Tractors Wars 3. Branson vs. John Deere


Welcome to part 3 of our on-going series called Tractor Wars* where we have been conducting side by side comparison testing of the most popular compact tractors available today.

For this segment we’ve chosen the popular John Deere 3038e and a Branson 3515h. Lets break down our results.

Branson 3515h                                                                              John Deere 3038e


Engine                      Branson 35hp 3 cylinder                     Yanmar 37.3hp 3 cylinder

Weight w/loader    4015 lbs.                                                   2967 lbs.

PTO H.P.                   30 h.p.                                                      30 h.p.

PTO Speed                540/540e                                                540

Transmission         3 Range HST                                          2 Range HST

3 PT.  Hitch              2420 lbs. @ 24″                                   1356 lbs. @ 24″

Hydraulics              Dual pump 13.4 GPM                           Dual pump 9.3 GPM

Front Axle                  4wd no-drag link                             4wd with drag link

Steering                     Power non-tilt                                  Power non-tilt

seat                           Deluxe Suspension                             Pan/ Coil Spring

Loader                     Q.A. with Subframe                         NO Q.A. NO Subframe

Loader Capacity    2090 lbs. 8.5′                                       1190 lbs. 7′

Q.A. Bucket            YES                                                       Yes

Warranty                 4 yr. Standard                                  6 yr. Standard


At first glance both machines have nice fit & finish. Upon closer inspection, the John Deere 3038e has a lot of plastic and an aluminum transmission housing. The Branson 3515h, although not as heavy as its big brother 3520, has steel body panels and cast iron transmission housings. We find the low mount fuel tank on the Branson much more operator friendly than the top, hood mount 3038E. John Deere touts the smaller size of the 3038e as an advantage to getting into tight spaces. The 3 range HST on the 3515H is definitely a nice feature that gives you more speed options to suite your needs versus the 3038E 2 range HST. Both machines have attractive knobs, floor mats, switches and pedals.


There really wasn’t much of a match up here. Both tractors started easily every time. Steering was slightly limited on the 3038e by the smaller GPM and drag link type system. Lift was considerably more capable on the Branson. The biggest advantage we could see with the John Deere is if you have to haul it on a regular basis, The smaller, lighter 3038e can be transported easier. Other than that, the 3515h won every challenge.


The Dealer quoted the 3038E we tested at $27,263 as equipped with Loader and accessories. There is an offer right now for 0% for 60 months OR 1.9% APR for 72 months with approved credit, plus a $1250 discount.

The Branson 3515H equipped with Loader and accessories is $24,500 with an offer of 0% APR for 72 mos. with approved credit. OR  an instant discount of $5,000 with standard rate 5.99 % APR and approved credit.

We took note that the John Deere 3038e included a 72 month standard warranty. The Branson 3515H has an available 84 month extended warranty available for $700. When comparing at 0% apr financed price, the 2 tractors are nearly the same price. But It gives the Branson the advantage of an extra year of warranty and financing.

Until next time…Thanks!

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