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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    21,014
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default How much per hour. . .

    . . . have you spent on your JD lawn tractor/mower?

    Yesterday as I shut off my LA145, I glanced down at the hour meter and noticed it was 128 hours. Last week when I put new blades on it, I noticed one spindle is starting to loosen up. It's still working fine, but just indicates that I will have to install my 2nd new spindle from my stocked parts by the end of this year's mowing season. With all the other repair parts I've put on this mower (battery, spindles, idlers, broken clutch retainer strap, carburetor repair kit, etc) I now have approximately $2660 in this mower not counting my own time. That got me to thinking about how much per hour this mower has cost me and how much longer I'll need to use it before taking it to the metal scrapper.

    Right now, it has cost me $20.77 per operating hour. I'm pretty sure at that price, I could have hired my lawn cut. Sure, this mower will last another 100 hours or so with heavy maintenance, but I'll be lucky to ever break the $10 per hour cost. Ideally, I'd like to have $5 per hour or less, but maybe that's a pipe dream. True enough, If I sell the mower today and get half of what I paid for it. That would put me at $10.40 per hour; still expensive when fuel/oil is not in my equation. I bought this mower at my local JD dealer and the salesman was extremely low-pressure during the sale. He recommended the X3xx series, but said for mowing only I should be okay with the LA145. I'm thinking that a cheaper mower that fails early in its life or is high maintenance is not really a bargain. My MTBF is so low on this mower that I've renamed it "Mean Time Between Frustration." I don't think my patience level will ever let me keep this mower to the point of calling it a good return on my investment.

    How about some of you other JD owners with X3xx or X5xx machines? The problem with any of these machines is that they are so new that actual long-term numbers may not exist. I just wonder how many X3xx or X5xx owners are out there that have had a mower over three years and spent $500 to $600 in repair parts. To me, that's a very telling statistic about these mowers. I also know that a single PTO clutch and a couple of belts could put me up near to $1000 in repair/maintence costs. If you hear me complaining in these forums, it's because I wish John Deere would walk away from a market where they can't compete. If I had it to do over, I'd spend over twice as much on a quality machine with longer MTBF and better ROI.
    Jim


  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    78
    Tractor
    1986 john deere 318

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post
    . . . have you spent on your JD lawn tractor/mower?

    Yesterday as I shut off my LA145, I glanced down at the hour meter and noticed it was 128 hours. Last week when I put new blades on it, I noticed one spindle is starting to loosen up. It's still working fine, but just indicates that I will have to install my 2nd new spindle from my stocked parts by the end of this year's mowing season. With all the other repair parts I've put on this mower (battery, spindles, idlers, broken clutch retainer strap, carburetor repair kit, etc) I now have approximately $2660 in this mower not counting my own time. That got me to thinking about how much per hour this mower has cost me and how much longer I'll need to use it before taking it to the metal scrapper.

    Right now, it has cost me $20.77 per operating hour. I'm pretty sure at that price, I could have hired my lawn cut. Sure, this mower will last another 100 hours or so with heavy maintenance, but I'll be lucky to ever break the $10 per hour cost. Ideally, I'd like to have $5 per hour or less, but maybe that's a pipe dream. True enough, If I sell the mower today and get half of what I paid for it. That would put me at $10.40 per hour; still expensive when fuel/oil is not in my equation. I bought this mower at my local JD dealer and the salesman was extremely low-pressure during the sale. He recommended the X3xx series, but said for mowing only I should be okay with the LA145. I'm thinking that a cheaper mower that fails early in its life or is high maintenance is not really a bargain. My MTBF is so low on this mower that I've renamed it "Mean Time Between Frustration." I don't think my patience level will ever let me keep this mower to the point of calling it a good return on my investment.

    How about some of you other JD owners with X3xx or X5xx machines? The problem with any of these machines is that they are so new that actual long-term numbers may not exist. I just wonder how many X3xx or X5xx owners are out there that have had a mower over three years and spent $500 to $600 in repair parts. To me, that's a very telling statistic about these mowers. I also know that a single PTO clutch and a couple of belts could put me up near to $1000 in repair/maintence costs. If you hear me complaining in these forums, it's because I wish John Deere would walk away from a market where they can't compete. If I had it to do over, I'd spend over twice as much on a quality machine with longer MTBF and better ROI.
    I can't speak for the newer ones but I had a 1977 John Deere 300. just sold it to a young couple down the street and from the time I bought it to selling it to them it cost me a grand total of 987.00 in 30 plus years of owning it. Now thats does not count the general things like oil changes and such. But it does include new belts and a complete over haul in 2004. The spindles are still the original one on the deck also. Now this tractor cost me close to 5 grand when I bought it new I guess the old saying holds true "You get what you pay for." Now if this new to me 318 will hold up like my ole 300 did I wont be complaining at all.

