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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All-

I would like to know your opinion. I’m looking to purchase a new garden tractor. I’m interested in the JD X700 series. Presently I’m looking at the X738 and also the X739. I prefer gas over diesel. The main jobs for this tractor will be-

1. I mow about 1/2 acre that could expand to 3/4. I have about a dozen trees to mow around and a few sharp turns. One smaller area has about a 23% grade.
2. Some of my trees are smaller but three are large mature trees with lots of leaves. So leaf collection is a must.
3. I have a 400’ asphalt driveway and parking lot for about seven cars. Around 150’ of the driveway has a 16% grade. All of this requires snow removal. I will also be moving rock and wood (railroad ties) loads up the 16% grade.

Mav70
 

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I would expect either to work fine for that.

What attachment/s you get for doing snow removal is somewhat dependent on how much snow you normally get at once (blower/blade/brush).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would expect either to work fine for that.

What attachment/s you get for doing snow removal is somewhat dependent on how much snow you normally get at once (blower/blade/brush).
I live in Western Colorado, the snow tends to be light and fluffy. Many ski resorts are in our part of the state including Aspen. Most of my snows are between 2 and 3 inches. I see lots of blades and few blowers. A rotary broom will do a good job most times.
I also contend with the 16% grade on my driveway. Additionally, I have a blind driveway, certainly not heavy traffic but still some vehicles. I think a plow could be problematic, uncomfortable pushing snow onto the road.
 

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You don't necessarily have to push it onto, or across the road, you can push it to the side.

With just having a plow, you may wind up with windrows along the driveway that are too big to deal with, using the plow. Depending on what's adjacent to the driveway, and the total accumulated snowfall, you may want to push the snow further onto the lawn/ditch or get a snowblower (either an attachment or a separate walkbehind) to periodically blow the window away to make room for new snow.
 

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The standard 2WS X7 is already very maneuverable. Given the description of your property and intended use, you probably don’t need the 4WS.

However, 4WS would offer even greater maneuverability, and there would not be any real downside to having it. You could certainly make the turn at the bottom of your driveway more easily without entering the blind area in the roadway.

In the long run, the X739 will require a bit more maintenance for the 4WS linkage. But given your property size, you likely will be accumulating only moderate hours on the machine. So maintenance intervals won’t be onerous.

Be aware that the AWD/2WS X738 (and X758) are equipped with a larger charge pump that produces more flow/gpm (@ same psi) in the implement hydraulic spools. So the X738 does have an upgrade over the X739 in this respect.

I have an X748 (Diesel/AWD/2WS), and have operated the 4WS versions. If I was buying new I would consider a 4WS version very seriously.
 

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I would steer away from the X739, it will have more moving parts to wear and some attachments might not fit due to the reduced rear tire clearance to the frame when making a hard turn. Backing and filling to get around some trees and removing snow will not add that much extra time to the job. I would do a search on the various tractor forums for issues with the all wheek steering systems. Not just the X700 series as they haven't been around as long as JD has been making tractors with AW Steering and the issues will start showing up as the units age.
 
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Although more than half a country apart, it sounds like we have very similar property maintenance work for our tractors. I owned and very successfully managed mowing three acres, snow plowing 1500' of driveway, pushing stone, brush, and dirt, operating a small grapple, pulling a large Trac-Vac leaf collection system, pulling a seeder, a log arch, a 15S Cart full of firewood, mulch, stone, and grand kids with an x728. In 900 hours of use, I never had a tractor failure that interfered with getting my tasks completed. Just in the past month, I sold that x728 and purchased a new-to-me x738. All my attachments carry forward. And, with a new, low hour tractor I've gained drive over auto-connect mower deck. In your position I'd go with the x738 in a heartbeat. Good luck with your decision!

I've got no mountains, and likely much less snow, but I've got plenty trees to mow around. The 4WD, 2WS X7xx is an excellent choice. I've documented most of my work activities with my tractor here on MTF, but I can't help myself, here is a drone video of the x728 mowing with and me loving it:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You don't necessarily have to push it onto, or across the road, you can push it to the side.

With just having a plow, you may wind up with windrows along the driveway that are too big to deal with, using the plow. Depending on what's adjacent to the driveway, and the total accumulated snowfall, you may want to push the snow further onto the lawn/ditch or get a snowblower (either an attachment or a separate walkbehind) to periodically blow the window away to make room for new snow.
Thank you for the feedback…can windrows become a problem with the rotary broom? I’m unsure just how far it “sweeps” the snow from the driveway.
 

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The standard 2WS X7 is already very maneuverable. Given the description of your property and intended use, you probably don’t need the 4WS.

