Problems With a John Deere Snowblower

Christine Lebednik

Reported problems with John Deere snowblowers appear to have a definite association with the manufacture date, specifically, of the particular machine involved. Also, certain model numbers have been more prone to problems. This is because of what is known as rebranding.

Snow Country.

While John Deere in the past manufactured its own snowblowers, it began contracting the manufacture of these machines out to other companies in the early 1990s. Since then, several different companies have made various John Deere snowblower models and the quality of product has varied depending on the actual manufacturer. Some of the snowblowers have exhibited many problems ranging from chute operation to frequent breakdowns.


The first problem regarding John Deer snowblowers is a common circumstance for this kind of product with problems situation. The problem is that the snowblowers--as of 1991--are no longer John Deere products, as described at "John Deere Walk Behind Snow Blowers." Because of several seasons of low snowfall, John Deere departed the snowblower business as an actual manufacturer. Since that time, the John Deere company has contracted with a range of different manufacturers who made snowblower models to be sold under the John Deere name.

Actual Manufacturers

The manufacturers who make John Deere snowblowers include: Murray, Ariens, Briggs and Stratton and Simplicity. The range of problems reported for John Deere snowblowers varies depending on which actual manufacturer produced the snowblowers. Generally, those made by Ariens are considered good products and those made by Simplicity a fairly good product. Murray-made products, however, had such major problems that one report indicated that these machines more or less destroyed the John Deere reputation with reference to snowblowers. The TRS and TRX models are Murray-built models, and this line was made between 1991 and 2001, as were Ariens models. At least one dealer also reported that the Murray-built TRS and TRX models had so many problems that the repairs and returns nearly ruined the dealer’s business.

Machine Won't Throw Snow Far

John Deer snowblower owners have expressed their displeasure at the performance of their machines in in the forum “Re: John Deere Walk Behind Snow Blowers.” (See Resources) One owner reported that the snowblower, an older machine, would only throw the snow about three or four feet, whereas typically a snowblower would throw snow much further: six feet at least. Feedback given by others suggested this particular problem could be caused by clogging in the auger, by a gear box problem, or simply by insufficient horsepower in this particular model.

General Problems

General problems owners/users reported about John Deere snowblowers included: the engine of the snowblower would not engage when the user pulled the starter rope. This individual did identify the model as a TRS 21. Another reported chute clogging. Yet another individual reported jerking problems on first use and then on the second use that the chute had difficulty turning at all.

Repeated Breakages

Another owner reported that Murray-built TRS John Deere snowblower model was always having breakages of one sort or another. This individual reported that his TRS model John Deere snowblower “broke one thing after another.” Another owner also reported of a TRS30 model that he was “always working on it."