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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. New to the forum. Just posted my intro. I've been researching and test driving some Deeres this week and I think I'm going to go with the x300. I got to drive the 300,D140 and D170. The 300 by far seemed the best of the bunch. Not really wanting a D series since looking under the hood and seeing all that plastic. The 300 appears to be built much stronger. Little more than I was wanting to spend but I have been through 2 craftsman 42" mowers in 4 years. Not wanting to go that route again.

I'm in the city but have a pretty large front and rear yard. Pretty uneven in some areas. I was really wanting another 42" deck but after seeing the standard edge cut only has 2 anti scalping wheels I am trying to figure out if I should just spend a little more and go with the 48" 3 blade with the 4 anti scalping wheels. Tough decision all around since its a lot of money for me.

First of all I get mixed reviews on the quality of the 42" cut. Some say it leaves grass uncut after a pass and others praise it. My craftsman does this and its very annoying. I'm also tired of the mower I have now making deep cuts on the outer edge. The deck has been adjusted,the tires are properly inflated and sears wouldn't stand behind their warranty when this started happening. I've had numerous problems with my craftsman mowers within a year of buying each. So I'm looking for a quality mower that will last me years.

Any input you can give me on the x300,the better deck(non mulching decks) and if its worth the money. I know everyone has different opinions on different brands but I have a local JD store a few miles from my house and I know some employees there. Also have a sears near but not really wanting to deal with them anymore. I appreciate any advice.
 

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MTF Tractor Nut
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X300 is certainly the longest lasting of the three... Having owned both the 42" deck on my X300 (before trading to X500) and the 48" deck on my X500 I much prefer the 48" deck. It is easier to remove from the tractor due to rotating wheels and it cuts better, both with and without the mulch kit installed. If you've settled on the X300 then get the 48" deck if your dealer will set it up. It's also a much better deck than those on the D Series.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice. My dealer had a 42 already set up and that was the one I was looking at. I mentioned the 48 and he said come back tomorrow evening and ill have another one assembled and set up with the 48. He did. Just need to do some measuring to make sure I can get through some areas. That will probably decide for me. I believe the 48 with chute is somewhere around 54-56" wide?
 

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Another Day in Paradis...
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X series have a better frame and professional grade engine. Plus a better warranty. I had the 48" deck on a X320. It is much nicer than the ones on the D series. cut very nice, especially with a mulch kit.

As for the chute, if the deck fits but the chute doesn't, I've heard of guys tying a rope to it so they can lift it from the seat when needed. Just a thought...
 
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The only real minus of the x300 is that it shares the same K46 transmission as the D series. Everything else is an upgrade, especially with the 48" deck.

The limitations/problems with the K46 are well documented here on the forum. You would do yourself justice by reading into it before you make a purchase decision. I know that an x310 or x320 is a big price jump (depending on the dealer promotions at the time) but may be worthwhile depending on your yard, your needs, and your lifespan expectations.

FWIW I have the 48C deck on my x530 and even with the stock non-mulch blades it does a fantastic job. The 4 adjustable anti-scalp rollers make a world of difference if your yard is hilly.
 

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If your going to spend $3500 dollars explore your options. The X300 only comes with the K46 transmission, the same as the box store models.

You could probably get a used commercial ZTR for close to that price.

If your craftsman mowers only lasted two years I must ask about maintenance, if you were doing it they would last much longer. I have a 90s craftsman 15.5 horse thats still running fine.

Being in commercial lawn care I would advise getting a Exmark commercial 30 walk behind. It will give you a great cut and last you 20 years for a little under $1900. That is unless you need the tractor for other than mowing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If your going to spend $3500 dollars explore your options. The X300 only comes with the K46 transmission, the same as the box store models.

You could probably get a used commercial ZTR for close to that price.

If your craftsman mowers only lasted two years I must ask about maintenance, if you were doing it they would last much longer. I have a 90s craftsman 15.5 horse thats still running fine.

Being in commercial lawn care I would advise getting a Exmark commercial 30 walk behind. It will give you a great cut and last you 20 years for a little under $1900. That is unless you need the tractor for other than mowing.
I'm aware of the K46 Trans. But I have no use or reason to buy a larger mower. I have followed the service and maintenance schedule on my LT1500 mowers to the letter but the transmission was a problem on both units about 6mo after purchasing. Sears basically told me this model was the cheapest they offer,it's a common problem and they wouldn't cover it under warranty. The Briggs single cyl motors run ok but if the grass doesn't get mowed every 5-6 days,it struggles and stalls. Both mowers left uncut grass behind from day one. Decks were worked on, "set up" and made no difference. It clumps badly. My dad has the same model but it is an older model and it works like a champ. I had a big green craftsman hydro in the mid 90's that was great. But the ones I've owned for the past 4 years were 09 and 11 models. Horrible.

