John Deere 650 Specs, Problems, and Review 

From serious gardeners to small farmers, the best compact utility tractor is a must-have investment. With too many options, choosing the right one is not a walk in the park. This John Deere 650 review will give a quick look at one product worth considering. 

The table below summarizes the most important specs of John Deere 650. 

Engine 17 HP
Hydraulic SystemOpen center 
Brakes Differential mechanical dry, internal expanding shoe 
Fuel Type Diesel 
Fuel Tank Capacity 6.2 gallons/23.5 liters 
Transmission 8-speed gear transmission 
Drivetrain Manual 4-wheel drive, regular 2-wheel drive 
AttachmentsMower deck, backhoe, blade, front-end loader, snowblower 
Cab Two-Post ROPS 
Steering Manual or Power 
Dimensions Wheelbase – 56.1 inches, Length – 107.5 inches, Width – 43.2 inches, Shipping weight – 1,530 pounds 
Price $3,000 to $5,000 (used) 

The John Deere 650 is a medium-sized tractor for small to medium-duty applications. Its size, such as its small cockpit, can restrict its capabilities. Despite such, it has plenty of benefits, including fuel efficiency, ease of maneuverability, and effortless maintenance. 

Read on to learn more about John Deere 650 specs and problems. This short review will examine its pros and cons, so you can decide if it is the right choice for your needs. 

About John Deere 650

John Deere 650

Introduced in 1981, the John Deere 650 is a compact utility tractor manufactured by Yanmar in Japan for John Deere, a company based in the United States. The company stopped producing the tractor in 1989. While the production was short-lived, it remained popular for up to three decades.

However, the JD 650 tractor has lost its appeal with newer competitors and more advanced technologies. 

Rugged, fuel-efficient, and compact, John Deere 650 has captivated the hearts of many of its users. It is a versatile tool compatible with multiple attachments, making it perfect for various jobs.

Unfortunately, the only way to buy it today is as a used or refurbished unit. You can no longer expect the same reliable and exceptional quality as when the tractor was brand new. 

John Deere 650 Specs 

Clueless about how the John Deere 650 performs? Here’s a quick look at its specs so you will know what it can deliver:

1. Engine 

The engine that comes in this tractor is from Yanmar. It is a .9-liter two-cycle engine that generates 17 HP, which is decent for the size of the tractor.

Take note; it is a compact utility tractor, so do not expect that it has the same high power as its bigger counterparts. Even so, the engine does a good job if you limit its use to small and medium-duty applications. 

2. Hydraulic System 

This compact utility tractor comes with an open-center hydraulic system. In a nutshell, it has two pumps that work simultaneously to generate a high-flow rate to the tractor’s hydraulic system.

It may not be as efficient as closed-center systems, but open-center hydraulic is often cheaper, but that does not mean that it compromises quality. 

3. Brakes 

The John Deere 650 has differential mechanical dry and internal expanding shoe brakes. They are designed to provide exceptional stopping power. With the responsive braking system, you can operate the unit with peace of mind. 

4. Fuel Type 

Diesel is the fuel that powers this tractor. This is the most common choice. It is known for its power and reliability, even in demanding applications.

Diesel engines are also quiet so that you can work in peace. Not to mention, diesel-powered engines generally require less maintenance than their gas counterparts. 

5. Fuel Tank Capacity 

The maximum fuel tank capacity of the John Deere 650 is 6.2 gallons or 23.5 liters. Considering that it is a compact tractor, the size is acceptable. For small areas, the fuel capacity is just enough for you to get a job done. 

6. Transmission 

Most of today’s modern tractors are equipped with unlimited variable switching transmissions, which gives you more choices. This will make the tractor more versatile.

However, because the John Deere 650 tractor is an outdated model, it has an eight-speed gear transmission ranging from .7 to 10.3 mph. Meanwhile, it also has two reverse transmissions at .1 or 3.1 mph. 

7. Drivetrain 

You will have two main choices when it comes to the drivetrain of this tractor. It is available in either manual 4-wheel drive or standard 2-wheel drive. Models from all years are available with the 4-wheel drive option, while only limited models are available as a 2-wheel drive.

8. Attachments 

When it was sold, the John Deere 650 came with multiple attachments, including a 60-inch mid-mount mower deck, backhoe, blade, front-end loader, and snowblower.

