John Deere 318

The John Deere 318 is a garden tractor and lawn mower which is not currently produced by John Deere (It ran from 1983-1992). It is an immensely popular tractor and comes with a 18 horsepower 2 cylinder engine built by Onan.

Here are some of the stats on the 318 tractor:

The factory built model comes with a 4.5 gal (17 l) fuel capacity for long running time.

You have a choice between a 38′, 46′ or 50′ mower deck on the John Deere 318 to give you options depending on how much grass you are cutting.

The wheel base is 46′  and it’s is 68.5′ long while it weighs in at 836 lbs  or 379 kg if you’re in Europe.

There is also a range of attachments associated with the 318 from snow blowers to front end loaders to blades.

Without modification the 318 tops out at just under 8 mph going forward while in reverse it gets up to 3.7 mph.

All in all, most people find this John Deere a fantastic piece of equipment when it comes to looking after medium to large gardens. It is especially useful if you are living in a place that get regular snowfall as clearing the snow is pretty simple. All you need to do is attach either a snow plow or blower and you can very quickly get down to getting rid of the snow.

Currently many people seek out 318’s for both garden use and to modify them for other jobs. One of the main reasons the 318 was so popular was because of John Deere’s trusted name. People are happy to pay a premium for a John Deere tractor as they know they are getting quality, durability and reliability.

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21 Reviews of the “John Deere 318”

  1. Ted Winter says:

    The 318 is a nice machine. I bought mine as a $400 basket case. 1 head was off and had broken rod. I had an engine for it. I decarboned the engine, restored the tractor, ran it for a year then overhauled the motor. helped with the parts price. Parts for an industrial engine are expensive. Ive only changed the oil in it since the overhaul. Once a year which is 10 hours.
    The 318 has many improvements over the 317. This is due to Deere had lots of problems with the 317. The 317 had a Kohler Series 1 in them at first. The Kohler series 2 was better but Deere couldn’t get them fast enough so the Onan was offered as a replacement. The 317 didn’t have power steering, Although it could be bought aftermarket and added.

    Year of Manufacture: 1987
    Pros: Updates done, restored.
    Cons: Onan parts prices
    Attachments: 2 way blade, 49 snow thrower, 48 replacement deck, tater digger, tater cultivator
    Modifications: Hydraulic controlled chute rotates 360 degrees

  2. Tommy hood says:

    Just a great mowing tractor plenty of power just need to find front blade for it

    Year of Manufacture: 1983
    Pros: Too many to type just perfect tractor
    Cons: None
    Attachments: Just mower deck and trailer looking for front blade
    Modifications: Just fully restored 318

  3. Bob Holland says:

    LOVE IT!

    Year of Manufacture: 1988
    Pros: I LOVE MY 318! I purchased it new in 1988 and have had great luck with it. I am about to embark on a complete restoration to make it look new again. I recently picked up a nearly new P220 to replace the tired P218 and am excited about it’s extra power.
    Cons: None
    Attachments: I have a 50″ mower deck with bagger and a model 47 2 stage blower and hard cab (live in northern Michigan).
    Modifications: Adding a P220 for a little more power.

    • Bob says:

      Wouldn’t have anything else!

      Year of Manufacture: 1987
      Pros: I recently completed a complete restoration on this machine. And I love it even more. Neighbors have asked me when did I buy a new tractor. You should see their face when I say that I bought it new in 1987! I actually look forward to jumping on it and cutting the grass again.
      Cons: Parts are getting expensive and harder to find.
      Attachments: Model 47 2 stage snow blower, 50″ mower deck, Hard Cab, flip seat mount, trailer and wheel weights.
      Modifications: Upgraded pedestal and dash to latest model for easier access to hydro adjustments. Modified seat mount to sit higher and 3″ further away from steering wheel.

  4. Rostvet says:

    General experience has just been happiness.

    Year of Manufacture: 1989
    Pros: Thats all there is is pros. I just love it, its my favorite member of the family. It does everything and it is just so heavy duty , I just love it.
    Cons: Only cons is they are to good. Im looking to buy about two or three more of them, but people just dont give them up.
    Attachments: Mower deck.
    Modifications: None. Dont need to.

  5. Richard says:

    It has never let me down and has always performed perfectly !

