John Deere S140 Vs S240: Which Residential Lawn Tractor Is Best For You?

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Choosing a durable and efficient lawn mower for your lawn has gotten much more complicated. There’s an array of options to choose from promising you above and beyond for your money. If you have narrowed down your choices to the S140 and S240, you’re most likely a residential-grade lawn tender with an average yard; perhaps the walk-behind mowers aren’t cutting it anymore and you would rather get the job done quicker, neater, and more comfortably. Either way, you’d need a detailed comparison to bag your deal.

Both the S140 and S240 lawn tractors are residential mowing machines, but they comprise distinct features that elevate user comfort or efficiency to different degrees. In the end, it would depend on your priorities to make the best choice for you.

In this article, we’d be making a crucial comparison of the two models – S140 and S240 – to match you with the correct lawn tractor. Let’s go!

differences and similarities between john deere S140 and S240

A Critical Analysis: John Deere S140 Vs S240

The best way to choose a lawn tractor from two tight options is to completely assess its features, single out its major differences, and select the one that answers your request best. Throw every desire for aesthetics out the window; after a few sunny weeks, you’d be more interested in how fast you can get out of the sun and how neat the results are, trust me.

Quick Facts:

22 Horsepower engine24.5 Horsepower engine
K46 automatic gear transmissionHydrostatic transmission with hydraulic pumps
Speed of 5.5 mph forward and 3.2 reverseSpeed of 6.5 mph forward and 3.5mph reverse
48-inch cutting deck only48 and 42-inch cutting deck
Rear-wheel drive with 20×8-8 rear tires and 15×6-6 front tiresAll-wheel drive with 20×10-8 rear tires and 15×6-6 front tires
High back seat with ergonomic steering wheel and user-comfy pedalHigh back seat with armrests, deluxe steering wheel, and cruise control pedal
Costs $3,000 – $3,500Costs $3,500 – $4,000
Has a two-year or 120-hour limited warrantyHas a two-year or 120-hour limited warranty

A Battle Of Power

Power is one of the crucial aspects of a mowing machine. How much work your lawn tractor can carry without wheezing and fainting depends on how much horsepower it has.

The S140 is equipped with a 22-horsepower engine that is suitable for basic residential use. It can carry out menial tasks on the lawn like moderate hauling and towing. According to the manual, the maximum weight that the JD S140 can pull is 250 pounds. However, I recommend you pull only 200 lbs instead to conserve your mower’s lifespan.

On the other hand, the S240 is paired with a 24.5 horsepower engine that controls more power in comparison to the S140 and can tow twice the amount at 500 pounds. Although it’s safer to tow 450 lbs, you’d still be much more efficient with the S240.

Comparing The Transmission Systems

The transmission system is the route for which power reaches the wheels of the mower. If the transmission is bad, the horsepower becomes meaningless and the machine will simply be too problematic to use.

The S140 is equipped with a K46 automatic transmission that uses gears to operate the speed and smoothness of the transition. Meanwhile, the S240 uses a hydrostatic transmission system to operate. Instead of gears, they use hydraulic fluid to move the wheels of the lawn tractor.

Hydrostatic transmission systems are much smoother to operate than gears. They may be an extra handful to maintain, but the jerkiness and inability of the gears put the hydraulic pumps on a superior platform.

The Speed Analysis

Speed makes the mowing job a lot easier and faster. Nothing like zapping through the yard with the wind smacking your face to make you forget the tediousness of mowing for a moment!

The John Deere S140 runs at a forward speed of 5.5 miles per hour and a reverse speed of 3.2 miles per hour. For an average yard, this would be just fine. Remember that running through the lawn does not mow properly, so the slower you go, the neater the job.

The S240 carries a top speed of 6.5 mph moving forward and 3.5 mph in reverse. This allows you to get the work done much faster and more efficiently. Coupled with the transmission system, you may enjoy a clean cut on the top speed depending on your lawn.

Cutting Deck Size

The cutting deck is determined by how large your yard is or how much space you have to keep it. The good side is, both lawn tractor models have a deck size in common. However, the S140 is equipped with only a 48-inch deck meanwhile the S240 is paired with a 48 to 42-inch deck.

The S240 does offer a much more efficient cut quality and a chance for variety.

Stamina On Slopes

Tire size and wheel drive come into play when traction is involved. While the tires must be wide enough to roll over stubs and grip on slopes properly, the type of drive helps to propel the lawn tractor and sustain its stability during the ordeal.

John Deere S140 has a rear-wheel drive paired with 20×8-8 rear tires and 15×6-6 front tires. Ideally, this size is great for a few tilts and slippery terrain, but it’s not the best for a slanted job. For the S240, you’d get a double-wheel drive on 20×10-8 rear tires and 15×6-6 front tires respectively. The difference in tire size between the S140 and S240 may be insignificant, but the four-wheel drive puts the S240 model at a better chance of providing safety on slopes and slippery terrain.

