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Attn: X300 owners, does the X300 really have problems with hills?

39496 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  JoeZeppy
I recently purchased a new x300. I was very pleased with the build quality of the mower and thought I made a great purchase. I had done some reading on the mower before buying but nothing too extensive. I choose the x300 based mostly because of the 42'' deck. A 48''deck would be just a little too wide to fit on my trailer and I wanted a bagger for it later on down the road and the extra money the bagger and mower would cost just didn't seem worth it. Besides it has an 18.5 horse motor and a Kawasaki at motor at that. After all the 2002 White LT1850 I have had an 18 horse Briggs seemed to be enough power for what I have needed to do with it.

So now that I have joined here and searched some of the old posts I am concerned that perhaps the x300 doesn't have what it takes to haul my 300lb + butt around. What I mow is mostly flat. I mow a few yards in my neighborhood, including my own and about 2 acres at a farm for an elderly woman. The only hills I really have to go up is a bank I mow that is pretty steep and get done in about a dozen up and down passes (with the 46'' deck) there are a few others but I mostly mow those sideways with a bit of butt english (hang a cheap to one side) such as the ditch in front of the farm. There are some gradual inclines other places but nothing I am really worried about.

What I would like to know from you X300 owners, do you feel I am going to have any problems? I figured if the White could do it the JD X300 should have no problems, surely the White isn't more capable on hills than the JD right?
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If your White LT1850 was a hydrostatic, it was either a K46 or a comparable Hydro-Gear. You can probably expect the same load pulling performance from the X300.

Personally, I would mow the hill during the coolest time of the day. Also, mow it first before the rest of the lawn. Overheated transmission oil is usually the culprit in failures. MTF`s resident transaxle specialist, Stladrill, has a link for servicing your K46. Keeping fresh oil in your K46 will increase it`s life considerably.

And of course, you have 4 years of warranty to evaluate things. Good luck.

2011 X300 owner
Well I have around 120 hours on my 2006 X300 and she frequently climbs hills. I have the rear tires filled also. I have yet to touch the hydro and she works very well.
I have a X320 which has the K58. I pull a little grade with no problem. I have read that if you don't abuse the K46 it is a great trans. Did you but the X300 new?
Something you may want to consider, if you take it back before the 30 days and look at the new X310. Power steering and lift. K58 trans and the 42" deck.
I used my tractor all last summer with no problems.
Good luck, and I am sure it will last a life time if not abused.

Traction was one of the reasons I just traded in my x300 to be honest. My traction issues were mostly in the winter trying to blow and drive through cement-like slushy snow. My issues weren't that the x300 couldn't take the load, as I'm not a small human being myself, it was that it only let one wheel have power at a time, and that wheel was usually the one that was on the slippery spot! I have, though on occasion hauled some pretty heavy loads with it without issue and as long as you don't go crazy and expect it to do the work of a bigger tractor, it'll do just fine. The only issue I had while mowing was a ditch in front of my house that I had to be careful how I approached. If I had to stop or slow down on the way up, unless I was facing directly up the slope, the wheel on the upper side would get the traction and spin, sometimes ripping up some grass if I wasn't careful. that was only a big issue when the grass was a little damp. All in all though, my x300 was a little trooper and did most of what I asked it to do without issue these past 6 years but like anything, I was ready to move up to a bigger setup to get rid of the small annoyances, so I ordered a 7 series with 4wd.
One of the reason the K46 gets such a Bad reputation is Because of The L & LA series tractors. The first two years of the L series all of the Hydrostatic transmissions In them were K46's But In the Middle of the 3rd year of Production the K46 was Dropped from the L series I believe when they were Just Labeled the 100 series for a Year or so and Except for the Top two Models & the 190C was a little different it had a K62 trans The K46 was replaced with the T40J which Had really be designed for Rear Engine riders and Not Lawn Tractors and owners Had Problems with the T40J But Most thought they had a K46 in there Tractor and that a Big reason the K46 get so much Flack.

The K46 was used in the Last Year of Production for the Sabre & Scotts By JD Lawn tractors. The K46 was also use in the LT150Hydro model , LT160, LT170, LT180 & LT190 Prior to Being used in the X330, X300R & the 2007 X304 & after. As Stated above if You use the Lawn tractor for it’s Indented Purpose Lawn Mowing snow Removal and Don’t abuse it. It will be Just fine:thThumbsU
I had the X300s for about 46 hrs and only had a slightly leaking transmission seal on the K46, which probably had nothing to with my yard being all on a hill. With an X500 now I have no worries and can play in the snow on my steep driveway (assuming I had any snow to play in this year). Sounds like you are using your X300 as designed, so you shouldn't have to worry. For extra insurance, change the transmission oil (LV HyGard or favorite brand of 5w50) when the warranty is up.
I had an 03' L130 (48" deck) with the K46. Used it on a large church yard which was 3 hrs. straight mowing, plus my own 2.5 acres which includes a fairly steep grade. I also pulled a 1200lb. roller for a couple seasons in spring. At around 500 hrs. the trans was weak but kept mowing another couple years. last year I did the rebuild job on the K46 that was explained by Stladrill. An excellant post. I sold it with 780 hrs. on it this past winter. Trans was weak in rev. but had decent torque forward. To say the least I feel I abused it.
the only problem with x3xx is owners buying an x3 when they really needed an x5 or an x7... $$$$ has a way of doing that :)

if you use it as deere intended you will get years of trouble free service!
Sounds like I don't have too much to worry about. Ordered the X300 last year and bought it in December. It has been sitting in the garage for over 30 days already (only 1 or 2 hours on it). I didn't think about the 30 day return policy when I bought it. I think the X300 should serve me well for what I intend to use it for. I do plan to trade in several years so if I need to upgrade at that time I will.
You hit the nail on the head! My X300 lasted 85hrs before the trans gave out but I was using it for more than mowing for an hour at a time.
the only problem with x3xx is owners buying an x3 when they really needed an x5 or an x7... $$$$ has a way of doing that :)

if you use it as deere intended you will get years of trouble free service!
It's not an X300 but my LA165 also has the K46. I've got about 160 hours on her and she's still running strong. My yard is fairly hilly but based on some of the info I've gained form this site, I don't push it when it's 90 degrees out and I don't let the tires spin forever searching for traction. When I lose traction, I stop, reposition and have another go at it. I also snowblow 2 driveways - about 300 feet total, 2 cars wide. Ice is not my friend but I live with it. I have found that the "lean way back on the seat" method will gain me some momentum when it's slick out.

I planned on changing the hydro fluid last year but never got around to it. I'll do it this summer.
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