John Deere LA125

The John Deere LA125 lawn mower is from the 100 series of garden tractors that was produced by JD for 2 years from 2008 until production ceased in 2010. Other lawnmowers in the 100 series include the smaller John Deere LA115 and the more powerful John Deere LA135. The JD LA125 has a 0.54 liter (33 cubic inch), 1 cylinder engine that produces an output of 21 hp. A 12 V battery is used to start the lawnmower via a key start. This battery is charged by a 9 amp alternator. This air cooled, Briggs and Stratton engine uses a foam air filter and needs 1.4 liters of oil to remain fully lubricated.

The John Deere LA125 does not have a gear stick as it uses a hydrostatic Tuff Torq T40 transmission which makes the lawnmower an automatic. To control the speed and direction (forwards or reverse) of this tractor you just need to use one of 2 pedals. The turning radius for the JD LA125 is 0.46 m (18 inches) which makes it very adept in tight and confined gardens. But thanks to cruise control it’s also very easy to use on large open spaces such as parks and playing fields.

The mower deck that comes with the JD LA125 as standard has a cutting width of 42 inches, but once attached to the lawn mower, it gives it a total width of 1.32 m (52 inches) due to the fact that it’s made from 12 gauge steel and has a discharge chute that protrudes out from the mower deck. If you bought the John Deere LA125 brand new, you would have gotten a safety video for free with it. If you are buying it secondhand, it might be a good idea to ask the previous owner for the safety video to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes when operating it that may endanger you. For more info on this model you can consult the official John Deere website by clicking here.

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12 Reviews of the “John Deere LA125”

  1. Mitch says:

    I have 1-1/2 acres of lawn to mow and after 8 years and over 500 hrs of run time this mower is still going strong doing what it was intended to do. I haven’t had any problems with the drive train and it still uses the original drive belt. The engine doesn’t use or leak oil and I change the oil and filter and give it a lube once each year. The mower belt has been replaced once and I have replaced the blades twice. The only issues I have experienced with this mower is weld failures where the deck hangers are welded to the deck. Easily repaired the problem myself in the shop. That was 3 years ago and the repair is still holding up fine. I have also had to replace the starter solenoid once. Over all I am very satisfied with the performance of this little mower. If it were to bite the dust today I wouldn’t have a single complaint.
    It is true that this is a department store mower which obviously doesn’t match up with the quality of other JD equipment. That being said, I feel that the type of performance one gets out of a piece of equipment depends on the care and maintenance that goes into it.

    Year of Manufacture: 2008
    Pros: Reliable, easy to maintain.
    Cons: None
    Attachments: None
    Modifications: None

  2. jason says:

    everyone complains john deere look at an engine in the other tractors most are briggs its like this either u get a lemon or u don’t just like a car

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: no complants
    Cons: little paint pill on the deck
    Attachments: none
    Modifications: none

  3. Brad McLeod says:

    Briggs and Stratton sure needs to invest in their Q.C.

    Year of Manufacture: 0
    Pros: It got the grass cut
    Cons: At about the 3 year mark the engine seized up. Took it apart and found a steel cap shaped piece of metal had wedged itself between the block and the crankshaft. The next door neighbour is a tractor mechanic. He works on everything from John Deere smallest to largest tractors. He came and took a look and said he couldnt see where that cap may have come from . We determined it had been bouncing around inside of engine until it lodged itself and seized up the rotating assembly. The cost to rebuild engine was going to be $1200.00. Hopped on the net, ordered a brand new in the crate briggs and Stratton engine. Had it delivered to house for $500.00. Installation was a breeze. So far so good with replacement engine.

  4. Jim B says:

    I’m in the fourth year with my LA125. Its been a great machine. It runs much quieter than the Poulan it replaced; cuts the lawn faster; maintenance is easy.
    I bought a JD snow blade and chains last winter. It works wonders compared to a blower. I live on a golf course and the drifts pile in the driveway day after day. The LA 125 make it a breeze to keep clear.

    Year of Manufacture: 2009
    Pros: Quiet
    Easy maintenance
    My wife loves to use it for grass or snow
    Cons: I’d like to have a tighter turning radius.
    Attachments: Snow Blade
    Modifications: .

  5. jason says:

    love it

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: lots of power, the motor runs quiet an smooth with brigs an Stratton 5w30 full synthetic oil it seems that some people abuse their tractors or don’t know how to take care of them I never had a problem
    Cons: the paint under the deck peels off easy when cleaning it
    Attachments: none
    Modifications: none

  6. richard says:

    DONT,get somting else.worked for 20 hrs then shit.never getting another one.

