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The John Deere Gator: a modern classic

The Gator is a welcome helper around the farm that earns its keep

IN THE SHOP with Rachel

By Rachel Gingell

My family purchased our first Gator years ago and it quickly became a part of our permanent collection. While most of our tractors are for sale shortly after we fix them up, the Gator proved its usefulness so quickly that we couldn’t bear to part with it.

At my home, the Gator is used most frequently when we cut firewood. The compact size means we can easily maneuver into the woodlot. It’s surprisingly lightweight, making it an excellent choice for marshy ground and for driving across the lawn without damage. The Gator is easy to drive, too – the continuously variable transmission means no messing with a clutch and gear shifts.

John Deere TS 4x2 Gator
Photo: John Deere

My favorite feature is the optional electrical dump box, which makes clearing out a heavy load easy. If you can find (or order a new) Gator with this feature, go for it! Out of all the options available, it’s the one I use and appreciate the most.

There are a lot of convenient utility vehicles on the market today. They’re fun to drive and come in handy for all sorts of chores. The Gator offers plenty of features and options that make it a great choice, but what really sets the Gator apart is the reliability and ease of service.

John Deere is known for the exceptional reliability of its products and the Gator is no exception. I’ve been a happy customer for years. But even the most well designed products will eventually need repair – and when that happens, you’ll be glad that you own a Gator!

As much as possible, the engineers at John Deere built the Gator from existing parts. The engine and many other components match their ubiquitous lawnmower line – meaning that you can find parts and service almost anywhere. We’ve had to replace a steering wheel (how do you break a steering wheel? You don’t want to know…), tie rods and the electric dump box switch. All of these parts were readily available at the local John Deere dealership.

Used Gators are in hot demand, so when you find one at a good price be sure to snatch it up quickly. You’ll love having one to call your own. 

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