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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all and thanks in advance for any feedback on this. I found a LX280 with 360 hours on it and a GT235 that has 185 hours on it. Both are one owner machines. I looked at the 235 and for the amount of hours on it, it seemed to have a bit more sun fading than I would have expected it to have. Owner stated it was garaged kept but it just for some reason did not add up. The LX280 I have not had a chance to look at but the owner of it stated it will come with a box scrap, cultivator both with manual lift kits and a bagger system. Anyone have any concern about this mower coming with a box scrape and cultivator even though it is not rated for a ground engaging attachment? I asked the owner what he used the equipment for and he stated for his gravel driveway and lightly turning the top of the ground over for planting clover for deer. Any concern here???? Mower from the pictures seem to be in really good shape. I will obviously be looking at it in person once I get a bit more of a comfort level with it from responses here.

One other mower has come across my path and that is the John Deere F525, front belly mower. I had a zero turn prior to this search and really like the concept and time reduction for mowing the grass. This is as close to a zero turn as one could get without buying a zero turn. Any advice here as to which mower one would go with for mainly mowing the yard of about 1 acre or so?? The yard is fairly level with a few trees here and there, not too many. It is mainly deep and straight. I really don't see me doing anything that requires ground engaging equipment (famous last words I know). My brother had a F525 and really spoke highly of it.

Too many options when it comes to mowing a yard these days.

Thanks again for all the advice and patience with my decision making process.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I guess I should have mentioned that the F525 is a 2001 model with about 222 hours on it. The pictures of it look really good as well. This too is a one owner unit and I have verified the serial number with the John Deere dealer in my area. The cost of the three mowers are really close so now I am trying to come to a decision on what is the best bang for the buck and what will be the best mower for my purposes. Also trying to determine if maintenance requirements and cost will play a factor into this deicison as well.

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Well since you just intend to mow the F525 sounds like it will fit the Bill. It can do more than just mow. But where your living you don't have to worry about the White Stuff.
The LX280 are really nice Lawn tractors they were Built on the Same Frame as a GT225 ,GT235,GT245 & GX255. As Simplicity use to say about there Broadmoor "A Lawn tractor with the Heart of a Garden tractor" That's what I would say about the LX280. I'm guessing the Cultivator and Box Blade are either on a 3point trailer or The Had there own frame's and attached to the standard tow hitch. If that's the case I would not worry about it to much. The GT235 is a Great Deere GT. It can take a 30inch tiller,42or 48inch Dozer Blade and a Integral(Sleeve Hitch) Hitch. Even as you say you don't plan on any ground engaging it always nice to be able to have that option.
The LX280 and the GT235 can both take up to 54inch Mowing deck's that can really cut down on your mowing time since you use to a ZTR. Good luck in your decision :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Seargent for the reply. The owner of the LX280 stated that the attachments were manual, said something about a handle that came up the side that you manually let down to engage the ground. I guess I am a little concerned with the amount of hours on the mower (360+) and how many hours were used mowing versus using the attachments. All the mowers that I am looking at have 48 inch decks so I guess from that perspective all are on an equal playing field. The GT235 is about $300 more without any attachments or bagging system while the F525 comes with the bagging system and the LX280 has all the attachments mentioned plus the bagging system.

So is there any maintenance cost that I should consider in this equation like maybe it will cost more to maintain the F525 than the other two or are they all about the same?