    Year of Manufacture: 8
    Pros: john deere name.thats about all
    Cons: 1]battery,need jumper leads,2]deck not strait,always unevean, 3]seat always cuts out motor,just move a bit to see what i mean.4]blades always bend,belts need ajust reg,5]smoke and lots of it arfter just 80hrs.uses more oil than a m1 tank.6]drive keyway dropped out arfter just 20hrs [fixed under warranty,arfter heated discusion]with dealer,having owend jd big tractors,ie 2850 &7530,with no worries.JOHN DEERE STICK WITH BIG TRACTORS.
    Attachments: NILL
    Modifications: NILL

  7. Len says:

    Junk! Should have purchased a different brand! Could have payed the same price and got 3 tractors and would not be cutting my grass with a push mower!

    Year of Manufacture: 2009
    Pros: non at all
    Cons: 31 hours on the dash clock and its not able to operate! Even if I jump start it as I have had to since the day the green and yellow piece of junk was purchased for allmost $3000.00 it smokes so bad that the people living next door all around us call 911! Tried by,postal to contact John Deere. Not possible!
    John Deere has been used for decades by my relatives in Sask.,Alberta and Ontario. After paying $3000.00 to cut the lawn for 31 hours we all agree that John deere will never rob us of another cent! John Deere was a name to be trusted for many years? I am only one person that got screwed for $3000.00. As a result they have lost about 2 to 3 millions per year. Do the math John Deere! I give John Deere 2 to 5 years at best.
    Why screw yourself right out of business? Makes no sense at all?
    Attachments: Jumper cables to start it right from day one!
    $300. “snow blade”
    at first air pump to fill the front tire up from day one!
    Then a tube for $20
    Mower that wont cut and burns belts when works!
    Modifications: None at all! Is it possible the modifey something with only 31 hours? Its not even enough time to see if it functions!

  8. Ron says:

    While it’s quite capable at grass cutting the tube connecting to the bags tends to clog up if there is any moisture at all.
    Noticed a lot of people complaining about smoke. This is the head gasket on it’s way out. Eventually it blows and oil sprays up out of the filler tube. Not the quality I expected from a green and yellow tractor.

    Year of Manufacture: 0
    Pros: Nice looking, comfortable, more drink holders than my car.
    Cons: Battery last 2 years, eats blades, head gasket blows if pushed too hard.
    Attachments: Rear bagger, trailer.
    Modifications: None.

  9. Tom says:

    Started out at decent, not great and went downhill from there.

    Year of Manufacture: 2008
    Pros: I thought the largest pro would be purchasing a John Deere and all the quality and reliability that came with it. I was dead wrong. For over 20 years I have owned and/or operated JD construction equipment and farm equipment with ZERO complaints. I had no hesitation purchasing this mower as I expected the same from it. I knew it was not the heaviest duty mower available and let the clerk at HD talk me into buying it form them instead of a unit from the implement dealer. It is just a 1/2 acre lot so how hard could it be to mow right?
    Cons: The tractor worked decent, not great, for the 1st two years. Cut was uneven and after multiple attmepts this was recified, for awhile. Maintenance was kept up on and the machine was babied, stored in the barn or garage and never left in the weather. This past August, things went to hell. A small plume of smoke would emerge periodically which in turn led to my looking like the D-Day smoke screen whien I mowed. My neighbors even came over thinking we were having a bonfire. I used it twice after the intial smoke-out and went through over a quart of oil each time and the tractor began cutting off on me. I parked it for a month and a half since I had neither the time nor the patience to deal wiht the dealer. I finally garnered up the courage to call them today and will be bringing it in for a check up. I asked them if JD was going to stand behind their product of next to it. They immediately replied it is out of warranty so I will be billed. I will follow up with the estimated repair costs. I will be extremely discouraged if JD treats a 20+ loyal customer to nothing less than an extended warranty treatment on this unit. If it was possible to give negative stars for ratings, I would have. JD should be ashamed of itself for the produciton of this mower as they have only served to sully their good name. Be warned if you decide to purchase a “knock off” JD from a home store. Spend the extra money and get a real lawn tractor from your implement dealer.
    Attachments: Rear Bagger which clogs with each pass no matter the length of the lawn or the height on the deck.
    Modifications: None

    • Brian says:

      wished i didn’t rely on the name “John Deere”. Thought I had purchased a brand that stood for reliability, wrong. I had other ride on mowers over 20 yrs old that the motor still worked like the day it was purchased.
      Price paid for this mower, could have bought two MTDs from Canadian Tire. At least i would have had a spare.
      I know that the engine is a briggs and strattom (B.S) and that’s were the real proplem starts. However, John Deere got in bed with this company and built a piece of scrap. A new engine sells for approx $600.00, labour not included, may as well purchase a MTD. should be able to get one on clearence now that fall is here, and be further ahead.
      I paid too much, got too little. Not satified at all. Live and learn.

