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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I've been researching a mower I thought could mow my rear steep slope of about 3/4 acre which is about 25* slope in some areas or less in other spots. I cut it with a walk behind Scag now which does well cutting from side to side. I cut my front yard now with a JD LA145 which does well there but is pretty worn out and looking to sell it before I have to put money in it, its 12 yrs. old.

I wanted to hopefully find a riding mower that could cut the front easily but also could manage the rear slope. I've researched cutting techniques, safety concerns, etc. Have also talked to several people from this area in NC and they say they could cut it and do it from side to side instead of up and down. Anyway I wanted to put some good money out on the best mower possible without putting out $30K on a Ventrac. I also wanted to buy it optimized for the steepest slope possible from JD......then if it cuts it well, then great...if it doesn't or I don't feel safe doing it, then I'll cut what I can with it. Either way I didn't want to cut corners for the sake of a $1000 or so and end up regretting it.....if you know what I mean. So that all being said, here's what I need help with.

I believe my best bet is a JD X739, 4 wheel drive & steering, 54 HC deck, air-ride seat, HDAP tires, with quick-tatch front weights and either rear tire iron weights and/or tire fluid in rear tires, they also have the rear quick-tatch weights available. I'm a big guy, 6'-4" 250 lbs.

All that said, I don't have any experience setting up and balancing a mower like this so its balanced going up and down a slope like this. I know I need weights but how much and where? I've read the rear tires are the best place to maximize lowering the center of gravity. But I don't know how much weight is gained from tire fluid, the type to ask for, the cost, etc.? Also can I just add all the iron weights and the fluid weight on the rear? I don't want to put too much weight and wear out the mower either, such as bearings, axles, etc.

On the front, it looks like they have 2 weight bar sizes, the one that comes on the mower stock, it looks like it holds 4 weights. Then they have a 9 weight bar that's extra......which creates another option?

I don't know if there is some formula or math that is applied to balance these mowers out? Or do people just do it from experience and advice? Or is it a buy, then try and see method and add as needed method?

Hopefully I get some good advice back.......looking to make this purchase either this winter or next spring.....wanted to ask JD community also if there is a optimal time to buy these when the best deals can be gained?

Thanks in advance for all advice!!

kirkdj
:tango_face_smile:
 

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Sounds a lot like my yard. Before you buy any weight try the tractor without them. I just got a x738 and it climbs up my steep hill and even my ditch without ever spinning a wheel. I even tried it when it was wet didn't matter walked right up. So far this has done way more than I ever thought it could do. I never could cut the ditch with any mower I had it was always a weed wacker job but not anymore.
My advice to you would be to try it without the weights I know you'll never need them. I was told I will not need chains or weight to plow the driveway come winter. Any 4x4 x 700 series is a beast.
 

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Agreed. Any x700 4x4 with HDAP should walk right up that hill.

Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Tapatalk
 

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Tractor itself is really heavy, doubt you would need any weights at all. There is a huge difference in the JD LA145 you have been using.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds a lot like my yard. Before you buy any weight try the tractor without them. I just got a x738 and it climbs up my steep hill and even my ditch without ever spinning a wheel. I even tried it when it was wet didn't matter walked right up. So far this has done way more than I ever thought it could do. I never could cut the ditch with any mower I had it was always a weed wacker job but not anymore.
My advice to you would be to try it without the weights I know you'll never need them. I was told I will not need chains or weight to plow the driveway come winter. Any 4x4 x 700 series is a beast.

I can understand having no problem going up the hill....engine in the front and 4-wh drive.......but any problem going down? also its my understanding that braking going down is only when def needed.... that I should let the transmission slow my speed/no gas whenever possible? is this correct?

Any other tips on cutting are welcome......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I know that LA145 won't climb that hill, no diff lock, and AT tires just spins 1/2 the time. I was wondering, on the X738 or X739, on the stock front weight bracket, how many of the 42 lb. weights does it hold? looks like maybe 4 but not sure? to use it, are any additional parts needed other than the weights?
 