As far as a walk behind,can't do. I have a degenerative bone disease in both knees and lower back. 13 operations on my knees over my 39 years and now lower back is shot :dunno: . In not mowing a large rural area. Just want a solid mower that doesn't have me pulling my hair out every time I have to mow. The K46 has got to be better than what I've been using. I don't pull loads. No hills. But if I'm going to buy a Deere in my price range and they all have the K46, I might as well get the better motor,frame and deck. If the Trans outlasts the 4 year warranty I would gladly pay for a new one rather than have to buy another mower. That's kinds where I'm at. Thanks for your advice and information:fing32:
 

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I love the X300. If you use it the way it was intended you won't have tranny issues for a long long time. I would olny go to the 48" if your yard is large enough.
 

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If you are going to spend the money on a K46 powered machine then the X300 is the way too go. It is built a good bit stronger than the D Series machines and you are making the right choice there. With the physical issues you mentioned above you might want to invest in some sort of upgraded seat, either the one on the new X540s ($150 on ebay or $199 with arm rests) or maybe a suspension style seat like on the X700 Series machines.


Just need to do some measuring to make sure I can get through some areas. That will probably decide for me. I believe the 48 with chute is somewhere around 54-56" wide?
I just went out and measured the 48" deck on my X500. I get about 62" with the chute down and 51" with the chute lifted up. I hope it fits through your tight spots, in my experience (having owned both) the 48" is a better deck than the 42". With your knee issues and the 48" deck make sure you ask the dealer about installing the lift assist spring to help with the weight of lifting the deck. One other thing to consider is to ask your dealer if you can try removing both the 42" and 48" decks from a tractor to see which one is easier for you to remove. I believe most JD dealers offer at home service for your mower so they could come out and clean the deck at the end of the season for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you guys. Great info. Wizzo, thank you for taking the time to measure your deck. Glad to know I can upgrade the seat if I need to. I didn't even think to ask about the spring assist lift. I had no problem with the 42. Didn't even think about it when I was doing it. Don't remember if I lifted the 48 deck when I was on that one.

JDjoel, I have been trying to figure out IF I need the 48. I understand its a better deck and better cut. If they offered a standard 42 with 4 anti scalp wheels I would probably already have it in my garage.

But I'm going to have to pull the trigger on one soon. Just got in from mowing my yard and I didn't think the LT was gonna make it. Great advice. Thank you.
 

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I love my X300, it was my brothers. I came from an L110 into this beast, what a difference! Of course mine has a K70 trans in it, I never drove it before the trans swap so I dont know how well te K46 did. I have the original K46 still just incase something happens and I need to swap it back into it.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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There's nothing wrong with the 42" deck if you go that route, use it with confidence. :thThumbsU
 

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Larger Transmission For Increased Productivity
The X300 Select Series transmission provides 165 lb-ft of torque and the D100 series models product 126 lb-ft of torque which is about 25% increase.
This increase in torque allows the X300 lawn tractor to climb hills better, tow more weight, and push more snow. The X304 model also features all wheel steering for tighter turning in and around obstacles for faster mower times.
Engineered For Comfort and Convenience:ditto:
 

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I have an X300R it is also K46 equipped,,, it weighs more than an X300,, 556lb vs 693lb both with 42" deck and when the bag fills it can be much heavier, this thing with a full bag could push the weight to 900lb+,, 3 seasons and 150+ hours with no issues, no slowing down or anything to give credibility to the horror "tales" of the K46. If you have issue with a small deck a wider one will only make it worse
 

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I'm a new guy here, but I had the same decision to make. I bought a new X300 from my dealer and took it home, but never even used it. After reading this forum and careful reading of the differences between it and an X320, I exchanged it for an X320 and feel I made the right decision. This is what my reasoning was:

48" deck STANDARD
K58 transaxle w/ 1" axles
Deck lift assist spring STANDARD
More horsepower
Larger wheels and tires

I thought these additional features more than made up for the difference in cost. Also, at that time, JD was giving a $500.00 discount on the X320 and both were available with the 48 month finance offer.