      Year of Manufacture: 2008
      Pros: Looks good. Rides ok lots of power when it doesn’t blow smoke and choke.That’s it
      Cons: have to make several adjustments in order to get an even cut. Between the blades leaves a thin strip of grass and have to run over a second time to cut it. missaligned somewhat.
      like other reports, my engine started blowing puffs of blue smoke and now fills the air with it and engine dies. made a small adjustment to valves and was able to cut the lawn without the engine cutting out and burnt far less oil.
      Attachments: none. other than the mulching guard that covers the shoot.
      Modifications: none

  10. dave says:

    Buying the John Deere LA125 has to be one of the worst decisions I have every made. I bought this mower to save time. WRONG.

    FLAWS: 1) The bagger clogs no matter how high you set the blade. 2) The battery dies in a week. 3) The rubber clips that attach the bagger to the mower degrade after a year and break. 4) The plastic chute comes loose and hits the blade. 5) The most uneven cut I have ever seen.


    1) Go out and try to start L125, battery is dead and engine doesn’t turn. Hand push mower to front. I then go find jumper cables and move car to get close to mower. I start the mower and am ready to mow. Wrong, the mower is so wide it won’t fit through a typically average gate in back. So I take of all attachments and push mower through gate. Ready to mow.

    2) Start mowing with blade at 3″. Bagger clogs after one row. So I get off of mower and am careful not to turn if off because I might have to repeat step 1. Reach in to chute and pull out four arm fulls of grass. Ready to mow.

    3) Adjust blade to 4 inches, see 2)

    4) Decide to mow only half rows see 2)

    5) By this time, the driveway is covered with 1/2 inch of clippings because the clog throws everything out from under the mower to everywhere except the bag.

    6) Decide that because of 5) mowing without bagger can’t be bad because I have a 1/2 hour of sweeping ahead of me anyway.

    7) Make sure not to bounce while mowing because the switch on the seat detects the slightest weightlessness and loves to turn the mower off. Don’t want to repeat 1). But unfortunately kids have left their toy bricks in the grass and now I have a decision to make. Should I turn everything off, and unmount the mower to move the bricks or should I risk amputation. Well, I am so mad that amputation seems like the easy way out.
    8) Put the mower into high gear and floor it, ignoring kids, dogs, neighbors and anybody who dare get in my way. By this point I am ready to light this dang thing on fire. But I must preserve because my neighbors are watching and wondering why there are 4 inch green tread marks all over my driveway, and why I am completely covered in grass clippings.

    9) Finally done. Huge clump of grass all over my yard. Grass everywhere, and the yard looks like cr@p.

    10) Go get Toro law mower and start over.

    Anyhoo, things you want to watch out for:

    1) None of the reasonable things (grass catcher, pipes, blade, rubber things that break, battery) are covered under the warranty. They are considered ‘reasonable wear’ items

    2) Dealer in Escondido loved to offer no help at all and then ask ‘Is there anything else I can help you with’. Uhhh, how about helping me not kill myself because I hate this stupid mower so much.

    One might wish evil thoughts on whoever designed this piece of Winnie the Pooh, but remember, there is always Craigslist and I might be able to get half my money back.

    Year of Manufacture: 2007
    Pros: none
    Cons: LA125
    Attachments: I got the side attachment XBDG (xtra bogus dump clippings on ground)
    Modifications: The only modifications I can think should be to the consumer’s purchasing plan if one intends on buying an LA125.

    • Jim Orr says:
      Performance Not Rated
      Reliability Not Rated
      Overall Satisfaction Not Rated

      Surprised that your TuffTorq K46 Hydrostatic trans has not failed you yet… mine did after only 72 hours of use… JD Tech told me that, “if I want a machine that will really work for me, I should “upgrade” the K46 to a K66″… cost $1,500 plus labor. I checked with another dealer… Tech told me that JD considers the K46 tranny to be a “throw-away” trans.
      Sold my machine on cl… bought an older Wheelhorse… will NEVER buy another JD product.

      Year of Manufacture: 2004
      Pros: Always starts and runs like new.
      Everything still functions like they should
      Easy to maintain (except for the stupid “sealed-for-life” trans)
      Cons: Hydrostatic trans failed at 72 hours… took it apart and cleaned it out and refilled with SAE 15-40wt oil… lasted another 50 hours… decided to create a webpage to expose this problem:
      Attachments: Mower Deck
      Trailer hitch
      Modifications: Modified the K46 trans so that I can now… Check the trans fluid; Top-off the trans fluid; Drain and Change the trans fluid.

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