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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I have finally had enough (and so has my wife) and I have her convinced that it is time to replace the 445. It is a great tractor, but the last couple of years it has started to require more and more attention to fix little things that I just don't have time for. Maintenance is one thing, but the multiple trips to the dealer for parts to fix the annoying little problems is just too much. I have about 1-1/2 acres that we mow (many my wife does the mowing) but I also have a driveway that I plow and I also plow our private lane about 2/3's of the time in the winter. The lane is about 1/8 mile. The 445 has been generally enough tractor for the job, but I will say that the tire chains have been a pain in my a$$. For this reason, I have been considering moving up to 4 wheel drive. Is it realistic to believe that I can eliminate the tire chains for plowing if I go to a 4 wheel drive tractor? The driveway is concrete and the lane is asphalt. What tires are recommended? I have yet to convince her that 4 wheel drive is a necessity, but in the end it will be my decision and she usually doesn't say too much. Now the big question, should I go x728 or x748. I have never been a fan of diesels.....never liked the odor associated with them. From reading here, I know a lot of you claim that the odor is non existent on the x748, but I just don't know. The reason I am even considering the x748 is mainly for the fuel economy, but also because we do have a hill in the back that the 445 does labor on. So the question is, how much better is the fuel economy? Also, living in the midwest where we hit 100 degrees in the summer and 25 below in the winter, will I have a problem with the diesel in the winter? The original reason I went with the 445 years ago was the fuel injection and the ease of starting in the winter. The tractor will be stored in a shed, but there is no power to that shed so if a block heater or something else is needed for the diesel that will be a deal breaker as I am in no physical condition to be digging a 200 foot trench to install power to the shed.

Let the discussion begin, and thanks!
 

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What ever amount of fuel the 728 requires to do X amount of work, cut that in half and that's how much fuel the Diesel will use.
 

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At -25F I believe you will need aux heat to start a diesel.

Ran the numbers for economy in a previous thread and if the diesel option is an extra $1000 and you use the tractor 100hrs a year you will recoup your money in 15 years.

There are MANY GOOD reasons to go diesel, however predicating that option on fuel economy alone is not supported by the numbers.

Have never had a 4WD tractor but I`m sure it would be great for snow removal duties.

JMO
 

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At -25F I believe you will need aux heat to start a diesel.

Ran the numbers for economy in a previous thread and if the diesel option is an extra $1000 and you use the tractor 100hrs a year you will recoup your money in 15 years.

There are MANY GOOD reasons to go diesel, however predicating that option on fuel economy alone is not supported by the numbers.

Have never had a 4WD tractor but I`m sure it would be great for snow removal duties.

JMO

What price did you plug in for Diesel?
 

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What price did you plug in for Diesel?

That was a while back on a different machine. But lets use .78 gph vs 1.3gph and $2.50 a gallon vs. $2.85 yields $220 per 100 hrs vs $325 for an annual savings of $103 or a 10 ten year payback. Obviously we can use different numbers and assumptions and I am NOT bashing diesel in ANY way.
Used a Ford 1220 (?) 3 cyl diesel at work years ago and loved it

Again there are MANY GOOD reasons to go to an oil burner, merely suggesting that fuel cost is only one portion of the decision making process.

EDIT: these gph figures give the diesel a 65% advantage.
 

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At -25F I believe you will need aux heat to start a diesel.

Ran the numbers for economy in a previous thread and if the diesel option is an extra $1000 and you use the tractor 100hrs a year you will recoup your money in 15 years.

There are MANY GOOD reasons to go diesel, however predicating that option on fuel economy alone is not supported by the numbers.

Have never had a 4WD tractor but I`m sure it would be great for snow removal duties.

JMO
I have a JD spec sheet on these tractors that shows the gas Kawa using 33% more fuel per hour of operation at the same rpm, but that fails to reflect how the diesel need not operate at the same rpm as gas to access its torque. In other words, real-world the gas version would probably use closer to 50% more.

But, there is more than just the fuel cost savings when going with diesel -- a much bigger factor in my mind is the convenience of not having to refuel nearly as often. You can work 30-50% longer with the diesel, so won't need to pause nearly as often to re-fill, and won't need to make as many trips to the fuel station. That all adds up, and needs to be factored in any cost-benefit analysis or "break-even" calculation (including the fuel burned to get fuel, and your own time if you can put a price on it).

As for the O.P.'s question: I know I'd want the block heater on the diesel if I expected -25 degree temps. There are many benefits to going with the diesel, but if you can't get power (extension cord?) to your shed -- gas might make more sense for you.

I really prefer diesels, but that Kawa 27 hp engine is pretty sweet too and folks who have it seem to love it. I think it's the right choice for you.
 

