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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy All,

I realize I am asking a lot here, but if anyone can help me you all can. As I said in my intro post, I thought I was going to have time to explore lawn and garden tractor options, but as luck would have it we sold our house in the city this week after 8 months on the market. We're moving to the country and will have a 2+ acre yard, large garden and lots of driveway. We close in one month and I'll need something to handle snow. If I don't find something it won't be the end of the world as there is family that will be able to help us out with the big snowfalls, but I like to be able to take care of myself. Also, currently being just outside Minneapolis there are a lot more options for used tractors and equipment than there will be when we're an hour and a half south east of Fargo.

I've wanted a JD ever since I was a kid and now is my chance. Like I said above, we'll have an over 2 acre yard with lots of driveway. We'll have a large and hopefully ever growing garden. The house sits on over six acres total. I am fairly handy, know my way around small engines and enjoy projects, but I am not a mechanic. With that said, I'll want a lawn tractor that is fairly reliable as it will be used four seasons a year, but there will be backup options for occasional downtime. I know, as far as newer tractors go, the X320 is about the smallest I'd be able to get by with. I've kind of taken a liking to the 420s and some of the 300 series. My budget is max $5000, but ending up south of that would be a good thing.

Here are some current options I've been looking at:

John Deere 318, blower, mower & cab - $3850 - http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/grd/2685350610.html

2011 John Deere x320 with 44" Snowblower, Mower, Trailer - $5380 - http://rmn.craigslist.org/grd/2656588527.html

JOHN DEERE 345 AND ATTACHMENTS - $4900 - http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/grd/2655132854.html

john deere 420 - $5000 - http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/grd/2641739300.html

JOHN DEERE 318 WITH 46" DECK - $1250 - http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/grd/2679448366.html

Quite the range there, I know. Any and all advice is appreciate, including on models to consider, pricing or other listings you feel are worth exploring. Again, I know I've got a pretty big request here and will understand if you tell me to go pound sand.

Thanks for you time,
Derek
:thanku:
 

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Welcome and congrats on the new place. All of the tractors you have listed there would do the job. With a big garden and 2 acres to mow I would stick with a garden tractor. One of the 318's or the 345. You maybe able to find a used X500 in that price range as well. Also the 425/445/455's are awesome tractors. Do you have a set budget for your new tractor?

What part of MN are you in? I'm up in Bemidji.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply! Max I want to spend is about $5K, but less is better assuming I'm not setting myself up for aggravation. Currently in Minneapolis, but will be just outside Fergus Falls come December. Any thoughts on the price they're asking for those 318s?
 

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Congrats on escaping the Metro!
The 420 looks awesome, but is missing a tiller.
The 318 is also nice, but high priced. The cab/blower setup is a good selling point this time of year, though. Hence the price.
The 345 looks to be a nice fit, but I would want to hear the story on what needed to be repaired at the cost of a grand. Also, the ad mentioned all new plastic. Did the tractor burn? :dunno:

Considering the time of year, I would skip the cheaper 318. Just moved to a new property, and the tractor dies? :banghead3:banghead3

I was going to suggest keeping an eye out for a JD 425 or 445 package, but the pickings are a little scarce on those right now.

I know I've got a pretty big request here and will understand if you tell me to go pound sand.

Thanks for you time,
Derek
:thanku:
That won't be happening here. We need the sand to build roads.
 

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Lately I've even seen the X465 and X485 for 5K or alittle less they are the basic same as the X700 series. I'd keep an eye out for one of them first and foremost myself with the 455,430,425's as the next options. Good Luck and Congrats on the new country living. :trink39::trink39::trink39:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, you guys are awesome!

MightyMouse - solid advice, wish that one in KC was closer to home!

Cat385B - Score! I'll give them a call in the AM as that's not terribly far from the new homestead.

I was thinking that selection would be better here in the city, but so is demand. I'll have to act quick if I see a good deal. Keep the recommendations and any finds coming - I really appreciate it.
 

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I'll have to act quick if I see a good deal. Keep the recommendations and any finds coming - I really appreciate it.
Heck, you got this down pat already. Deals go quick. Have cash ready, keep the truck gassed up, and check the computer often. If you have a smart phone, there are apps for Craigslist that alert you to ads that fit a pre-determined criteria.


There is an X485 in MN in similar shape. For $7,500!
 

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Hulk the Diesel
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Howdy All,
-Snip-
Again, I know I've got a pretty big request here and will understand if you tell me to go pound sand.

Thanks for you time,
Derek
:thanku:
We wouldn't tell you to pound sand unless there was an attachment for that. :sidelaugh

For what it's worth I like the 345 but I am always cautious when a lot of things have been changed/painted. You can get a better feeling if you talk to the owner to see what the situation is. We are also getting to the point when snow clearing equipment will become scarce.
There are people on this site that have a lot of experience with these models so you are at the right place for great info.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You all continue to impress!

I am going to look for a smartphone app to help speed my response times. I sent off an email to the person that listed the 345 to get more of the story. I'll continue to look at the options you all post here. Would a loader work for moving snow or would that be a pain in the rear?

I also really like the idea of the 420 I posted earlier, but do worry about how much life is left in the Onan before major work. Does seem like a nice package, but maybe a little spendy. I like the idea of the 445/455s also, as long as I could move snow with my $5K budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wooly - that doesn't look like a bad option. Everything I need early on, newer engine and only 30 mins from the new place. I'll look into that.

MightyMouse - excellent point. While my fab skills are still a work in progress, my cousin has a nice metal shop and would be willing to help with something like that. Definitely going to consider that. Get the tractor I want now and get it setup like I want as I go.
 

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MightyMouse - excellent point. While my fab skills are still a work in progress, my cousin has a nice metal shop and would be willing to help with something like that. Definitely going to consider that. Get the tractor I want now and get it setup like I want as I go.
:fing32: Nothin' wrong with that. That's what I've been trying to do. Almost there. Need (aka want really bad) the 3pt, pto, and the tiller for the X485.
 
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