Recently bought my first John Deere, mostly due to friend's recommendations and their always telling me how easy it is to find parts and repair the tractors, not that they ever *need* repair, mind you ;)
I bought a 445, thinking that it should last the rest of my life, since I'm getting up there. I've been pretty disappointed in the lack of dealer support for this tractor, however! They did have a PTO switch, I guess because they sell a ton of them (?), but nothing for the rear 540 PTO, 3-point hitch, etc.. No wiring harnesses that I need for the rear PTO are available anymore. I *have* found a couple of bearings and seals, which was a pleasant surprise, tho.
Now, being an old dirt biker, I've grown up riding Hondas and Suzukis, and the dealers have always told me that the company policy is to make parts available for 25 years and after that it's hit or miss. This always seemed like a reasonable length of time to support something that was quite costly to begin with. I haven't been able to get a number out of John Deere of the years the company will support their products, but knowing that my 445 is a 1994 (24 years old) and I'm seeing posts dating back 10 years in some of the forums, saying how difficult it is to find some of the parts I'm now looking for, I'm thinking John Deere's parts support policy must be a LOT less than 25 years?