First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
John Deere Forum John Deere Garden Tractor talk

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
MTF Junior Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 2
First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Hi All,

I've been reading this (and another) forum for a month or so. We bought our first house at the end of fall, and it came with 2.5 acres of lawn. The back yard is at a relatively moderate incline (maybe 10-15 degrees?) but continues for 50 yards in some places. I've read a bunch of horror stories about the K48 transmission, I don't know how serioulsy to take it, but have been trying to avoid it.

On our property, I'm expecting to mow 1.5 to 2 hours a week (I hope) and maybe plow snow down the road. I have been hoping to find a good used JD for sale, but its been hard for me to figure out the intersection of hours/years/price.

I have a couple options available, all for around $2000, and am wondering if I should go for one of these, or just buy a new x350. (A new, 48 inch, x350 with a mulching blade will cost $3800)

I've found:
  • a 48 inch 2012 X360 with with 400 hours for $2000
  • or a 54 John Deere 345 from 1997 with 800 hours for $1850 (no idea if it has a plastic cam shaft or not)


I know about nothing about engine repair, but would be willing to learn. Otherwise I have every intention on servicing once a year, and monitoring oil.

Any tips for what to do or how much life I could expect out of those mowers?

Thanks for any help
plcon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 09:55 PM
2000 Posts and climbing!!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,241
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Hhhmmmm..... You may want to bump your mowing time up some..... I mow a little over three acres, and it runs me 2.5 to 3 hours, with a scut, with a 72 inch deck...... With my 445, and a 54 inch deck, closer to 4 hours.

Unless you have some obstacles that are close together, I think you are going to want at least a 60" deck......
HeyYou is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 10:18 PM
AKA Moses Lawnagan
 
KHodges's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Newton, NC
Posts: 4,391
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Quote:
Originally Posted by plcon View Post
On our property, I'm expecting to mow 1.5 to 2 hours a week (I hope) and maybe plow snow down the road. I have been hoping to find a good used JD for sale, but its been hard for me to figure out the intersection of hours/years/price.

I have a couple options available, all for around $2000, and am wondering if I should go for one of these, or just buy a new x350. (A new, 48 inch, x350 with a mulching blade will cost $3800)

I've found:
  • or a 54 John Deere 345 from 1997 with 800 hours for $1850 (no idea if it has a plastic cam shaft or not)


I know about nothing about engine repair, but would be willing to learn. Otherwise I have every intention on servicing once a year, and monitoring oil.

Any tips for what to do or how much life I could expect out of those mowers?

Thanks for any help
You're looking in the right direction price/size-wise in the 345. You can take the engine serial number to a Deere dealer, they can look up part numbers and tell if the engine has the plastic cam.

For your budget, a 60" deck will be moderately difficult to find; most machines that can handle a 60" deck will be beyond your budget, and there were lots fewer of them sold, a 54" is about as big as most people go with, unless they have a lot of acreage or a bigger tractor.

I'd look for a 335, GX335, GX345, from the late '90s-early 2000's. 54" deck was the largest for them, but they have the K71 tranny and easily take a snow blower and with a sleeve hitch, gardening implements as well. 20 hp Kawi twins, the GX has power steering, which is nice. $2K will be crowding the budget, you might have to stretch it a bit. It's worth it to buy more machine than you think you need, durability and life span increases, as does ride comfort, which is important when you mow a lot.

Count on spending a bit more time than planned mowing that much grass.

Proud owner of :
'08 JD X748SE, 54C deck
3-pt hitch, rear PTO
Power Flow and MC519 cart
LP RTR0550 rototiller
?? 60" box blade
Simplicity 10" plow adapted to 3-pt hitch
45 Loader
3-point PTO DR wood chipper

'02 JD GT235, 48C deck

'84 JD 318, 50" deck

'86 JD 214, 46" deck

'86 JD 212, 38" deck
KHodges is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 02:08 AM
20,000 Posts & Climbing
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
Posts: 20,755
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

When slopes that steep are involved, a lawn tractor is a poor choice. The transmission is the important factor, and LTs are not noted for having robust transmissions.

Of the tractors that you listed, only the 345 will handle your tasks easily and give a good service life.

Bob

Click for The Hydraulics Forum!

Sometimes you get on a roll, sometimes the roll gets on you.

