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Thanks to all for your help so far. After considerable research, I am at a bit of a standstill. I am not considering the price difference since it is within $1,000 but I would like a bit of discussion to help me decide. I have narrowed my purchase down to a John Deere X500 and a Kubota ZG123S-48. Please don't give me the "Are you kidding??" type response... To some degree it is the angel on the right shoulder, devil on the left. I am buying my first house in less than a week. 4.5 acres, two or so are to be mowed, completely flat, etc. The rest of the land has potential but I am not sure yet. I am thinking that I am going to be doing 95% mowing. I will also be putting in a garden and have a 40' driveway to contend with but the tilling is once per year and the snow handling has been minimal the last few years. How exactly much is a snow handling ensemble for an X500? Everyone says this is a big reason for this unit, but I am assuming this is another $2k or more... Do any of you actually own it. What about practical garden implements? Why wouldn't I just rent a tiller for a half acre garden? Help me decide... Please!? Also would like someone that knows to chime in about financing for both options. Both of mine are at the same dealer, just FYI.


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Their is a lot more you can do with the JD X500. If you plan to mow all 4.5 acres a 48" deck on the Z is a little small. If I was going to mow 4.5 acres I would want at least a 60" deck or larger. That's the way I see it.
 

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The Z will take care of the mowing of 2 acres quite nicely, thank you very much.

It won't do squat for dealing with the other 2.5 acres. That's a chore for a GT getting that area into shape.

Forty feet does not constitute being called a driveway. It's a parking space, and any 10 year old can keep it cleared with a small scraper. I did one slightly larger from the time I was 10 years old and it never took more than 30 minutes. Usually just under 20 minutes. I charged $2 an hour for snow shovelling back in late '50s and the bill for that parking space was invariably $0.60.

Once the landscaping is done, then you should be thinking about getting a Z.

(The landscapping is never done!)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My mistake... 40 YARD, not foot. To clarify, I will probably never mow more than 2.5 total acres of the land.


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No question a Z is the top dog for mowing large flat lawns. But I like the GT for it's versatility. Being able to expand the platform over time to tackle more jobs around the property -- that is a nice aspect about owning a GT.

If the snow duties are minimal to moderate, you don't have to invest big bucks in a snowblower for the X500. You could purchase a snow blade (plow) for probably 1/3 to 1/2 the expense. If you have room to push the snow off to the side, a blade works very well. It can also be used in summer months for levelling and smoothing dirt, gravel, etc.
 

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I would suggest getting the Z for all the mowing duties, with that much mowing, you will appreciate the turning ability and speed for cutting. If you need a GT down the road, seriously look for an older used unit on craigslist with a garden plow, trailer, snow blade etc. You can sometimes find a complete running package for reasonable.
If you only need garden turned over once a year, either rent a tiller or people advertise on CL for plowing/tilling, have them come turn it over/till for you.
Small walk behind snowblower can do snow duties.
This would all be if you have storage room for two tractors/implements.
I know, probably just added more elements to the decision....sorry :)
 

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Are you a DIY type of person? Are you a mowing fanatic that has to mow twice a week?

A DIYer will always find new uses for a tractor everytime you turn around. pulling a cart, hauling firewood to the house, grading, the garden, mowing, you name it. A GT like the 500 will handle anything you ask of it with the right implements.

If a perfect yard mowed quick all the time is your only game go for the Z.

Never underestimate the snow. I'm in MD. Like PA we can go 2-3 years at a time with light winters. But "oh boy" when we get a good one we get a good one. When that happens you'll love being able to deal with it on a GT instead of by hand or wrestling a walk behind.


I personally prefer the utility of a GT and a decent one will make quick work of 2.5 acres. Maybe not as fast as a Z but quick enough. Mulching kits are also available for the decks on most newer Gt's. Mulching is the only way to go in my book.

Most of my neighbors now have Z's. Most of them are loud and obnoxious. That's my biggest issue with them. The noise! Sounds like the neighbor is mowing with a jet airplane.
 

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Is $5,500 out the door (not including tax) good for an X500 with 54" deck? Includes delivery.
I can't say because I've never priced X500-series tractors. But when you add the tax, I think the X530 in the following link would be a better deal (if you would consider a lightly used example). The X530 has hydraulic lift and power steering, etc, plus more hp and maybe some other attributes I'm overlooking. This may be too far away from you, but it might be worth checking for similar offerings in your locality:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/grd/3768976489.html
 

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*snip*
Why wouldn't I just rent a tiller for a half acre garden? Help me decide... Please!?

*snip*
Ever use a tiller? :229: Doing that much space with a walk-behind tiller wouldn't be a lot of fun. I borrowed a tiller from a friend to do a space about .07 acre and at the end I decided it would be worth it just to get one for my tractor next time. Too much time and physical work involved, even walking behind it trying to push it into the ground.

Just the idea that you want to do more than mow says go with the X500 over the zero turn.
 

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I would get more machine than what you need now if you plan to do more later. It is better to have something already on hand that can handle what you plan to do instead of figuring out how to get it done with less than ideal equipment.

I want to get a bigger/better tractor myself, but the wife and I have decided we need to move since driving 45 min one way for work and school is costing us about $700 per month in gas for the two vehicles. Once we decide on a place we can determine what we need for equipment.
 

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That is quite a large property. Have you thought about a Kubota 1860 with a FEL. That would be something I would be thinking about.

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That is quite a large property. Have you thought about a Kubota 1860 with a FEL. That would be something I would be thinking about.

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Good suggestion! I'd want something like a BX for a property this size, too.

He might not have the budget for the BX. On the other hand, with 0% financing the BX can be more affordable than many people realize.
 
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