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  1. #1
    Veteran Member JESSE1's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    1,267
    Location
    Kilgore, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 6400

    Default Want a New Mowing Machine

    I have a '99 4400 With a 60" MMM. Tractor has about 620 hrs. on it. Basically have only used it for mowing. I do use a fertilizer spreader with it. I'm getting ready to make a change and right now I'm seriously considering a 997 zero-turn mower. The 997 has a 31hp Yanmar diesel and can be equipped with a 60 or 72" mower. My concern is that I would be going from a multi-purpose machine that mows very good but is really too big to a single purpose machine that will mow great but that's all. I've thought about a 3520 but they are physically the same tractor as the 4400. If I buy another tractor I wanted a rear mounted finish mower. If I read the specs correctly the 2000 series only come with a MMM. Anyone had any experience with a Zero-turn mower compared with a tractor?
    6400 John Deere w/ cab, JD 535 Baler, 997 ZTR Diesel, 72" 7 Iron deck, Kubota RTV-X1100C

  2. #2
    Veteran Member RollTideRam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    1,266
    Location
    Hartselle, Alabama
    Tractor
    Deere 3320

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    Lots of people have zero turns and love them. I mow with a x495, which is an older version of the x700 series. It has a 24 hp diesel, 62 inch cut and power steering. You can get a rear finish mower for the 2000 series also.
    I'm sure you can use a 72'" rfm on a 2520. JC
    JD 3320, KK rake and tiller. Millonzi grapple, pallet forks, tooth bar. Deere Z930R
    01 Ram 4x4 2500 CTD and 22' 12k trailer, Big Tex 7x14 dump trailer.
    2015 Polaris Ranger 570 F/S eps

  3. #3
    Veteran Member JESSE1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    1,267
    Location
    Kilgore, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 6400

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    I looked closer at the attachments for the 2520 and it does show a 60 and 72" rear finish mower. I like the idea of the zero-turn mower but I've heard they ride a lot rougher than a tractor plus you get more dust from the zero-turn than the tractor. Probably not much difference in cost between the two.
    6400 John Deere w/ cab, JD 535 Baler, 997 ZTR Diesel, 72" 7 Iron deck, Kubota RTV-X1100C

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    get a zero turn and a 2000 series, the cost of an rfm is close to a box store zero turn.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    17,610
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    Jesse,

    I went through the same thing this past season. I had a 6ft rotary mower and a craftsman ridealong mower for all my mowing needs. Both are fine for what they do, but neither is great for what I wanted to do. My first thought was to buy a nice zero turn mower. From what I've been told by those who have them, it's like night and day how fast and smooth they are. That's just what I want!!!! The price tag is the big hurdle for me when what I have works right now and if I bought a zero turn, I'd want to go all out and get a good one that will last for a decade at least. That means $8,000 to $10,000 for new or a little less for used. I've seen a few amazing deals on Craigslist and in the American Classifieds, but still more then I want to spend for something that I really don't need.

    Then in the spring time, I got lucky and was offered a 7ft Land Pride finish mower for $600 from a client who said he didn't use it anymore and wondered if I was interested. I hadn't really thought about a finish mower for my tractor since I really wanted a zero turn mower. The price was too good to pass up. I had to fix the flat tires and replace the blades, but otherwise, it was ready to go.

    7ft is on the verge of being too big for my 35hp tractor when picking it up. Pulling it and mowing with it is easy and I think hp wise, a smaller tractor could handle it too. In fact, it pulls and cuts so easily that I'm mowing the same amount of grass in half the time compared to my 6ft rotary cutter. The results are much nicer and I'm having fun mowing with it. I think it's the four wheels at each corner that make it so much nicer to mow with because I don't have to pay attention to the deck height when going up or down. It just follows along behind me and cuts beautifuly. I can also cut in wet ground that I would sink in before with the rotary cutter. Those wheels carry all the weight of the finish mower and the tractor is lighter now.

    It might not be what you're looking for, but for me, it's worked out great and I no longer have that desire to buy a zero turn mower.

    Eddie

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    433
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Tractor
    JD 3720

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    I'm looking at purchasing a ztr next spring. Was able to demo an Exmark this past September and loved it. I have a large number of small trees planted on some hillsides. When I try to mow them with my Deere 4310 and 5' mower, the hills are so steep the I have to go up and down. With the ztr I was able to any direction I wanted. They are really like a goat.

