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Hello everyone,

I stumbled upon this forum today and I was blown away by the willingness to help and the wealth of information. I couldn't believe it.

Anyway, I have a tired Scotts S2554 and I have a hard time warranting the time/effort/cost/compatibility of finding an old snowblower for this machine. That being said, I'm in the market to find a machine and snowblower combo but don't even know where to start or what would be the best setup for my situation.

My situation: I live in Minnesota, less than 1 acre yard, walkout basement so somewhat hilly, ~200 ft of total driveway - one of the driveways goes down the hill into the back yard, and I'm fairly handy with a wrench so going used is okay. I'd say my maximum budget is $5k.

I struggle with what features I need and what features are nice to have.

Thank you in advance for your advice!
 

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Thanks for your response. If you were me, what would you keep an eye out for in the way of make and model?
 

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A member of the Deere x500 family would fit the bill nicely. If you have a very hilly driveway one of the 4WD "big" X series would do well, but we're likely way over 5k.
 

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Not too hilly. The driveway side is significantly more gradual than the other side of the house. Thanks for the input!
 

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Make and model are irrelevant. Decide what you can live without and what you want to have then start shopping. You have already set a budget. They are out there.
 

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Ariens GT 18 or 20
Simplicity Legacy
Gravely 8000 series
Kubota GR series

The above are heavy, snow-gobbling monsters.
 

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What type of driveway due you have?

If you only get a 2wd what ever and run chains are you gonna worry about leaving scratches in the surface?

I'd say John Deere 318 there older but for 5k you might find a garage queen that will serve you well!
 

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What type of driveway due you have?

If you only get a 2wd what ever and run chains are you gonna worry about leaving scratches in the surface?

I'd say John Deere 318 there older but for 5k you might find a garage queen that will serve you well!
One concrete and asphalt going down the hill to the back. Overall not worried about keeping it pristine.

My reservation with something like a 318 is going from my Scott’s to something even older.
 

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best deal plus reliability combo would be a late model 345( drawback is single stage snow thrower and no diff lock) Hard to find decent bigger X's ( 700 series) with snow blower in your budget. Anything in your price range for X7 series and snowblower would more than likely be a POS. Sweet spot would be a 500 series John Deere- powerful engine and tranny and two stage snow blower, diff lock for added traction. And if you are worried about scratching your driveway with chains - go with rubber chains ( terragrips) they work like a champ.. You'll see a lot of folks recommend older tractors- but if you are looking for everyday rider and snow blower- I'd stay with a tractor 15 years old or younger.

specific models I'd recommend are X530/540/580/590 - all have power steering and hydraulic lift - the two stage 47 inch blower is a beast. All are long lived machines

I see Demonspeed posted right after I did-- and I agree I would add those two models in your search - they are late model 345's and are very close to 500 series and have diff lock
 

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2004/2005 GX345 (liquid cooled) or GX335 (Air cooled). You get the heavier frame than the regular GT’s, hydraulic lift/steering, and diff-lock. I don’t even run chains on mine - just HDAP tires and four suitcase weights. That is within your budget and you’ll have money left over.
 

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I agree that the JD X500 series or their predecessors (345 or GX345) would make you very happy. You should be able to find some used ones with a mower deck and snow blower for a little less than your $5k budget, but depending on the market in your area, it may take a while to find one that is actually for sale, as most people who buy them tend to hold on to them.
 

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Something like this would fit your need, but being newer, does not include the blower or weights, but does have some warranty.
https://www.greentractors.com/Pre-owned-Inventory-2017-John-Deere-Residential-Mowing-X590-Tecumseh-7979105?ref=list

Don’t discount used from Craigslist or other sites. I’ve bought my last three purchases off Craigslist and have been pleased.

Decide what features you “want”. Then search for a deal. Things you want will be different for each person. Here’s a link to my list when I was looking for my son and his family. Low hours limit the wear/damage the previous owner may have done. Low $$$ allows you to offset any damage by you doing the fixes. Last picture. Hope it helps.
https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1203465-final-tractor-choice-x730.html

After finding the one for my son, I found one for me and have loved it ever since. First two pictures.
https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1217641-christmas-came-early-2014-x738.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15
best deal plus reliability combo would be a late model 345( drawback is single stage snow thrower and no diff lock) Hard to find decent bigger X's ( 700 series) with snow blower in your budget. Anything in your price range for X7 series and snowblower would more than likely be a POS. Sweet spot would be a 500 series John Deere- powerful engine and tranny and two stage snow blower, diff lock for added traction. And if you are worried about scratching your driveway with chains - go with rubber chains ( terragrips) they work like a champ.. You'll see a lot of folks recommend older tractors- but if you are looking for everyday rider and snow blower- I'd stay with a tractor 15 years old or younger.

