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I have a '99 455 that has been a fantastic tractor. I use it for snowblowing using a 47 blower, occasional use with my model 40 loader and mainly for mowing my 3 acre yard with the 60" deck. My only complaint with the machine is that the mower deck clogs up too fast and does not meet my expectations to keep the yard looking nice. Will the 7 Iron 60" deck perform better for my situation for those that have experience with them? I'd like to put a 7 Iron on my 455 buy I understand that is a no go.

How would a x740 with a 7 Iron 60" compare to my current setup and if I decided to trade would you think I would be happy with a the change?

Thanks
 

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Well, it doesn't really get any better than a 7 iron deck for this size/series of tractor in the Deere world. I've mowed hundreds of acres with a 455/60" combo and at least a hundred with the x7/7. The x7 with a 7 iron does a better job on everything (pretty good back-to-back comparison on the same properties). The deeper the grass, the more the 7 iron shines due to its increased depth/capacity. These 7 iron decks also stay extremely clean underneath (which helps to keep the air flow the way it should be) where the 60" deck on a 455 has a bad habit of caking up (which doesn't help the cutting performance). I don't think you can go wrong. If you can, find one of the 2nd generation 7 iron decks. :fing32:
 

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Well, it doesn't really get any better than a 7 iron deck for this size/series of tractor in the Deere world. I've mowed hundreds of acres with a 455/60" combo and at least a hundred with the x7/7. The x7 with a 7 iron does a better job on everything (pretty good back-to-back comparison on the same properties). The deeper the grass, the more the 7 iron shines due to its increased depth/capacity. These 7 iron decks also stay extremely clean underneath (which helps to keep the air flow the way it should be) where the 60" deck on a 455 has a bad habit of caking up (which doesn't help the cutting performance). I don't think you can go wrong. If you can, find one of the 2nd generation 7 iron decks. :fing32:
Thanks for your input. Any idea when the 2nd Gen 7 Iron decks went into production or how to determine the difference? I was not aware they had changes made to them.

My 60" cakes up real bad and I'm getting tired of cleaning it out every time....
 

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Thanks for your input. Any idea when the 2nd Gen 7 Iron decks went into production or how to determine the difference? I was not aware they had changes made to them.

My 60" cakes up real bad and I'm getting tired of cleaning it out every time....
Here's links to the sales manuals so you can see the differences in the pictures and read about the details...

First generation: http://salesmanual.deere.com/sales/...achments/sku22260_60-in_7iron_mower_x700.html

Second generation: http://salesmanual.deere.com/sales/...tachments/sku23646_60in_7iron_mower_x700.html

The gauge wheels were improved dramatically on the 2nd generation deck. I'm not 100% sure on the switchover time or serial number, but I believe it was at the start of '11.
 

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Thanks for your input. Any idea when the 2nd Gen 7 Iron decks went into production or how to determine the difference? I was not aware they had changes made to them.

My 60" cakes up real bad and I'm getting tired of cleaning it out every time....
Why not look for a 54" deck then? I realize its a tad bit smaller, but I've never had caking issue son my 54" deck, even when mowing 3 foot field grass. On my manicured part of the yard....it leaves a nice cut. Truth be told, I prefer smaller decks as the finish cut is better in my opinion. I have zero experience with the 7 iron so I cant comment on it, but I do hear its the cats meow...

Nick
 

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Are you thinking about a new one or a used one? The new auto connect would be a nice feature too.
 

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I just made the switch. My 455-54 packs up, stripes, etc. Now MY new rig is not here yet, but Ma's is and I went through it and tested it here. These are x750 machines with the 60HC deck, but close enough to the 740-7I.

I find that the x7's feel literally huge in comparison. The engine vibration is much less, steering turns equally in both directions, and the deck is flat out awesome. If they had this type of deck for my beloved 455 I'd really have no reason to upgrade tractors, but these new decks are huge and there's no way they would fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the input provided by all. A new machine is not in the budget.... I'm thinking used for sure and I'm still not quite sure I can convince myself to trade tractors just over the miscomings of the mower deck but I will keep my eye on the used lots to see if something comes up to change my mind!
 

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You could try a set of Gator blades once and see how that works. I tried a couple types before finding one that worked fairly decent. The ones for my deck were the Gator Mulcher Hi-Lift 96-306. In your case it looks like 396-734 Gator Mulcher




The later decks (54 and 62) added a quite a bit of blade overlap that helped the cut a lot. I would see what your local dealer has and DEMO it. I told myself after buying my 455 new outright no demo that I would never do it again w/o a demo. I did demo the x7 Ultimate, but did not demo the x7 Signature that I bought. The 7 Ultimates had a much better cut than my old 54, but cannot match the 7 iron. If you can find a good used one with the 7I this is what I would recommend. Try Tractor House etc to se what you can find for prices.