These accessories make the tractor versatile. It is a great investment because you can use it in many ways and expect a good job. 

9. Cab 

This model comes with a two-post ROPS, the most common cab type in tractors. It has an upright vertical post that tilts or mounts to the rear axle.

ROPS stands for roll-over protection structure. As the name implies, it protects against roll-overs, which is one of the best ways to ensure the operator’s safety.

10. Steering 

With the John Deere 650, you can choose from power or manual steering, depending on what you are more used to. With manual steering, the operator must exert the most effort when operating the unit.

Meanwhile, power steering is more convenient because it does not have wheel resistance. Hence, power steering is easier to operate than its manual counterpart. 

11. Dimensions 

The manufacturer notes that the John Deere 650 is a medium-sized tractor. Looking at the spec sheet, here are the dimensions of the tractor: 

  • Wheelbase: 56.1 inches 
  • Length: 107.5 inches 
  • Width: 43.2 inches 
  • Shipping Weight: 1,530 pounds 

12. Price 

The John Deere 650 price depends on the condition of the tractor. On average, you can expect to pay $3,000 to $5,000.

It is no longer available as a brand-new model since production stopped in 1989. Because you will be buying second-hand, pay attention to the product’s condition and ensure it can still perform. 

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John Deere 650 Problems

john deere 650 dozer

While it has amazing specs, it also has several problems, including those we’ll talk about below: 

1. Not for Large Areas 

The size of this tractor can be an advantage, especially when it comes to ease of maneuverability. However, it can also be a problem. This is not for people who have large lawns or farms. It is best to limit its use to small or medium-duty applications.

2. Small Cockpit 

Because of the compact tractor, you can expect that the cockpit is also limited in size. For big or tall operators, this can be annoying. There is limited space for you to move around the cockpit, making it uncomfortable. 

3. Issues with the Front Loader 

Many of the users of John Deere 650 have also noted that the tractor has issues with its front loader. Attaching it can be tricky, especially if it is your first time doing so. There can also be minimal traction, specifically if you are using a model with 2-wheel drive. 

Again, what horsepower is a 650 John Deere tractor? The John Deere 650 is a medium-sized tractor with a 17 hp restricted to small to medium-duty applications due to its size. But, it has excellent fuel efficiency, ease of maneuverability, and straightforward maintenance.

John Deere 650 Reviews 

Here is a quick look at some of its pros and cons to give you a better idea of how the John Deere 650 will perform:

The Good 

1. Fuel-Efficient 

Among others, we like the most about this tractor’s fuel efficiency. One of the reasons for this is that it uses diesel. In most cases, you can finish the job without the need to refill the tank. By being fuel-efficient, it is economical to operate. 

2. Compatible with Multiple Attachments 

The versatility of this tractor is another thing that makes it stand out. It is designed to accommodate multiple attachments simultaneously to expand its capabilities.

Some of the attachments you can connect to this tractor include a mower deck, front-mount blade, snow blower, backhoe, rake, and back blade. 

3. Comes with a 3-point Hitch 

Another reason for the versatility of this tractor is that it comes with a three-point hitch. This way, you have different options regarding how to position the attachment, depending on what a specific job requires. 

4. Compact 

Another benefit of this tractor is its size. It is a compact utility tractor. This means that it is small enough so that you can maneuver it easily, even in tight spaces. This makes it easy to control, which is especially important for new users. 

5. Easy to Maintain 

The maintenance of the John Deere 650 is another reason to love this product. It is a breeze to keep it in its peak condition. No wonder, even if it has been years since the production was discontinued, you can still find John Deere 650 today, although such can be a challenge. 

The Bad 

1. Hard to Find 

This is one thing that is not directly related to the product’s performance. Instead, it is about its unavailability. Because production stopped several decades ago, finding this model can be challenging.

They are only available in the second-hand market so some people might have qualms about their quality. 

2. Does Not Come with a Reserve Tank

For most people, the 6.2-gallon tank is sufficient. However, those who would like to store more fuel will be disappointed that it does not have a reserve tank.

It can be frustrating when fuel runs out in the middle of the job, and there is no reserve available in the tractor. So, make sure always to check the fuel level before you start using the tractor. 