    Year of Manufacture: 1984
    Pros: I bought this 1984 318 new and have had it for years, it is without a doubt the best garden tractor ever made. Strong, reliable, powerful. I use it for many jobs and it always handles the job. Every kind of attachment and accessory available !Truly wish JD made an equivalent now, they don’t….
    Cons: None, the perfect tractor !
    Attachments: 2 way plow, 1500lb trailer, 50″ mower, 2 stage snow blower, suite case weights, wheel weights, chrome hub caps.
    Modifications: None, factory stock, why mess with perfection?

  6. Nature Bot says:

    Question: I’m paying $2,500.00 for a 1993 model 318 with 20 original miles and a new tiller and a new 45″ blade. In excellent condition. Am I getting jipped?

    Year of Manufacture: 93

  7. Tom318 says:

    I traded a brand new D130 with 11 hrs. on it for this old 318 with a 1000 hrs. on it and have no regrets, the 318 will outlive that D130 by about 100 years.

    Year of Manufacture: 1986
    Pros: This thing is a beast! I cut 28″ tall wet grass as fast as I want to go.
    The construction of the tractor is basically a small farm implement.
    Cons: Nothing legit… it can throw some heat back at you when working it hard… like I said, nothing legit.
    Attachments: 46″ Mower
    30″ Hydraulic Tiller
    Modifications: Custom belly screen

  8. bob greenwood says:

    does okay, but I hate some of the over priced and overated dealings with Onan

    Year of Manufacture: 1988
    Pros: Its got bells and whistles ! and Onan disease but people love ’em,
    any 120 140 160 300 312 314 317 318 basicsame thing, just features are upgraded, so sad to see the new garbage with the deere name attaches, I was a JD mechanic in Mass years ago, to bad kohlers original twin had problems, there was a big kiss to the public from JD to make up for that situation, however I wonder how close performence wise was that GEN2 kohler toward the owner.
    the 318 was the begining of the end for John Deere Lawn and Garden tractors ! with the K series Kohler it was indeed a “Heirloom quality peice” now what are they ? Home Depot ? I’ll stick with my ole 314, its american and has “Patriot” blessings !
    Cons: electronics and plastic and aluminum are plentiful
    Attachments: alll
    Modifications: plan on upgrading with a rebuilt” “K series”18 hp engine like it deserved in the first place

  9. mike says:

    All i have used it for is plowing dirt, can’t wait for winter

    Year of Manufacture: 1985
    Pros: What a tractor the best I have ever owned and got it free
    Cons: Parts are expensive but anything that is built to last would be also
    Attachments: 50 inch mower and 54 inch plow with chains and weights
    Modifications: none yet

  10. Jeff says:

    I’d recommend this model to anyone.

    Year of Manufacture: 1986
    Pros: Purchased new in 1986 for $4500. Still running perfectly in 2012!! In 26 years of service I’ve spent less than $1000 in parts in service. I’ve been searching for another, just to have. Theses thing HOLD their value!!! Everytime I go to JD for a part the salesman asks me to trade in mine because he gets so much call for used 318s.
    Cons: Parts can be expensive, but that’s JD.
    Attachments: 50″ deck
    48″ Tiller
    38T sweeper
    54″ blade
    Weights and chains
    Modifications: None

  11. Keith says:

    So far, this has been a work hosre that never gets tired.

    Year of Manufacture: 1986
    Pros: Great power, solid built and ready to go any time.
    Frame is solid and implements are strongly built.
    This thing cuts anything, blows snow, pulls cars out of ditches and can drag a bigger farm tractor for a pull start.
    Power steering is a nice touch.
    Cons: implements are heavy to attach and remove Almost a two man job for all.
    Hydraulics, PS, and Hydrostatic pump/valves are a little noisy
    Steel deck where seat mounts has many growing cracks.
    Repairs and maintenance are expensive.
    Seat is too close to the steering wheel for 6 ft tall or larger man.
    Hydrostatic drive creeps faster (probably needs adjustment)
    Attachments: snow blower
    50″ mower
    rear tiller
    wheel weights
    Modifications: None
    Changed out Onan to Honda Motor after 1600 hours – Someone let oil get low.

  12. Bill says:

    One of the best small tractors ever built. Bar none.

