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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

New to MTF, it's terrific! I am contemplating purchasing a new X500 with a 48" deck. What I intend to us it for will be mowing, pulling a 17P cart filled with wood through snow in the winter (we have a wood burning stove and the barn where the wood is kept is maybe 50-75 yards from the house), plowing snow, and using a Johnny Bucket Jr primarily to scoop manure from a horse stable. I am impressed with the x500, esp. because of the rear diff lock, and think I am getting a good deal $-wise. My question is about the tranny -- I am weary of belt-driven transmissions, concerned that over time the belt(s) will stretch, wear and cause me to lose power. Not much point having 25 hp if it's not getting to the rear wheels. Also not crazy about the heavy use of plastic on the hood and fenders. Any thoughts? Am I better off with a Kubota GR series (shaft transmission, but more $ and the dealer is much further away) or a Simplicity Conquest (don't know much about it, seems to be comparable, dealer also is further away)? Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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CLD,

Welcome to the forum! :Welcome1:
 

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Welcome to the forum. The x 5's are great machines. I would take a ride and chack other makes as it's always fun and very interesting too. Sounds to me you have big plans for this machine. If affordable I'd probably step up to a Simplicity legacy or JD 2305 and have to luxury of a fel, diesel, shaft drive and 4x4 etc. The Simplicity would cut grass the best IMO (ground following deck)
But that is of course if you want to spend twice as much (going new that is).:biglaugh:
It's always easy to spend others money. But this way you'd do it once and have all you need.
Oh, my Conquest is all steel.:hide:
MU
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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How big a yard do you have to mow? You might reconsider and go for the 54" deck if it's more than a half acre and you don't have any narrow spots. The 48" deck is the same width as your wheelbase, so if you can drive the GT through a spot, the deck will also fit. If you have about 4 inches or so on either side available, the 54" sticks out about that much past the rear tires. You'd be surprised how much it cuts down mowing time just for the extra 6" of deck.

The plastic hood isn't much of an issue, IMO, at least not nearly enough to steer me away from the tractor. I have two JD's, both with plastic hoods, and I have replaced one of them due to splitting whenI opened it in very cold weather. If you don't beat and bang your tractor around, the plastic hood will last for years. It will take a hit that would dent a metal hood or crack a fiberglass one, but that isn't to say you can't hurt it.

My GT235 has the "forerunner" of the X500 HST. It is belt driven, and in almost 450 hrs, I have replace the belt once. That's to be expected, and I'd consider it routine maintenance. You'll have a GT that will do what you're planning, and should give excellent performance and service.

The HDAP tires are very good for traction in dirt and snow, but I'd almost recommend ag tread if you're going to do a lot of work where the ground can get sloppy. The HDAP's will pack up if it's really muddy, ag treads seem to clean themselves better. I wouldn't worry either about using ag treads when you mow. They aren't all that bad if you're careful with the "go" pedal while making turns. I have the HDAP's on my 748, and ag tires on the GT235. As soon as I wear the HDAP's down some, I'm replacing them with Tru-Power Ag tires.
 

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I think he meant the 48 is not very much wider than the tractor, where as the 54" sticks out quite a bit farther. I have the 54" and its real nice as long as you don't have any tight spots to go thru. I don't think he was running the 48" down.
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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I think he meant the 48 is not very much wider than the tractor, where as the 54" sticks out quite a bit farther. I have the 54" and its real nice as long as you don't have any tight spots to go thru. I don't think he was running the 48" down.
Exactamundo. Nothing at all 'wrong' with the 48C deck, I have one, and also a 54C deck. I can mow my lawn in about 20 minutes less with the wider deck. It's a little wider than the tractor, but not by much, is what I'm saying, compared to the 54". I'm wishing that I had gotten either the 60" 7-iron or the 62C, as I have a good bit to mow and have plenty of power for the larger deck. This is the point I'm trying to make, is the X500 has enough power for a bigger deck than he was planning on, as long as he had enough to mow to justify a wider mowing path.
 

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I run two of them in a landscaping business, one has over 200 hours now, they mow, pull sweepers, 400 pound lawn roller, 17P cart as we are doing trenches and load the cart with the excavator bucket and haul it to a dump spot to avoid a mess, they pull seeders and probably other things that are slipping my mind, not one issue yet, they get a work out every day and not that often by me so I suspect they see some abuse as I have 11 employees.

