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  1. #1
    Gold Member TnWV's Avatar
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    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL, 1970 MF 150, 2012 JD X530

    Default X530/X540 Qustions

    Hi all,

    Well I'm thinking about being a John Deere owner this saturday. I have an old troy built 54" mower that something has broke everytime I've mowed this year. Last night may have been that last time I deal with it. I have beat the snot out of this mower, and all in all it hasn't been to bad, but it is now just plain wore out and its time to replace it. I'm sick of working on it, and want to buy a mower that will last a long-time.

    Several weeks ago I looked at and test drove an X740 Diesel. I was really impressed with how this mower held and climbed the slopes behind the dealership. I have been trying to rationalize spending 10K on a mower (dealer quoted me $9,649 + tax for the X740 with 60" 7-Iron Deck) but since we are planning on building a new house in the spring, I believe I have decided against spending that much.

    I called the dealer back earlier and asked about the X530 and X540. I was quoted cash prices of $5,820 for the X530 and $6,420 for the X540. The only notable difference I can find is that the X540 has a liquid cooled engine. However, the X530 comes standard with the HDAP rear tires, and the X540 comes with the regular turfs standard and will cost me an extra $300 to get the HDAP tires. Both machines have power steering and hydaulic deck lift. Tax and all, the price difference would be about $954 between the two.

    My main questions are:

    1. Is having the liquid cooled engine worth the extra almost 1K? I'm leaning towards no.

    2. After driving the X740, will I be dissappointed with the X530 as far as handling the slopes? There is about a 300 lb difference between them, but the X740 had turfs and I'm hoping that the HDAP tires will make up for part of it.

    3. Does the pricing I'm getting seem fair? The X530's MSRP on the deere website is $6,899, so my quoted price of $5,820 works out to about 15.6% below MSRP. The price is lower than most of the used units I've seen on Tractorhouse.com and other sites, so I think it is pretty good. All 4 of the Deere dealers within 50-60 miles of me are owned by the same company, so I was actually a little surprised by what I think is a competitive price.

    4. One of my main complaints with the troy built over the years has been the drive belt wearing out. Using the thing on a hillside, I could go through a belt per year easy. I know that the X500 series is not completely shaft driven like the X700's but am I correct to assume that it will be far superior to the drive belt system on the troy built that came from lowes?

    Ive got by with the much lighter troy built for the last 10 Years, and for the most part it has worked just fine. When the troy built worked as it should, I only had traction issues in a couple of places, so feel that the X530 will be sufficient. I now mow about 3.5 acres or so of "lawn". At 7.2 miles per hour, I think that the X530 will be much faster than the troy built, and it takes me about 3 hours or so now. I'm not sure of the blade tip speed of my current mower or the X530, but i am satisfied with the cut the troy built leaves, so I doubt I could possibly be dissappointed with the cut of the deere. I originally started looking at zero turn mowers, but due to the slopes, I just dont feel confortable with them, but have'nt completely ruled that out. I figure any commercial ZTR heavy enough to trust on the slopes will be closer in price to the X740 or more. I will test drive the X530 on Saturday and see how it handles, and go from there.

    Any opinions or experience is appreciated.


    Thanks in advance,

    Tony
    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL
    1975 MF150

  2. #2
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
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    Indiana
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    JD 4300, JD X500

    Default Re: X530/X540 Qustions

    My main questions are:

    1. Is having the liquid cooled engine worth the extra almost 1K? I'm leaning towards no.
    Pros - quieter and lasts longer
    Cons - $1k extra, more complex engine, more stuff to fail
    Answer - No


    2. After driving the X740, will I be dissappointed with the X530 as far as handling the slopes? There is about a 300 lb difference between them, but the X740 had turfs and I'm hoping that the HDAP tires will make up for part of it.
    I bought a X500 in April. The biggest selling point for me vs a X310 was the HDAP ties. They make a significant difference on slopes.
    Answer - You will not be disappointed.