    Year of Manufacture: 1988
    Pros: I bought my 318 new in 1988 and it’s a workhorse. It has the model 44 loader, 3 point hitch, 50 mower deck, and york rake. We live in New England and have horses. It’s done all of the heavy lifting for 24 years and never flinched. I put dual rear tires on it a few years back which gave it a lot more traction and more stability when working on hilly terrain. Had a tough winter in 2011 and it moved heavy snow with no problem. I use the bucket to move snow, manure and pull up fence posts. I bought a tin Deere to mow the lawn a few years ago. It’s OK but the 318 is the big dog.
    Cons: Electric PTO switch wears out too quick. A minor irritation.
    Attachments: Bucket Loader
    Mowing Deck
    York Rake
    3 Point Hitch
    Dump Trailer
    Modifications: I made it a Dually



    Year of Manufacture: 1989
    Attachments: 50IN. BLADE,50IN. MOWER DECK.
    Modifications: NONE

  14. Ken O. says:

    I bought my 318 17 years ago and used it full time until 6 or 7 years ago when I bought a 345. I kept the 318 as a backup and to do really tough jobs. The 345 was supposed to be the replacement for the 318 but it is lighter with a deck than the 318 is without one. The 318 is much heavier duty and has individual rear brakes which is important on very steep lawns like mine. The 318 is old but I have no plans of getting rid of it because the newer tractors of a similar size aren’t built nearly as well.

    The only thing I don’t like about it is that it will not plow up steep hills because the weight of the blade takes weight off of the rear wheels.

    Year of Manufacture: 1988
    Pros: Tough, dependable, strong and durable
    Cons: Hand speed control is inconvenient (but all there was at the time)
    Attachments: 50″ deck, snow blade with power angle
    Modifications: none

  15. Dave says:

    I love this Deere!! I bet you would too.

    Year of Manufacture: 1987
    Pros: Built to last and last it will with care. For sure one of the best Lawn & Garden Tractors john Deere ever built or ever will! Keeps a Good resale valve too. A good used one is well worth looking for.
    Cons: The O-nan is well built –runs strong and has a sound all its own,But does like its gas, Love the
    Attachments: Are many and not to hard to fine–But not cheap for most part

  16. Mike says:

    Best lawn tractor I have ever owned

    Year of Manufacture: 1983
    Pros: This is a tank. I get it serviced each year by a John Deere dealer to keep it is good shape. I have a 50 inch deck and a JD single stage snow blower.

    I spent $2,000 for it three years ago. It is in better shape now than any brand new $2,000 lawn tractor I could have bought back then would be after 3 years.

    Go, find a used 318 and if it is in good shape – buy it.

    Cons: Have to look around a bit to find implements for it (snow-blower weights, etc…), but you can find them fairly easily.
    Attachments: Mower Deck- 50
    Single stage Snow Blower
    Grass Sweeper

  17. Marky Mark says:

    I really feel that this is a reasonable tractor. I cut a huge amount of lawns with my landscaping business, and this tractor performs well, but not as well as some of my other lawn mowers

    Pros: Quality grass cutter from JD, but am definitely thinking of trading it in for a newer model
    Cons: Starting to slow up a bit in her old age…only noticeable when you are cutting many acres per day, so don’t take this a serious con
    Attachments: Just the 46 inch mower deck and bagger.

  18. Jimbo says:

    My JD 318 is a fantastic piece of machinery. I just destroys lawns with ease, whether the grass is wet or dry, long or short (obviously dry and short is easy!).

    Pros: Absolutely flawless & powerful cutting. Really easy to use. I just wish the grass clippings collecting attachment was a little bigger.
    Cons: Small grass collection bag at the back, but other than that, there is nothing bad about this mower.
    Attachments: The grass collection bag obviously. Sometimes I stick a torch on the engine hood with some duct tape when it’s getting dark as I can cut grass with this baby even when it’s dark

  19. Tennessee Terry says:

    I have owned a 318, for app. 6 years. It has a 46″ deck with teh blower and 2 bagger attachment. Is this model not very good at picking up leaves? I seem to have many chopped up leaf pieces all over the yard. I really like the frame, and how well built the 318 is, but this leaf issue is leaving me a mess. Any advise? Thank you in advance.
    Terry Hayes

    • Curt says:

      Love it, bestest lawn/garden trac I have ever owned. I suggest useing the medium lift gator blades.

      Year of Manufacture: 1985
      Pros: Part Tank
      Cons: Onan pistons and rings are spendy with a long delay of getting.
      Attachments: Blower, blade, tiller, cab.
      Modifications: Modified mower deck and snow blower, added increased RPM to blades and auger by at least 10 percent

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