I am not sure I would personally put a loader on one to clean out barns, having worked on a dairy farm years ago that product is pretty heavy and I am not so sure you would get the desired traction, I know I broke the front end of an International M many years ago doing this.

Personally I would be inclined to use something along the lines of a 2305 or a 2320...then again that's just me.
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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I am not sure I would personally put a loader on one to clean out barns, having worked on a dairy farm years ago that product is pretty heavy and I am not so sure you would get the desired traction, I know I broke the front end of an International M many years ago doing this.

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If, as I suspect, his horse adventure is roughly the same as mine (I have two), cleaning the stalls with a JB wouldn't be too much of a stretch for an X500. Horse biscuits and pissy wood chips aren't nearly as heavy as loads and loads of cow flop, and it wouldn't be nearly on the same scale as a dairy (been there, done that, didn't want the T-shirt).

Just make sure the stall doors are wide enough for the bucket, you can drive right in and scoop it up, otherwise, you have to do like I do, park the wagon at the door and shovel it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! :thanku: The dealer sorta steered me away from the 54" deck, as I will be mowing 2 acres regularly (I have a horse pasture that is another 1.5 or so, but will mow it only a few times a year -- the horse takes care of the rest). Dealer said the larger deck might save me 15 minutes on 2 acres, but I am rethinking that advice based on these posts. Is the 54" any less maneuverable? More prone to scalp? Accessability, narrow areas and gates not an issue for me.

As for the belt drive -- I am glad to hear no one has had any issues (yet, at least). I wonder if the belts did start to go before the 5 year/400 hrs were up if they would be covered under warranty?

Believe me, if I could afford more tractor, I would! But the 2305 is just not in the cards, or in the same category as the X500's (or the 700's IMO). Nor is the Legacy, for that matter. And the Simplicity and Kubota dealers are way far away, compared to the JD guy who is within 10 miles. I am hoping that the 2WD with locking diff and HDAP's, chains and weights will get me through the snow pulling a cart -- yes, 4WD would be much better but there's not much at this price point other than 2WD's. Not worried about the JBJr scoopin' the horse poop, either -- that's what it's made for, right?

Happy to be a member!!! Thanks for the advice!!!
 

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CountryLawyerDan,

Welcome to the forum.
:Welcome1:
Glad you have found all the information helpful and be sure to post pics of your new machine when you get her. And as you may have already seen in many of the posts regarding the x500, be sure to get the HDAPs. These are IMHO the best for traction outside of ag/bar tires.
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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The dealer sorta steered me away from the 54" deck, as I will be mowing 2 acres regularly (I have a horse pasture that is another 1.5 or so, but will mow it only a few times a year -- the horse takes care of the rest)
I'm curious as to why the dealer would steer you away from the wider deck. Except for fitting through a space narrower than 57 inches, the 54" deck will maneuver just as well as the narrower deck, and the cut is just as nice. If you're mowing 2 acres regularly, and have the pasture to occasionally groom, the 54" will be much appreciated very quickly. I'm finding that I would have liked a wider deck than I have, just to get the job done a bit more quickly.
Horses are spot grazers, they will chew parts of the field down to dirt, and other areas will be knee deep, especially where they dump the most. The deeper the grass gets, the more they avoid it. I have to mow my pasture several times during the summer, both to help keep weeds down, and to level out the grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Exactly, KHodges, that's what my pasture looks like now. Some of it is almost bare, most is "normal" height, but there are spots that are waist high with weeds, flowers, and other crud the horse won't eat. That's what I need to go through a few times a summer. And I'll just go with the bigger deck, I don't want to be driving around a year from now kicking myself for getting the smaller one. I'll probably buy it this weekend -- if dlr has one on the lot, maybe I'll be able to let everyone know how it works by Sunday. Thanks again !!!
 

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Yeah get the 54". Mine does not scalp and does a good job cutting. Also when you turn with the wider deck you get a smaller uncut radius. I find it work nice around trees and shrubs also as you can stay away a bit farther with the tractor eliminated some scrapes on your paint job.
 
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