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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Greetings from a new member. I've owned a house since 2005 and have been cutting the lawn with dead family members lawn tractors for pretty much the entire time.
I had a 60's wheelhorse (should have restored that one) that I used for the first 5 years, then switched to a 70's simplicity, then to an 80's jd stx38 that a co-worker gave me as he had to buy a much larger tractor for a new larger property, and then most recently I've been using a 2000 mtd yardbug (little sucker with a 27" deck).

The yardbug got to the point where I was spending as much time keeping it running as I was mowing with it.

I set out to buy a new tractor and lurked and read up on the forum a good bit, and just pulled the trigger on a new 2021 John Deere x350 with a 48" deck a few weeks ago.
My property is 1.4 acres, but most of it is wooded. I probably only have to mow ~ 0.5 acres (that's a thumb in the air). There's some slight slopes but nothing terrible that I actually mow.

Reading the forum, I feel like I should have bought a higher series, but then considering the pea shooters I've used on this property for so many years, I think the x350 should serve me well. I had the chance to mow with it twice and the son of a ***** felt like a Cadillac. Everything worked so well, and it was fast, and the cut was amazing and ... well I can't wait for the grass to re-grow so I can go cut it again. What was a 1.5 hour job on the yard bug now takes 30 minutes.

Now I'm considering purchasing a leaf bagger setup for her. It would be nice, but it also seems a little superfluous since I spend all of 2 days a year blowing leaves right now (but doing it with the tractor would be so much more fun ...).

Anyway, this seems like a great forum. Here's a pic of her in the stable:

Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle
 

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Congrats on your purchase. If your main objective is purely mowing then you made the right choice. If you however get a wild hair and want to do more extensive ground engagement or haul heavy loads over hilly terrain you may have wanted to step up a series. From what you describe I'm pretty sure you will be very happy for years to come.
 

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MTF Tractor Nut
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Welcome and congrats on your new Deere! Hope it continues to put a smile on your face. Enjoy!
 
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There are many people here who say bigger is better. While there are advantages for the bigger more expensive machines there are also downsides. My first Deere was (and still is) an X300, which is the older version on the X350. Mine has the 42X deck and slightly less horsepower. While I have other choices now, they don't really mow better. They are more comfortable and more powerful and have more capabilities. I really wanted diff lock and AWS, so I got an X534. I then wanted real hydraulics for a front blade and grapple, so I got an X749. My X300 is now my dedicated Cyclone Rake machine. It is great for that, especially since the CR came with a deck adapter for the 42" deck.

So, as long as you don't go overboard with asking the X350 to do more than it can, it should be great. Mowing half an acre that is not sloped should be fine.

JD has an app for your phone that can give you a better idea of how much you actually mow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks folks. I dare say, reading the forum does make me think I should have gotten a 500 series, or even 700 :).
I've been reading about the k46 concerns etc. I don't plan on doing anything with the tractor other than mowing and possibly leaf collection in the fall.
My land isn't flat, I would call it two flat spots, with some slight slopes around them. 8 degree, and a max of 12 over very short runs.

Should I take some picture and annotate the slopes for folks here to throw darts at?
My thinking is in all liklehood the k46 will hold up to the 20 hours I probably put on it a year with this property for a very long time.
Doing a real upgrade will cost in the $2000 range right now.
I'm very mechanically inclined. I can change the k46 oil at 50 hours and put better stuff in it (and do it again every 200 hours).

Worst case, if the k46 dies in 10 years out of warranty, putting in a replacement should essentially be just like doing the removal/oil change/re-install (doesn't look hard at all), and a new trans would cost like $500 or $600? Heck I can even buy an upgrade at that point if I desired.

Please check my thinking and throw darts. I'm still within the 30 day promise period (which the dealer didn't say anything about. I assume I'm out the prep, and delivery charges and have to pay that again for the new one and that's getting close the the cost of a replacement k46 down the road anywho).