I LOVE my X320. I hope this information may help you make a decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you have issue with a small deck a wider one will only make it worse
Not sure what you mean. I don't have any problem with my smaller deck. I have a problem with a terrible mower that hacks my yard up and is on its last leg. My only concern with the 42 standard is it doesn't offer the 4 anti scalp wheels which would be a huge plus. My current mower has no deck wheels and I've heard some say the JD 42 will cut into the grass on one side in turns. I have this problem now no matter how wide and slow I go. Of course mine does it in a straight line also:dunno: . It's been leveled and tire pressure is spot on. I had this problem with the last LT1500 I owned also and thought it was just a lemon. Now on my 2nd one and it has all of the same problems my last one had. With a big tough luck and goodbye from sears.

The 300 is as far up in the line as I can afford. I've already jumped waay above what I was going to spend on a d130. I'm not hard on my mowers. I mow and drag some small trimmed limbs each year. Just want a mower that will last,give me a good even cut and be reliable. Have no need for anything more. Thanks to all of you for the great info so far. Anything I can learn before buying in the next week or so is a huge help.:fing32:
 

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Not sure what you mean. I don't have any problem with my smaller deck. I have a problem with a terrible mower that hacks my yard up and is on its last leg. My only concern with the 42 standard is it doesn't offer the 4 anti scalp wheels which would be a huge plus. My current mower has no deck wheels and I've heard some say the JD 42 will cut into the grass on one side in turns. I have this problem now no matter how wide and slow I go. Of course mine does it in a straight line also:dunno: . It's been leveled and tire pressure is spot on. I had this problem with the last LT1500 I owned also and thought it was just a lemon. Now on my 2nd one and it has all of the same problems my last one had. With a big tough luck and goodbye from sears.

The 300 is as far up in the line as I can afford. I've already jumped waay above what I was going to spend on a d130. I'm not hard on my mowers. I mow and drag some small trimmed limbs each year. Just want a mower that will last,give me a good even cut and be reliable. Have no need for anything more. Thanks to all of you for the great info so far. Anything I can learn before buying in the next week or so is a huge help.:fing32:

I had the exact same problem with my MTD Bolens (same MTD tractor as a Craftsman LT series, different hood). The lack of anti-scalp rollers caused huge 'ruts' when turning around a tree, or even when mowing straight on a hillside. The problem is that the deck purely hangs from the tractor, so when it leans so does your blades. My yard looked like a bunch of 'steps'.... if you cut a profile view, of the yard it would look like a zig-zag from each pass.

The 48C deck with the 4 anti scalp rollers (+1 in the middle front!) on my x530 does not have that same problem. I set the rollers 1 notch lower than the JD chart recommends. They do spin on the grass but the deck weight is still on the tractor except when going across a hill, where the low side will bear some weight (because the tractor is leaning into it).

My advice: Go x300 w/ the 48" deck upgrade, or if you can swing the money, x320 w/ the 48" deck standard. You won't be sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Your description of your old mowers lawn hacking is exactly what I have been dealing with. I'm not wealthy but I was lucky enough to buy a house a few years ago that needed some work inside for a steal in a really nice neighborhood. My neighbors have landscapers mow and keep their yards up. Most are sod. So I'm a little embarrassed every time I mow. Looks like a chopped up hayfield. :eek:. But I grew up in the country with 72 acres of crop surrounding our home with a 2 acre yard. Truth is I kinda enjoy mowing. Even though here in AL. I almost have a heat stroke every time I mow this time of year.

I've measured my narrow areas I was worried about for a 48. I believe wizzo was the one who measured his deck with and without chute down with a max of 61". Only problem is I have a hot rod Ford that stays in the garage next to my wife's car. I have a stack of race tires and some storage behind the Lightning where I park my mower. That is my biggest concern now as far as the 48. This has made me re consider the 42. For about the same as the 300 with the 48, I could add a bagger or dump bagger to the 42. Tough choice since we're talking 3k +. Anyone here actually use the standard 42" deck with good results?
 

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With all this talk about the 48" deck having the 4 anti-scalp wheels and the 42" deck only has the two. Is it possible to add the two additional wheels to the 42" deck? When I was at the Deere dealer last week I priced out the 48" deck vs the 42" deck. The 48" deck was either $400 or $600 (I dont recall at the moment) more than the 42". I thought that was a lot of money for 6" and two extra wheels. But was assured that the 48" deck was a much better deck than the 42". I do from time to time get an uneven cut when going around my trees. Just didnt know if someone had ever added the additional wheels to the 42" deck with success.
 
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