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That was a while back on a different machine. But lets use .78 gph vs 1.3gph and $2.50 a gallon vs. $2.85 yields $220 per 100 hrs vs $325 for an annual savings of $103 or a 10 ten year payback. Obviously we can use different numbers and assumptions and I am NOT bashing diesel in ANY way.
Used a Ford 1220 (?) 3 cyl diesel at work years ago and loved it

Again there are MANY GOOD reasons to go to an oil burner, merely suggesting that fuel cost is only one portion of the decision making process.

EDIT: these gph figures give the diesel a 65% advantage.
I didn't say you was bashing at all, was just curious what numbers you used. Those numbers are accurate to what I pay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, so bear with me here as i will probably ask a stupid question, but here it goes. As someone who has never had a diesel before, what exactly is the block heater going to do for me/resolve. I have heard stories of fuel that gels, etc. in regards to diesels. Does this block heater in someway resolve this or is there something else I am not understanding? Am I looking at multiple issues with a diesel tractor and the cold weather? I guess I could rent a trencher to install a power feed to the shed and get a friend to run the thing for me if need be if the advantages of a diesel are too much to pass up. My problem here is I am having shoulder replacement surgery in the next few weeks and I don't think my doctor would appreciate me trying to use a shovel right about now.

Thanks for your patience guys!
 

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GramPa
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Could you post a pic of shed? Having lights in shed would be a bonus with any tractor stored there. One on outside pointed towards house and one inside. A little heat in there would be all you would need to keep it from freezing. So the 445 you have now with a metal bar 5-8 inches long attached to back could easily make your 200 foot trench to run an approved underground wire would take at most 10 minutes and NO hard labour.

The tractor will be stored in a shed, but there is no power to that shed so if a block heater or something else is needed for the diesel that will be a deal breaker as I am in no physical condition to be digging a 200 foot trench to install power to the shed.

Let the discussion begin, and thanks!
 

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A block heater is not going to prevent gelling. The right type of diesel (#1 vs. #2) will prevent gelling down to -40 or so, depending on where you are and what they are mixing into the diesel... The block heater will ease the start in cold temperatures (or in really cold temps, allow for you to get it started at all), as will use of synthetic oils. Additionally, you may need run some additives (standyne, power service, etc). Stay away from Marvel Mystery Oil as an additive...

I ran diesels in Alaska for years, and they were definately grumpy in the cold if they were not plugged in. Below about -25 and not plugged in it was a crap shoot on whether you were going to get it to start.
 

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Ok, so bear with me here as i will probably ask a stupid question, but here it goes. As someone who has never had a diesel before, what exactly is the block heater going to do for me/resolve. I have heard stories of fuel that gels, etc. in regards to diesels. Does this block heater in someway resolve this or is there something else I am not understanding? Am I looking at multiple issues with a diesel tractor and the cold weather? I guess I could rent a trencher to install a power feed to the shed and get a friend to run the thing for me if need be if the advantages of a diesel are too much to pass up. My problem here is I am having shoulder replacement surgery in the next few weeks and I don't think my doctor would appreciate me trying to use a shovel right about now.

Thanks for your patience guys!
The block heater would do as its name suggests -- heat the engine block.* Diesels can have difficulty starting in super cold temps -- although modern direct injected diesels are much better than the diesels of yore. By heating the block up a bit, it just takes the edge off the super cold and allows the engine to fire off more easily on the cold crank.

Fuel gelling shouldn't be a problem. Diesel producers "winterize" the fuel for the cold months, to prevent any gelling. So unless you are using summer fuel, or bio-diesel, you shouldn't have a problem with the fuel. The block heater should remedy any cold weather issues.

*By warming and circulating the coolant.
 

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OK, I have finally had enough (and so has my wife) and I have her convinced that it is time to replace the 445. It is a great tractor, but the last couple of years it has started to require more and more attention to fix little things that I just don't have time for. Maintenance is one thing, but the multiple trips to the dealer for parts to fix the annoying little problems is just too much. I have about 1-1/2 acres that we mow (many my wife does the mowing) but I also have a driveway that I plow and I also plow our private lane about 2/3's of the time in the winter. The lane is about 1/8 mile. The 445 has been generally enough tractor for the job, but I will say that the tire chains have been a pain in my a$$. For this reason, I have been considering moving up to 4 wheel drive. Is it realistic to believe that I can eliminate the tire chains for plowing if I go to a 4 wheel drive tractor? The driveway is concrete and the lane is asphalt. What tires are recommended? I have yet to convince her that 4 wheel drive is a necessity, but in the end it will be my decision and she usually doesn't say too much. Now the big question, should I go x728 or x748. I have never been a fan of diesels.....never liked the odor associated with them. From reading here, I know a lot of you claim that the odor is non existent on the x748, but I just don't know. The reason I am even considering the x748 is mainly for the fuel economy, but also because we do have a hill in the back that the 445 does labor on. So the question is, how much better is the fuel economy? Also, living in the midwest where we hit 100 degrees in the summer and 25 below in the winter, will I have a problem with the diesel in the winter? The original reason I went with the 445 years ago was the fuel injection and the ease of starting in the winter. The tractor will be stored in a shed, but there is no power to that shed so if a block heater or something else is needed for the diesel that will be a deal breaker as I am in no physical condition to be digging a 200 foot trench to install power to the shed.

