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Discussion Starter #1
I am needing to move up from my Craftsman LT2000 to a real lawn machine. I only have an acre to mow but would like ground engagements like tiller and blower. The real issue for me is I would like to use it as a "yard mule" twice a year to move my camper into/out of it's storage place. What would the general consensus for a replacement machine? 345's are not too badly priced here, just not sure if it's too small.
 

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Only speaking from experience

425, 445, 455 would be along the lines of what you're looking for. Might be a little overkill for an acre, but who cares?!?

:-D
 

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What I am amazed by is how many machines in my area are being sold without hoods and side panels at pristine prices. I don't understand how JD saw the good in plastic for these panels.
 

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345's came with at least 4 different size decks from a 38" to a 54" and a K70 hydro according to TractorData.com I don't see why you couldn't use one. Don't know how heavy your camper is but if you're talking level, paved driveway I imagine it would work. They weigh about 700# so don't forget your tongue weight. But hey! Bigger is always better! If you can swing a 400 series why not?
 

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Find something thats old and made of steel from the 70s.......JD, Sears, Craftsman, Ford, Jacobsen, Wheel Horse....

Keep your current grass cutter for cutting grass and the older "Garden" tractor for the other stuff.....
 

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If looking at the 3x5 series, look at the GX, specifically 04/05 GX345 (or GX355 if diesel is your thing)... liquid cooled and diff-lock with a K71C, and power lift/steering.
 

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The camper I have now is 1950 lbs dry, I can see needing to move it across grass at some point
That is not a great deal of weight. It's on tires, after all.

I used to move my 3600 lb 18' travel trailer with my MF12H from the front of the driveway to it's winter parking spot on the grass behind the house with no problem.

The tractor did have loaded tires, wheel weights, and 2-link chains for traction, and a FEL to hold the front end down when the 400 lb tongue landed on the 3PH.

An MF12 is a slightly smaller tractor than a JD345, but its base weight is about 75 lb heavier. The transmissions are about equal in capability.
 

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What I am amazed by is how many machines in my area are being sold without hoods and side panels at pristine prices. I don't understand how JD saw the good in plastic for these panels.
Pencil sharpeners. They figured they could save 3 cents per machine and charge $300 more for 'new, advanced, lighter weight designs'. How many other things did they save pennies on that cost customers hundreds? That plastic bit in the engine or transmission?
 

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What I am amazed by is how many machines in my area are being sold without hoods and side panels at pristine prices. I don't understand how JD saw the good in plastic for these panels.
JD hoods and seats are a "profit center". See definition below.

profit center noun
Definition of profit center
: a part of a corporation or its product line that is an important source of profits
 

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I thought the k70 was prone to problems
The K70 final drive gear and the differential gear arrangement has probably the worst design one would ever see that actually made it to production. It was completely redesigned in the K71 and that is the only area that needed upgrading.
 

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Pennies are gigantic savings for a company that makes tens of thousands of units, that's why major producers in the industry have so manny recalls. I'm sure they are making their own hoods and panels, plastic injection molding is cheaper than metal cutting, and stamping. Look at al the "plastics" on automobiles, and motorcycles too.
 

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The thing is that if one takes care of their tractors, then they won’t be replacing those items. Granted, seats wear out over time, but that’s any manufacturer. I don’t feel their cost is too much a burden considering how much use one gets from them. The plastics hold up if one doesn’t hit stuff with them. Metal or plastic, there’s no reason to be smacking into things; that’s not JD’s fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well here's a follow up, found a gx335 that needs a little bit of work for under $1000, will it work for what I am looking to do ?
 

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And welcome to John Deere...
Yes, BUT the older JD's are the stuff, of course the older IH cubs, and MF Hrdro stuff are heavy machines. I hate to say it because I can't stand anything Furd. but their older tractors are tough too.

No matter what your color of choice get an older tractor. The mid 90's to 2000 stuff is junk unless it's the "high end" stuff and you will pay dearly for it.

What is your price range? A JD 318, 330, 332, 445, 455, will do what you need with some wheel weights and a good 3pt hitch. BUT you are looking at some $$$$ yet less than anything newer that will do what you need.

I just fell in love with my "new to me, beat up and abused" JD 332, that bugger is a work horse. If it gets traction it could pull a shed down!

I mow 1.25 acres with my tractors with a 50" deck, and it's awesome to be done so quickly.

Just my .02$ but I'm a JD guy. :tango_face_wink:
 

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I agree that smacking into things is not JD's fault but when you open the hood using the grip handle they installed and it splits the hood that is JD's fault. Also, steel or fiberglass does not become brittle with age like these plastic used on JD's does and they both can be repaired. Plastic cannot be repaired! JD knew exactly what they were doing and are proud of it all the way to the bank. I own an X390 that has never been out in the rain or sun except during use. The seat on it has already developed lines where the splits will be soon. There is no reason a company cannot do better than this.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the feedback, while not at the top of my wish list, I can't tell for sure if I can put a rototiller on this machine.
 
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