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post #1 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Question Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Have just bought a house with 3+ acres & need a mower. I lke the JDs but dont like that the HSTs are mostly not user serviceable.( the tractors from the 80s/90s were)
After much research I have found that LTs that have the k72 trans axle & power steering are still user serviceable.(YaHoo)
I live in upstate NY growing zone 4b/3a it gets to about -20f here in the winter. It is not my plan to mount a snow blower or blade on the LT
I am getting a 2 stage 26/27” snow blower with chains recomendations wanted.
The LT will be stored in a unheated garage ( my 1 ton diesel dually which doesn’t fit into the garage (too tall) will be stored outside & plugged-in

Here are my choices for used from the JD dealer
* 2011 X740 348hrs $5900. 54” mid mount deck
* 2012 X540 339hrs $3900. W/ wheel weights + 48” deck + grill guard
* 2013 X540 890hrs $3400. 48” deck

Here’s the question buy new & get the warranty pay thousands more and quality seems to lessen each year as they find ways to make the machines look better but made cheaper. Or save money and get more bang for your buck and buy used?
alright all you experts what do you think.......
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post #2 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 07:30 PM
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With that much land you will want the bigger deck and you can also put a loader on it later. Id get the big one

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post #3 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 07:40 PM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

I haven't owned either of those tractors, FYI.. However, as you said, older Deere's have better quality than today's - IMO. I'd also go with the biggest size you can get. My vote is the 740 or the 2012 X540. Mind you, I have no factual info as to why I justify this except why not...I think a warranty is pretty useless. The tractors will last outside of the warranty and aside from catastrophic failure, things are replaceable/repairable for a reasonable price.
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post #4 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 07:51 PM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

I disagree on the quality statement when you compare apples to apples. You can argue whether or not JD should do lower end machines but that is a different discussion. The only reason I bought a 15 yo machine is I am too cheap to buy new and want the good stuff. Since its your money, by definition my vote is the X740 but I would wait for one with the 5 ft deck unless you are a cut quality snob. However there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of the X540s for your purpose if you value saving the money over the cut time. I'd also look at zero turns if all you are going to do with it is knock down grass. Good luck.

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post #5 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Ur right at my last house Ihad a1/3 size diesel CUT cant do that much work, health issues turn 70 next month whar a long strange trip its been i would not change anything. Changes are fun you never know where you will end up
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post #6 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 08:34 PM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyork trans View Post
Have just bought a house with 3+ acres & need a mower. I lke the JDs but dont like that the HSTs are mostly not user serviceable.( the tractors from the 80s/90s were)
After much research I have found that LTs that have the k72 trans axle & power steering are still user serviceable.(YaHoo)
I live in upstate NY growing zone 4b/3a it gets to about -20f here in the winter. It is not my plan to mount a snow blower or blade on the LT
I am getting a 2 stage 26/27” snow blower with chains recomendations wanted.
The LT will be stored in a unheated garage ( my 1 ton diesel dually which doesn’t fit into the garage (too tall) will be stored outside & plugged-in

Here are my choices for used from the JD dealer
* 2011 X740 348hrs $5900. 54” mid mount deck
* 2012 X540 339hrs $3900. W/ wheel weights + 48” deck + grill guard
* 2013 X540 890hrs $3400. 48” deck

Here’s the question buy new & get the warranty pay thousands more and quality seems to lessen each year as they find ways to make the machines look better but made cheaper. Or save money and get more bang for your buck and buy used?
alright all you experts what do you think.......
AFAIC, the X740 is the only choice. If you had the option, I'd say X748 for the 4WD. Either way, you'll never regret the diesel.

If the machines have been properly maintained and cared for, warranty shouldn't be an issue. Mine (X748) is 6 years and 750 hours out of warranty, just had the first issue, and it seems to be a relatively minor one so far.

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post #7 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 09:30 PM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Might want to consider a zero turn for just mowing, it will save you alot of time.

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post #8 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 10:05 PM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

I'm in mid-Michigan, so I am almost the same weather conditions as you.

The X740 would be the way to go out of the 3 choices, definitely not the LT-type units as the are just lawn tractors. Not saying anything is wrong with the X540, I have a 2010 X530 (w/400 hours) and a 54" deck and it takes me 2 to 2.5 hours to mow my 3 acres. You do not want to be doing it with a 48" deck! I sometimes wish I had a 60" deck, but I don't have a totally flat yard and have a ditch and pine trees on a mound running the front end of my property and a larger deck would be tough to mow that area. As it is I notice a bend in the two hanger mounts on the deck from it leaning to the left side as I mow the ditch. But that is my yard.

I have the 47" snowblower on mine, it makes quick work of my 200' cement driveway and turnarounds. I tried running just the 4 suitcase weights on it with chains, but last year went with 50# rear tire weights and 2 suitcase weights and chains. That worked very well and I think I only got partially stuck once when I went too far off the driveway down by the road and had the machine pointed slightly downhill. It's a snow eating machine, much better than the 2-stage walk behind I brought with me from the city. I like clearing snow now.