  3. #3
    Gold Member chrisdvorak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    259
    Location
    rhode island
    Tractor
    massey ferguson 1635

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    I have a john deere x500 that is about 3.5 years old and now has around 420 hours on it, and I would guess 400 of that is just mowing with a 54 inch deck. the only things I have done to the machine is scheduled service, oil filter, fuel filter, ect. I have not had to do any other work to this machine or change any parts. I use it every week and it starts, runs and mows perfectly.
    if you have checks, you have money.... right???

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    1,895
    Location
    S. W. Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    I can't speak for the new mowers, but my 265 has a little over 600hrs on it. In that time I've replaced the PTO switch, two belts, and regular filters and fluids.

    Not sure what that equals out to as cost per hour, but pretty low I'd guess. MTBF is generally several years.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,619
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    I just looked back at some old records and figure the Toro SR4 (top of the line walk behind homeowner lawnmower) that I used for 4 years cost me about $4.15 an hour. I'm pretty sure that would have come down a bit if I hadn't bought it new and traded it in after only 4 years. But I don't guess I'll be too surprised if the current ZTR costs me $20 an hour.
    Bird

  6. #6
    Elite Member sandman2234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    4,105
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Tractor
    JD2555 and a few Allis Chalmers

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    Leave the key on while attached to a battery charger and your price per hour will go down as the hour meter reading goes up, thereby making you feel better about your purchase, and not as guilty when you find some sucker willing to purchase it...
    David from jax
    Last edited by sandman2234; 07-25-2011 at 12:51 PM.
    A serious accident is one that money won't fix.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,392
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    On my L130 (2005) with 252 hours I have had to do several things.

    On my third battery this spring, I am not going to screw around with a charger.

    Had a loose connection on the fuel shut off valve, finally found it and also installed an electric fuel pump. The electric fuel pump made a big difference in dependable fast starts.

    Replaced the elec pto clutch and switch around 100 hrs, learned to be judicious about over working it and use it sparingly.

    New front tires this year, the old ones were cracking and wouldn't hold air.

    On my third set of blades mostly because in prior years my lawns were rough and rocky. Everything is smooth and rock free now.

    No deck repairs, checked everything out this morning and waiting for the grass to dry enough to mow.

    With lof's it has cost me about $500 or $2 bucks per hour for maintenance. The larger issue is the tranny is slipping and won't last much longer without a rebuild. I can see that for parts alone this could easily take me to $3 bucks /hr for maintenance.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member glc24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    896
    Location
    Southwestern, Pa.

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    Yesterday as I shut off my LA145, I glanced down at the hour meter and noticed it was 128 hours. Last week when I put new blades on it, I noticed one spindle is starting to loosen up. It's still working fine, but just indicates that I will have to install my 2nd new spindle from my stocked parts by the end of this year's mowing season.
    This is the exact reason I decided on an older model that needed some TLC, rather than new.

    Sure, this mower will last another 100 hours or so with heavy maintenance,
    This is what really amazes me about the older mowers,100 hours is nothing when it comes to their longevity. When I got my 1987 316 with 970 hours that hadn't been mechanically touched for its entire life for $700.00, unbelieveably,it was still decent. Sure,it had leaks everywhere,and all the bearings were shot,but it was 24 years old!!! So after about $1,200.00 in parts,she's just about new again,and hopefully I shouldn't have to worry about anything for around another 500 hours.

    Greg
    2009 2520
    FEL/61" HD bucket/replaceable cutting edge
    62D2 MMM
    IMatch Quick Hitch
    Homemade 3PT Receiver
    Homemade Ballast Box
    Woods GB65 Box Blade
    A "REAL" snow blade --- JD 380A
    90% Restored 1987 JD 316

    MY BALLAST BOX:
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...box-build.html
    MY SE SEAT 2520 MOD:
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/j...my-2520-a.html

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2001
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    1,162
    Location
    Upstate NY, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 HST and a Kubota ZD21 60Pro

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    300+ hours on my 5 year old ZD21. Other than normal PM, zero maintenance cost, I'm even still using the original blades and original battery.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    21,014
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: How much per hour. . .

    Thank you all for your responses. You are just validating what I've already found out. Quality is worth every penny you pay for it. Others may have better luck with the inexpensive lines of mowers from JD, but my-oh-my, I've taken good care of this mower and it has taken a toll on my wallet. More responses are welcome.
    Jim


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