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I have an X738, but only mow a ditch bank that is 30-45 degrees and pull up until the front wheels get to the top which causes the deck to drop. I don’t use any weights winter or summer. The weight of the X700 series is the difference. Here’s the post of my son’s X730 with turf tires. You will see he mows along the drive at a steep side-to-side slope, but is cautious.

https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1203465-final-tractor-choice-x730.html

He doesn’t use any weights in summer, but uses 4 weights on the quick-tach rear bracket in winter with chains. I doubt he has ever had to stop or back up when going down hill, especially with the blower raised, but for his first winter, absolutely no problems.

Hope this helps you feel better. The advice to try one is spot on.
 

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With your detail in logic, as well as considering quantification as to properly determine slope and cutting, leads me to believe you may be overthinking the slope concern. I mean that as respectfully as possible - are you an accountant or engineer? lol

I’ll be in the minority here and suggest that a X500-series would do what you need it to do - and do it safely. JD themselves bill it as a multi-terrain tractor, and you’d save several thousand bucks and still feel comfortable and safe.

I personally mow an area with a varying slope between 20 and 30 degrees with my GX. It was fine with turf tires, and even more of a breeze with the HDAPs - and that’s mowing side-to-side. When I mow up and down, it just climbs right up or rides smoothly down. If it’s wet, I’ll use diff-lock so I don’t tear up my grass. A X580 is the new equivalent of my machine, FWIW.
 

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If traction is a concern of your at all a 4 wheel drive JD will fix that. I have had mine 6 weeks and this is a beast of a tractor it climbs like a billy goat. I would try almost anything with this tractor. Like I said before I ruined my asphalt driveway from years of using chains to plow snow, I can't wait to plow snow with this 4 wheel drive monster.
This tractor I'm sure will last like all the other Deere I have had over the years this will be my last JD it will easily outlast me. For 15 years I loved using my GX345 they are really good tractors I take nothing away from them, but that is not this.
One piece of advice is don't use the mower deck as a step getting on the tractor, and it's easy to do because it's a tall step to get on this beast. Did I say I love my new tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If traction is a concern of your at all a 4 wheel drive JD will fix that. I have had mine 6 weeks and this is a beast of a tractor it climbs like a billy goat. I would try almost anything with this tractor. Like I said before I ruined my asphalt driveway from years of using chains to plow snow, I can't wait to plow snow with this 4 wheel drive monster.
This tractor I'm sure will last like all the other Deere I have had over the years this will be my last JD it will easily outlast me. For 15 years I loved using my GX345 they are really good tractors I take nothing away from them, but that is not this.
One piece of advice is don't use the mower deck as a step getting on the tractor, and it's easy to do because it's a tall step to get on this beast. Did I say I love my new tractor.
I think I'm going to take take everyone's advice....buy it and try it.....it will climb! :) Should my slope be steeper and then need weights I can then add them. But it seems everyone's saying odds are I won't.

For other rookies like me....I did see this Youtube video on how to add fluid ballast to your tires real fast & easy and for under $20 + your fluid of choice .....
It converts a hand sprayer with a few fittings and and an air compressor.....its simple. I thought it was much better process than buying pumps or even gravity feeds.
 

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I've had my X739 for 4 years now and mow some fairly steep/damp slopes (up/down/side hill) and agree with the others that you won't need any additional weights or filled tires for mowing. I'm 6'3" 270 and find the X7 very comfortable with the stock seat, you might want to try it before purchasing the air ride.

The only time I use weights on the front (which holds 4 stock) is when I have a box blade or landscape rake on the 3pt. I use 6 weights on the rear quick attach bracket when I have a plow on the front.

Enjoy your new ride!
 

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Probably just repeating the others, but I agree the X739 would be a good choice and I would just add additional weights and modifications ‘as needed’, if any.
I have just completed my first full round of seasons on my 2017 X739, including mowing a steep slope that my previous X320 could not climb even without the mower deck running. The X739 goes right up while cutting and pulling a Cyclone-Rake without even a drop in rpm. Also last winter I was skeptical at first about not needing any chains or terra-belts with the blower to go up a fairly steep hill on the driveway, but the X739 proved me wrong and never slipped. I only use five suitcase weights on the rear, three I had from the X320 and two the dealer threw in with X739 purchase. Great machine all around..
 

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