Customer reviews for JohnDeere 3038E Compact Tractor

JohnDeere 3038E Compact Tractor

Utility tractor for life-style farmers and large-estate owners. Visit JohnDeere.com to get information on the newest addition to the compact utility tractor lineup - the 3E Series.
Overall rating:
3.952 / 5
4
 / 
5
(21 reviews) 21
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating breakdown 21 reviews
5 Stars
11
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
2
1 Star
2
Recommended by18 out of 2186%
Customer reviews for 3038E Compact Tractor
Review 1 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
2 / 5
2 / 5

jd 3038e review - canadian - south country equipment

Posted1 May 2014
Customer avatar
coreysask
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Quality 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Ease of Use 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Little bit of a story. I had a 3032e, found it lacked front end loader power, dealer was unable to repair it to bring adequate lifting power (bucket of gravel shouldn't be too much). A year later I bought a 3038e to replace it.
3038 was ok for the first few years, still a bit under powered, very tippy, but ok. I had fluid put in the tires and I was quite happy with it. Did a lot of tilling, snowblowing, 3 point hitch mower. Typical large farm yard work. Maintenance done at 400 hours (year 3 or 4), changed front diff fluid, changed trans fluid.
Here we are today at year 5-6. Transmission range shifter input leaks, both front hubs leak, quite loud now, tach occasionally stops working, front end loader is slower acting and still will just barely lift a full bucket of gravel.
Quote to repair from 2 different dealers - South country equipment and Maple Farm equipment. $3000 +/-
They are known to have front axle leaks. All of them have it after about 2 years of regular service, tach problem is common and some have trouble with the hydrostatic transmission not putting out enough pressure. Both dealers admitted that these are trouble with the 3038e/3032e machines...with the statement of ...it's a cheap tractor, what do you expect?
(I expected the well advertised John Deere quality)
Corey Dietz
Proscheapeasy to use
Consqualityfront axlestransmissionfront end loader underpowered
No, I do not recommend this product.
+14points
14of 14voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
3 / 5
3 / 5

Bucket keeps dumping

Posted18 April 2014
Customer avatar
del52
From:montgomery, al
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Quality 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Bought this 3038E over a Kubota, but now I wish I had bought a Kubota.
The bucket will become loose and you must continuely keep bumping the controller to keep it upright and from spilling what is in it.
I have carried it back to the dealer while under warranty and John Deere says there is nothing wrong. I have owned several tractors in the past and this is the only one that has hydraulics that leak down while in operation. Overall the tractor is fine but this is very annoying and John Deere does not seem interested in trying to fix it. Their service in Montgomery, Alabama is very very poor.
Yes, I recommend this product.
+7points
7of 7voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Tough Little Tractor

Posted13 March 2014
Customer avatar
Pappa52
From:Waynesville, NC, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
4 / 5
4 / 5
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I am a retired power plant maintenance mechanic, I live on a sloping/rocky 2-acres in western NC Smoky Mountains area. I purchased my JD 3038E Nov 2012, it now has 275HRS. It’s been a work horse. I have mowed, tilled, dug ditches with loader and/or rear blade, excavated, dug up and/or moved rocks, pulled fallen trees / hauled firewood, cleared snow. My implements consist of the JD 305 loader, 72” fully hydraulic front and rear blade, 58” tiller, 5’ shredder. I included at purchase the additional 2-valve hydraulic controls, tow bar and the rear work light. I have put this little tractor to the test, running it to its max and at times beyond specs. I have not experienced any mechanical issues with my JD 3038E to this point, hope this continues. After reading some of the reviews I will pay close attention to those issues (thanks to all for the info). Due to the extremes I have operated this tractor I am going to complete the 400HR service at 300HRS. I do all my own maintenance and will do my own repairs if and when the need arises.
Prosfuel usage is goodperforms well
Consjd website lacks infojd authorized sales centers lack knowledgenot made in usa
Yes, I recommend this product.
+15points
15of 15voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Still Going After Five Years

