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  1. #1
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    Default Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    I'm looking to replace a 175 hyrdo that I've been operating for the last 27+ years (parents bought it when I was a kid). After riding my father-in-laws 425 and my dads x304, I'm leaning towards getting a better quality used tractor instead of a new one. My hope is to get another 25 years out of the next tractor. I only have about an acre of mostly flat land (one steep section), but plan to snow plow 120' of flat driveway. I live in upstate New York so snow fall is expected, but I typically take care of it twice a day. I also move firewood around with a small cart. Given the application, I'm shying away from the base 300's.

    My local dealer has a 2007 X540 with 212 hours on it for less than $4K (my limit). I test rode it around the facility and it sounds and runs great. It comes with a 54" deck, which is too large for me so the dealer will swap it for a 48" deck that has 130 hours on it at no charge. The unit is in good shape. No major damage, just minor brush scratches on the hood. The weight supports and hitch have paint missing so it was used to tow equipment and possible front end-duty of some type. The dealer hadn't cleaned the unit yet when I looked at it, but it looked great. Some small leaves inside, deck was slightly dirty had a normal level of grease around the spindle bearings.

    Since it's out of warrenty, the dealer is offering a 50/50 arrangement until this summer (we split the cost of any issues). They will change out all of the fluids, perform all the required preventitive maintenance, and also inspect the PTO arrangment to make sure no bolts are about to back out.

    I plan to add a JD original snow blade. The blower is beyond my budget and overkill for my driveway. I have a 20" blower I can use to keep the driveway edges clear. My job is demanding (10 - 12 hr days) and I need to be at work before 6:30AM so I'm hoping to quickly plow the driveway in the morning before work. Using the 20" blower took over 50 minutes and I was always wet when done. I'm dreaming of sitting on the 540 while drinking coffee, staying nice and dry....I also love the power steering...

    So, how does the price sound?
    How well does the 540 plow?
    Can I expect a long life out of it if I keep up with the fluids & maintenance?
    Should I run synthetic oil?
    How about a X320, which has 100 less hours and a 1 year warrenty for $3500? How about a x500 for $500 more that only has 50 Hours and has warrenty?
    Any other recommended blades besides the JD model? I'm not sure how much of a discount I will get.
    Do I need tire chains / straps since I have the more aggresive tires?
    Is there a shop manual for the 540? I'm a mechanical engineer and like working on equipment so I don't mind attemping repairs...


    Thanks for the comments / suggestions.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member JDTank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    I don't own any equipment yet, so take my opinion however you want. Keep in mind, I have been heavily researching and following John deere riding mowers and utility tractors for 2 years now.

    The price sounds good on that unit, if it is in good shape, as you say it is.

    Given what you want to do, I would steer clear of the X300 series, and stay in the X5xx series. You get quite a bit more machine for the money. This is especially important if you want to keep something for the long term. Out of my hundreds of hours of research, I know if I buy a gas mower, it will be the X540, it's an amazing garden tractor for being a gas unit. Stepping into the diesel X7xx series would be the best bet, but that is severely out of your budget, your talking $10,000 or more for one of those. There are gas engine powered x7xx machines, but I feel this is wasteful, and they should not even be produced. These machines are drastically heavier then there x5xx series counterparts, they suck gas like there is no tomorrow.

    I would get tire chains if I were you. There cheap insurance, and it never hurts to keep them on for the winter.

    I do believe john deere has a repair manual for everything they make, your local dealer should be able to get one for you.

    I would say you could expect long life out of this machine if you maintain it well. The X540 is liquid cooled, not air cooled, which benefits the engine in terms of noise, fuel economy, and longevity. Air cooled engines cool unevenly, this results in some spots of the engine running drastically hotter then other areas. With liquid cooling, everything get's good cooling. This is especially important for gas engines. Some people see liquid cooling as more maintenance, personally, I don't think it is an issue. I would change coolant every 3 or 4 years and have at it. The extra engine life, reduced noise, and better fuel economy is well worth having anti-freeze to monitor.

    The engine in the X540 is made by Kawasaki, in my opinion, they make the best gas engines you can get in a riding mower. They last forever, they produce gobs of power, and there reliable. Keep in mind, it's a big engine, and it's gas, it will likely consume a good amount of fuel. Plan on 1 to 1.5 gallons per hour.

    I know I haven't answered all of your questions, but I feel the X540 is the perfect fit for you, if it was me, I would jump on it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    JDTank -Thank you for the comments. This unit came up quickly so I haven't had a lot of time to research options as much as you have. An X7xx or older diesel model would be great, but I couldn't find anything used in my price shape that was decent. As much as I would like a loader, it wouldn't get used....and I can always borrow my in-law's. Thanks again...

  4. #4
    Platinum Member JDTank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    Quote Originally Posted by roch485 View Post
    JDTank -Thank you for the comments. This unit came up quickly so I haven't had a lot of time to research options as much as you have. An X7xx or older diesel model would be great, but I couldn't find anything used in my price shape that was decent. As much as I would like a loader, it wouldn't get used....and I can always borrow my in-law's. Thanks again...
    Even if you could find a diesel X7xx series, I would not suggest a loader for it. Many people do this, but I feel it's trying to make something into what it isn't. The X7xx series is an overgrown riding mower. While it can be spec'd with 3 point and rear PTO, it's not near big enough to swing any useful weight or implements around. Anything you hook to a X7xx series is merely a toy. If you want a loader I would look into a 1026R or step into a 2520 or 2720.

    The X540 is an awesome machine, if you get it you will not be disappointed with it.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member dieselsmoke1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    That's a good price for X540 package described. I've been shopping for an X540 or a GX345 (basically same unit except for sheet metal). Just bought an '06 GX345 with 260 hrs for $3500, else I would be standing in line behind you for the X540.
    _________________________________________________

  6. #6
    Elite Member Gittyup's Avatar
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    Kioti CK25 Shuttle Shift, loaded tires, JD X739

    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    I plow snow with a 425 AWS. Definitely will need chains, and get all the weight you can too. If the 540 is like my 425, snow plowing is superb and fast. I've plowed snows 2' feet deep with my 425. The AWS does help a good bit though.

    My next one (x700 some hopeful day) is going to have foam filled tires to add both weight and flat-proofing.

    On the blades, I see many of them used. This could save you a fair amount of money over new.

    And there should be plenty of 400 series machines around used that would fit your needs too. Though the price on the 540 sounds pretty good.

  7. #7
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    roch485

    I too would suggest, because you like the 425 of the FIL, that you get a 425, 445, or 455. That is a good solid tractor (I either have had them all over the last 15 yrs). They have PTO driven decks, and available mid PTO if you would want to upgrade to a snowblower in the future. They will handle the plow much better than the lighter X540 too. Just sayin, as you are asking.

    IMO, the 4xx's are much more tractor for the money than what you are looking at.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Used X540 deal?? Plowing Opinions?? Better options??

    Thanks for all of the opinions and input. I ended up with the 540 for a number of reasons. The425 is great (I enjoy my in-laws), but doesn't quite fit my needs (intended current and future use, planned attachments, price, hours, cost, etc) as well as this x540.

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