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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a first-time lawn tractor owner and I have just done my first cut with my brand new X300.

Ride:

I found the ride to be fairly comfortable and the seat to be comfortable enough to sit in for the hour that I spent in it.

During my first mow I questioned the stability of the tractor. I felt like it was going to tip over, even though the back yard I was mowing was at an EXTREMELY LIGHT grade. This could be because I had never really been on a riding mower before.

Ascending and descending fairly graded hills was not a problem, but as with any tractor, there are just some areas where you don't want to ascend or descend. If you don't think you should do it, then you probably shouldn't (drop-offs by roads for water).

Controls and Basic Operation:

The controls are easy to operate, and are not confusing.

Leveling the deck was problematic. I could not find the "levelling areas" for the provided levelling gauge, despite having the owners' manual right in front of me. The only levelling area I was able to find was the one 3rd one, which is located at the front of the deck. I gave up looking for it, and just trust that it was set up correctly from the dealer when they installed my mulching kit.

Performance and Power:

My X300 has the 17 hp Kawasaki engine. It provided plenty of power for ascending fairly graded hills which you would question whether or not it could really do it. No sweat. Descending was these same hills was easy, as the tractor "crawls" down graded areas.

The mulching kit works well. It mowed down most weeds but left a few strays which I had to go back over. That may be due to my mowing too quickly, but I"m not sure.

The engine was smooth and fairly quiet until lowering the blades. As with any lawn tractor, once you start mowing, they're no longer real quiet, but the engine was still smooth.

Upon starting, the engine just turned right over; no sputtering or coughing before settling into a smooth idle.

The handling is fairly good, but I found myself wishing for a tighter turning circle. As with any 2-wheel-steer tractor, they're going to have a wider turning circle than a 4-wheel-steer model. All things considered, the turning circle was fairly tight for a 2-wheel-steer model.

While the steering isn't sports-car-responsive, it is fairly linear, and doesn't require much effort to turn the wheel.

Maintenance:

Except for the deck, everything appears to be easily maintainable. The oil filter, drain plug, spark plugs, and air filter are all conveniently located. It gives the impression that "any dummy can do it."

The wash-port for the deck is conveniently located and easy to use, albeit it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to engage the blades once I had it hooked up. I believe that was more my error than anything else's. I discovered that I had to tap the "forward" pedal slightly, prior to the blades engaging for washing.

Overall Opinion:

I like the tractor. It feels well-built, and it's fun to drive. Despite some first-time hiccups, it was an enjoyable tractor to use.
 

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Thanks for the review. I also have an X300 and agree with everything you said. Mine has the dedicated mulching deck though so maybe the leveling points are easier to find on mine. One word of advise is you may not want to use the wash out port on the deck. I've never used one but I've read on on the forums here that they can cause rusting if you don't get all the grass off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the review. I also have an X300 and agree with everything you said. Mine has the dedicated mulching deck though so maybe the leveling points are easier to find on mine. One word of advise is you may not want to use the wash out port on the deck. I've never used one but I've read on on the forums here that they can cause rusting if you don't get all the grass off.
Thanks for the tip.

We were going to get the mulching deck but it wouldn't have been until the 23rd that we would have received it, which was ridiculous. The mower we ordered was a rear-discharger, and that was 11 days ago. It wasn't scheduled to ship until the 17th! Delivery was slated for the 23rd! I found that out after visiting the dealer and seeing what they had on their floor.

I settled for a side-discharger with a mulching kit. I figured we'd be mulching all the time anyway, so it wouldn't matter where the grass came out.

I think the leveling points may be easier to find on the model with the mulching deck.
 

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You will get used to the area where you feel like you are going to tip over. I have an area around my shed that is the same way. Scared me to death the first time I mowed around the shed but it is second nature. Both tractors act about the same around this area. You would really have to screw up in my opinion to tip one of these things over. I just side discharge and that works well enough for me. I would trust that the dealer leveled the deck before they sold it to you. I think thats part of the checklist of what they are supposed to do before giving it to you. My 165 has this on it to be done before delivery. And that was in 1986. You should not be sorry you have the Kawasaki. My 1986 model runs as good now is it likely did brand new. Dont be concerned that it is only a 17 horse compared to some others. My 12.5 horse with the 38 inch deck is never been overworked and I have done some pretty tall grass with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You will get used to the area where you feel like you are going to tip over. I have an area around my shed that is the same way. Scared me to death the first time I mowed around the shed but it is second nature. Both tractors act about the same around this area. You would really have to screw up in my opinion to tip one of these things over. I just side discharge and that works well enough for me. I would trust that the dealer leveled the deck before they sold it to you. I think thats part of the checklist of what they are supposed to do before giving it to you. My 165 has this on it to be done before delivery. And that was in 1986. You should not be sorry you have the Kawasaki. My 1986 model runs as good now is it likely did brand new. Dont be concerned that it is only a 17 horse compared to some others. My 12.5 horse with the 38 inch deck is never been overworked and I have done some pretty tall grass with it.
I'm not sorry I only have a 17 hp mower. :) As for tipping the thing or going end over end, I'll have to take a picture of the area I'm talking about. I've seen my neighbor run grades like this particular one, but I think he's freakin' crazy.
 