Posted11 March 2014
Customer avatar
Vikki
From:Buras-Triumph, LA, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
We have about 4 acres and bought our 3038E roughly 5 years ago. This is one tough little tractor! I use the loader more than the finishing mower we bought with it. Lately, I've been building a 56' x 36' house pad and have pushed or pulled about 40 dump-truck loads of clay soil and river sand. I haven't got stuck once and have had no trouble at all. I have even dug up grass-covered ground with the loader with no trouble. Keep it clean and greased and the engine maintained and you'll never have any problems with it. Be sure to put Armor-All on the seat periodically to keep it from cracking.
Yes, I recommend this product.
+7points
9of 11voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great Tractor

Posted3 February 2014
Customer avatar
Troglodyte
From:Anton, TX
Length of Ownership:6 months
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
I've operated this specific tractor for 30 hours. Moved a lot of dirt with the loader, disced 2 acres, set two 1625 gallon tanks (empty), box-bladed, and generally have hauled and pulled stuff around.
Most of the negative comments I see are not the tractor's fault. If you use the loader extensively without the proper rear ballast you will wear out the front seals. Don't be surprised. Stay within the limits of what the tractor was designed for and you will be pleasantly surprised. If you want to run it like a larger tractor then buy a larger tractor.
Concerning not accepting a backhoe. Correct, it will not accept a backhoe and if you would have done your research you would have known this. This is an economy tractor, it will not have all the whistles and bells that a 33xx series tractor of the same class will have.
Don't blame the tractor if you operate it outside the parameters of its specs.
This tractor is a great value for the money. Hydrostat drive is easy to drive, FWD, one-piece ROPS #that fits in a garage without folding), good fuel usage, easy to use controls, lots of attachments available. Tank mounted fuel gauge is adequate for the job.
Prosgood valuedual pedal hydrostat drivenimble - perfect manueverability on a small farm
Conswish it had a tool box
Yes, I recommend this product.
+14points
16of 18voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Bought the tractor thinking it would be good quality.

Posted7 November 2013
Customer avatar
MarkyMark
From:Oklahoma, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Monthly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Quality 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Ease of Use 
1 / 5
1 / 5
I have 10 acres and do not need a heavy duty tractor, figured this tractor would do most of what I need, grading, moving dirt, hauling small loads. I have struggled with this tractor ever since I bought it, it is poor quality, I had problems with the loader dumping unless you keep pulling the handle, it won't hold the pressure and dumps on it's own if you aren't paying close attention to it. Bolts and nuts have fallen off of it, multiple times bolts would fall off and parts would be come detached. I've only used this for 40 hrs and left front knucle seal leaking and John Deere wants $400.00 to fix. Never will I buy a John Deere tractor after this one, it is underwhelming. John Deere shouldn't be proud of this tractor. Warranty ran out a year ago so I gotta foot the bill for all of the problems.
No, I do not recommend this product.
+20points
26of 32voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

good tractor good price

Posted28 October 2013
Customer avatar
cloud
From:derby kansas
Length of Ownership:3 months
Usage Frequency:Daily
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
4 / 5
4 / 5
have had the tractor for just over 4 months/105 hours and has not had any issues. would definently buy again.
Prosfuel economypricepower
Consa little light on the rear
Yes, I recommend this product.
+12points
14of 16voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Good Value for the money

Posted9 October 2013
Customer avatar
Sawman1969
From:Buffalo, SC, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
I bought this tractor for a 40+ acre cattle farm. It does really well, bush hogging, digging with loader, post holes etc. I too have a bucket that leaks forward, although I may have overloaded the hydraulics at one point. No issues with the RPM gauge or axle as some have said. It is a bit unstable on sloping ground, I have also had the rear wheels off the ground hauling round bales on the loader. I wish they made rear wheel weight for this model. Front to back and left to right the wheel base is small, thats good for tight spaces, bad for stability on slopes. Didn't think I'd need rear hydraulics, wish I had them on this model. Overall, great little tractor.
Prosgets into tight areas trees gates etc.
Consunstable on slopes when loaded
Yes, I recommend this product.
+19points
20of 21voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

excellent value for the money

Posted4 October 2013
Customer avatar
Gary42
From:Southeast Kansas
Length of Ownership:3 months
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Lots of power, bucket easy to use,best value, I did lots of comparison and felt that the 3038E was best buy
Yes, I recommend this product.
+6points
7of 8voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
3 / 5
3 / 5

Easy to operate on level ground dangerous on slopes. Really like the hydrostatic transmission.