For the cost part, I can't say if those are fair prices or not. I paid $5400 for my 2010 X530 four years ago with 200 hours, and it came with the 47" snowblower and tire chains, spreader, and aerator. I have no regrets on buying used, it was the only affordable option after buying the house. I tried mowing with the LT166/48" my dad loaned me (so he could buy a new X300 series) and it was taking me over 3 hours with the pedal mashed to the floorboard as much as I could. I did that a couple of times and knew I needed to go up in machine class and I found the X530. Good thing, the LT died soon afterwards when it went to my uncle's place.

Sometimes I wish I had an X700 class, I've read they do have a little better cut quality than the X500 series. I dream of having the CUT series, but even used they are way out of my price range.

Hope I have been of some help in your decision.

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post #9 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 01:20 AM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyork trans View Post
Here’s the question buy new & get the warranty pay thousands more and quality seems to lessen each year as they find ways to make the machines look better but made cheaper. Or save money and get more bang for your buck and buy used?
alright all you experts what do you think.......
Ha, well it sounds like a loaded question. Loaded in the sense that you've already made up your mind to buy used so you can '... save money and get more bang for your buck...'. Not a bad plan I guess. I'm pretty happy with my 2013 X540. I've really only had to do basic maintenance on it so far. I'd go for the lower hours and throw the X540 with over 800 hours off your list.

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post #10 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 01:26 AM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Again it all depends on what and how high the stuff being cut is. Something that is kept mowed every week is easier on a machine the that which is cut once a month.

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post #11 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 06:37 AM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

I have 3+ acres I cut weekly and for years used a 332 with 50" deck. Worked great and still have it.

Last year I bought a X585 with 54" deck and it is even better. It is low hour and great shape and a fraction of the cost of new.
I think the 54" deck is plenty. I can mow fast but still navigate tress and other tighter areas. Also works well no scalping on the uneven areas.
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post #12 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 06:54 AM
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For 3 acres 3+ no way would I even consider an x540. It should be in the same category as the “throw away mowers”. I’ve got one in the shop now that I just fixed for a guy with 800 hrs on it. And he is very particular about his stuff and this mower looks like a slob owned it, wore out in every aspect. I know some guys love their x540 and if mine wasn’t free there would be no way I would even have one. I’ll take my 25yr old 4x5 mowers over them anyday. So my vote would be the 740 for sure
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post #13 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 07:56 AM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Are you set on JD? If not, check out a Simplicity Prestige, or, if you want a diesel, the Legacy XL. Much better cut quality IMHO.

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post #14 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 08:46 AM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

I agree with the guys who are promoting a Zero Turn. My neighbour mows his 5 acre yard in just over 2.5 hours with a Z445 / 54 inch deck while it takes me 5-6 hours on my 430 / 60 for approx the same size yard.
A Zturn that has a 60 inch available but with a 54 will out cut a tractor mounted mower all day long. It is usually easier to service. Rides better as you are sitting in the middle of the machine. If newer, parts are usually more readily available. Can cut around obstacles quicker and closer in 1 pass. With a 54 deck it will not choke on the longer grass if you cannot cut your grass due to weather / holidays and it gets a little longer than normal. You will be able to stand and look over the fence with beverage in hand while your neighbour is still mowing.
Unless your yard has a lot of hills. Zturn does not like steep angles.
4wd tractor just has more moving parts that are not necessary for cutting grass and tend to weigh more which is not ideal for the grass.
Then find yourself a good used older tractor for everything else you wanna do.
Hope you enjoy your new acreage as much as we do.
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post #15 of 43 Old 08-07-2019, 08:58 AM
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Re: Lawn tractor fo 3+ acres

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyork trans View Post
Have just bought a house with 3+ acres & need a mower. I lke the JDs but dont like that the HSTs are mostly not user serviceable.( the tractors from the 80s/90s were)
After much research I have found that LTs that have the k72 trans axle & power steering are still user serviceable.(YaHoo)
You do have to be careful when looking at the specs to see which JD tractors have a trans that's user-serviceable (in other words, fluid can be changed without removing the trans from the tractor). There are models as low as the X300-series that do have the serviceable trans. Usually power steering is a good indicator of that, but still check the user manual on JD's Web site to be sure that there's a process for changing the fluid on the tractor you're interested in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyork trans View Post
Here’s the question buy new & get the warranty pay thousands more and quality seems to lessen each year as they find ways to make the machines look better but made cheaper. Or save money and get more bang for your buck and buy used?
alright all you experts what do you think.......
Just about everyone here will tell you that used is the way to go. I'm not going to debate that. I'm just going to make the point that they do still make some models "like they used to". The thing is, the models that are discussed around here as the "good ones" are equivalent to today's high-end X500-series or more likely the X700-series. You have to pay a lot of money for a new tractor that's going to have the capability you need and stand the test of time. Many people get themselves into trouble when they think a $2,000 tractor is the same as an X700 because they kind of look alike. Of course that's not true. Bottom line, there's nothing wrong with buying new if that's what you want and have the means to do so. Just make sure you're buying enough new tractor that's truly suited for your needs and is not being limited by a certain price range.

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