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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2011
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    Default JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    I recently bought 18 acres of land and am in the market for a used garden tractor. 7 acres are cleared and the rest are woods. I will probably regularly mow 2-3 acres every other week or so. The rest I'll get bush-hogged periodically. I don't actually live on the property and will be storing the tractor in a shed I just had built. I'll also be using the tractor to haul materials around as I plant fruit and nut trees, set up a large vegetable garden, and sustainably harvest wood out of the forest. Eventually I want to convert much of the cleared land into a productive orchard.

    The best deals on used garden tractors seem to be a John Deere 425 with 560 hours. It is selling for 3000.00 and includes a bagging system. The other is a 1998 Cub Cadet HDS 3205 with 239 hours. It is selling for 1800.00. Both have 54 inch cutting decks.

    I am completely new to owning/using tractors, so I have come up with these options after doing a lot of reading on the internet, talking to a few neighbors, and trolling craigslist for a few months. If you think that either of these tractors is not up to what I need to use it for, please say so. Otherwise, please tell me if you think one is a better deal than the other.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    120
    Location
    Lebanon, CT
    Tractor
    1958 Massey Harris Ferguson 202 loader/backhoe

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    I've never owned either of those particular machines but I've used an early 1980's Cub Cadet Garden tractor (not impressed, lots of trouble with it) and in my time as a landscaper I used John Deere tractors and mowers (impressed, no problems). I'm not a mechanic but in my experience a John Deere garden tractor will be head and shoulders above a Cub Cadet garden tractor in terms of reliability and durabililty, at least when you are talking about anything after MTD took over Cub Cadet in the early 1980's (1981 I think). Cubs from the 1970's and earlier were great. The price for the JD looks to be pretty good too so if it's in good shape I would definitely take that over the Cub Cadet.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    2,322
    Location
    Ohio
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    Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400//Komatsu D38//Cub Volunteer//Cub SZ60/CAT 289C/CAT 308

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    I don't have any personal experience with the JD 425 but from what I've seen and read, they're good machines.
    I do have much experience with the Cub 3000 series, and they are also good machines. If I'm not mistaken, I believe they both have the Kohler Command engines......I know Cub does.
    With 2-3 acres, 54" would be the smallest I would use. I would consider looking for a 60" deck.
    Try em both out, see which one you like better. Both good machines.

    good luck!

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    13,612
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205



    You will get a lot more "tractor" with the JD 425 IMO. That is what I have, and even went back to after upgrading to an X485. The 54" mower deck of the 425 is as good as you can get.

    Note: there is a reason that the JD is priced higher (even tho older) than the Cub. That alone should be your best clue as to which one. And, as that 400 series is known as a classic line, its value will continue to be high.

    Also, it has the very good Kawasaki V twin liquid cooled engine. Hydraulics to operate attachments, PTO operated mower deck, cruise control, differential lock, and is built like a tank. A good investment.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member MESSMAKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    1,249
    Location
    Bluegrass,KY
    Tractor
    Bobcat ct 225

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    The Cub is not as heavy duty as the John Deere. The cub, while a nice tractor is not considered to be among the very best ever, as the JD is. I have never heard anything but praise for a 425.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2008
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    287
    Location
    Southern Maine

    Default

    I had the 425 until the cam gear let go and then I bought a used 455. Same frame and they are both 5x better than the cub on it's best day. The 455 uses about 1/3 to 1/2 less fuel than 425... I run the 60" deck and it is a great setup...
    JD 4210 Hydro, Curtis Cab, 420 Loader, 447 Backhoe, 5' Frontier Rotary Cutter, Maschio 50" Tiller, JD 60" 261 RFM, 59" Snowblower

    JD 455, 60" Mowing Deck, Triple Bag Rear Mounted MCS, 47" Snowblower, Original Tractor Cab

  7. #7
    New Member
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    May 2011
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    3

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    I have also found a JD 430 with 1100 hours for 3500$ and a JD 455 with 680 hours for 4700$. This is more than I initially wanted to spend but wonder if diesel is worth the extra money. It will be stored in a shed over the winter and only used occasionally during the cold months. I heard that diesels store better than gas engines (and last longer) but are difficult to start up when it is cold.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2008
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    263
    Location
    Salem, Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota B2620 & MX5100

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    I owned a 425 for two years and a Cub 3205 for almost 10 years. The only problem I had with the 425 was trying to deal with our two local crappy John Deere dealers. My 3205 has the same Kaw 20 hp eng they put in the 425. I sold the 425 several years ago, again only because of bad dealer support, I have about 850 hours on the cub 3205 and it has been excellent and my local dealer is wonderful.
    I must add that both these machines seem small for your needs. You should also look at a kubota B series. Yes they will be a little more money but they will exceed your expectations. And in the long run you will be much happier. In fact 10 years from now you won't even remember what you paid for it. Either way good luck!

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2008
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    287
    Location
    Southern Maine

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Puddnhead
    I have also found a JD 430 with 1100 hours for 3500$ and a JD 455 with 680 hours for 4700$. This is more than I initially wanted to spend but wonder if diesel is worth the extra money. It will be stored in a shed over the winter and only used occasionally during the cold months. I heard that diesels store better than gas engines (and last longer) but are difficult to start up when it is cold.
    My 455 has been awesome. The diesel is far superior to the gas 425 i had and because you can run it at a lower rpm and it is quieter than the 425 I had. The diesel creats torque on the low end which helps with fuel. I am in Maine and my 455 sits in my barn year round and it has always started, even when it is well below zero. It is a heavy duty garden tractor and turns into an animal with a blower on the front. I think the 455 is more user friendly than the 430. I can tell the gas motors, if the plastic gear has not been replaced is a bomb waiting to go off....
    JD 4210 Hydro, Curtis Cab, 420 Loader, 447 Backhoe, 5' Frontier Rotary Cutter, Maschio 50" Tiller, JD 60" 261 RFM, 59" Snowblower

    JD 455, 60" Mowing Deck, Triple Bag Rear Mounted MCS, 47" Snowblower, Original Tractor Cab

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    13,612
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: JD 425 or Cub Cadet 3205

    Quote Originally Posted by pilot-werx View Post
    .......... I can tell the gas motors, if the plastic gear has not been replaced is a bomb waiting to go off....
    Those plastic cam gears are history....they long ago were replaced if the tractor had any hours on it at all.

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