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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

I am currently the proud owner of a 2007 LA130 lawn tractor with 48" Edge M (Mid Mount Mower)/7bu 2 bag system and will be moving up the ladder to a X749 with 62" MMM with 7bu 2bag Power-Flo (quite a jump, I know). Currently I have a suburban lot, so the X749 will be crazy overkill, but I intend to move to a country location at retirement with considerably more land than I have now, so I plan to get the X749 now while I'm still working rather than make a large purchase after retirement. Some of the reasons for moving to an X749 now are as follows:

Gains over current machine and a potential X534 purchase:
  • Power Steering with tilt. I currently have a lot of trees and obstacles and this makes life a lot easier. The biggest reason is being able to backup with an implement (like a 48" roller) so it can be placed in just the right spot. It's tough to back an implement precisely, because you have to really turn around to see where you want to send it, at the same time you must often use `dramatic' steering corrections and that takes two hands and you can't do that while twisted around. It's tough, but the power steering makes this a finger tip operation like a car. The X534 also has this.
  • Power Deck lift. Gotta love that. X534 has this too.
  • 4 Wheel Steering. Same as above, plus virtually eliminates backing up while mowing for me. X534 has this also.
  • 4 Wheel Drive. I'm in Quebec. Yes it snows. A lot. Feet at a time. A lot. Did I mention it snows? Seriously, I want to add a blower, the 4 wheel drive adds more traction. In the future lot, it might help with ground engagement operations also (tilling). It's vastly superior to the MFWD (Manual four wheel drive) offered by the 2305 SCUT, because it is AFWD (Automatic Four Wheel Drive) and makes use of metered hydraulic motors on the front axle that don't scuff / rip up the turf the way the shaft driven MFWD system does. Plus it's always on, no need to activate it with a lever.
  • Yanmar Diesel. `nuff said
  • Liquid cooling. Can be idled without fear of overheating. Quieter and no brown spots on the ground while idling.
  • Transaxle: Here's a biggy. NOTHING will kill this beasty. Fully serviceable and radiator cooled, with spin on automotive type filter. It can engage, haul, yank, pull, push, uphill, downhill dangerously high amounts of payload all day long, day in day out and it won't break a sweat. It can be abused but can't be broken. Likethe Yanmar, this puppy will last beyond my lifetime without so much as a whimper.
  • Front/Rear PTO. Combined with the limited (lift height restriction) Category 1 3 point hitch, it is quite capable for my needs. A post hole auger works very well with this set up. The 2305 SCUT has one from the factory for less money? Yeah, I know. More on that later.
  • Locking differential. Adds to the AFWD abilities in the really rough stuff. X534 has this too.
  • Comfort. Adding the Special Edition seat is a must. `nuff said.
Disadvantages:
  • The 4 Wheel Steer models can't (or can't easily) take a FEL (Front End Loader) or mid mount blade. But that's OK, I don't need that now, and the limited capacity would probably serve to frustrate me anyhow, so when the day comes, I'll get something capable like a 2520 for that type of work.
  • It's frikin' expensive! A basic mowing setup (no bagging or anything else) is $16K cdn (plus tax).:eek:

Why an X749 over a 2305 SCUT? Simple; the 2305, while a marvellous machine, has some short comings for my current needs:
  • It's too big. It's 27" longer than the X749 (although that's with the hitch arms on, so that might not be entirely true)
  • It's heavier by couple hundred pounds, further compacting my lawn.
  • It's a MFWD system. It's can't be used to make tight turns on grass without risking scuffing the turf unless you use 2 wheel drive (and even then).
  • It has no 4 Wheel Steer AND it has a huge turning radius compared to my LA130, making grossly impractical (for me).
  • No tilt steering. (A comfort issue)
  • Cruise control is optional
  • The seat can't be upgraded to a x700 series Special Edition seat (a comfort issue), so it's a much harsher /bone jarring ride (I am told)
  • The ROPS. It will foul many trees and make me look silly on my current suburban lot
  • Setting up a blower or a Power-Flo or blower costs more than on a X700 series

It does have some advantages, but they are not enough to overcome the
above issues:
  • It has PTO and 3 point hitch from the factory for less money
  • The frame is a little heavier gauge
  • It can handle a FEL with greater aplomb because the hydros are more powerful (not too much more, but a little more)
  • It has a two range HST (instead of the 1 with the X700 Series)
  • More flexible hydro arrangements
  • I believe you can set the height of the 3 point (I might be wrong here)
  • It has a tachometer
  • It's about $1700 cnd cheaper (in basic mowing configuration)
Actually, many of these things may be less of an issue pending the new 2011 2305 model, from what I've seen/heard thus far, the x749/2305 gap may be closing further: Foldable ROPS, suspension seat, shift on the fly from Low to High etc...

OK. So what's my question?

I want to know:

Can the Quick Connect brackets be installed when you have the 3 Point hitch installed? In other words, do you have to sacrifice one for the other?

When the front Quick Hitch is installed (for a blade or blower etc) can the front brush guard be installed or does one have to be removed in favour of the other?

If I want to use the lift power of the PTO to yank out some shrub roots (3-4" in diameter) which could I use the front Quick Hitch or the rear 3 point? Which is stronger? I know I'll only have 300-500lbs of lift, but that combined with pulling away with the machine should do the job. Any comments?

:thanku: in advance for any comments.

John
 

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Making do with less
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Awesome! I think I'd just fab some custom brackets. It looks like the job of those brackets is to thicken the frame cross section at the square mounting hole. Having the heavy bracket there with two bolts to carry the load instead of one and having the load borne by the thin frame itself would be better on the long term to avoid creating a stress crack over time on the corner of the square frame hole.