In Service
MF GC2310, Husqvarna YTH20B42T

Down for Repairs
MF1655 w/ FEL, MF1655, MF12H, MF8H, MF7H
Spending too much time on MTF to work on my toys.
TUDOR is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 08:54 AM
Senior MTF Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Syracuse NY
Posts: 205
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

If the budget is $4K, you should be able to find a decent used JD garden tractor with a bigger deck depending on where you live if you are patient. This would be the 425/445/455 or X475/X485/X495 series. The newer X500 series (as opposed to X575/X585/X595) can be found much newer/lower hour in that price range. Be prepared to move quickly on any of these you find that are low hour in this price range as they go quick.

I'm a diesel fan and would go for something like this but it may be more refurb than you are interested in:

https://binghamton.craigslist.org/gr...860447822.html

JD x595 62c 54" blade with extensions

Soon to be former:
JD x300 42"
JD F1145 72" deck 47" blower Cozy Cab
JD 4410 420 Loader 59" blower Curtis Cab tiller box blade rake

Former:
JD F910 60" deck
Ford 1910 4WD Loader Backhoe
Kubota L245 2WD 72" finish mower 5' front blade
Jacobsen GT14
cnymowinplowinsailin is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 10:16 AM
Likes Vintage JDs
 
UrbanTractor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Husqvarnia
Posts: 9,875
Barn
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Quote:
Originally Posted by plcon View Post
....The back yard is at a relatively moderate incline (maybe 10-15 degrees?)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUDOR View Post
When slopes that steep are involved, a lawn tractor [LT] is a poor choice. The transmission is the important factor, and LTs are not noted for having robust transmissions.

Of the tractors that you listed, only the 345 will handle your tasks easily and give a good service life.

My hunch is the slope angle is incorrect. A slope of 10-15* is a roughly 20-30% grade, which is tremendously steep.

(Humans have an innate tendency to grossly over-estimate slope. To put it in perspective, when we tilt our head back as far as it will go and look "straight up", most of us are not even looking up at a 45* angle. So, not even half way to "straight up." And if we stand at the top edge of a 45* angled slope (roughly 90% grade), it feels like we are standing at the edge of a vertical cliff. Good thing, because if you fall over that edge you will just keep tumbling down unless you snag on something.)

That said, if there are some extensive steep spots out back Tudor is correct that an LT is a poor choice.


.




SOLD: 1966 JD 110 Round Fender Integral Sleeve Hitch, Model 42 Blade,

1972 JD 140 H3, 1972 Cozy Cab Model 14 JDX (2nd Ed.), Front-, Mid-, and Rear-PTOs, Model 54/48" 4-Way Blade, Model 48 MMM, 542 Front PTO, 3-Point-Hitch, Heavy-Hitch, a bunch of Model 80 Carts, MTF Dec. 2013 Machine of the Month

Last edited by UrbanTractor; 04-16-2019 at 10:23 AM.
UrbanTractor is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 10:51 AM
Banker / hobby farmer
 
Stryker7200's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Illinois
Posts: 614
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Definitely stay away from the lawn tractors. I think the x380 has the beefier transmission than the K48 so if you still want to go smaller that may be an option.

However, I have a home on 2.19 acres. I have about 12-15 obstacles I mow around (Trees, garden, LP tank, bushes, etc). I figure I mow about 1.5 acres. It usually takes me about 70 minutes. I use an X485 with a 62 inch mower deck though.

If you are wanting to keep your mowing time under 2 hours on 2.5 acres of lawn, you will want a 60-62" deck. If you go with a 48" or 52" be prepared to spend a more time mowing. Like a lot more time. Smaller decks rule of thumb is going to be about 60-75 minutes/acre depending on how many obstacles you have to go around and if you turn around every pass (stripe mow etc vs just mowing in a giant circle). In your budget I would look for an X475 or X485 with a 62" deck. I think you should be able to pick one up for just under $4,000 in pretty good condition with reasonable hours (Less than 800).

Otherwise like others stated a 345, GX345 etc would be a nice fit, as well as a 425, 445, etc.

Also, you may end up mowing 3 times in 2 weeks in the spring and during wet times over the summer. So adjust your mowing time expectations accordingly.