    3. Does the pricing I'm getting seem fair? The X530's MSRP on the deere website is $6,899, so my quoted price of $5,820 works out to about 15.6% below MSRP. The price is lower than most of the used units I've seen on Tractorhouse.com and other sites, so I think it is pretty good. All 4 of the Deere dealers within 50-60 miles of me are owned by the same company, so I was actually a little surprised by what I think is a competitive price.
    Answer - The pricing is fair. You get what you pay for.

    4. One of my main complaints with the troy built over the years has been the drive belt wearing out. Using the thing on a hillside, I could go through a belt per year easy. I know that the X500 series is not completely shaft driven like the X700's but am I correct to assume that it will be far superior to the drive belt system on the troy built that came from lowes?
    Answer - I don't know how fast the X500 drive belts wear out. I can tell you that the belt they use is not your run of the mill cheap-o belt. After using my X500 for 3 months on 20 degree slopes I feel safe. There has been no belt slippage. Note that if the drive belt did break, you would still be able to stop using the brakes and those HDAP tires.

    Bottom line - I recommend you save yourself $4k and go with the X530 with HDAP tires.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: X530/X540 Qustions

    Quote Originally Posted by TnWV View Post
    My main questions are:

    1. Is having the liquid cooled engine worth the extra almost 1K? I'm leaning towards no.

    2. After driving the X740, will I be dissappointed with the X530 as far as handling the slopes? There is about a 300 lb difference between them, but the X740 had turfs and I'm hoping that the HDAP tires will make up for part of it.

    3. Does the pricing I'm getting seem fair?

    4. One of my main complaints with the troy built over the years has been the drive belt wearing out. Using the thing on a hillside, I could go through a belt per year easy. I know that the X500 series is not completely shaft driven like the X700's but am I correct to assume that it will be far superior to the drive belt system on the troy built that came from lowes?
    1) Probably not, but the quiet operation sure is a nice feature.

    2) Yes! I don't know if the slopes will be that much of an issue with or without the HDAP tires, but the tractor is nicer. You're cutting a fair amount of grass, so you'll be putting a lot of hours on the machine. The x740 will hold up better. It's also much better on fuel consumption. With 3.5 acres to mow, you'll thank yourself later for going with a deck that's bigger than 54". With the drive shaft, no belt problems. You might find yourself doing other heavier chores with the x740. If you really don't like it, resale is better.

    When I upgraded from a JD318 w/50" deck to my JD455 w/60" deck, I wasn't totally sold on the idea of the diesel. I'm VERY glad I made the move.

    3) No comment as I don't follow prices. I have no need for any replacement machines now.

    4) No comment. I have no experience with either machine, and I covered the drive shaft issue with #2 above. 700 hours and I'm still on my first deck belt.
    Last edited by K7LN; 06-21-2012 at 05:11 PM.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  4. #4
    Gold Member TnWV's Avatar
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    Liberty,WV - Putnam Co.
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    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL, 1970 MF 150, 2012 JD X530

    Default

    rekees4300 - Those are exactly the type of comments I was hoping for. I don't have a lot of slopes that are 20 degrees, but want to mow them a little safer than I do now. The majority of my mowing is pretty flat actually. On the slopes I do have, when turning downhill, my current mowers will break loose and slide to the bottom. Does your x500 hold pretty well when turning downhill?

    kL7N - I'm with you that the x740 is preferable. I would love to have a diesel so that I could use bulk off road diesel for all of my tractors and not have to deal with 5 gal gas cans. The x700 series is a sweet machine. However, I've decided that I just can't put 10k in a mower right now, due to starting the house building process. Fortunately I have two larger tractors that cover everything I do that is not mowing.

    While I would love a little bigger deck, I also mow my family cemetery so staying with a 54" deck helps there as it is pretty tight in places. Plus my trailer is only 60" wide, so I would have to upgrade that if I went with the bigger deck.