Posted28 August 2013
Customer avatar
Bert
From:WV
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Quality 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
You have to remember this is an "economy tractor", and that you get what you pay for. Generally it works very well for what I use it for, grading driveway, plowing snow, plowing garden, brush hogging, however it has it's limits. I have had a rear wheel off the ground on three different occasions, and one was not on really steep ground. I live in WV, and don't have a lot of flat ground. The biggest issue I have had is that the loader bucket constantly goes forward no matter what you are doing. I have taken it back to the dealer, who said it was fixed, but when I got it home, it was the same as before. Every thirty seconds or so when you are using the loader bucket you have to keep tapping the control to keep the bucket from dumping whatever it is you are carrying. I lost a good 20' chain because of it.
Proseasy to operate
Consloader bucket continually drops forward
Yes, I recommend this product.
+20points
21of 22voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Awesome tractor

Posted6 July 2013
Customer avatar
TractorlDevil
From:Minnesota, USA
Length of Ownership:1 week
Usage Frequency:Daily
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
I have owned several older model Ford tractors. I decided to buy a JD 3038E. It is everything that I need: plenty of power, very easy to operate, spacious seating area, goes anywhere and does anything. I can't believe what a great machine I now have. My wife who has never driven a tractor was plowing the road. Amazingly simple to operate and safe to use. It's hard to believe such a compact machine can do so much. Great piece of equipment. Thanks JD!!!
Prospowerfuleasy to operategoes anywhere
Conssmall fuel tank
Yes, I recommend this product.
+11points
14of 17voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

3038

Posted3 July 2013
Customer avatar
dapTQ
Length of Ownership:6 months
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
4 / 5
4 / 5
I have a 7 acre property - horses, arena and rest grass. 3038 and 7 foot groomer is a great matched pair. Front end loader is a bit small and I hate the PTO drive attachment (difficult to use - quick hitch was supposed to help but doesn't mate with groomer or sprayer)
Prospower at pto
Yes, I recommend this product.
+7points
7of 7voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great Product for Our Applications

Posted13 June 2013
Customer avatar
Mike70
From:Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Monthly
Level of Expertise:Beginner
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
4 / 5
4 / 5
There is no doubt that our 3038E has more than paid for itself in the initial 200 engine hours. Not being a mechanic, the 3038E is very easy to maintain and well thought through for ease-of-use.
Since most of our work is on hillsides, our 3038E has shown itself to be very stable especially operating with a box grader as a counter weight on slopes up to 28 degrees.
Our typical workday includes a mix of bucket and fork lift (never realized how flexible the fork attachment would be on the 3038E) applications. The ability to very quickly and safely reconfigure makes working with the 3038E a joy.
I recommend John Deere all the time!
Yes, I recommend this product.
+16points
16of 16voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Mostly happy, just three minor complaints

Posted27 May 2013
Customer avatar
RobNS
From:Nova Scotia, Canada
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Daily
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Quality 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Bought my 3038e two years ago, and have been very happy with the choice. I have only three minor complaints thus far. As others have mentioned, the front axle seals are an issue. Had to have one replaced after one year. Fortunately it was still under warranty. As someone else mentioned, the RPM gauge doesn't work until the tractor has been running for a while. Not a huge deal, as I can pretty much guess RPM by the sound of it, but it's still annoying. Also, the fuel cap/fuel gauge design collects water and isn't ideal for viewing fuel levels. There have been times where wished I bought one model size larger, but that's not the tractor's fault. So aside from three minor issues, no complaints at all.
Prosreasonable priceplenty of power for most jobsno major mechanical issues
Consfront axle seals are a weak pointrpm gauge stickspoor fuel cap/fuel gauge design
Yes, I recommend this product.
+21points
21of 21voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Great Tractor