However, 4WS would offer even greater maneuverability, and there would not be any real downside to having it. You could certainly make the turn at the bottom of your driveway more easily without entering the blind area in the roadway.

In the long run, the X739 will require a bit more maintenance for the 4WS linkage. But given your property size, you likely will be accumulating only moderate hours on the machine. So maintenance intervals won’t be onerous.

Be aware that the AWD/2WS X738 (and X758) are equipped with a larger charge pump that produces more flow/gpm (@ same psi) in the implement hydraulic spools. So the X738 does have an upgrade over the X739 in this respect.

I have an X748 (Diesel/AWD/2WS), and have operated the 4WS versions. If I was buying new I would consider a 4WS version very seriously.
X739 is also AWD
Does it not also have the larger charge pump?

Just asking.
-- I have no idea if it does
-- -- but if the X738 has it to support AWD, then it would seem the X739 would need it also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Th
Although more than half a country apart, it sounds like we have very similar property maintenance work for our tractors. I owned and very successfully managed mowing three acres, snow plowing 1500' of driveway, pushing stone, brush, and dirt, operating a small grapple, pulling a large Trac-Vac leaf collection system, pulling a seeder, a log arch, a 15S Cart full of firewood, mulch, stone, and grand kids with an x728. In 900 hours of use, I never had a tractor failure that interfered with getting my tasks completed. Just in the past month, I sold that x728 and purchased a new-to-me x738. All my attachments carry forward. And, with a new, low hour tractor I've gained drive over auto-connect mower deck. In your position I'd go with the x738 in a heartbeat. Good luck with your decision!

I've got no mountains, and likely much less snow, but I've got plenty trees to mow around. The 4WD, 2WS X7xx is an excellent choice. I've documented most of my work activities with my tractor here on MTF, but I can't help myself, here is a drone video of the x728 mowing with and me loving it:

Thanks for the feedback and I enjoyed the video. I think I will love using the tractor as well.
 

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X739 is also AWD
Does it not also have the larger charge pump?

Just asking.
-- I have no idea if it does
-- -- but if the X738 has it to support AWD, then it would seem the X739 would need it also.
No, in the X700 Series, only the AWD/4WD machines with 2WS have the larger pump. These are: X575, X585, X595, X728, X738, X748, &X758. (X575 etc was the old name for the X7 series.)

The larger charge pump pre-dates the introduction of AWD (aka hydraulic front drive.) The early X7 series used a part-time 4WD system with a machanicsl front drive that was selectable by the operator. These mechanical 4WD machines, and the later AWD machines, all had the larger charge pump to support more demanding attachments (such as front end loader) that might be expected to be used on a 4WD machine. But only the 2WS versions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would steer away from the X739, it will have more moving parts to wear and some attachments might not fit due to the reduced rear tire clearance to the frame when making a hard turn. Backing and filling to get around some trees and removing snow will not add that much extra time to the job. I would do a search on the various tractor forums for issues with the all wheek steering systems. Not just the X700 series as they haven't been around as long as JD has been making tractors with AW Steering and the issues will start showing up as the units age.
I was wondering about any clearance issues. I will look into this issue as you advise- thank you for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Th
No, in the X700 Series, only the AWD/4WD machines with 2WS have the larger pump. These are: X575, X585, X595, X728, X738, X748, &X758. (X575 etc was the old name for the X7 series.)

The larger charge pump pre-dates the introduction of AWD (aka hydraulic front drive.) The early X7 series used a part-time 4WD system with a machanicsl front drive that was selectable by the operator. These mechanical 4WD machines, and the later AWD machines, all had the larger charge pump to support more demanding attachments (such as front end loader) that might be expected to be used on a 4WD machine. But only the 2WS versions.
Thanks for your in-depth knowledge. Do you see this as a handicap for the X739 when using a rotary broom or snowblower?
 

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Either one would be a good choice. I bought an X749 because I highly value agility. My X749 was used commercially and was not treated that well. It has about 1400 hours on it and it has needed quite a few repairs to get it back to reasonably good. The steering on a AWS machine is very different than 2WS. The X700 is a big machine for mowing, but it depends on what you are used to. I have a sub-compact car and a truck. They will both get me to the grocery store (or big box store). The experience is very different and depending on what I am buying there is only one right choice. The smaller machines and the X700 series are like that. It sounds like you have some tasks that really need the capabilities of the X700 series. But, you also need some amount of agility. I would suggest trying out both at the dealer (if they have any in stock). I was given that advice a few years ago and it really helped.

The biggest clearance issue is ground clearance. It is less for the AWS version, but neither version is great at extreme off-road use.

