very highly regarded tractor in it’s day. In fact it’s still used widely by gardening and landscaping professionals today thanks to it’s good construction and reliability. The JD 855 was built for a full 12 years from 1986 up until 1998. During this time, there was also a smaller version of this lawn tractor produced called the John Deere 755. The engine doesn’t need to be particularly powerful and as such is fitted with a Yanmar diesel engine that gives the machine 24 hp. The engine is liquid cooled by a system requiring 3.8 liters of coolant. The 3 cylinder engine has natural aspiration and an oil capacity of 3.1 liters.

All this engine power is transferred from the engine to the wheels by a hydrostatic transmission with 2 ranges (Hi and Lo) giving the John Deere 855 infinite speeds going both forwards and in reverse. The tractor is built on a choice of 2 chassis. The first option is a 4×4 MFWD 4WD chassis. This gives the JD 855 a ground clearance of 0.25 m (9.9 inches). The other chassis choice is a 4×2 2WD chassis that gives the garden tractor a higher ground clearance of 0.32 m (12.7 inches).

You will imediately notice that the wheels of the John Deere 855 are very large and soft, much bigger than you would normally expect on a tractor of this size. This is simply so that tire threads from the wheels won’t be left in the ground after you drive over it. The fuel tank on the JD 855 can hold 16.4 liters (4.3 US gallons) of diesel. The open hydraulics system on this compact tractor has a capacity for 17 liters (4.5 US gallons) of hydraulic fluid and operates under a pressure of 2050 psi. The John Deere 855 weighs in at 857 kg (1890 lbs) and is 2.8 m (110.3 inches) long. It’s 1.17 m (46.2 inches) wide and has a seemingly large height of 1.92 m (75.6 inches) due to it’s ROPS (roll bar).

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4 Reviews of the “John Deere 855”

  1. DANIEL BECKER says:

    Awesome versatility and power, previous owner also bought it used and neither of us has had ANY trouble! My issue with it being tippy is my own fault with overloading bucket and pallet forks. I need to get a weight ballast box but also wonder if you can get wheel spacers to widen the wheelbase?


    Year of Manufacture: 1998
    Pros: powerfull
    Cons: tippyw/load
    Attachments: loader box blade pallet forks

  2. Brock says:

    The 855 John Deere tractor with front loader is sitting out back and it won’t start. How do I push it, pull it, to the barn – to get it inside the Barn? Must I do something to disengage the hydrostatic transmission,?

    Year of Manufacture: 1987
    Attachments: Front Loader

  3. Carl says:

    The 855 is one of the very best Diesel compact tractors EVER made.
    I have had several people try mine and went out and bought one..

    There are NINE John Deere “55” series tractors in my family.. ALL have been exceptionally reliable. ALL have been well maintained and stored inside.

    I read some of the reviews on this site, and the first thing that comes to mind is a quote from Forest Gump.. “Stupid Is As Stupid Does”..

    If you beat the hell out of a machine and provide little to no maintenance it will fail.. No surprise there..

    If you think you are a mechanic but don’t know what you are doing, your “repairs” only shorten the life of the tractor…

    As for the guy that thinks his hydrostatic BELT is slipping needs to stop considering himself mechanically competent. If the tractor doesn’t move, a MECHANIC needs to test the hydraulic pressure at the port on the top front of the SCV (Selective Control Valve) or Joystick. If the pressure reading isn’t to spec, he needs to have a MECHANIC adjust the pressure by shimming the pressure relief valve.

    Year of Manufacture: 1998
    Pros: Good power and torque.. Work horse of a tractor that keeps on running strong year after year.

    4WD system works great.. Traction lock adds incredible traction for a tractor in this size catagory.

    Smooth and fuel efficient Yanmar 3 cylinder engine.

    Cons: Hydraulics need to be checked for pressure and the pressure relief valve shimmed to attain the correct readings.. The book calls for 2050 psi, I have been running mine at 2500 psi for years without issue.

    Fender lights are good but front hood lights could be better.. HID aftermarket kits are available.

    Attachments: Bucket Loader, 60″ Mower Deck, Rear Blade, Landscape Box, Weight Ballast box
    Modifications: Hydraulic pressure bumped up..

  4. Roy Magarigal says:

    I got this Tractor for free thank god, It was a hand-me-down from my father. When I got it none of the gages worked none of the lights worked and were broke on the fenders, it over heated in the winter at 10 degree temp. outside. I have changed the air filter, fuel filter, fixed the broke off sending spout on the deisel tank, the foot brake locks up everytime it is depressed which must be forced off with a crow bar at the tractor body. And now it sits in my yard as an ornament because the hydrostatic belt is slipping and wont move the tractor. I could go on. I have been working on mechanical equipment for over 30 years and I have never seen anything fail in so many different functions in my experience.
    Other than this they look nice new…

    Year of Manufacture: 0
    Pros: Like the handleing and traction.
    Cons: Price of replacement parts from John Deere are Completley rediculous,
    and uncalled for.

    Wireing on this unit must have come from a dollar store, no protection around the fuse box completley exposed to the elements.

    Engaging mower deck nearly shuts down the diesel motor.

    Engage lever spring doesen’t hold and must be held as driving/mowing.

    Hood made of fiberglass and paint fades faster than on metal parts.

    Metal areas most of the paint has come off or is fading.

    Attachments: 72″ mower deck
    Mowes uneven with the three blades.
    Modifications: None other than a new aftermarket seat.

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