It's funny, because I first reviewed this Ground Force Electric Tractor over 12 months ago because it was on the best-seller lists for kids electric ride-on toy vehicles.
For sure, I thought this kids electric tractor is a classic that will be around for a while. Well I'm pleased to say that once again it's on this years's best-seller lists and in particular that it's a top holiday gift purchase!
This Peg Perego John Deere ground force electric tractor really is the daddy of (i.e. best) kids electric 12v powered tractors. it is an excellent replica of the real thing and this is the opinion of a farmer's son who rode it around the farm just like his dad for 3 years!
If you are after more of a farm utility vehicle than a tractor then Peg Perego XUV 550 Gator may be more what you are looking for.
One of the cooler touches that make this tractor feel real to kids is the flip up arm rests which are a nice detail that children like. also probably the best part is the FM radio. having the radio on just like his dad did while driving a tractor made my friends kid feel like a real farmer hard at work.
This particular kids electric John Deere tractor comes with a trailer that they call 'stake-side' which means that it has replica wooden stakes making up the sides and back of the trailer instead of solid trailer walls. Again, this feature feels very farm-like and it's easy to see what's been put inside the trailer without the solid walls.
Being able to see what his son had put in the trailer was important
to my farmer friend as his son would put cats in it and take them for a long ride around the farm yard (they had quite a number of cats living on this farm). This was not ideal as these cats were only semi-domesticated and did not particularly like being made to stay put inside the trailer so could scratch when protesting about being carried and placed in the trailer for another ride!
Anyway, lets's look in more detail at the features of this great tractor ride-on:
The steering of the John Deere Ground Force electric tractor is pretty accurate and fairly true to the real thing. My friends son was very familiar with real John Deere' having grown up on the farm and would not be fooled by a poor imitation. He really believed that this ride-on electric powered tractor was the real deal. what helped his perception of reality was the 1st and 2nd gears and also the reverse gear.
What real tractor only has one gear and no reverse? You can't fool a farmers kid in this regard and he quickly learned to steer while reversing exactly like his dad did. In fact the kid knew that reversing was a very important function of tractor work. Backing up to trailers, and tipping out the contents or backing up to things to collect them and place them in the trailer were all part of the daily fun this kid had on his electric tractor!
The wheels are molded plastic and hard so this means on a muddy surface in 2nd gear there is some wheel-slip which can prevent forward motion. this is not a bad thing as it teaches the child that it is not possible to drive on all surfaces. That goes for real tractors too which might get stuck in the mud!
However, this wheel slip did not occur in1st gear
so it makes sense not to go too fast on the tractor when it's too wet or on a dry gravel surface. Much of Phil's farm where his son would ride around is fairly flat and it's covered with loose gravel in the yard so they got used to how the tractor handled on this surface.
The rims are fixed onto the moulded tire in one piece and as they are hollow they can be quite noisy on a hard gravel surface. However, both Phil and his son found the noise to be an advantage. The kid loved the noise and Phil always knew where the boy was because of the noise. If you live in a very quiet area then this might not be for you as the motor is a bit noisy as well and your neighbours may not like that if they are close by.
We can call my friend 'Farmer Phil' to protect his anonymity
Foot Accelerator Detail
for the purpose of this tractor review (that's not really fair as Phil is his real name!). Anyhow, Farmer Phil did have some comments to make about the build and quality of the tractor so I'll list some of his pro' s and cons here:
- Only takes about an hour to construct
- Battery life very good before recharging needed - up to 3 hours
- Excellent replica of real thing
- Spare parts are available for the wheels and other main parts
- Great for smaller kids aged 2-6 years old only
- Electric tractor range from Peg Perego all seem to be very high quality
- Electric motors are powerful, 2 speed and reverse with a lock on the 2nd gear for safety as it can be quite fast
- Best when used on flat ground, can tip backwards when driving up an incline
- Does need some construction out of the box, so if that's not your thing ask a friend to build it
- Wheels can get cracked and wear with heavy use over a long period, but spares are easily available
- It's well worth buying a spare battery for a full day of constant play
- Electric tractors are very expensive, but can last for years and are very strong
- 18 hours first charge of battery - take care to follow instructions for long life
- Child will outgrow this tractor by age if 6/7 if tall
Trailer Detail Is Nice And It's Sturdy
We're giving this Peg Perego John Deere Ground Force a 4 Star rating, and here's why:
Farmer Phil has 2 sons and this John Deer ride-on will certainly be passed on to the younger son once the elder has grown out of it. He reckons that once the boy is around 6 years old he'll be a little to big for it.
He's a tall kid though, so a smaller child should be good up to the age of 7 or so
with this Ground Force model. It is worth noting that this was a Christmas Holiday gift for the boy at the age of three and at that time it was oversized. However, that just made the impact of receiving the tractor gift all the more exciting.
This was a great big, real looking powered tractor that the 3 year old son could not keep his hands off. It was a hit right away and he has ridden it every day for the past year and a half. All of the things that have gone wrong with the tractor are in the cons part of Farmer Phil's list.
Small things like the bonnet/hood is a bit flimsy and comes off easily when you have to charge or replace the battery. It will also come off if his boy crashes head-on into a wall or something like that but perhaps that is by design and in any case it's easily snapped back on again.
Ground Force 12v Tractor With Trailer Product Manual
If you want to take a look at the manual before you buy you can download it in PDF format here:
Detail Picture Of The Gear Shift
As Farmer Phil pointed out, the fixings on the hood have not broken so it's fine to put it back on each time. He also mentioned that the front grill can come off a lot if not snapped on correctly. Once Phil hot the knack of snapping the grill in place everything was fine.
If you want to browse our reviees of other Kids Electric Vehicles then be my guest. Otherwise, go ahead and buy one of these great John Deere kids electric tractors from Peg Perego, your child will love you forever and as you can see in the video - you will not be disappointed!