The big advantage the AWS ones have is they can do a 180° in about 3-4 feet smaller space. With AWS I can plow my driveway sideways. I actually use this capability to keep the grass down on my gravel driveway. It also still has steering when plowing with downforce on the blade. That is a huge difference for that particular use case. However, for all this magic comes a price. There are more linkages so there are more parts that can (and probably will after a decade and 1000 hours) need adjustment/replacement. There is also the feel. People that don't like it say it feels like driving a clown car. It does require more skill than driving 2WS to maintain a straight line, but is definitely possible to achieve.
 

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The charge pump size is only an issue if you have a loader and only maybe then. It just means the hydraulics are slower. That is usually a good thing until you have hundreds of hours of experience and have become really good at doing things and want/need to do them seconds faster.
 

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Th

Thanks for your in-depth knowledge. Do you see this as a handicap for the X739 when using a rotary broom or snowblower?
It’s a virtual non-issue for those applications.

Every 2WD and every AWS model X7 has the smaller charge pump and does just fine with most attachments. In the current new offerings from Deere, only the X738 and X758 have the larger charge pump. So it is the exception in the line-up rather than the norm. This has always been the case since the “X7s” were introduced circa 2002.
 

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Thank you for the feedback…can windrows become a problem with the rotary broom? I’m unsure just how far it “sweeps” the snow from the driveway.
Yes, it's more of a problem, as the brush can't handle as much snow (once the snow gets too high, it starts going around the brush instead of being pushed forward and to the side). It can be a more of a problem on wider/larger spots, such as near your house/garage (they typically become wider there).
 

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It’s a virtual non-issue for those applications.

Every 2WD and every AWS model X7 has the smaller charge pump and does just fine with most attachments. In the current new offerings from Deere, only the X738 and X758 have the larger charge pump. So it is the exception in the line-up rather than the norm. This has always been the case since the “X7s” were introduced circa 2002.
Thanks for the info.
I would've thought the 2wd/aws (X734) would have the small one (since its 2wd...)
the x739 awd/aws would have had the large one.

Of course, that's why I asked.

Is the assy called 'Power pump' in the parts catalogues work as both charge pump and suppy for the 'external' hydraulics?

EDIT:
I think I answered my own question.
In the X728 parts listing the pump is called 'charge pump' instead of 'power pump'
The included (relief) valves have the same part numbers
 

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Thanks for the info.
I would've thought the 2wd/aws (X734) would have the small one (since its 2wd...)
the x739 awd/aws would have had the large one.

Of course, that's why I asked.

Is the assy called 'Power pump' in the parts catalogues work as both charge pump and suppy for the 'external' hydraulics?

EDIT:
I think I answered my own question.
In the X728 parts listing the pump is called 'charge pump' instead of 'power pump'
The included (relief) valves have the same part numbers
The charge pump we’re discussing is primarily providing hydraulic flow to accessories like power steering and the 2-spools for mower/3PH lift and attachments. It’s not driving the front wheel hydraulic motors. That is being done by the hydrostatic transmission.

The 4WD/AWD models with 2WS have an 8cc charge pump vice a 6cc pump for all other models. That is a 33% increase in flow volume (from roughly 4.5 to 6 gpm).

But the improvement in flow volume to the implement spools is actually much greater than 33%, because the volume of flow being shared with power steering remains fixed. So if the power steering is using roughly 2-2.5 gpm of the capacity from the charge pump, flow going to the implement spools increases from 2-2.5 gpm to 3.5-4 gpm.

So that’s actually a boost in flow to the implement circuits of between 60-75% (depending on how much the power steering is taking.) It is not inconsequential, although would probably be most noticeable for operating an FEL or other hydraulically demanding implement. You would probably notice extra speed operating a 4-way blade, too, but the extra speed may not be meaningfully helpful.
 

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You would probably notice extra speed operating a 4-way blade, too, but the extra speed may not be meaningfully helpful.
Yeah, I bet you would notice the speed difference. I have the smaller pump and I frequently overshoot even on the lift spool (which doesn't also have the mower lift cylinder). Making it go faster would likely be a disadvantage. It would be even harder to control gracefully.

Buy the X739 because you really want AWS. Don't buy the X738 because you are afraid of the smaller charge pump. If you don't care about AWS, buy the X738. But, don't make that decision before test driving and really think about how tight things are on your property. If you have lots of wide open spaces the X738 is probably a better choice. I have lots of tight trails and narrow spaces. Since I can navigate them with my CUT, it is not absolutely necessary to have AWS. But, after a decade of having the CUT, I REALLY wanted something REALLY agile. The AWS X700 series machines (and my X534) are that. My X300 is not bad. It is almost as agile as my X534 (despite the X534 being bigger). But, on many properties it wouldn't matter much. Unless you like doing high speed donuts without snow. If so the X534 is really fun and the X749 almost as much.
 
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