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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.

My wife and I are moving to a new home. The house sits at the end of a moderately long, partially paved driveway (~560 foot long). The three acre property is mostly level and primarily grass.

With this context in mind, I have been looking at purchasing a x7xx series tractor for the property. I also have been thinking of a a plow blade to help clear the driveway of snow (live in Virginia) during the winter.

My budget is around 10-11K. So I have been looking at both new x730's and used x7xx machines at local dealers and on tractorhouse.com.

Would the x730 be "sufficient" for my needs (mowing, plowing snow, occasional driveway repair, pulling kids and equipment around the property in a cart)? Or should I be looking at a different model of the x7xx series? Should I go new or used? If used, then how many hours should I stay under? Also, how do you buy used from afar and ensure that the machine is in working order?

Thanks for your advice and for your expertise.
 

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The x730 would be more than sufficient for your needs. However if you have obstacles to mow around, you may want to consider the 4 wheel steering. If you have a slope or don't want to run chains, I would consider 4x4 and/or HDAP tires. For an x720 or anything older I would wanna stay as far under 1k hours as I could. With proper maintenance the gas engine will last 3k hours or more before its "worn out", the diesel even longer.


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New is overpriced IMO because of depreciation just like with cars. I wouldn't buy from too far away because shipping costs money and takes time. I would want to go pick it up myself.


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First welcome to MTF Pennacnp! Lots of info here and great members to help, enjoy the site! Here is some site navigation assistance in case you need it:

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The X730 is capable for what you are stating about your property. The Kawasaki fuel injected engine should be easy to start on cold days and provides plenty of HP for any task. Good choice on the blade, it is truly a year round attachment. You may want to get some weights for the rear of any choice you make to provide additional traction when plowing. That and the locking differential should be plenty for summer/winter duty! New or used is really a matter of accepting risk or not. These are good quality machines and anything around 1000 hours or less would be worth looking at. You also accept risk when buying a machine you can't go look at so I recommend trying to stay within "visiting" range. If I were going to buy a used X700 series machine that would be shipped there is a JD dealer not far from the JD plant that moves the machines that a lot of the JD workers own, they are normally in good shape!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the helpful advice.

I agree that buying used is, in part, about weighing the risk of unknown versus the benefit of cost savings.

Good point that some of the cost savings of a used machine may be consumed by shipping.

I am glad that you all affirm the x730 as enough machine. The bells and whistles of the more expensive machines seem awesome, but alas may be out of budget or not readily available in my area.

I look forward to more advice from other members and to enjoying this forum!
 

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The x730 is pretty much the newest of its class. It breaks down like this:
X730: 2WD, 2WS, gas
X734: 2WD, 4WS, gas
X738: 4WD, 2WS, gas
X739: 4WD, 4WS, gas

The X750 pretty much breaks down the same way except it's diesel. And there's no X759.


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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you very much!

Why select diesel versus gasoline? From what I have read the diesel will have better fuel efficiency and more torque, but I wonder how this translates into lived experience?

The property we are moving to does have a few trees scattered about the 3 acres, but most of the trees are mature and around 18 - 24 inches in diameter. The four wheel steering would likely come in handy, but at the same time i look at it as one more thing to break.

When purchasing a new machine is it best to get the attachments at the same time, or are there cheaper avenues to purchase these after the initial machine is purchased? I am interested in a plow and weights for the rear.

Also, I am curious if there are opinions on the 54 versus the 60 inch mowing deck? I originally though I should purchase the biggest deck possible, but after reading a few threads it sound like that may not be the best investment.

Thanks again for your responses!
 

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This is a bit to far but possible used guide.


I understand that employees get good deals hear and trade up every few years, hence, low hour machines.

CCMoe
 

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Pennacnp,

I have a 60" deck on a 455, it cuts mowing time but does cut in and scalp high spots, I can't speak for the 54" deck. A three acre lot with not much to cut around will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cut, maybe less.

