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Deere Owner
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've owned 318 tractors for years, and have used them to plow snow with the 54" blade and blow snow with the Model 49 snowblower. Last year I purchased an X729 and 47 inch snowblower. So here's my comparison of both, realizing that we are talking about tractors of different generations.
The 318 has been a rock solid performer for years. With bar tires and a weight box filled with approximately 300 pounds of steel it climbs the slight incline of a driveway easily but icy conditions will cause some slippage. The high RPMs of the blower demand that it be filled with snow to be most effective. Throwing distance with the short chute blower is OK with dry snow but short with wet and heavy snow. The depth of snow able to be plowed is limited and it becomes a chore beyond 12 inches deep because of the lack of four wheel drive. In moderate snow conditions, I can motor along at full throttle and about 1/2 to 3/4 speed. The PTO stays engaged and the blower runs with the tractor moving both forward and reverse. The headlights are marginal in providing light at night.
The X729 with HDAP tires, six JD suitcase weights for rear ballast and the Model 47 two-stage snowblower climbs inclines without skipping a beat and the weight of the snowblower hardly seems noticable while moving. The four wheel drive eases traveling through heavy snow. The two stage snowblower eats through heavy snow and tosses it quite a distance under most conditions compared to the Model 49. An inconvenience is the Reverse Implement Operation (RIO) "feature" of these tractors which requires the operator to engage the RIO each time you back up, otherwise the PTO shuts off and has to be re-engaged. The tractor does not seem to be able to run at a high rate of speed while blowing snow. The headlights are bright but I can see why JD offers auxiliary lights that are higher than the blower to provide unobstructed forward illumination. The all-wheel steering works well for tight spaces but this offers no advantage if the areas to be cleared are wide and straight.
As expected, the X729 has more power and the 47 snowblower can manage heavy snow and toss it further out of the way. It drives easily and doesn't lug at all in most conditions. The X729 is more inconvenient to operate if you have a lot of backing to do. The 318 represents an earlier technology and is adequate for most conditions, recognizing its limitations in not being a heavier tractor with four-wheel drive. When considering the price and availability of a major accesory such as a cab, the 318 has a clear advantage in price, where used cabs in good condtion can be still be found and bought for several hundred dollars, whereas the cabs for the X700 Series cost thousands new, with few used ones available for sale. Either tractor will do the job. Maybe a suitable comparison would be driving a 1955 Chevy pickup (318) versus a new Silverado (X729).
 

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Super Moderator
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39,309 Posts
Well I was good with your comparison until you did the Chevy comparison! I would say closer to a 1992 Dodge Ramcharger LE vs. 2006 Dodge Durango Limited! :ROF
 

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Registered
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3,953 Posts
sounds about right to me.

but new is always nice and AWD is a nice feature in all seasons...

and while I agree about the price of a new cab vs a old cab for a 318, if $$$ not an issue the new hard cab on the x7 sure sems real nice!

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