John Deere 3038E

The John Deere 3038E compact utility tractor is a step up from the likes of the John Deere 3032E and the John Deere 3005 compact utility tractors.The JD 3038E is a highly versatile machine that is perfect for any landowner (or commercial contractor) that has a wide variety of jobs that need to be performed. This is mostly thanks to the large array of attachments that are compatible with it. Obviously there are a ton of different mower decks that can be either mid mounted or rear mounted on the tractor. These range in size from 54 inches to 72 inches in cutting width.

But it’s not just mowing that the John Deere 3038E is good for. There are a huge number of different sized backhoes (260, 8B and 46 backhoes are just some examples) as well as front end loaders (200x, 305 and 512 loaders are just a few of the loaders compatible with the JD 3038E). This is not forgetting a variety of seeders and snow removal equipment (snow blowers, snow blades, rotary brooms).

The engine powering the John Deere 3038E is a Yanmar 3TNV84T. This is a diesel powered engine with natural aspiration. The engine is not particularly large with a displacement of just 1.5 liters although it does have a decent power output of 37.1 hp. Power from the engine gets to the wheels through a 2 range (Hi and Lo gear) hydrostatic transmission. The power to the wheels is controlled via Twin Touch pedals which make it incredibly easy to control. The category 1, 3 point hitch can take a maximum load of 615 kg (1356 lbs). If you are looking for a similar tractor to the JD 3038E but not quite as powerful, then you should have a look at the John Deere 3320 compact utility garden tractor.If you own one of these tractors, then please feel free to leave a review below.

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8 Reviews of the “John Deere 3038E”

  1. Steve says:

    Very happy with it. I might eventually trade up to an “R” series, mostly for the added lifting capacity and weight. I should probably get fluid in the tires. And agree that I don’t believe there are mid-mount mowers for this series. This is the first I’ve heard of seals popping in the front, so may look into getting a vented cap / plug. Thanks all for mentioning that!!!

    Year of Manufacture: 2013
    Pros: Sufficient power and handy around our 7-acre homestead. Compact and turns pretty tight. Great for mowing, moving snow & light landscaping. Decent on fuel. AWD. Reasonable price.
    Cons: Only lifts 7-800#. Had bucket seals replaced because fading / dropping from day 1. Rear end not heavy enough. No rear work light.
    Attachments: 305 loader. Quick-tach 3pt. 60′ King Cutter brush mower. 72″ Frontier 3pt blade.
    Modifications: Dealer installed rear hydraulics, quick-release and stand for loader.

  2. Chad Vonada says:

    Like the tractor, hate the loader hydraulics

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: Plenty of power. Yanmar engine works great. Starts right up even in 0 degree weather. 420 hours.
    Cons: Hate the loader hydraulics. Very weak. loader leaks down. Dealer says normal. My dad can lift more with his little kubota. From time to time when turning sharp the differential gears act like there binding and will clunk.
    Front axle seals just started leaking like everyone complains about. Shortly after new I sheared the top of the dipstick off the front axle and didn’t worry about it til recently. Put a new one on and it sealed it tight. Then my axle seals blew a month later. I figured out the front axle needs to be vented to preserve the seals.
    Attachments: loader forks. 2072 finish mower.
    Modifications: loaded tires. Turned front wheels inside out for wider stance ( helps for stability)

  3. Randall Ellsworth says:

    Poor quality, nuts, bolts, wheel lugs etc fall off. Never buy a cheap JD again.

    Year of Manufacture: 2013
    Pros: Reasonable fuel usage.
    Cons: Loader bucket will not stay up. 3rd set of front axle seals in 2 years 240 hours. Very tippy. Not worth the money. Do yourself a favor and buy an older 4520 made in the USA!
    Attachments: Loader, MX-5, Backblade

  4. Randall says:

    Good tractor but undependable. 3rd set of front axle seals in less than 2 years/233 hours……

    Year of Manufacture: 2013
    Pros: Great all around tractor.
    Cons: 233 hours and working on third set of front axle seals. I will be getting rid of this tractor because I cannot count on it to be ready for work.
    Attachments: Back blade, FEL, MX-5
    Modifications: Rear work light.

  5. Ken Hawko says:

    I have three years of use on this machine & love it!!

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: I loved the price of this machine and the capabilities that it delivers. I snow blow with the 54″ blower, road grade and mow over 5 acres of grass with the machine & have moved tons of dirt & gravel with ease. And just today I used the tractor for landscaping saving a bundle of cash. I love the power of the diesel and ease of the controls on this machine. I also appreciate the fixed ROPS due to the height is great for my garage and I don’t have to bother with removing and aligning pins for backing it into the shop. I don’t have all the bells and whistles but who needs that when you have the horsepower and the capabilities of this tractor.
    Cons: Front hub seals have gone through two sets of seals & seats, oil level changed by the dealer via factory recommendation due to the continued leaking issue.
    Attachments: 54″ Snow blower, road grader, 6′ mower deck, I-match hitch, trailer hitch.
    Modifications: I made a plug that is vented for the front axle…., to relieve the psi after use. works like a champ!! When I check the oil level i install the factory dip-stick.