Posted16 April 2013
Customer avatar
Jeff
From:Belding, MI 48809, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
I've owned this tractor for almost 3 years. I use this unit for grading my driveway, snow removal, moving dirt and to brushhog my property. This tractor has met all of my expectations except for one. At around 130 hours I had the front axle seals replaced because they were leaking. Now with less than 200 hours on the unit they are leaking again. I would like a solution for this.
Prospowerfulreliableeasy to use
Consfront axle seals leaking
Yes, I recommend this product.
+16points
16of 16voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Great machine for the price!

Posted26 March 2013
Customer avatar
Ken78
From:Scarborough, ME, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
I have 250 hours on this tractor in 2.5 years and love it so far; the only issue with the tractor is the front hubs leak, this is my second go around with the tractor being returned for the same issue. I know there is an engineering flaw and this needs to be corrected somehow without a seal change every year. I love the horsepower and the capabilities of the 3038E, I snow blow, road grade, mow and have pushed many yards of dirt/gravel with ease. Please fix this issue JD!!
Prosh.p.
Consseal leak front hubs
Yes, I recommend this product.
+17points
17of 17voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great tractor for utility purposes.

Posted22 March 2013
Customer avatar
DeereHarvestor
From:Lakeview, MI 48850, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Tractor works great for food plots, plowing and grading work. Ease of use is a big plus teenage boys and even my wife can use it with out worries. Don't buy it if you're looking for a backhoe or excavator......not what it's made for.
Prosease of usedecent powergood value
Consa liitle light in the front end
Yes, I recommend this product.
+14points
14of 14voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
2 / 5
2 / 5

Ok tractor for the price

Posted14 February 2013
Customer avatar
Ron321
From:Belding, MI 48809, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Quality 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Ease of Use 
4 / 5
4 / 5
I have had my tractor in the shop 3 times for the same thing. Leaking Fluid out of the front wheel assist steering area. The seals seem to not be holding up. Only 400 hours and been in the shop for 1 week at a time. Disappointing for a Deere. It is still leaking, however I am tired of it in the shop. I just keep adding fluid.
Yes, I recommend this product.
+24points
25of 26voted this as helpful.
Review 19 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Get what you pay for

Posted29 January 2013
Customer avatar
Andrew
From:Adams Wi
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Monthly
Level of Expertise:Intermediate
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
The 3038E is a great product. Very solidly built and has worked flawlessly so far. The only issue thus far is that I popped a tire on a large deer antler. Not exactly the tractor's fault. Also have an intermittent problem with the RPM Meter going out in cold weather. After running for a few minutes it always kicks back in though.
Ive owned the tractor for about a year and used it to clear brush with the frontier brush hog, discing, and general material moving with the bucket.
Although it is a smaller tractor I have run into very few situations where I couldn't get the job done with the 3038E.
The one complaint I see alot is that the fuel gauge is not on the dash. Its located on the fuel cap. It works fine.
Although not a lot of fancy options this tractor is built to last and perform.
Prosquality and utility
Conspricey
Yes, I recommend this product.
+20points
20of 20voted this as helpful.
Review 20 for 3038E Compact Tractor
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Just right for my 31 a. cow farm

Posted12 January 2013
Customer avatar
Armpitt
From:Texarkana, AR, USA
Length of Ownership:1 year or longer
Usage Frequency:Weekly
Level of Expertise:Expert
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Quality 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ease of Use 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Just right to move round bails, added back spear to offset weight and balance. When clearing the hay field you can't even see me between the 2 hay bails. Quick attach loader is a whiz. 5' shreader fits the size of this tractor and murders goat weeds with no problems. Drive is easy, fast, and even my wife can do it. Took a couple days to get used to no split brakes, but now I don't even miss 'em. 123.5 hrs without a hitch.
Prosyanmar engine starts every timehydro drive is as easy as pie
Consnone yet
Yes, I recommend this product.
+21points
22of 23voted this as helpful.
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