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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!

My wife and I just bought our first home in middle Tennessee and now need to buy our first riding lawnmower. We have 1 acre to mow and it's is mostly seeded grass with some parts that are wild.

However, we are on a hill. A big one. The majority of the lot (about 200 ft) has an average 12 degree slope with the steepest parts being 20 degrees. I have included some pictures for reference.

I was looking at the JD x350, but I thought I'd check here to see if that mower can handle my hill or not. Seems the weak link might be the k46 transaxle.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Justin
 

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The X350 will work for a while - but that's a lot to ask of a K46. The hill will eventually kill the K46. I know this isnt what you want to hear, but you probably need a X380 or better for long term use. If you are going to get a snow blower eventually you are better off with at least a x390( power steering and hydraulic lift) and probably a X580 or 590( K72 and diff lock)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the input. I looked into the x380 as a potential upgrade. I really don't anticipate getting a snow blower (only get a few inches a year here). While I'd love a 500 series model, that just isn't in the budget right now. I'm interested to hear if more people agree with you. Thanks again!
 

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I am in agreement with Tony. Your hills will do a real number on the K46 trans. Spend a bit more on the x380, and you will come out ahead in the long run, with NOT having to do expensive trans repairs. :D
 

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Hey You,

Thank you for also suggesting the x380. Even though it is quite a bit more, I definitely don't what to have any transmission issues with a large investment like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have briefly, but did not immediately see an x380. Is the warranty transferable if I buy a used JD tractor?
 

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I find it odd that people don't anticipate and budget for property maintenance. When they look at a house with an acre or more of property, they should plan on about $10,000 for yard machines and equipment of various types. That may not all go out the first month or two, but very likely will in the first year or two.

There used to be an old auto repair commercial that touted preventative maintenance over major repairs with a tag line ' you can pay me now, or you can pay me later'.

You can buy a cheaper machine now and have to replace it in a few years, or you can buy a better machine now that will last longer. If you're mechanically inclined and can do your own repairs, maybe the lesser machine will work out. My first rider was/is fairly low end and tackles hills similar to those. But it has not been without problems. I've had to replace the transaxle once and now attack the hills in a different manner. Many people would have scrapped that machine instead of replacing the transaxle.

I now have a second rider, acquired free from a neighbor who wore it out. Some repairs and I can alternate between machines to minimize the load of mowing. My third machine is a SCUT with a belly mower that does the bulk of mowing, but I still use the smaller ones.

Moral of the story, you'll be buying more than one rider before the first 10 years have passed. Get what you can afford now, but don't get the least pricey just to save a buck .... because it'll cost you in the long run.
 

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yes the warranty is transferable on a JD tractor - sometimes you can pick up a slightly used one or one returned with John Deere Promise for significant savings. Here is one from Meade tractor, its a JD promise return with 1 hour on it, price listed is list price for a X380-- But I'm guessing you can get 400 or 500 bucks off on it. And this tractor comes with new warranty - wouldnt cost you much more than a X350-- and if your interested they should ship to closest Meade dealer to you


https://www.meadetractor.com/used-equipment/lawn-garden-tractors/john-deere-x380-e487072/
 

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Question becomes, CAN you do some of your own repairs? Have a place to work on 'em? Tools? Mechanical aptitude?

Keep in mind, I have seen shade tree mechanics rebuild their automatic transmissions, that have never been into one before, using just resources found on the net, and various forums. :) The internet is an awesome resource. You can find darn near anything you need.
 

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I find it odd that people don't anticipate and budget for property maintenance. When they look at a house with an acre or more of property, they should plan on about $10,000 for yard machines and equipment of various types. That may not all go out the first month or two, but very likely will in the first year or two.

There used to be an old auto repair commercial that touted preventative maintenance over major repairs with a tag line ' you can pay me now, or you can pay me later'.

You can buy a cheaper machine now and have to replace it in a few years, or you can buy a better machine now that will last longer. If you're mechanically inclined and can do your own repairs, maybe the lesser machine will work out. My first rider was/is fairly low end and tackles hills similar to those. But it has not been without problems. I've had to replace the transaxle once and now attack the hills in a different manner. Many people would have scrapped that machine instead of replacing the transaxle.

I now have a second rider, acquired free from a neighbor who wore it out. Some repairs and I can alternate between machines to minimize the load of mowing. My third machine is a SCUT with a belly mower that does the bulk of mowing, but I still use the smaller ones.

Moral of the story, you'll be buying more than one rider before the first 10 years have passed. Get what you can afford now, but don't get the least pricey just to save a buck .... because it'll cost you in the long run.
Fram filters....you can pay me now or pay me later.

This 10 grand deal?
I all depends how capable you are at keeping this maintained and fixed when they break. Bought my 1 1/2 acres 12 yeas ago. It came with an older JD STX38 mower. It has served me well with a few little issues for 12 years now and is still chugging along.
Granted, I have a bunch of other GTs now, because I decided that was going to be my hobby rather than old cars, but that STX would have maintained this place just fime I would think.
I was never one for having the best and most expensive....OK, I'm a tightwad..........I don't have near 10 grand in all the tractors I have had. Just sayin'
 

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Fram filters....you can pay me now or pay me later.

This 10 grand deal?
I all depends how capable you are at keeping this maintained and fixed when they break.'
I think it was a place called Interstate Transmissions or something like that. Might have been a brake shop.

In my limited experience, people that buy new, or newer houses buy new machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you everyone for the ideas and suggestions!

I am mechanically savy to an extent, but have more experience fixing things around the house than automotive. I'd certainly love to learn more!

I think the bottom line is that the x350 just isn't going to cut it for the hill on my property. Now I can decide to buy an x350 and plan on future tranny repair, purchase something better like the x380 new, or find something comparable used that may need some patience and elbow grease. Guess I'll just need to weigh my options.

Thanks again, I sure appreciate it!
 

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That's similar to my yard (in topography and size). I am mechanically inclined; however, I was looking at a new X570 after purchasing the house a few years ago. I ultimately decided I would be better off spending the same amount of money to get a used quality GT while also being able to get attachments and other fun toys for maintaining the house (just like Obscured_By_Clouds pointed out). While I initially settled on finding a late GT235 or GT245 (with the Kawasaki engine), I stumbled across my GX345 and was immediately sold on it. Not only does the late (04/05) GX series have the K71C transaxle with difflock, but the GX345 has power lift/steering and is liquid cooled.

I also have a thrower, blade, and bought new Husqvarna stuff from the box store to round out what I needed (trimmer, blower/vac, and chainsaw) while still keeping my cost to about what it would have been for only the X570 and deck. There are times I'd like a shiny new tractor, but JD doesn't make anything truly comparable anymore to the GX (or the "classic" 300 range for that matter).

While I love the GX, I am sure the GT would have worked fine for my needs as it likely would yours. They are more affordable, certainly, and the attachments interchange between GT & GX. Best of luck!
 

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Now, I don’t have nearly the size of yard that a lot of these other folks do, but the one thing I did was buy a mower that works, THEN bought other ones to mess with/learn on. LTGal insisted on me keeping the one intact so that we wouldn’t wind up with a bunch of rusty broken down mowers AND 3 foot high grass (she was okay with the first one, as long as I at least tried to hide them from the neighbours).

That said, we priced out a new JD with the options that my 31 year old 160 has, and yeah, that was more than half of the $10,000 OBC was talking about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Definitely get a garden tractor. Get two of them....you'll want a backup when you've got down time on one!
 

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Deere also offers extended warranties to cover you in the event something goes wrong. That would be a little bit cheaper and offer peace of mind if money is tight.
 
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