CCMoe
 

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Diesels tend to run longer before needing work...so if you buy a 1000 hour diesel and put 100 hours a year on it you may never need to do more than change the oil where a gasser might eventually need engine work depending on how long you own it.. You are likely going to pay more for the diesel upfront so really depends on your horizon and expected use.

Package deals can sometimes be good other times are priced more than the parts...as with anything used you need to do your homework and be ready to move quick if you come across a deal.

3 acres is a lot of mowing, I mow the same and wouldnt want anything less than the 5 ft deck even if there is some compromise in cut quality. I often look lustfully at big zero turns but I push a lot of snow in the Winter. Good luck.
 

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Don't know how much snow you get, but if it is quite a bit you might want the front mount snowblower. I have both the blade and a snowblower and use the blower most of the time.
 

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If it was me I would get an AWD one. I had a blower on my previous 2wd tractor and it was a pain to put the chains on and usually at least once a year I would throw a chain and have to go back and find it. You will have to be very careful in deep wet snow to avoid getting stuck. My X758 with all wheel drive will blow just about any amount of snow and I have yet to put the weights on the back. The difference in cost isn't that much and the only extra parts are the front axle as the transmission that drives everything is basically the same. This is my first 4 wheel drive tractor of any kind ( never had a 4wd farm tractor either) and I will never be without it again.
Ron
 

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Diesel burns less fuel (nearly 15% more energy per gallon than gasoline), plus diesel engines run more efficient... so net gain is close to 25-30% fuel economy....
Diesel engines are all around more rugged and able to run many hours while working hard the whole time. They are built for that purpose. Whereas gas engines are built for light-weight etc... which some believe makes them less rugged.

Gas (with EFI) has more convenience in terms of startup, and cold temperature stability... and the fuel is cleaner -gas will dry off quickly if you spill it in on your nice garage floor.... diesel is an oil. It will dry off as well, but takes much longer, and will stain concrete.
Diesel is a bit safer in terms of flash point and risk related to sparks and accidental ignition.

Having said all that - I personally would never buy a heavy-duty tractor (like the 7xx series) in anything other than diesel.
For 3 acres you want a 62" deck... unless you like tons of seat time. 4wd is only required if you have slopes, or want to do FEL work in the future etc. I have a 455AWS (few generatios back from the x754), and my son plows snow with it (4-5 driveways) up in canada... Rubber chains only and he can do average hills....steep hills are a problem... on flat terrain he wouldnt even need the chains (HDAP tires).
AWS is neat but if I was buying it again, I would not choose AWS to be honest. More mechanical parts to maintain, and feels a bit "loose" when trying to go in nice straight lines for the striped mowing look...
 

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For reference, with my X738, I mowed a soccer field and perimeter, about 2 acres. Cutting normal grass height of 4-5” at 3.25” it took just over an hour so 3 acres, about 1.5 hrs. Using the same machine on a large field with 12-24” tall grass, going slow to cut at 3.25” in one pass, it took 2.5 hrs. So grass height, density, and cut height all play a part in how long it will take.

Buying some attachments with the tractor, you get the tractor warranty length as opposed to a year. No experience, all X7xx’s were all three were used, from 1 hr to 94 hrs. As for how many hours are too many, I like to figure 30-40 hrs mowing and add some for snow removal. Here that amounts to another 20-40 hrs, but for you, maybe 10-20 hrs.

My son’s X730 handles steep hills mowing or snowblowing. A blade just doesn’t work well in the 60-100” of snow he gets. He has a gravel driveway, so chains work fine and putting chains on only takes him/me 15-20 minutes with a 2 ton hydraulic bottle jack under the rear hitch to lift both wheels off the ground at the same time. Place chains under one wheel, pull chain up to wheel on one end of the chain, rotate the wheel until you have the two ends at about 3 o’clock. Connect the ends. Repeat for the other tire. You will need 4 suitcase weights on the rear. I like my X738 because I don’t need weights or chains. Just saying.

I like my 54” deck, but my son does fine with his 60” deck on his 2 acre lawn and his Mother-in-law’s 3+ acre lawn. You won’t go wrong with either if you cut at about 3.25”.

