I’ve read a ton of posts here referring to the John Deere 8850 with the 955 V8 as being unreliable and short-lived with revisions after 2000 hours. Based on my experience and that of the people in our area, it seems to be a pretty solid engine. Our personal tractor has around 9700 hours with around 700 hours on the first OH.
The other 2 in my area are around 5-6000 hours old and still working fine.I think maybe people have poor maintenance schedules or were just asking a lot from the 370hp machine. We always work at 1900 rpm and pull a suitable load (35 foot planter) and we have not had any problems.
As they say, if you take care of her, she will take care of you. I’m not saying it was a good design as it’s a bear to work on (cleaning radiator), but I don’t think it’s at all as useless as people make it out to be. I’m just curious if anyone else has had a good experience with this tractor. Thank you and good luck this spring everyone!
I had one that had the original and 5 more engines under warranty before swapping them out for an 8960 and the problems were gone. The engines never got more than 2K hours before the lower end went off or sucked a valve. Ours, like most of us in our area, were pulling Reynold’s scrapers for laser leveling. If any manufacturer wants to know how good 4WD is, just send it to Florida to pull laser scrapers or sugar cane, they’ll tell you real quick. They are all run by hired staff who don’t care because management is in their ass to get’r ‘done ASAP.
Ours long exceeded 2,000 hours, but died at 5,000 something. The cost was 23,000 to get it back up and running. We spent about 10,000 on the Versatile and that could have been done a lot cheaper if we had known then what we know now. I don’t see the “poor maintenance” criticism to be valid ….. I really don’t see how maintenance is going to prevent roller elevator pins from wearing out, or main bearings from wearing out.
I’ve never actually called it a “bad” tractor, but the engine left a lot to be desired in both service life and cost of overhaul. When an engine costs twice as much to service as a Caterpillar, and runs for half the time, it is an excessive cost of ownership.
I also don’t like having to remove the fuel tanks and the front axle to get to the oil pan.