User Comfort

No one would want a sore back every time they mow the lawn. Even if we mean to zap in and out of the yard, we hope to do so with our spines intact. User comfort allows you to enjoy the mowing experience or at least, be comfortable while having it.

With the John Deere S140, you get a high back seat with an ergonomic steering wheel in addition to a cup holder and a user-friendly pedal. The John Deere S240, on the other hand, features a high back seat with armrests, a cup holder, a deluxe steering wheel, and a control cruise feature that allows the user to maintain speed without pressing down the pedal.

Price Tags

The John Deere S140 goes for about $3,000 – $3,500 while the S240 goes for $3,500 – $4,000. There would be slight differences depending on which dealer you purchase from. Ensure you bargain from a trustworthy trader that you could easily contact when there is a need to use the warranty of your machine.

Warranty Of Machines

The John Deere S140 and S240 come with a two-year or 120-hour limited warranty covering defects, replacement, and workmanship. You must discuss this with your trustworthy dealer because the warranty may differ depending on the area you get the lawn tractor from. You don’t want to be tossed around when you’re in dire need of your warranty because of a simple misunderstanding. Clarity is always welcome when you’re purchasing a lawn tractor.

How To Choose Between The S140 & S240 Lawn Tractors Based On Your Needs

Now, it could get a little overwhelming to make the decision when each model can provide you with different perks. However, you can deduce which one is best for you depending on your current situation. Your mowing requirements set the standard for which model is best for you before any other pleasantries.

The Size Of Your Lawn

The S140 and S240 are residential lawn tractors that can mow 2 – 3 acres at a maximum. However, the S240 will mow more than 1 acre much easier than the S140 will. If you have 1 – 2 acres of a fairly featured yard, you will do well with the S140. Otherwise, the S240 lawn tractor is the best for yards above 2 acres. It will save you the time and effort that you’d have wasted mowing your large yard with the S140 mower.

The Features Of Your Yard

If your yard has a lot of characters – slopes, ditches, obstacles, and bumps – you’d need a tougher transmission to navigate through the struggle. In this case, the S240 with hydrostatic transmission and wider tires is your riding mower. If otherwise, you consider your lawn a fairly dramatic or rather simple plain, then you can save a few bucks and go for the S140.

Ensure that you consider the size of your yard too. Featured or not, you should consider how many acres you seek to mow before you choose your lawn tractor for the job.

The Yard Job At Hand

If you’re planning on carrying out commercial mowing with either the S140 or the S240, chances are your machine will wear out in 5 years. How tedious the job at hand is depends on the size of your yard, features, and other tasks you wish to perform in your yard. If you seek basic-level mowing or towing, the S140 is your machine.

However, if you engage in towing logs and tools across the lawn as well as mowing, you’d be happier with the S240. Remember not to strain your machine to pull more than the required towing weight or it could seriously affect the hydraulic pumps of the mower costing a fortune to repair or replace!


Comfort is highly important, especially for older lawn tenders that enjoy mowing the lawn now and then. If you desire to be more relaxed as you whizz by the lawn on your mower, you should go for the S240 with the armrests and the cruise control feature.

I must warn you, the S140 and S240 are not the most comfortable rides you can get. You’d still experience a few jerks and yanks here and there, but among the two, S240 is more comfortable. This is because the hydrostatic transmission system provides smoother rides in comparison to the gear transmission on the S140.

Frequently Asked Questions About S140 and S240

Will the S240 last longer than the S140?

Technically, the S240 will last longer than the S140 because it’s built with tougher mechanisms in comparison. However, it truly depends on how you use the machine. Each of the models has its limits and passing these limits will wear out the lifespan of the mower.

Can the S140 and S240 mulch grass?

The S140 and S240 can mulch grass to a degree, but I don’t find the results quite satisfying. They’re not powered enough to properly mulch grass. However, to mulch with the S140, you’d have to purchase the mulching kit separately (view on Amazon). Whereas the S240 has a standard mulching kit integrated into the deck.

Do the S140 and S240 require too much maintenance?

The S140 and S240 need only regular machine maintenance to be durable and long-lasting. Nothing fancier than the routine checks, changing oils, cleaning the deck and lubricating the joints, and cleaning the air filter. However, we can say that the S240 requires more maintenance because it has the standard mulching deck feature that may need a little more elbow grease to clean properly.

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EL Mehdi (Medi), the founder and voice behind Desired Lawn Mower. He is a riding mower enthusiast who enjoys spending more time discussing and covering various ride-on mower topics. He has been active in the industry for years comparing models of different ZTR and lawn tractor brands.