__________________
JD 2003 X485, JD 54" hydraulic 4-way blade, JD 647 rotary tiller, 2x 50 lb wheel weights, 62" Edge deck.
Stryker7200 is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 11:07 AM
Proud Member of the 1K Club
 
mowergene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East Tennessee Mountains
Posts: 1,767
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

I would say buy more tractor than you think you need. A little larger than you need is so much better than not quite large enough to do the job. With my 12 acres, I'm going to try to stay liquid cooled since it's difficult to cool an air cooled engine with 100* air and heat is a major engine life killer. At a quick glance, your robust tractors will have bolts attaching the rear wheels. If they're not there, move on. Happy hunting!

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
mowergene is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 08:15 PM
Senior MTF Member
 
moze229's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 359
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Between those two machines, the 345 is the way to go. That k71 is an excellent and user serviceable (important) transmission. It may be a little more tractor than you actually need, but it's going to outlast the x360.

The x3 series are ok, and even though they are definitely better than the big box tractors, I'd still reserve them for cutting flat-ish property only.

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

- 2000 GT235
moze229 is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 09:13 PM
Senior MTF Member
 
BillBoost37's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mass
Posts: 718
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Having been a new homeowner at one point myself, what I can tell you is follow what the guys are suggesting. Think you are overbuying and may never use the capabilities of what you buy. You will not ever regret overbuying. I do this with all stuff I call "tools" which can range from a tractor to a ratchet or even a piece of steel wool. Buy it right and you will not regret it.

2010 Deere X540: 54" mowing deck, 44" Snowblower, 7 bushel Power Flow bagger, Halogen headlights, Brush guard, Suitcase weights, LED tail lights, tow behind 25 gallon sprayer.
2013 Craftsman GT6000 - soon to be neighbors
2006 Cub Cadet GT1554 - Clueless buddies
2015 Cub Cadet XT2 - Dad's
BillBoost37 is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 04-16-2019, 10:58 PM
Senior MTF Member
 
Profound Ag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Missouri
Posts: 476
Barn
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

I vote a JD 445 but I'm biased

There is no substitute for hard work- Thomas Edison
Profound Ag is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 09:50 AM
Proud Member of the 1K Club
 
mowergene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East Tennessee Mountains
Posts: 1,767
Thumbs up Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Profound Ag View Post
I vote a JD 445 but I'm biased
Love your screen name (My last name is Agnew). And.......my 445 is a GEM!

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
mowergene is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 12:52 PM
2000 Posts and climbing!!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,241
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Profound Ag View Post
I vote a JD 445 but I'm biased
I absolutely LOVE the instant starts, regardless of weather, the power steering, and the foot controls. Awesome tractor.
HeyYou is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 01:12 PM
Proud Member of the 1K Club
 
mowergene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East Tennessee Mountains
Posts: 1,767
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
I absolutely LOVE the instant starts, regardless of weather, the power steering, and the foot controls. Awesome tractor.
Let's not forget the shaft-driven deck, hydraulic deck lift, diff lock, temp gauge and general feel! No worthless cup holder but a wonderful tool kit.

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
mowergene is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 09:32 PM
Senior MTF Member
 
Profound Ag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Missouri
Posts: 476
Barn
Re: First time home owner needs Lawn Tractor help

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
Love your screen name (My last name is Agnew). And.......my 445 is a GEM!
Its my business name haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
I absolutely LOVE the instant starts, regardless of weather, the power steering, and the foot controls. Awesome tractor.
There isn't much that I don't LOVE about the 445. I think John Deere hit a grand slam with the 4x5 models. Ive run some x5--s and x7--s and I still prefer the overall awesomeness of the 445 hahaha.

There is no substitute for hard work- Thomas Edison
Profound Ag is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lawn rake attachment...down and dirty low budget solution 243 Snapper Forum 7 06-17-2018 01:26 PM
My little John Deere story Wedor John Deere Forum 15 12-09-2017 12:54 PM
John Deere Garden Tractor owners,tell us what inspired you to this brand: 396 big block John Deere Forum 126 05-18-2013 09:57 AM
Log Home vs. Stick Insulation? munderhill My Place 11 02-05-2013 10:46 AM
Late season seat time Talntedmrgreen Simplicity/Allis Chalmers Forum 13 12-12-2012 11:14 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome