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Old 04-20-2009, 10:16 AM   post #1 of 13
smcmillan
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Default Cub Cadet vs John Deere

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and was hoping I could take advantage of the members' experience. I am currently looking at purchasing a zero turn mower for my 1 1/2 acres. I am looking at the Cub Cadet RZT 54 and the John Deere Z425. Does anybody have any recommendations between the two units and/or the manufacturers in general?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:25 AM   post #2 of 13
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

Welcome to MTF. Since I don't own either one I can't supply you with an answer. Enjoy the site.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:02 AM   post #3 of 13
danbike
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

Don't forget to check out the dealer's service department and parts counter. That's most important.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:25 AM   post #4 of 13
Caseguytoo
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

After studying the spec sheets for the two machines, the Deere would be my choice providing my budget would allow for it. There is quite a bit of price spread but to me, there's no question that there is far more value in the Deere than there is in the CC. I guess the old adage that says you get what you pay for, applies here. You could save some money by choosing the Deere with the 48" deck and I would go with that one IF..... the Briggs engine is a Vanguard. For the size of your property, the 48" deck vs the 54" deck shouldn't be a big factor when it comes to seat time.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:57 AM   post #5 of 13
smcmillan
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

Thanks! The price I'm getting from the local dealers has about a $300 price difference (higher for the John Deere). According to the brochure, the Z425 has a 23-HP V-twin John Deere engine but in the specifications at the back it lists the engine as a Briggs and Stratton. The Cub Cadet dealer is a lot closer and has a really good reputation for service. The CC rep pointed out the bigger tires, 25-HP Kawaski engine, rollers on the mowing deck and pivoting front axle providing for a much better cut as the advantages over the John Deere (along with price). Of course he would be biased :-). John Deere obviously has a long history of quality. Any other comments that would help me decide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:13 PM   post #6 of 13
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

The JD engine is the Briggs ELS engine.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:25 PM   post #7 of 13
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

I'm a JD fan, but your choice presents a problem. Its my opinion that the Kawasaki is the better engine, based on personal experience. Service after the sale would be the deciding factor for me personally, especially if the CC dealer is a considerable distance closer.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:44 PM   post #8 of 13
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

I dont own either but Ive worked on BOTH, and the Cub Cadet RZT/Troy Bilt Mustang is the worst mower in the Z mower game right now.

Deck lift failures, Front spindle problems, frame bends aroudn the engine, flimsy controls, and that's the short list.

The thing is so light that making a Zero Degree turn is a lesson in humility. The pumps lack the torque, the tires slip...and the front wheels dont pivot right.

The Deere is better, not my favorite engine, but Id use it regularly over the Cub.

Another manufacturer to consider is Ferris/Simplicity. They make some very nice middle of the line Z-Mowers that are priced right and perform exceptionally well.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:29 PM   post #9 of 13
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

I'm a bigger fan of the Vanguard than I am of the ELS engine. While Kawi engines are excellent power plants, you aren't going to be houriing up this Zed very quickly with a mere 1.5 acres to cut. With proper maintenance (oil/filter changes, tune-ups and setting of the valves) you should easily get ten years out of that engine with no problems.

Check the specs yourself and especially the weight difference. Those extra pounds that the Deere has must come from somewhere. Steel is sold by the pound so you figure it out. Also, Deere actually uses ball bearing races in areas where MTD's CC uses ten cent nylon bushings.

Personally, I'd much rather gamble on the ELS in the Deere giving me trouble-free operation over the next ten years than I would on all the other components that make up the CC with the Kawi engine.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:58 PM   post #10 of 13
Caseguytoo
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan View Post
Thanks! The price I'm getting from the local dealers has about a $300 price difference (higher for the John Deere). According to the brochure, the Z425 has a 23-HP V-twin John Deere engine but in the specifications at the back it lists the engine as a Briggs and Stratton. The Cub Cadet dealer is a lot closer and has a really good reputation for service. The CC rep pointed out the bigger tires, 25-HP Kawaski engine, rollers on the mowing deck and pivoting front axle providing for a much better cut as the advantages over the John Deere (along with price). Of course he would be biased :-). John Deere obviously has a long history of quality. Any other comments that would help me decide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys.
According to the specs posted on the web, the CC uses 13" x 5" - 6" front rubber and 20" x 10" - 8" rears vs the Deere's 22x9.50-10 rears and 13x5.0-6 fronts. I'm just a noob here but the way I see it, the Deere's rear rim size is 10" diameter instead of 8" for the CC. Now the 1/2" difference across the tread doesn't trump the two inch increase in diameter in my books because bigger rim diameters also bring better ride.

The Deere weighs in at 645 to the CC's 557 or 88 pounds more.

The CC uses dual Hydro-Gear transmissions. Presumably, these are integrated units. The Deere uses individual Parker wheel motors and separate Kanzaki hydro pumps. I'd sooner have separate pumps and motors than a combined pump/motor unit any day. Pumps are something that is running all the time that the engine is running but motors are only running when the tractor is in motion. If a pump gets weak from wear, you just put a new pump in. With a combined unit, you're faced with either replacing or overhauling the entire unit.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:12 PM   post #11 of 13
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

The CC are ingrated units with the pumps built into the drives, both mounted UNDER the frame.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:22 PM   post #12 of 13
blueorrfan
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

For what its worth...
I own a Toro timecutter 1642.
16 hp B&S and a 42" cut obviously.
My 2 acres cuts in just over an hour. A bit small as far as ride quality, maybe too light too. My point is don't judge on deck size. These things cut fast and nice. If you have a damp lawn or any hills...forget it. I'm selling mine and just bought a 318.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:53 PM   post #13 of 13
RED-85-Z51
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Default Re: Cub Cadet vs John Deere

What I hate about these "semi-Z's" is that they cant make a true Zero turn.

Ive found the only way to accomplish a Z turn on a CC Z is to nearly halt forward progress, push the outsude lever forwards, and gradually pull the inside lever backwards until you make your turn.

On lets say a simplicity Champion, you slow down slightly, pull the inside lever back and thrust the outside lever forward and it zips around without damaging your turf.

Try that with a CC Z and you will skid off to the side with the inside wheel turning backwards, ripping up your turf.
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