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How to Maintain a John Deere 650 

john deere 650 dozer specs

While the tractor is easy to maintain, this does not mean that you should neglect regular care and maintenance. Since they are now only available as used units, you need to be more proactive.

Below are some of the best things to do: 

1. Lubricate the Components 

Proper lubrication is one of the most important in maintaining the tractor’s peak performance. Use grease on the moving components to make them function smoothly. Otherwise, it will have excessive friction. The latter can contribute to premature wear.

Not to mention, it can put too much strain on the engine and make it inefficient. The failure to lubricate can also result in noise, which can be annoying. 

2. Check the Tire Pressure 

Throughout the use of John Deere 650, the tire pressure can change. It will deflate as a result of the strain it goes through. Regularly check the tire pressure, ensuring they match the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Otherwise, the performance can suffer. It can be more difficult to operate, especially on challenging terrains. Not to mention, it can also be unsafe. 

3. Change the Filters 

Like other tractors, John Deere 650 comes with oil and air filters. They are responsible for trapping debris and impurities so that they won’t get into the system. They can result in contamination if not filtered. Check them regularly, and once they are dirty, change them.

Good thing John Deere is offering a pack of the filters you will need to ensure peak functionality of your tractor. 

4. Change the Engine Oil

Aside from the filters, the engine oil is one more thing that you need to change regularly to enjoy the maximum performance of the John Deere 650 tractor. It has an oil capacity of 2.5 quarts, so make sure it is filled based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Take note that changing oil in a tractor is not based on mileage. Instead, your basis should be the operating hours. 

5. Keep it Clean 

The tractor is exposed to dust and dirt throughout its use, speeding up wear. See to it that you are cleaning the unit regularly. Especially if it has not been used for a long time, proper cleaning is a must.

One of the most important parts you should clean is the radiator, which helps heat dissipation. If it is dirty, there is a higher likelihood that the engine will overheat. 

6. Add a Winterizer 

If you live in an extremely cold place, you will need to add a winterizer to the fuel tank. This is especially the case if you do not expect to use the tractor for a long time.

The fuel can thicken as the temperature drops without a winterizer. In turn, you can have starting problems. So, you must choose a high-quality winterizer. 

7. Read the Manual 

Operating a tractor can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. With this, we recommend that you read the manual and religiously follow what it states.

Especially during the first operation of the tractor, see to it that you are doing things right. Do your research or contact the seller if you are doubtful.

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Frequently Asked Questions – John Deere 650 Tractor 

Where Can I Buy John Deere 650? 

Unfortunately, the production of the John Deere 650 has already stopped, so you can no longer buy it from the manufacturer. The only way to buy it is in the second-hand market.

Make sure to buy from reputable sellers. Take note of the terms and conditions, such as returns and refunds, if the tractor does not meet your expectations. 

How Much Is the John Deere 650? 

When it was first released in the market, the prices of John Deere 650 ranged from $8,000 to $10,000. Today, however, they are available only as used models.

Depending on the conditions, you can buy one from $3000 to $5,000. Some have been through various modifications to keep up with modern times.

In Closing – John Deere 650 Specs, Problems, and Review 

While the manufacturer has ceased production, the John Deere 650 is an exceptional compact utility tractor. It’s small and easy to maneuver but has limited capabilities. We also like how it is effortless to maintain.

Nonetheless, there are also some drawbacks, such as how it does not have a reserve tank. Plus, the only way to get your hand in it nowadays is through the second-hand market, so quality and performance will vary.

As noted above, here is a summary of the specs of the John Deere 650:

Engine 17 HP
Hydraulic SystemOpen Center 
Brakes Differential mechanical dry, internal expanding shoe 
Fuel Type Diesel 
Fuel Tank Capacity 6.2 gallons/23.5 liters 
Transmission 8-speed gear transmission 
Drivetrain Manual 4-wheel drive, regular 2-wheel drive 
AttachmentsMower deck, backhoe, blade, front-end loader, snowblower 
Cab Two-Post ROPS 
Steering Manual or Power 
Dimensions Wheelbase – 56.1 inches, Length – 107.5 inches, Width – 43.2 inches, Shipping weight – 1,530 pounds 
Price $3,000 to $5,000 (used)