Thanks folks
 

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No dart throwing here, for what you plan to use the mower for I believe it is all you will need. Put the extra money into the leaf collection system and enjoy your mower for many years. Maintenance is the key, follow the plan and you should be fine.
 

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About a decade ago, I was in your shoes. I purchased my X300 before finding this site and really before caring about lawnmowers. I had planned on getting a 100 series and then a real tractor later. I got sold on the X300 being better than the 100 series. What really did it for me was sitting on it and driving it around. The engine is completely different sounding with the Kawasaki.

Years later I discovered this forum and I got worried. At that time, the cheap K66's we're gone. Eventually, I sourced a K46 for a decent price. It has been in my basement for almost a decade. At 14 years old and 350+ hours, my K46 whines a little, but still moves fine. This year, I found a good deal on a K66Y. There was one from Surplus Center last year, but I passed because I was planning on selling my X300. The reason I resisted before was I really wanted diff-lock. For my property diff-lock is helpful and I hate getting stuck.

If you don't need diff-lock, you could get a spare K57R from Surplus Centerhttps://www.surpluscenter.com/New-Arrivals/Tuff-Torque-K57R-Hydrostatic-Transaxle-13-1607.axd

They also have the Hydro-Gear
Hydro-Gear G700 Hydrostatic Transaxle | Hydro-Gear | Brands | www.surpluscenter.com

The G700 looks like it might be similar in capability as the K66. There are some K66's available on eBay, but no longer cheap. The issue with the bigger series transaxles is that they need additional parts to work, hubs and rear hitch that are no longer cheap.

The rebuild kit for the K46 used to be about $200 it is now double that, so no longer a good deal. I don't recall seeing if anyone has actually made the swap to a K57/8. I think I read about someone who needed to use the axle from the older transaxle.

If you are in the 30 day window, you need to decide what you want to do. The upgrade to the X500 series is expensive. It doesn't sound like you plan on doing anything that really needs it. There are a few threads of people who have added drain and fill holes to the K46. It sounds like you probably have the capability to do that. I would wait till the warranty is over before making that modification. Changing the oil is a generally good idea. There are threads and videos on how to do that.

If I were in your shoes, I would think about how much research I had done prior to purchase and how I decided that X350 was the right one. If I felt good about that research, I would buy a spare K57R to put on the shelf to insure the K46 never fails. If it does fail, you have a fairly easy project to replace it. I probably wouldn't change the oil till after the warranty, but I might add the drain and fill option after the warranty was over.
 

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Yes, welcome and be assured that you have a very nice machine. There will always be something better you could have purchased. I have personal experience with the X300, X500 and X700 series. For just mowing, the X300 is great and may be the best of all of them for my property. I really got the others because I wanted to tackle other tasks and I REALLY wanted diff-lock. The X300 and X350 make really nice mowers. There are people who believe you can get a machine that is a good mower and a good tractor. You can, but there will be compromises that need to be made depending on what you are mowing and what you need tractoring.
 

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Welcome to MTF telecaster! Lots of info here and great members to help and share with, enjoy the site! Once folks step up to a bit higher quality machine they realize what you know now, you were working harder and longer than you needed to. Congrats on the new X350 should serve you well for a very long time. Here is some site navigation assistance in case you need it:

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My T40J in my La125 has almost 400 hours on it now without any issue so there is that. I even make it climb hills, although I am strategic on how I do it :)
 

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Congratulations on your new tractor. Sounds like the X350 will be more than capable of doing what you need it for. As long as you're aiming to satisfy your needs as contrasted to your wants, you'll be plenty pleased. But, seeing your garage with those beautiful motorcycles, there may be some "wants" lurking beneath the surface.

I had a 2004 JD L102 (5 speed manual gear box), which was more than adquate to handle my 0.5 acre. Then I succumbed to the dark side (before I knew about this forum ... otherwise I would have succumbed faster), buying a used 2019 X590 with 160 hours on the meter. No comparison to the L102. In the year I've had the X590, it has been an absolute beast.