specific models I'd recommend are X530/540/580/590 - all have power steering and hydraulic lift - the two stage 47 inch blower is a beast. All are long lived machines

I see Demonspeed posted right after I did-- and I agree I would add those two models in your search - they are late model 345's and are very close to 500 series and have diff lock
2004/2005 GX345 (liquid cooled) or GX335 (Air cooled). You get the heavier frame than the regular GT’s, hydraulic lift/steering, and diff-lock. I don’t even run chains on mine - just HDAP tires and four suitcase weights. That is within your budget and you’ll have money left over.
Great info, thank you both! I've researched a bit and it seems people's opinion on what constitutes "old" isn't always aligned. What's a reasonable amount of hours for these types of machines and what's a good range for my budget?
 

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Something like this would fit your need, but being newer, does not include the blower or weights, but does have some warranty.
https://www.greentractors.com/Pre-owned-Inventory-2017-John-Deere-Residential-Mowing-X590-Tecumseh-7979105?ref=list

Don’t discount used from Craigslist or other sites. I’ve bought my last three purchases off Craigslist and have been pleased.

Decide what features you “want”. Then search for a deal. Things you want will be different for each person. Here’s a link to my list when I was looking for my son and his family. Low hours limit the wear/damage the previous owner may have done. Low $$$ allows you to offset any damage by you doing the fixes. Last picture. Hope it helps.
https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1203465-final-tractor-choice-x730.html

After finding the one for my son, I found one for me and have loved it ever since. First two pictures.
https://www.mytractorforum.com/12-john-deere-forum/1217641-christmas-came-early-2014-x738.html
This helps a lot. I've almost exclusively been searching craiglist and Facebook marketplace because I assumed all dealers would be out of my price range. The problem was, I didn't even know what I was looking for. There are so many options with so many features I got lost very quickly. From an L120 to this x350 I found(https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/445540609712312/), I just didn't know how to narrow my search. You guys have helped a lot!
 

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Simplicity legacy or legacy xl. Can be found used for cheap. Heave a great trans axle and can take a loader. Plus many other attachment.
 

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This helps a lot. I've almost exclusively been searching craiglist and Facebook marketplace because I assumed all dealers would be out of my price range. The problem was, I didn't even know what I was looking for. There are so many options with so many features I got lost very quickly. From an L120 to this x350 I found(https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/445540609712312/), I just didn't know how to narrow my search. You guys have helped a lot!
Nice looking machine. Bagger is a plus if you have leaves to pick up. Weights are a must, but no mention of chains which aren’t a huge expense, just $ to consider.

Some things to consider:
18.5 hp is probably okay for the 42” deck, but is the 42” deck big enough? You are going from a 25 hp, 54” deck for an acre sized lawn. I think you will be disappointed in ride, power, speed, just overall time to mow.

The rear tire size are 20x10-8 which may be a little small for decent traction and smoothness of ride.

No power steering which isn’t different from your Scotts, but you didn’t have a blower on it. Sometimes we live with what we have, but then we need to look longer term, who else will use it, how often will we want to work on it, how expensive will repairs be, etc.

K46 transmission may be okay for mowing, but not snow duty with a blade and maybe a blower.
 

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Great info, thank you both! I've researched a bit and it seems people's opinion on what constitutes "old" isn't always aligned. What's a reasonable amount of hours for these types of machines and what's a good range for my budget?
It’s different than when one views vehicles as being “old”. A 10-15 year old car or truck is really outdated, but tractors don’t seem to be leaps and bounds better from what I’ve seen.

Hours are like miles, though: I’ll take a cleaner, high hour machine before I’d go with a lower-hour, rough machine that doesn’t come with maintenance records. FWIW, mine has over 800 hours, but I bought it with 600. Nothing that it has needed has been a surprise, and honestly, it’s not left me stranded. That is, I’ve replaced stuff that may have been starting to show wear but could have very well lasted me several hundred more hours. These are solid machines.

If you can get past looking on Craigslist or Marketplace, check out www.machinedfinder.com as you can search dealer inventory nationwide. You might find they aren’t priced wildly...
 

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Some will disagree but power steering and hydraulics are a must here.
I agree 100%

Too many responses here to address them all but I am old school and love the 318,330, 332 JD tractors the 455s are a great tractor also. That being said the foot controls are a great feature on the newer stuff.

I personally will stick with the "older" stuff due to simplicity and sever duty working ability not found in the newer stuff as far as I have seen. Well that and I can't afford the newer stuff. :tango_face_grin:

Find something that fits what you need in your price range and go for it.

BTW :MTF_wel:
 
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