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The hardest part of mowing on slopes for me is leaning just enough to help offset the weight but not enough to shut down the deck due to the sensor under the seat. I feel like I could be a little more agressive on slopes if I could lean more but better safe than sorry.
 

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my X500 has felt like it would tip a couple times when mowing along the ditch. generally on smooth ground you don't have to worry about it, but watch out for holes or mounds that can push a machine past it's tipping point.

i believe you have the right attitude though, if it don't feel right don't do it!
 

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Keep in mind when mulching of any kind, ground speed should be reduced to half that of normal full discharge speed...kind of the price one pays for not having to bag and such.
 

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I had an X320 I sold last year, great little machine. Could of been water-cooled, tended to backfire when pushed mowing real hard on a hot day
 

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Since this review is 6 years or so old, thought I’d update the review. Unlike the OP I am a long time JD owner, still have my La-135 se ( gave to wife as payoff for my X300) - I’ll follow same format as OP

Ride- excellent tractor feels solid, its very stable on side hills. Maneuverability is superb, very tight turning radius ( smallest of any JD lawn tractor) . Not only does this tractor turn better than any other JD tractor it does so without digging up lawn. Steering is effortless , whatever they do it is much easier to steer and turn than 100 series machine. Seat is very comfortable high-back seat


Controls and Basic Operation:- convenient and easy to get to and understand , I know OP had a problem with leveling deck, thought it was a dream and much easier than leveling the 100 series deck. Electric PTO another nice option

Performance and Power: since OP posted his review the X300 now comes with 18.5 HP Kawasaki. Commercial grade engine, smooth as butter, quiet and plenty of power to do any job you ask of X300. I bag- and I can say the X300 bagger for 42 inch deck, is among if not the best bagger in business. Love the red hook in bagger that shows if bagger is jammed. When I’m done bagging my lawn looks like a carpet. Combination of 42 inch blade and bagger—not sure it gets any better in any residential tractor

Overall Opinion:
This is quite simply the best lawn tractor you can buy. Well made, great warranty model has been around a while.This tractor( or one of its x300 siblings) has been the top rated lawn tractor by consumer reports for many years . If you are fan of solid well-built lawn tractor, you have to test drive this tractor. You will pay a bit more than the box store tractors, but unit is far superior in most ways. There is a reason why all other lawn tractors are measured against this unit- the "standard" in lawn tractors
 

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The rear deck adjustment is below the front of the seat if I remember from my dad's.You need the key(allen head) to adjust it.
 

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I want to hear back from the OP how it is holding up after 6 years. How many hours?
 

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I want to hear back from the OP how it is holding up after 6 years. How many hours?


Since the OP hasn’t posted in 5 years highly unlikely he is reading your question. Here is a tractorhouse.com page listing 2008 X300's most of them between 400 and 600 hours of service- which is about what one would expect from this level lawn tractor – X300 series holds it value well – and it mows the lawn ( under 2 acres ) better than any other line of John Deere tractors. Turn radius unmatched and the 42 inch deck bagger is just superb

JOHN DEERE X300, Used JOHN DEERE X300, JOHN DEERE X300 For Sale At TractorHouse.com - 145 Listings - Page 4
 

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Well not the OP but, I bought my x300 in January 2013. it has a 17 hp Kawasaki engine, and 48-in deck.

I currently have 298 hours on it, I mow about 3.1 acres that are 99% flat. Mower is fine and gets run weekly between May and November, and about once every month during the others.

Got 2 sets of blades and swap them every 3 years. Change oil once a year and grease zerks twice a year.
Mower has held up very well, I do not baby it at all. When I run it around the pond I get it so close to the waters edge that I can see mist in the discharge. I have got it stuck in the mud a few times pulled it out with my truck, hoisted it up hosed out the deck and it's good to go.

Very Happy with the mower.
 

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Just to chime in for a long term report also. Bought my X300 in early 2010 in Ohio. Plowed snow for 300 ft driveway and pulled a Cyclone rake and mowed 1.5 Acre for 5 years. Moved to TN and no longer use plow or Cyclone rake, just mow (20,000 Sq Ft flat) and use tow spreader and plug aerator. Have a 40" Deere shovel and use it once a year or so for topsoil and mulch. I changed the K46 trans oil with 5W50 Synthetic at hours 50, 192 and 300. Only problem has been the seat cracked and used repair tape on it $10. I change oil, grease, pull deck and clean - sharpen blades (mulching) once a year. Still using original belts. Clock at 320 hours at 9 years old.
My clock at 669,360 hours, 76+ years - many many repairs.
 

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