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Looking at the X500 but it's a lot more money than my X320 for not being shaft drive.

I guess the belt might be more forgiving; breaking instead of transmission?

But there must be a reason why the X7xx series has shaft drive.

What do you all think are the pros and cons?

Thanks
 

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My 2 cents.



SHAFT DRIVE!! Period.










why?












Just Cause. You won't be sorry.:trink40:
 

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Belt Drive Pro: Easier to replace/fix
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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But there must be a reason why the X7xx series has shaft drive.



Thanks
Smoother (less vibration), less trouble (replacement) over the long haul, capable of delivering more torque to the HST than a belt, no slipping. I've replaced the drive belt on my GT235 twice in 435 hrs of service. I expect the driveshaft in my 748 to last at the very least 1000 hrs before the U-joint or the front attachment goes bad. Longer, if I stay on top of preventive maintenance.
 

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Look at the complaint rate by make on this and other forums Belt vs. Shaft Drive brands of near equal size/HP. If you do honest research, you will answer your own question. Shaft driven LT/GT tractors fail at a rate similer or higher than belt driven in the current "favorite brand" catagory.

When I was looking to buy a GT I read MANY posts of several competitive brands and clearly there were less complaints from belt driven tractor owners in the upper bracket "brand recognition market". Hands down!

The only difference in GT/LT power transmission becomes the manufacturer's choice of power plant and orientation of the engine crank and whether or not belt drive is easier to route. Vertical shaft is easier via belt and horizontal is easier via shaft. These were the ONLY logical answers to the engine choices.

From looking at the drive belt on my machine it is totally impossible for that duplex belt to slip unless the rear tires were replaced by "cogs" and were running on a crosswise grooved surface with half a ton of weight on the drive wheels. GT tires (JD GT's in the GX range and IMO 'ags' included) will slip long before the belt could possibly slip. If slipping happens to your tractor you need to check into the condition of the transmission belt, idlers, sheaves and tensioning springs/arms. Belt contact is over 270 degrees on the engine and transmission sheaves due to tensioner angles on a GX.

"Shaft Drive" was a brand specific selling point for years and no one ever came up with numbers that could prove it's worth in initial cost or durability. During that time period the top brand "belt drive" tractors were proving just as or more reliable than shaft models. Since JD has chosen to go to the horizontal crank engines it makes sense in the newer models to use shaft drive.

IF shaft drive was really far and away better than belt power transmission, all mower decks producers would have developed some kind of shaft drive, costs not withstanding. Isn't it silly for a shaft drive tractor to have a belt driven mower deck? It kinda defeats the original power transmission concept. Manufacturing "Cost" problems can ALWAYS be overcome by skillful advertising hype and the gleam in the potential new owner's eye (see all ultra high horsepower dinky riding mowers and hype-brid cars).

I limit the above statements to GARDEN TRACTORS/LAWN MOWERS and NOT logging equipment, mine haul trucks, earth movers, or space shuttle transporters (most of which drive their engine accessories via a belt and not "shafts").
 

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I've had good luck with both drive belts and shafts. I prefer the shaft drive and have never had to replace one of them. The belts I've had to replace and can sometimes be a bear to replace. slkpk
 

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you are also comparing Apples to Oranges. the X500 is a garden tractor while the X320 is a LAWN tractor. my X500 can easily pull a disc around an acre of tilled ground AT IDLE, though i would not recommend doing it long term! the belt never slipped. i have used it to pull my 5x10 trailer with my L130 in on it and the belt never slipped.

teh X7xx series are shaft drive because they are as close to a SCUT as Deere goes in this size machine. they are made for heavy duty work and the shaft drive just gives that extra added protection that in reality 99% of folks would never need.
 

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Hi

Shaft drive takes up less space and properly designed and maintained it should last the life of the machine. Modern HD belt drives are very robust and can do the job just fine. I don't think it should be a deciding factor on which machine to buy.
I have owned an x475(now x700) in the past and it is a fine machine. When I was choosing between the gx345 and the x475 the belt drive of the gx was not a deciding factor. I picked the larger machine because I needed the extra weight and features like the 3pt. hitch.
All the Deere machines are designed to provide reliable power transmission for the intended application and you can be confident that the x500 belt drive transmission will not be a weak link in the chain.

Cheers
Brian
 

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I have never had a driveshaft ever fail me, but I have replaced a many drive belt. No belt squeeling on takeoff with a shaft either like on belt drive with tensioner clutch system. And how many posts have we seen about hydrostatic tractors with weak/no movement and it turned out to be a slipping worn belt.
 

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I would say durabilty is biggest pro for shaft drive. My old cub 109 has the original shaft, but i doubt any of the belts are.
 

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"The Lucky Muscle"
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My 317's shaft was toast when I bought mine but now with a new John deere shaft, its silky smooth. I like this over my old Cub as that somtimes slipped under heavy loads.
 

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Hi

I have seen a large Cub GT with shaft drive that belonged to a friend of mine blow out the rubber shaft coupler and do quite a bit of damage to the tractor. It did this twice on him before he sold the tractor. The parts alone to fix it were over 200$. I guess you have to consider a belt as a consumable and replace it every so many hours to maintain reliable operation and keep the belt tensioning hardware maintained as well. It is more work then giving a shaft U joint some grease once a year for sure.
I think both belts and shaft drive are valid choices when properly engineered.

Cheers
Brian
 

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The Magnificent
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My 317's shaft was toast when I bought mine but now with a new John deere shaft, its silky smooth. I like this over my old Cub as that somtimes slipped under heavy loads.
Seems to me it is fairly well known that there were issues with the 317 shaft needing to be replaced around 1000 hours. I don't know if this carried into the 318, but I'm keeping an eye on mine.
 

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The big beaouch with me and belts was this winter, and here in N Idaho we had record snows. I had trouble with BOTH the newer Craftsman GT and the old SS16 with belts. I'd get "out in the snow--the alley was all plugged, trying to plow it (with some success) with the GT, and blow it with the SS16. I shredded a belt on one, evidently got snow up in the pulleys and threw it off, and the other the clutch refused to release!!!!! for a short period, all "snowed" up.

I now have an old Cub Cadet. We'll see what this winter brings
 

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All the Deere machines are designed to provide reliable power transmission for the intended application and you can be confident that the x500 belt drive transmission will not be a weak link in the chain.

Cheers
Brian
I agree with this. My 355D had over 400 hours and the belt still looked and worked fine. My 748 has only 115 hours but I expect the shaft to last. The shaft must be greased periodically where the belt has no maintenance until it needs replacing.
 

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Citizen of Earth
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Shaft or belt really isn't the main factor I look for. More important to me is what the tranny is rated for and quality of engine, frame, axles, etc. I own both types of drive and they have both worked very well for me. I'll take a quality ______ drive over a badly made cheap _______ drive every time. And you can fill in the blanks either way.
 

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Shaft drive for blowing snow! No slipage at start ups and does not begin slipping under heavy loads.
 

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Looking at the X500 but it's a lot more money than my X320 for not being shaft drive.

I guess the belt might be more forgiving; breaking instead of transmission?

But there must be a reason why the X7xx series has shaft drive.

What do you all think are the pros and cons?

Thanks
Can you tell me if John Deere x390 has drive shaft or belt?
 
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