Thanks all for your help so far.
cnymowinplowinsailin - Really appreciate the link to the thread! That does help put all things John Deere into a better perspective. Helps also do somewhat of a "quick" comparison when looking through used equipment listings.
tkskagen - Looks like a workhorse! I wouldn't be opposed to finding a good used machine, but I'm not much of a mechanic. What should I look for as far as number of hours on a used machine? For instance, not far from me is a GT235 with 1500 hours on it selling for $2k. Not a manual transmission though. By the way, do you know which of the currently-produced tractors have manual transmissions?
rudedawg - My budget is probably somewhere between $1500 - $2500 realistically. I saw some nice looking Cub Cadets online, and the XT1 GT54 looks like it has a K62 transaxle as well. Is there anything else (besides the transaxle) that I should consider for hillsides? tkskagen mentioned he prefers a manual transmission.
Thanks again for the help!
Hills/Slopes can be an issue. It may even put you out of your price range.
- Some engines do not have pressurized oil systems which can lead to engine failure working on slopes.
- Tractor weight can help. Lighter tractors will slide down hills and may not have enough traction going up a hill if the grass is even damp.
I found my 2010 Husqvarna GTH27V52LS at a local farm implement dealer for $1750 plus tax. I straightened the bumper, repaired steering, replaced battery after two years, and replaced a front wheel that broke. Other than that, just oil, oil filter, gas. Husqvarna is a lower end product, but this is one of their heavier duty machines and I love mowing with it. It cuts fast and clean. I’ve used it 3 or 4 years to help a widow mow 1-3 acres of flat lawn. She constantly gets comments on how nice her lawn looks. It is manual steering, so it steers harder, but not so hard that the 84 year old small widow can’t run it.
I bought a John Deere X360 (old version of X390) on Craigslist. It steers amazingly easy and most of the newer Deere mowers turn very tight allowing you to get into tight places.
I also bought my X738 off Craigslist. The reason I got my X738 was to have a shaft drive snowblower rather than a belt. We get a lot of snow. The weight of the tractor allowed me to mow places I couldn’t before and it wouldn’t slip sideways with the Cyclone Rake filled with damp/wet leaves. I get everything done quicker with it which has allowed me to help elderly neighbors that can’t do for themselves any longer.
Whatever you do, drive/mow with as many as you can. Some are easier to get on and off, some have features that make them much more usable (like the drive over deck makes switching to a blade or tiller or ....). Consider everyone that will use it, even if they don’t now. Find one that is comfortable. Much like me, you may find your budget is too low. You also need to consider how long it needs to work for you. At 70 now, my needs are different and the length of use is diminishing. It’s one of the reasons I opted to spend more last year than I had in the past.
JD 2014 X738; 25.5 hp; HDAP tires; 54” deck auto-connect; hyd. angle quick hitch;
adapted to Cyclone Rake Commander Pro; 54” snowblower; front PTO kit; LP41114 Enclosure; LED lighting; 54” blade; 125# mounted spreader; 10P cart
JD Ztrac 757 60”
Scotts 2002 L17.542 17.5 hp; 42" w/bagger
Sold Husqvarna 2010 GTH27V52LS w/52" fab deck
Craftsman DLT2000, 48”
SIL JD 2009 X360; 22 hp; 48" deck; w/mulch kit; 2015 44" Snowblower & Soft cab; 2x 42# weights,chains; cab mounted LED lighting