  6. Mark says:

    Everything you would expect from a JD. If you’re looking for a small affordable tractor on steroids, this is the one.

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: Great little big tractor that applies all of its power to the ground when pulling. Thanks to the 4wd. Don’t let the size fool you. I use it for garden, deer food plots, mowing and land scraping. I use all five door impliments. Disc harrow, bush hog, box blade and 12″ hole digger. It will handle six foot but donT want to overwork in heavy use.
    Has 305 loader that works great for small jobs.
    Cons: Must fill all tires with fluid when using loader.
    Light duty bucket on front end loader.
    No rear lights.
    Roll bar does not fold.
    No toolbox or mount.
    Modifications: 305 loader frame has bolt holes on side. Fabricated a bolt on toolbox mount and mounted tool box.

  7. STEVE BARNETT says:

    In general I am very satisfied with this model. I have no regrets buying it. It has done so much work for me on my property where I operate a small farm and have had to do lot of landscaping. I really like the power that it has, the reliability, the 4 wheel drive and the quality you get from john deere.

    Year of Manufacture: 2011
    Pros: For the price, you are getting a very reliable, versatile tractor which can fit in some very small spaces. The narrow design of the tractor assists with entering barns, paddocks, garden areas, in between buildings etc. with ease. My machine has been very reliable from the beginning with no issues. Even after using it for 250 hrs, it hasn’t burned hardly a drop of engine oil or transmission oil. I keep checking both regularly expecting to add a little oil here and there and can’t believe that I don’t need to. The engine oil barely discolors even after running the machine for 50+ hours after an oil change.

    The four wheel drive on this machine assists greatly with digging and preventing from getting stuck. Where I live the ground can get very soft. I find that the wide rear tires assists with traction in soft soil and with preventing the making of deep wheel ruts. Even in mud I haven’t had my machine get stuck where it couldn’t get itself out on it’s own.

    Cons: The back end of this tractor is very light. I tried using a ballast box only when the tractor was new. I had no fluid in the tires and tried using the loader. With this tractor you should have fluid in all the tires, and also use a ballast box or box blade on the back when doing heavy loader work. When doing light or medium loader work, the fluid in the tires seems to be good enough.

    The other con, is that after spending a fair bit of money on a new machine, there isn’t a rear work light. The headlights work well and are nice and bright, but if you want to back up or hook up an implement in the dark, you will need a rear light as well. Luckily I was able to buy a rear light for $20, and when I checked my 3038 already had 12v wires which were wired into the headlight switch. Adding the rear light was simple and it improved safety tremendously.

    A third con, is that the draw bar is very low. It should be another 4-5″ higher in my opinion in order to make it more convenient to hook onto trailers and manure spreaders.

    Attachments: My tractor came with the 305 loader. It seems to work well and I’ve used it weekly since buying the machine. I regularly use a wallenstein mx80 manure spreader, box blade, ballast box and john deere 503 brush mower with no problems.
    I modified my tractor by doing the following:

    -I added a rear work light which works in conjunction with the headlight switch.
    -I welded an attachment on my draw bar which allows me to use a universal receiver for pulling trailers. The attachment also increased the height of the draw bar which I felt was needed to pull a manure spreader that I use.

  8. Dave says:

    All and all its a great tractor for the money. I always keep the tiller or box blade attached to the 3 point for rear weight. it can be dangerous lifting anything with no weight on the back of this tractor. but over all I have no regrets about this purchas at all but i would like to see the bucket upgraded a little bit.

    Year of Manufacture: 2011
    Pros: Great little tractor!! I ues it for mowing, post hole digging, tilling, sidking, and fence post pulling. I also have a box blade that works well with it also. the mower, tiller, and box blade are all 5 ft and the disk is 6 ft and it handles all great. culd go bigger but I dont wanna over work the tractor. I think the above info is wrong about the mid mount mower though. as far as i know you cannot use a mid mount mower on a 3038e.
    Cons: The loader bucket is built weak. it bends easy. ive bent mine up pulling fence post’s. for the size of the tractor it is rather hard on fuel.
    Attachments: 5 ft tiller— works awesome, it will handle a larger tiller but i dont recomend a bigger one.
    5 ft brush hog mower—- works ok, i should have spent more money and got one of better quality. remember you get what you pay for.
    5 ft box blade—— works awesome,again it will handle a larger one but i dont think its worth working the tractor that hard and in reality your not gonna save any time.
    post hole digger with 12″ bit and 9″ bit—— works awesome
    6ft disk—- works awesome—– I did add about 500 pounds of weight to the disk to make it dig in better and the tractor still handles it just fine.
    Modifications: no modifications if i was gonna do a mod it would be a 3 point quick attach setup.

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