    EddieWalker makes some excellent points about price. If you have something that is working, do you really want to spend $8,000 - $10,000?

    One thing about the Deere ZTR, I understand they are bringing out a totally new machine this spring. Personally, I am more inclined to locate one of the previous models, but so far I haven't found one. The good news is that they tell me the price will stay the same. The local dealer told me they would sell me the new 757 for a little under $8500.

    The Exmark I tried runs about $10,500. While it is certainly the industry standard, I am not sure I can justify the additional money.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    Jesse,

    I have used them all and like everyone else, have an opinion regarding which I prefer. I will try to outlay the benefits of each. The tractor RFM combination is great. It mows almost as fast as a ZTR in open terrain, but will lose time in twisty terrain. The new RFM's cut great, on a par with most ZTR's. It also would allow you to keep your current machine or go with a mid frame and RFM combo as a new package. I really liked my 3720 and 6' RFM but no longer have enough grass to justify it. An x series tractor is another option. The mow great, not as fast as a ZTR but really well. On my parents' property I could mow within minutes of a ZTR and still have a machine that offered other capabities. Finally, nothing beats a ZTR for absolute mowing speed and quality of cut, but it is at a price. The 997 is an expensive machine. It would be the fastest cutting of the three options, but the time difference to me is not as great as advertised. I also do not like with my ZTR (that I gave to my dad) the fact I was covered in clippings. I have some seasonal allergies and looked like Pigpen from the cloud of clippings which got all over me and in my sinuses from the ZTR. This seemed to be less of a problem with the tractor due to sitting higher. I also do not feel the diesel ZTR would offer that much over a gasoline one, so if you decided to go ZTR I would consider gas for the money savings. In my opinion, though, you would be happiest with a new tractor and RFM, especially if your property is fairly open. For the record, my understanding is the 2008 997 will remain unchanged; the gas ones will have a redesign.

    John M

  8. #8
    Veteran Member JESSE1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    1,267
    Location
    Kilgore, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 6400

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    I talked with my dealer a few days ago. He's used both and likes the ZTR for the speed. He really leans toward a tractor over the ZTR mainly because the tractor rides better and you're somewhat more protected from the dust compared to the ZTR. John Deere is supposed to come out with Estate models of the ZTR mowers that are a different line from what they have now.

    I've used everything from Cub Cadet lawn tractors, Kubotas in a variety of sizes and John Deeres from a 455 & 4100 to the 4400 I have now. The 4400 is really too big and will cut up the yard if you turn too sharp but it's been a good tractor. It's a hard decision. I like the 997 because it's a diesel. I don't really want a large gas engine mainly because of the fuel consumption. Of course the price of the diesel compared to the others could buy a lot of fuel. John Deere needs to offer a wide range of diesel models like kubota does.
    6400 John Deere w/ cab, JD 535 Baler, 997 ZTR Diesel, 72" 7 Iron deck, Kubota RTV-X1100C

  9. #9
    Gold Member skidoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    323
    Location
    Montana - Growing Zone 5
    Tractor
    JD 2520, JD X749, JD110TLB

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    I thought about a zero turn too. But, I did not feel comfortable with the serious slopes I have. If you don't have any, then that should not be an issue. You may also want to consider the X729 and X749. My new X749 will be delivered on Monday!! It has an uncut radius of 6". Not quite zero turn, but I expect it will perform well for my purposes.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Want a New Mowing Machine

    Jesse,

    It sounds like you may have your heart set on a ZTR. I can say I have owned three of them and had good performance from each. That said, I just sold my dad's 757 yesterday, with plans of getting him an X series if this means anything. I know that ZTR's are popular and it is true they are faster cutting. I just must say, I do not like them as well as a tractor--even for mowing. I am young (fairly) and have good coordination. I am not a commercial mower, but I bet I can operate one almost as well as a full-time commercial user (I have mowed a lot with them). My point is that many times we hear, "Oh, that guy won't use a ZTR because he can't get used to it" and such. This is not the case for me. I embrace new technology, but I would choose a good mowing compact or sub-compact tractor any day over a ZTR for my personal use. I am not trying to talk you out of the ZTR, just to express that I have been in this situation and the glamour has dulled some toward them the more I use them.

    John M

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