Having said that, there is the danger of "need creep." With a more capable tractor, I added a front end loader (can't believe I actually used a pitchfork/shovel & wheelbarrow way back when ... must have been young and stupid). I'm now in the process of adding a Johnny Products uni sleeve hitch and disc harrow to prep a former section of lawn for a garden. With the L102 I never would have thought about these possibilities, which in any event would not have been possibilities with the L102. The word of caution here is, if you succumb to your tractor wants, it could open up a wider realm of possibilities, which you would otherwise not unearth. The danger of course is that it costs more $$$, which members of this august forum are more than pleased help you spend. LOL.🤣
 

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Congrats on the purchase. I attempted to direct message you telecaster but unable to for some reason. I have some great input regarding your K46 concern. I have one currently that is at 419 hours and is used for mowing and also 44 inch blower for past 6 years and still going strong but only because of proper knowledge on the inner workings of the tuff torq hydro transmissions such as this and the T40J. If you can figure out how, feel free to message me. There are some things to know and do right from new if you intend on getting the longest life you can out of it
 

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Congrats on the purchase. I attempted to direct message you telecaster but unable to for some reason. I have some great input regarding your K46 concern. I have one currently that is at 419 hours and is used for mowing and also 44 inch blower for past 6 years and still going strong but only because of proper knowledge on the inner workings of the tuff torq hydro transmissions such as this and the T40J. If you can figure out how, feel free to message me. There are some things to know and do right from new if you intend on getting the longest life you can out of it
We have a 15/15 rule, 15 posts and 15 days until a member may post Conversations/Private messages, or buy and sell on MTF. This was due to spammers/scammers coming after members.
 

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Welcome to MTF and congratulations on the new X350!

I think your tractor and trans will do just fine with your property, especially if you plan on changing the trans fluid at regular intervals. The T40J in my LA135 has nearly 700 hours on it and so far, it's still okay, but I do change the fluid in it. Every week it mows 1.5 acres from ~April through October/early November. This year it begins a new chapter with a 44" snow blower. At times it also pulls a dethatcher, plug aerator, 30 gallon sprayer, broadcast spreader, lawn roller, and an 8'x4' trailer loaded with a variety of different materials, ranging from fallen tree branches to 30 bags of mulch. Admittedly, 30 bags of mulch is probably a bit much, however, it is not moved great distances for long periods of time, it's more like 20'-50' at a time and then hop off and distribute the bags around the yard. Ah, I'm rambling.

Regardless, your trans will likely be fine if you care for it a little bit and don't over-stress it. Enjoy your new machine!
 

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Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the new tractor! Yes, scope creep is always a possibility :)

Kind of like CdrBear, I have upgraded from an LT to a GT. And have started expanding its capabilities. Including getting a sleeve hitch and cultivator, and adding a bucket on the front, to help with moving material around. I have found the new GT capabilities to be very helpful, for things that I'm now trying to do. But I had LTs for 15 years, and they were fine.

So it somewhat depends on what you want to be able to do with it. For mowing, dethatching, and probably aerating, an LT should be fine. Someone once gave an interesting "guideline" for an LT, that you should be able to pull the attached load yourself, manually. And that can help guide the sorts of things you attach to it. I was recently pulling some stuff around that I couldn't budge by hand, but the tractor had no trouble, thankfully :)

But if you change the tranny oil periodically, that should also help quite a bit. Plus keeping an eye on the tranny temperature, to avoid overheating it during heavy work (which degrades the oil). So you can definitely take steps to help it last longer. And like you said, even if it had a problem after 10 years, that's not very expensive.