Lots of good used ones in IL and IA from what I have seen. Many are priced more than you can buy brand new though. New should be around $9500 with current programs. Many low hours one year old units that came from the employee discount program.

https://www.tractorhouse.com/list/list.aspx?ETID=1&catid=1107&Manu=JOHN+DEERE&Mdltxt=X740&mdlx=exact
 

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Blade overlap musings:





Old 54" uses 3 blades at 18.625" long for 55.875" total or .9375" overlap

Old 60 uses 3 blades at 20.5" long for 61.5" total or .75" overlap

New 54" uses 3 blades at 18.875" long 56.625" total or 1.3125" overlap

7 iron 60" uses 3 blades at 21" long or 63" total for 1.5" overlap (1.57" published spec)
 

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So it had been raining for a couple of days and my lawn was already overgrown. Knowing I could not mow the rest of the weekend I reluctantly pulled out the x748 after I came home from work and began to mow my lawn with a misty rain coming down. Hanging on my machine is a 7iron and all I can say is that I made the right decision to pay the extra money and go with the 60d. Clippings were being blown evenly 10+ft with absolutely no clumping. After the job was done I inspected the underside of the deck and in all honesty all you could see was steel. No evidence of buildup. The deck performed, just as it should, like a commercial deck. In the past when I would do this with my L120 the clipping were NEVER blown out but rather pooped out in massive clumps followed by the need of a complete clean out of the deck. Hated dealing with that and the main reason I went with the 7iron. Purchasing the deck meant payimg more money, modifying obsticles on my property and enlarging the opening of my shed but if was all so worth it. Am sure the other decks offered perform well but cannot comment on them since I have never used them.

On a side note, my neighbor has the same machine as you (455/60") and although I feel they are both capable machines the x7 with a 7iron is in a league of its own. Can't tell you how many times we've had beers while he was cleaning out his deck. I enjoy drinking and not cleaning and by the looks of it I am going to be doing a lot of drinking over the course of my baby's life.
:trink40:
 

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So it had been raining for a couple of days and my lawn was already overgrown. Knowing I could not mow the rest of the weekend I reluctantly pulled out the x748 after I came home from work and began to mow my lawn with a misty rain coming down. Hanging on my machine is a 7iron and all I can say is that I made the right decision to pay the extra money and go with the 60d. Clippings were being blown evenly 10+ft with absolutely no clumping. After the job was done I inspected the underside of the deck and in all honesty all you could see was steel. No evidence of buildup. The deck performed, just as it should, like a commercial deck. In the past when I would do this with my L120 the clipping were NEVER blown out but rather pooped out in massive clumps followed by the need of a complete clean out of the deck. Hated dealing with that and the main reason I went with the 7iron. Purchasing the deck meant payimg more money, modifying obsticles on my property and enlarging the opening of my shed but if was all so worth it. Am sure the other decks offered perform well but cannot comment on them since I have never used them.

On a side note, my neighbor has the same machine as you (455/60") and although I feel they are both capable machines the x7 with a 7iron is in a league of its own. Can't tell you how many times we've had beers while he was cleaning out his deck. I enjoy drinking and not cleaning and by the looks of it I am going to be doing a lot of drinking over the course of my baby's life.
:trink40:
Thank you for your info. Mowing the grass when it's wet is something that I must do on occasion and my 60" sucks at it. Good to know that the 7I handles it properly.
 

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So it had been raining for a couple of days and my lawn was already overgrown. Knowing I could not mow the rest of the weekend I reluctantly pulled out the x748 after I came home from work and began to mow my lawn with a misty rain coming down. Hanging on my machine is a 7iron and all I can say is that I made the right decision to pay the extra money and go with the 60d. Clippings were being blown evenly 10+ft with absolutely no clumping. After the job was done I inspected the underside of the deck and in all honesty all you could see was steel. No evidence of buildup. The deck performed, just as it should, like a commercial deck. In the past when I would do this with my L120 the clipping were NEVER blown out but rather pooped out in massive clumps followed by the need of a complete clean out of the deck. Hated dealing with that and the main reason I went with the 7iron. Purchasing the deck meant payimg more money, modifying obsticles on my property and enlarging the opening of my shed but if was all so worth it. Am sure the other decks offered perform well but cannot comment on them since I have never used them.

On a side note, my neighbor has the same machine as you (455/60") and although I feel they are both capable machines the x7 with a 7iron is in a league of its own. Can't tell you how many times we've had beers while he was cleaning out his deck. I enjoy drinking and not cleaning and by the looks of it I am going to be doing a lot of drinking over the course of my baby's life.
:trink40:
I have the same setup as Saki and can attest to the the 7-Iron capabilities. When the 7-Iron "spools up" to max rpm, you KNOW it means business and it delivers! Absolutely no clumping and the deck is as clean as a whistle underneath.

I may be a bit biased but the the 60" 7-Iron and the X748SE seems to be an awesome combination.

Roger
 

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I haven't had any problems with the newer 54 Edge deck on my x744. Cuts though thick tall fields without clumping or clogging even when wet. I did demo the 7 iron deck and although it's a great piece of machinery I think just a newer Edge deck will be a nice improvement over your current setup and actually work with your current machine. On the other hand, I can still easily clog up my power flow bagger, so it's not without it's issues.
 
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