The last X738 I helped buy was a 2019 X738 with 13 hrs from Roeder Outdoor Products out of Illinois. Shipping the tractor, deck, 47” snowblower to Michigan was $800. It’s always nice to have a local dealer though. Warranty work will be done at any dealer regardless of where it was purchased and the warranty travels with the machine. I don’t have any qualms with any machine with 200 hrs or less. The less the better for me because I keep everything forever generally.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Again, thank you all for this excellent advice!

For those who bought used, did you buy sight unseen? That is, did you buy the machine without laying hands on it and testing it out, trusting the seller for what twas reportedly being sold?

A used diesel AWD model would be nice, but most seem to be many hundreds of miles away.

I own a short bed 3500HD Chevy. Would the machine fit in the back to haul it home?
 

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Yep, six times. Four Craigslist, one reputable dealer (Roeder Outdoor Power, Iowa). Pictures tell you a lot. One in person hands on from a dealer. One at a box store returned for a bigger one.
 

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I bought my 318 off of eBay, it was sight unseen. The only thing I can say is that I probably paid a bit more than I should have for it. However, based upon the information here in MTF except for one thing (oil pan leak), everything was normal wear and tear, and it had a nearly new 48 inch deck that I still have. It was a huge improvement over the 212 and 216 I had prior.
 

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For those who bought used, did you buy sight unseen? That is, did you buy the machine without laying hands on it and testing it out, trusting the seller for what twas reportedly being sold?
If it's a low-hour machine, and you're buying from a dealer - YES
If it's a private sale - NO WAY i would buy sight-unseen

I own a short bed 3500HD Chevy. Would the machine fit in the back to haul it home?
The tractor itself - it should.... X754 is around 75" long and 55" wideb.
You'd have to remove the mowing deck and slide in it along side, vertically against the side wall of the truck bed - if there is room. The tractors weigh in at 1000lbs by itself. Mowing deck another 150lbs. If the tires are loaded, you could have another 150lbs on top.
Going up a set of ramps onto the truck, your tailgate will have to handle that concentrated load.. when the front wheels are on the tailgate, and rear wheels on the ramp - almost the full weight will be on the tailgate at that moment....
If your short bed is too short, you will have weight hanging on the tailgate.....
 

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Diesel burns less fuel (nearly 15% more energy per gallon than gasoline), plus diesel engines run more efficient... so net gain is close to 25-30% fuel economy....
Diesel engines are all around more rugged and able to run many hours while working hard the whole time. They are built for that purpose. Whereas gas engines are built for light-weight etc... which some believe makes them less rugged.

Gas (with EFI) has more convenience in terms of startup, and cold temperature stability... and the fuel is cleaner -gas will dry off quickly if you spill it in on your nice garage floor.... diesel is an oil. It will dry off as well, but takes much longer, and will stain concrete.
Diesel is a bit safer in terms of flash point and risk related to sparks and accidental ignition.

Having said all that - I personally would never buy a heavy-duty tractor (like the 7xx series) in anything other than diesel.
For 3 acres you want a 62" deck... unless you like tons of seat time. 4wd is only required if you have slopes, or want to do FEL work in the future etc. I have a 455AWS (few generatios back from the x754), and my son plows snow with it (4-5 driveways) up in canada... Rubber chains only and he can do average hills....steep hills are a problem... on flat terrain he wouldnt even need the chains (HDAP tires).
AWS is neat but if I was buying it again, I would not choose AWS to be honest. More mechanical parts to maintain, and feels a bit "loose" when trying to go in nice straight lines for the striped mowing look...
Couldn't agree more.

I had a 445 (Gas - EFI) with 60" deck and 47 Blower. It was a wonderful setup, but would bog down in heavy/wet snow and tall grass

I now have a 455 (Diesel) with the same 60" deck and 47 blower. It just laughs, belches a small amount of black exhaust and keeps going. It never bogs down and the cut (blower AND mower) is never affected.

Nothing against the gas EFI, but it's a night and day difference for me. Anything utilizing a shaft-driven implement I would strongly suggest a diesel.
 
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