    The dealer has all of them in stock and I'm taking my trailer with me Saturday morning when I go to test drive the x530. As long as it handles the slopes behind the dealership pretty good, it will most likely come home with me.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL
    1975 MF150

  5. #5
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
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    JD 4300, JD X500

    Default Re: X530/X540 Qustions

    Quote Originally Posted by TnWV View Post
    Does your x500 hold pretty well when turning downhill?
    In 3 months the HDAP tires haven't slipped or spun even once. I have turned downhill, uphill, driven cross-slope without using the differential lock! The X500 weight of 800 lbs. plus the HDAP tires result in a very stable ride.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Default Re: X530/X540 Qustions

    If you bought the diesel, then I'm sure you would wear ear muffs of some type. Although the liquid cooling would be quieter, you still need the ear muffs, so I'll give a thumbs down on the x540. The x530 has the tires you want and it will fit your needs at no additional cost. Sounds like a win, win situation.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  7. #7
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: X530/X540 Qustions

    i had a x540. Without a doubt the best mower i ever had.

    I also mow 20*+ slopes. The 540 preformed flawlessly.

    Dont worry about the HDAP's. I had them on my 540 and they werent that great. They plugged very easily in my clay soil. No difference between them and the old turf savers on my old mower. They both plugged when spinning in clay. If you want a good treaded tire that will self clean, look at the Bar tread tires, Carlisle makes a bunch.

    The Diff lock is a huge help on the slopes.

    Personally I think the liquid cool is worth it and would recommend the 540, but its up to you.

    If your going larger than the 500 series, look at the 1026r. Cost wise not much different than the 700 diesels but a much more capable machine that could be useful landscaping at the new house.


  8. #8
    Gold Member TnWV's Avatar
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    Liberty,WV - Putnam Co.
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    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL, 1970 MF 150, 2012 JD X530

    Default

    Reading your guys experience, I get the feeling that the x530/540 either one will work out well for me. I always were ear protection when running any equipment, so I think the noise difference between any of them will be negligible. Right now my mower is so loud with all the wore out pulleys, loose/broken panels, aging muffler, etc. that anything will be an improvement there. I also had the same idea that if going with the x700 the 1026r wouldn't be much more money. That would be my dream mower, but just can't justify it with the other tractors I have and other projects/expenses we will be starting in the next 6 months as we began preparing our property for building. In the end I just need something that will be a good machine that will last a long time with proper care. It will also be nice that the wife will be able to use it some if she wants to. She won't even touch my current mower with all the issues it has. It's just plain wore out in every way.

    I'll try o post a couple of pictures tomorrow evening of the slopes I'm dealing with to see how they compare to what you all mow with your mowers.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL
    1975 MF150

  9. #9
    Silver Member Eric Barney's Avatar
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    Palm Beach Gardens FL
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    JD X540

    Default Re: X530/X540 Qustions

    I have the X540, and like it alot!

    The water cooled engine is very quiet and powerful. My previous tractor, a LX188 was also water cooled. The engine still runs perfect after 19 years.

    The traction drive belt on the X540 is different from some other models in that it always has tension on it. When the park brake is on, the trans input shaft is still spinning to provide the hydraulic pressure. It also runs straight back with only a tensioner pulley to go around. Since the belt is never 'slipping', I suspect that it will extend it's life by quite a bit. It is also a very large HD belt.

    I have used my X540 for pulling, and dragging heavy loads, and so far nothing has even challenged it's power. I did have to use the diff lock for traction and it just plain jumped forward like there was nothing attached. Mowing does not pose much of a strain on the engine either. I can't comment on the hills, as I am in Florida and it is pretty flat around here...

  10. #10
    Gold Member TnWV's Avatar
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    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL, 1970 MF 150, 2012 JD X530

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    Eric,

    Thanks for the drive belt explanation. I can see where that setup is far superior from the system on my Troy built. Any time I put much pressure on it, I can smell the belt burn a little. I plan to try and get the dealer to narrow the difference in price between the 530 and 540, but I think at 15% below the Deere website msrp, he may already be as low as he will go. Won't hurt to try.. I imagine they use the same drive system, but will find out for sure as that may make a difference in whether the 540 is worth the extra. I also like the fact that your 19 year old liquid cooled engine still runs good.
    2003 Zetor 4341 w/FEL
    1975 MF150

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