Someone else offered that the tractor should be matched to the intended tasks, not just property size. Our total property is about the size of your mowing area :) But, exploring how the machine can help, beyond mowing, I've found the new abilities helpful for things that I would like to accomplish. But if just mowing, an LT is great for 2 acres or whatever, depending on how long you feel like mowing. Then there's a house near us with a slightly larger property, but more projects, and he has a ~$15k SCUT. So it all depends :)

As far as the leaf collection system, there may be other options too. I put a mulching kit on my deck, which has been great. For our yard and trees, I mulch year round, and when the leaves are falling, mow once a week or maybe a bit more often. In the thicker areas, I go over the leaves twice, and after a few days, the pieces basically disappear. It works great, it's cheaper than a bagger, and there's no stopping to empty the bag. Just something to consider. Depending on the price of a mulching kit, you could even just try that, and buy a bagger later if you needed more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Congrats on the purchase. I attempted to direct message you telecaster but unable to for some reason. I have some great input regarding your K46 concern. I have one currently that is at 419 hours and is used for mowing and also 44 inch blower for past 6 years and still going strong but only because of proper knowledge on the inner workings of the tuff torq hydro transmissions such as this and the T40J. If you can figure out how, feel free to message me. There are some things to know and do right from new if you intend on getting the longest life you can out of it
Thanks Mopar! I see that I'm still in newbie jail, but I'll try to remember to message you once I clear the 15/15 bar. I'd definitely like to hear your experiences and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the new tractor! Yes, scope creep is always a possibility :)

Kind of like CdrBear, I have upgraded from an LT to a GT. And have started expanding its capabilities. Including getting a sleeve hitch and cultivator, and adding a bucket on the front, to help with moving material around. I have found the new GT capabilities to be very helpful, for things that I'm now trying to do. But I had LTs for 15 years, and they were fine.

So it somewhat depends on what you want to be able to do with it. For mowing, dethatching, and probably aerating, an LT should be fine. Someone once gave an interesting "guideline" for an LT, that you should be able to pull the attached load yourself, manually. And that can help guide the sorts of things you attach to it. I was recently pulling some stuff around that I couldn't budge by hand, but the tractor had no trouble, thankfully :)

But if you change the tranny oil periodically, that should also help quite a bit. Plus keeping an eye on the tranny temperature, to avoid overheating it during heavy work (which degrades the oil). So you can definitely take steps to help it last longer. And like you said, even if it had a problem after 10 years, that's not very expensive.

Someone else offered that the tractor should be matched to the intended tasks, not just property size. Our total property is about the size of your mowing area :) But, exploring how the machine can help, beyond mowing, I've found the new abilities helpful for things that I would like to accomplish. But if just mowing, an LT is great for 2 acres or whatever, depending on how long you feel like mowing. Then there's a house near us with a slightly larger property, but more projects, and he has a ~$15k SCUT. So it all depends :)

As far as the leaf collection system, there may be other options too. I put a mulching kit on my deck, which has been great. For our yard and trees, I mulch year round, and when the leaves are falling, mow once a week or maybe a bit more often. In the thicker areas, I go over the leaves twice, and after a few days, the pieces basically disappear. It works great, it's cheaper than a bagger, and there's no stopping to empty the bag. Just something to consider. Depending on the price of a mulching kit, you could even just try that, and buy a bagger later if you needed more.

Well, I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the warm welcomes and the good stories and advice. I'm glad I found this forum.

Scope creep and wants ... yes I agree these things are real. When I bought this tractor I figured I would die with it and just mow. But already, I have an aerator on the way, and an assembled seeder waiting to go. I also see the allure in dragging a cart/trailer near my woods and dropping trees and hauling the wood back to feed the woodstove the following winter.
Plus, well I like fine machinery that is built and runs well. We'll see what the future holds, but yeah I can certainly see myself enjoying the x350 for a decade and then upgrading to a real garden tractor down the road (but who knows, maybe she'll keep me happy for longer, or maybe shorter).

For now I'm going to take good care of her, and use it and enjoy it. It's the nicest piece of equipment i've had the pleasure of riding around on my own property.
 
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