This really makes the X749 an even more attractive option now...

Thanks for the link
 

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Likes Vintage JDs
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9,875 Posts
Another FEL option for AWS models that requires no modification is offered by CTC:

http://www.compacttractorandcomponents.com/john_deere X4750.htm

EDIT: The new version of that CTC FEL has a curved boom. You can see it here on RRJoe's tractor:

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=136468

Incidentally, CTC now indicates that they will be offering a backhoe specifically designed for these tractors too:

AS of September 2010. The Model 3000, 3180 and 4200 will be dropped from production due to purchase price and loosing popularity with age as the 400 and the 430 did. The older models will all be giving way to the compact backhoes custom fit for the 415-455 and all X465-748 models.

You may also want to review this information about necessary hydraulic modifications/options to operate an FEL on an X700 series tractor:

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=143863&page=5
 

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Murray tractor owner
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I'd get a X748 then no mods have to be done to the loader and you can get a 3pt for the back.
 

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Has anyone seen ChimChim?
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For me the AWS was never a consideration as I don't have obstacles that are so tight I can't navigate them and I don't like the idea of more joints on the back end. But I can certainly see it's use if you are maneuvering around real tight quarters. Looks to me like you've done your homework and I've heard the bashers repeatedly say "but the 2305 is cheaper" Like that's a reason to buy the 2305? If you need a stronger FEL, that's a reason to buy a 2305, but you also have to live with all it's other short comings, like lack of stability. The X7 series is low and wide.. It's a beast and it never feels like it's going to lose it's footing on hills. But because it's lower, it's not going to go places a 2305 will, just like a 2305 won't go and won't do what a 3320 will do :)
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah,
But I'd lose the 4WS (really important). You can add a 3pt and PTO to any X700 model, so that should not be too much of an issue.

Thanks
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #8
Looks to me like you've done your homework
Yep, the last month's been terrible for sleep (or lack thereof). I have now memorized every spec of the x500 series through to the 2305. Made Excel spreadsheets showing cost of implements over various models and configurations, resale values, list of things it will do for me etc. Now with the announcement of a new SCUT (2305) in a few months... I don't think I can take the stress. I've wanted an X749 since I bought the LA130. Yeah, I know. "What you need vs. What you want". Well now (at the moment) I still want more than I need... (don't we all?) but decided I'm not getting any younger either! I've promised myself not to pull the trigger before summer/fall 2011. The next year is gonna be ****.

Neighbor: Heck that's a mighty huge machine for this yard (coughing on diesel smoke)...
Me: Yeah, I'll be getting a bigger lot in the future...
Neighbor: Really? When?
Me: In the future. Say 10 or so years...
Neighbor: Really? Heck that's a mighty huge machine for this lot.
Me: Yeah, but I can cut around trees without backing up, blow snow without slipping, pull small stumps, dig post holes, use a FEL to move soil so I can over seed the lawn, lift pallets...
Neighbor: Wow! (pause) Heck that's a mighty huge machine for this lot.
:fing02:
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USMC
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I guess I should take off my Special Edition Seat off of my 2305 since they won't fit. You'll enjoy the X749 and my take is from my former X585SE. slkpk
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #10
Another FEL option for AWS models that requires no modification is offered by CTC:
WOW! That's nice! Great, even more things to think/dream about....

Thanks
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #11
I guess I should take off my Special Edition Seat off of my 2305 since they won't fit.
I suspected it would with some tweaking, but I was refering to a factory order. Great, you just gave the 2305 another feather in it's hat, and one less hour of sleep tonight!

Thanks!
 

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USMC
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You sir have a very tough decision to make and Ifn it were me I would be waiting to see what JD has to offer for 2011 and see it in person. slkpk
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #14
...see what JD has to offer for 2011 and see it in person.
Exactly. But I can dream for now. However, seems everytime I do that the urge to move now get's stronger. No. Must wait.

John
 

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What scares me is the cost of repairing those front motors if and when they should go bad, especially once retired, the life expectancy of them would be important to know too..
 

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Diesel Power
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The 2305 has a tach, but the x749 has a temperature gauge which is more important for me. A lot of times when I mow it is dry and dusty, the radiator screens will become covered in dry grass. As soon as the temp gauge starts to move I stop and clean the screens.
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #17
...the cost of repairing those front motors if and when they should go bad...
That's a valid point. One I will have to ponder. But I haven't heard of any problems thus far, other than a few guys having problems with some air in the system. A hydro motor is a tough thing to break. Since Deere usually keeps an inventory of parts for at least 10+ years after manufacture, I'll assume I should be OK. If it ever does come down to a parts issue in the far future, they'll always be the current great version of this machine available, and perhaps an upgrade at that time would be further warranted.:)
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #18
...but the x749 has a temperature gauge which is more important for me...
Good point! Another thing to consider.

That's whats great about this forum, lots of valuable input and opinions.

Thanks
 

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Making do with less
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Discussion Starter #19
Glad to see I'm not alone up here in the Great White North...
 

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Has anyone seen ChimChim?
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What scares me is the cost of repairing those front motors if and when they should go bad, especially once retired, the life expectancy of them would be important to know too..
Not likely to be an issue within the rated life time of the machine. How many Old Deere's do we have here that have never had the hydrostatic cracked open? Honestly the only components likely to ever wear out would be the axial pumps, replace them in pairs and be good to go for another 30 years.
 
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