Even though they are almost identical in horsepower, there is a huge difference between the John Deere 3032e and 3033r tractors.  This video provides a visual comparison of a John Deere 3032e vs a 3033r tractor.  From loader capacity to the seat options to the transmission, there’s a vast array of differences that justify the price gap.  However, the 3032e is a very capable tractor and an excellent value for someone looking for a basic utility tractor to get the job done.  The 3033r will simply provide many more creature comforts, options, and capacity not found on the less expensive sibling.

One of the first differences that jumps out would be the belly mower which requires a mid PTO.  This option is only available on the 3R Series and can’t be added to the 3E Series of tractors.  Another noticeable difference is that the loader is a fixed mount on the 3E Series versus a quick park loader on the 3R.  Additionally, you’ll find a refined operator’s station on the 3R Series featuring a comfortable suspension seat, tilt steering, cruise control, and a variety of functions designed to help your tractor work better under certain conditions — LoadMatch, SpeedMatch, rollout control, and more.  The 3E Series does come standard with a two range (High/Low) hydrostatic transmission.  The 3R is offered with a PowrReverser transmission as the base option and you can upgrade to a three range eHydro transmission for a little over $1,000 depending on your local dealer.

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An often overlooked difference is that the 3E Series frame is not strong enough to handle a backhoe and there isn’t one offered by John Deere.  You will need to consider the 3R Series of tractors if you are looking to add a backhoe at some point down the road.  Additionally, you’ll need to add Power Beyond hydraulics as no rear hydraulics are standard on either tractor.

Loader capacity is significantly different with the 3E Series of tractors lifting approximately 1,200 pounds to 84″ high at the pin while the H165 loader on the 3R Series will lift almost 1,600 pounds to 102″ at the pin.  This is a very significant difference both in lifting weight and lifting height and should weigh heavily into your decision.  There is also a huge difference in 3-point lifting capacity at 24″ beyond the end of the arms.  The 3E will raise around 1,350 pounds while the 3R will raise about 2,200 pounds!

The list of differences goes on and on, but this gives you an idea of just how different two different 3 Series tractors can be.  There is a wide price gap and depending on your needs, you may be able to save a bundle and stick with a 3E which is offered as a 3025E, 3032E, and 3038E.  The Cadillac of 3 Series tractors is the 3046R and you can also find 3033R and 3039R variants.  Hope this helps shed some light on the differences and good luck on your search!