Let the discussion begin, and thanks!
Get the all wheel drive and don't look back. I chose the x728 because the chains on my 420 were marking up my concrete driveway. I also have steep hills to mow. The x728 is rock stable any direction I point it when mowing. My neighbor plows with an all wheel drive x585, and does not own a set of chains. I took gas over diesel only because I wanted to keep everything 4 stroke for ease and convenience.

I find it best to mention that I was thinking about buying a new tractor, then buy it and say "but we talked about this"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Could you post a pic of shed? Having lights in shed would be a bonus with any tractor stored there. One on outside pointed towards house and one inside. A little heat in there would be all you would need to keep it from freezing. So the 445 you have now with a metal bar 5-8 inches long attached to back could easily make your 200 foot trench to run an approved underground wire would take at most 10 minutes and NO hard labour.
Picture will have to wait until I get home. As far as the lights, I couldn't agree more but time just hasn't been on my side when it come to getting power run out there. When I have had time, I haven't been physically able to do it and when I have been physically able to do it, I haven't had time. Your idea of the metal bar intrigues me. Care to elaborate on this metal bar and how I would go about attaching it so that I could make a trench in ground that seems to be as hard as concrete? If I could do this, you would be my new hero. :fing32:
 

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...I took gas over diesel only because I wanted to keep everything 4 stroke for ease and convenience.

I find it best to mention that I was thinking about buying a new tractor, then buy it and say "but we talked about this"!
Good one!!! That is a clever strategy. I might try it, but I think it could backfire, too. I can hear it now, as payback, from Mrs. UrbanTractor: "Honey, remember that tennis bracelet I mentioned, the one with all those sparkly diamonds?" Mr. UrbanTractor clenches chest, falls to floor.:D:D:D

Oh, and not to knitpick, but diesels are also 4-stroke engines. I assume you wanted to keep a single fuel type (gas)?
 

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If you have a 3 point hitch on the 445 you can make a narrow trencher from bar stock usually 1 to 2" thick, angle cut on the end and weld it to a drawbar. Lower the 3PH so that the spike penetrates the ground and then drive slowly and it will make a shallow trench.

Like this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A block heater is not going to prevent gelling. The right type of diesel (#1 vs. #2) will prevent gelling down to -40 or so, depending on where you are and what they are mixing into the diesel... The block heater will ease the start in cold temperatures (or in really cold temps, allow for you to get it started at all), as will use of synthetic oils. Additionally, you may need run some additives (standyne, power service, etc). Stay away from Marvel Mystery Oil as an additive...

I ran diesels in Alaska for years, and they were definately grumpy in the cold if they were not plugged in. Below about -25 and not plugged in it was a crap shoot on whether you were going to get it to start.
Everything you guys have said has made perfect sense. Thanks for the input. It doesn't get down to -25 here often, but it does on occasion so it is better to plan for all contingencies. It could also be as much as a couple of weeks in between uses in the winter, so I suppose that should be accounted for, also. The 445 has never failed to start, so I probably should just stick with good old gasoline power but the added torque of the diesel would be of benefit on the hills that we mow.

snoyes, where in Illinois are you located?
 

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GramPa
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:ditto:

See Oaker55 it is just that easy.

If you have a 3 point hitch on the 445 you can make a narrow trencher from bar stock usually 1 to 2" thick, angle cut on the end and weld it to a drawbar. Lower the 3PH so that the spike penetrates the ground and then drive slowly and it will make a shallow trench.

Like this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you have a 3 point hitch on the 445 you can make a narrow trencher from bar stock usually 1 to 2" thick, angle cut on the end and weld it to a drawbar. Lower the 3PH so that the spike penetrates the ground and then drive slowly and it will make a shallow trench.

Like this:


Thanks, Brett. Unfortunately, I don't have a 3-point hitch nor do I own a welder. Now if you need some furniture built, a computer fixed or a network built, I'm your man. I have welded, but it wasn't pretty. :Stop: There are some things best left to those that have those skill sets.
 

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FWIW, at -25F I`d want some type of heat on a GAS engine that`s been idle for a wk or so. Even if it`s just a flood lamp aimed at the oil pan. I`m afraid I would have to find a way to get power to that shed !
 

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