Had a 455AWS for 16 years. Liked the AWS so much I bought a X739 (I wanted the 4WD for my steep hillside). If you have a lot of trees, obstacles, etc. it helps. For example I have a 8' square flower bed made out of landscape timbers. If its been weedeated back an inch or so I can go around it with my 60" deck without stopping or backing up and not leave any grass. If you go around a tree the exact same way every time and your yard is poor like mine you may wear a ring in grass but I think it does less damage than a 2WD would. Works good blading snow because the tractor follows the blade better in a turn. I pull my 4x5 trailer around quite a bit. You won't believe how much easier and quicker you can back the trailer in the garage with the AWS.
The X738 was my upgrade for steep hills and moving snow without chains. Even know I cut around a ton of trees I never looked at an all-wheel steer I just didn't think to look. I have not found anything my X738 doesn't do very well. I love this tractor. So I think you by what you want
The only 4 wheel steer tractor I had was the X304. I don't know if the bigger tractors are the same, but that one always felt "squirrely" in that the rear end moved outside the turn too fast compared to how fast the front moved into the turn. I got used to it after a while but my wife never did. She hated it. I recommend test driving it before you buy it as it seems to be a personal preference sort of thing.
Highly recommend the all wheel steer. Better turning radius when stripping a lawn
Can pretty much cut around a water well head with 60” deck, that is how tight it can trim around obstacles
More Nimble and agile when doing anything basically.
Good point brought up earlier about plowing snow. It does direct the blade better. It also can still steer even if u have the front wheels off the ground when plowing snow or dirt.
It is awesome. I went back and forth over the x758 and x739, I’m very glad I went with the all wheel steer. X739!
Well the disadvantage at one time was You couldn't put a Loader on it But Members managed to find work arounds On that with the OEM Loader In the Past and with a aftermarket Loader In the Present,
Only realy disadvantage today is just for a nit picky Person Trying to drive in a straight line You strips don't look right They can be a lttle Unstable on slopping Terrain especially when doing tight turns even with the AWD/AWS Models. But other than that I realy can't see much of a disadvtage anymore other Than they cost a Bit more Than the 2 Wheel steer models. I have often thought about finding a Used X739 with a 54inch deck or a X734. Just to handle The Turf maintence Then I could Leave the X748 set Up with a Loader & tiller Because I Just don't see a diatvange to owning one On less You live or real steep terrain Then I might think twice about AWS
I agree totally Sergeant! I used to experience steering linkage popping and other noise with rear ballast on my X729, that concerned me to the point that I decided to not use the loader on it any longer. It's (X729) still set up to mount the loader but I prefer to keep the loader on the X728. I realize that multiple tractors are not an option for a lot of owners but I like the older models and can find them for lower cost.
I have seen the aftermath of what Happens to AWS tractors on Very steep Hills Thanks to dealer feedback John Deere has received since 1992 so I know there Not Totally stable In that department Rolled over 425 AWS & several X729', X734's & X739's
However, when I considered what I had to do with my new tractor purchase a few years ago, strength and simplicity of repair were paramount for me. Went with the bare bones X500 two wheel steer. One of the considerations was that perhaps the AWS system may be more prone to issues and parts costs to repair. Having said all that, my property isn't such that it requires a highly maneuverable machine, so AWS just wasn't on my radar.
AWS may be good for some, glad it is, but just not something I would consider a necessity.
I believe 4WS is predicated on your need for maneuverability.
If you don't have many trees, and attachment use is not in tight places, then 2WS works well.
I'm in town, ~ 1/2 city block of land, plenty of trees and landscaping, so maneuverability is important to me, so 4WS was a requirement for me.
And as mentioned above, 4WS will allow a very small radius with a mower deck, especially a 62". Of course, a mulch border always makes that easier to make the size that fits the mower's turn radius.
So, how steep is too steep for AWS?
I have heard some people say that AWS is actually better for slopes, but no indication of how steep they were. I did test drive one years ago and it did feel funny. This is, of course, because it oversteers compared to a 2WS vehicle.
I think I want AWS for a few reasons. I have some trees that are on a slope. The slope is about 15 deg (not percent). When going downhill and needing to turn 180* to go uphill it is impossible to keep the deck close enough and still make it up the hill. I have a X300 with lug tires in the back. Also, when it is wet or it is pulling something heavy, I can't turn the front tires much or they will start sliding and the tractor goes straight.
Is a 20 degree slope too much for an AWS tractor? What about 25 or 30?
Most of the slopes are less than 20, but there are sections that are as high as 25-30 degrees. I currently mow with an X300 and it generally does an okay job. I ran the numbers on uncut circle and deck size to get an idea of the difference in the outside turning circle size (the minimum width necessary to do a 180 degree turn). It looks like the X584 with a 48" deck and X734 or X739 with a 54" deck are about the same, but actually need about a foot or so MORE space than the X300 (the X304 would need a foot or more less). I don't have a lot of area to mow, but I do have a LOT of edges, most of which are serpentine. There is at least half a mile of edges. Most of the land is not flat, nor level, so a bigger deck is not better.
I think any of the all wheel drive DEEREs are like billy goats on a hill. I think the all wheel steer is better on hills because if you are on an extreme slope where u start losing weight your front tires the rear tires help get you going where you need to point the tractor.
I mowed my ditch with it and could steer out of it at any time. The x739 is a billy goat.
I’d say at first you prb will say the steering feel “nervous” which really means it is over responsive to what your used to with two wheel steer. After a short time you get the feel for it like any machine and then take advantage of its benefits. My lines are as straight as arrows.