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  1. #1
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    Default Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Hi there,

    I am moving my family to a house on a 1.5 acre lot soon, and I'm in the market for a small tractor or mower for the first time. The new lawn is mostly weeds right now, but there are lots of small trees and shrubs planted around the perimeter of the property. Over the next several years, I hope to get the place looking like a park! I've settled on the John deere brand, but I really don't know what kind of tractor I should get.

    First and foremost, I think I need a really good mower. One with a diesel engine would be ideal. I wanted a zero turn to cut around trees and lots of curved beds, but I also want a wagon for hauling firewood and shrubs around the yard, but it doesn't seem like most zero turns have factory hitches. I don't like the idea of hiring somebody to weld an aftermarket hitch to my shiny, expensive zero turn, either.

    Then I found the X749. Diesel, 4WD and 4 wheel steering. And it comes with a hitch, so I can pull a wagon. It even looks like I could get a loader, a spreader, and a sprayer. Those things would all be handy to have as I create my "park".

    I went to my local JD dealer and told them I wanted to look at the X700s. The salesman didn't seem to think the X700 was available with a diesel engine. Besides, he said, if I was going to spend that kind of money, I'd be a lot better off with a 1023 or 1026R. Hydraulic implements instead of electric solenoid. Better resale value. Heavier duty attachments.

    I'm thinking, "Wow, if I had the 1026R and a bunch of attachments, I could dig trenches for my sprinkler system, clear out a parking pad and a garden area, move big rocks around for building steps and walkways, dig up and replant shrubs - anything I want! But I might be spending $15-20K instead of $5-10K. Plus I'd need to build a bigger shed to keep the 102x dry."

    So at this point, I really don't know what I want. I've heard the zero turns have the fastest cutting tip speeds and therefore have the best cut for lawns. And maybe there's a way to get a factory hitch - I'm not sure. Or maybe I ought to get an X500 or X700 series tractor, knowing that I could always rent something bigger if I were working on a project. Or, maybe the 1026R is the dream, do-it-all machine. But is it really a very good mower? That's what I was looking for when I started. Whatever I do, if I get it right the first time, I shouldn't have to worry about resale value. I'll take good care of it and will drive it as long as it will go.

    What to do, Internet? What to do?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Matt

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    24
    Location
    Western NC
    Tractor
    Deere 1026R, D100, Gravely 1132

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Matt,

    I'm pretty sure you can get a factory hitch for most JD zero turns, although you won't want to tow a whole lot of weight very often with them in my opinion. They do, however, make excellent mowing machines for yards like the one you described that you hope to create.

    The X700 series does come with a diesel Yanmar engine, the JD website clearly confirms this, along with hundreds of owners here on TBN. Good stuff.

    The 102X is a good mower when it's called for, but may be a bit cumbersome for your areas. With your tree plantings etc, the ROPS will be constantly in the way, and the ride is no where near as smooth and planted as an x700 tractor for mowing.

    I guess if I were you, I would try really hard to be realistic about how much landscaping work you would expect from your tractor vs. just having a very good mower with the ability to pull a trailer etc. Imagine breaking your back moving trees around for planting and digging holes while you stare at an X520 parked in the garage that can't do a thing to help you............then imagine mowing with a 1026R that you paid 3 times as much for while staring at a loader parked in the corner of your lot that you don't use anymore. Which one makes you mad? Sometimes it boils down to how much money you have to spend.

    It's a nice problem to have....trying to decide which green machine to buy.

    Is your lot a city type, or is it rural where you can have a garden and burn brush and the like?

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2004
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    KY
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    Kubota L3830, Ford Golden Jubilee, AC B, '39 Sears Economy, Polaris Ranger 400

    Default

    Any reason you didn't also consider kubota?

    The JD 445 zero turn ( I think that's the number) is a decent machine for your size yard. It mows well and fast. Plus it's around $4,000 I believe.

    If you want a little tractor I would buy the Kubota BX series. Great quality.

    Good luck. Keep studying the forums. Tons of info and helpful people here! (0:

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Southeast Minnesota
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    JD 4720, JD X748SE, JD 997, Farmall "B"

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    The 700's are a fine machine. I have a x748SE. I've had it 6 years and put 875 hours on it. It is a diesel. I mow 5-7 acres with it. It is great. I think I would get a different salesman if he didn't know about the diesel models. The 749 would be fantastic for what you described. front blade, snow blower, tiller. can do allot of things. Would mow circles around a 1026R. There would not even be a contest.
    But, the 1026R has a nice loader (don't even bother with the loader on the x series), a "real 3 point", and a back hoe available.

    I think the zero turns make a great second machine, but lack the versatility to do the things you need to do.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Default

    From the sound of it the loader is a critical part of the decision. Yes I think there is one for the x700, no I don't think I would want it. Another thing I didn't hear is if the ground is flat. If not I would think there will be more ground engagement, and thus maybe a 1 series and box blade? Tough decisions.

    IMO a diesel would be overkill for your property. I use a x540 on about 5 acres, of mostly mowing though....

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Default

    Another consideration would be landscaping. If you do lots of paths and trees and other 'obstacles', those 62in decks may become a little too big. Just saying.

    Not trying to dissuade the diesel. I certainly wouldn't mind one. I don't think anyone here will fault you for 'buying up'. )

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Feb 2008
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Matt,
    A 749 has the option of a limited cat 1 3PH and rear 540 rpm pto so most of the small boxblades, landscape rakes and tillers will work well with it. Most of the attachments I use with mine will work well with the 1000 and 2000 series models. It also comes standard with two hydraulic remotes typically used for front blade or snowblower but can be used for other purposes too. I am well pleased with the x749 and get alot done with it. but when building, grading and moving lots of material initially you might be better off renting larger equipment for a weekend or two.

  8. #8
    Member
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    Feb 2012
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    25
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    gt 225

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Hey papaperk I thought this was the jd thread. If the op was interested in a kubota they might have looked in the kubota area. just saying.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2004
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    KY
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    Kubota L3830, Ford Golden Jubilee, AC B, '39 Sears Economy, Polaris Ranger 400

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphan
    Hey papaperk I thought this was the jd thread. If the op was interested in a kubota they might have looked in the kubota area. just saying.
    Oh sorry... Didn't realize it was a Deere thread. I was just going through new threads.

  10. #10
    Gold Member BleedGreen's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    471
    Location
    Iowa
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    John Deere LX178

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    As your JD salesperson seems to be lacking in product knowledge I want to make sure you know that the loader is not available on AWS X700 tractors. 2WD / 4WD / 2WS are all OK - just not 4WS/AWS.
    I can run a D100 and a 9560RT (and most of the models in between) all in the same day!!!

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