Thanks,
Scott
 

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THe F525 was Built from 1990 to 2003
The only thing I remember problems with them was the engine compartments got rather dirty with Grass build up But it was nothing major. When you brought up the F525 Called my Younger brother who run's a JD dealer service & parts Dept and asked him about the F525 There dealership alone in the 13 year Production of the F525 sold over 35 of them Not to mention about 15 F510's The F510 & F525 where rather popular Before the ZTR really took off. I think in his area People liked the fact that they could do snow removal with it beside's cutting the lawn Becuase 20 of there F525 sold with the 38inch snow blower. The only Pain in the butt thing about them is if the Rear tire go flat Changing out the tire can be a pain.
The F525 had
1 cylinder Kawasaki air cooled engine
2.75 Gallon gas Tank
2 pedal Hydrostatic trans max speed 5mph/2.5mph reverse
In 1990 in weighed 740lbs with 48inch deck
In 2003 it weighed 939Lbs with a 48inch deck
In 1990 New at MSRP was $4,899
In 2003 New the MSRP was $5,849
Personally I prefer to have a GT If I have over a 1/2 acre. Because you never Know what your going want to do with the Yard. I currently Have 5.5 acres and couldn't survive without a Garden tractor. With the F525 just keep engine compartment Clean and do regular maintenance and it should be fine. The cost for maintaining it should be about the same as the other two machines you listed. :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well thanks again for following up on that. I am now going with the GT235. I talked with a couple of John Deere dealers in my area and they told me that the F525 was an excellent mower but if you ever had any major issue with the mechanical aspects (engine/transmission) you are in deep trouble. Since the engine and tranny are integrated, they do not make any parts for that anymore so it then becomes a throw away machine according to them. That is not my intention so I think I'll just stick with what I know works and that is the tractor style. They have been around for along time, tried and true.

Suppose to pick it up in the morning so looking forward to it.

Thanks again and you'll probably see me around a bit asking questions on how-to's.

Scott
 

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I think you will be very happy with the GT235. It came from one of the Best entry level series of Garden tractor's Deere made They were replaced by the Currrent X500 & X520 models. Oh the GT235 your getting does it have a Foot lift for the mowing deck or a Implement lift handle To raise and lower the deck.

As Far as the F525 Parts are still very avaliable for the most part. But any dealer will tell you they are a pain to work on when they do get them in on there end because it's not as easy to work on as a Lawn or Garden tractor. But it's not a throw away machine by any means yet mabe in another 10 years when the Deere parts storage is exhausted for them.
:thThumbsU
 

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Other question to ask about the GT235 is, does it have the B&S Vanguard, or the Kawasaki engine? Not that it matters a whole lot, both are good engines. Mine has the B&S, never been any troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think you will be very happy with the GT235. It came from one of the Best entry level series of Garden tractor's Deere made They were replaced by the Currrent X500 & X520 models. Oh the GT235 your getting does it have a Foot lift for the mowing deck or a Implement lift handle To raise and lower the deck.

The GT235 that I am scheduled to pickup has the foot control for lifting and lowering the deck.


As Far as the F525 Parts are still very avaliable for the most part. But any dealer will tell you they are a pain to work on when they do get them in on there end because it's not as easy to work on as a Lawn or Garden tractor. But it's not a throw away machine by any means yet mabe in another 10 years when the Deere parts storage is exhausted for them.
:thThumbsU
I guess that salesman was trying to steer me into the direction of a new mower. They are extremely funny guys. I called several dealers just to help clear my mind about the three tractors that I was looking at and several guys immediately started trying to get me in their show room. While I was telling them about the used mower, I had one salesman start bashing the used John Deere's by stating "You want to get a mower to work with, not work on". "You really should consider buying a X300 or X320 series, they come with a four year warranty". I tried to explain to him that the GT235 was about two grand less than the X320 and the cost savings between the two will more than make up the warranty coverage. He did not like that at all. I know, he was just doing his job but certainly pushy about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Other question to ask about the GT235 is, does it have the B&S Vanguard, or the Kawasaki engine? Not that it matters a whole lot, both are good engines. Mine has the B&S, never been any troubles.

This GT235 has the Kawasaki engine, it is a 2005 model. Looking forward to getting this behind me. There are so many different variations of mowers out there that it makes your head spin.
 

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That is why I don't use my local JD dealer I drive about 50miles North Where they will gladly sell you a used Because they get most of there Used of the Moline,IL(JD Corp HQ) area where one of the owner brother's has a JD dealer and This outfit I deal with has auctions once a month at there main office which is about 20miles away. :thThumbsU
 

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My local dealer is my cousin so he doesn't try any of that with me! Last time I was in there talking about working on my 318 he didn't say anything about one of his new tractors and I told him he's never going to sell me one if he doesn't keep talking about them. He laughed and said I am a "lost cause" and he won't even try anymore!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well guys, I took ownership of the 2005 John Deere GT235 this afternoon. So far, I really like this tractor. Now I'll be looking into changing all the fluids and going thru this machine.

Thanks again for all your help. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me more as I go thru it.

Scott
 
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