54 HC variants, and mulching alternatives
Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By sennister

Thread: 54 HC variants, and mulching alternatives

  1. Top | #1
    strathglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Last Online
    05-03-2018 @ 02:28 PM
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    54 HC variants, and mulching alternatives

    Am I correct that the 54 HC mower deck has a standard connect version and a quick connect version for a little more?
    Any reason not to get the quick connect version?

    Also I am wondering how many people with a garden tractor have any kind of collection & bagging system?
    I will be getting the mulch kit.
    But if the grass is wet or tall or there are lots of leaves down in the fall then mulching usually doesn't cut it (from my push gas mower experience).
    Is a collection system overkill or not?
    What system would you recommend for .7 acres on a X700 (or maybe x500) series?
    *** Strathglass ***

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. Top | #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 08:43 PM
    Location
    Uniontown, Pa
    Posts
    249
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 39 Times in 31 Posts
    54 HC comes in either standard connect or autoconnect. I have been setting up JD's for over 2 years and never did a manual connect, they are all ordered with autoconnect at our shop. I have seen a few 2WD's with them since they are harder to drive over. You can get the mulch on demand on the 54C or an X500 series. Then you could mulch when you want and open the baffle in one second with the lever when you have leaves. Bagging with the X700 series and X500 your only option is a powerflow system which on an X700 will add a couple thousand to the price. I just set up an X758, powerflow, dump from seat bagger and air ride seat which is probably 18 to 20K.

  4. Top | #3
    sennister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:18 AM
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    2,095
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 224 Times in 185 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffW View Post
    I just set up an X758, powerflow, dump from seat bagger and air ride seat which is probably 18 to 20K.
    Ouch I bought my Z950R with powerflow, dump from seat hopper and full suspension seat for $16K.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

  5. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. Top | #4
    sennister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:18 AM
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    2,095
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 224 Times in 185 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by strathglass View Post
    Am I correct that the 54 HC mower deck has a standard connect version and a quick connect version for a little more?
    Any reason not to get the quick connect version?

    Also I am wondering how many people with a garden tractor have any kind of collection & bagging system?
    I will be getting the mulch kit.
    But if the grass is wet or tall or there are lots of leaves down in the fall then mulching usually doesn't cut it (from my push gas mower experience).
    Is a collection system overkill or not?
    What system would you recommend for .7 acres on a X700 (or maybe x500) series?
    As far as I know auto connect is only an option with a X7xx. The auto connect is catches the mower deck but also makes the PTO Shaft Connection. If there is any reason not to get it is if maybe someone lived down in a warmer climate and never used the machine for anything but mowing. For instance someone that maybe has bigger machines for ground engagement work. In that case there isn't much reason to remove the deck so why spend the money on the drive over auto connect stuff? I have never had an auto connect but it might make it a little harder to do some maint on the deck. There are ramps over the outer two spindles. Not sure if they have to get pulled for a belt replacement for instance. Maybe there is enough clearance.

    I ran a powerflow system with my X585 until I went with the ZTrak which has one now. I have never used a true mulch kit but do use "mulching" Gator Blades. That is good enough for me when I don't collect in the summer months. Is collection overkill? It depends. When I was shopping and bought the ZTrak I was looking at replacing the X585. I was leaning toward a 1 Series at the time because I won't give up the front end loader. The problem was at the time the only option for the 1 Series is the 3 bag collection system. I didn't want that. I collect leaves and occasionally clippings because I put them in a compost pile. I use the FEL all summer to turn this and make dirt for use around the yard and garden. So if I didn't compost I would have to buy dirt or compost for this. I started looking at the ZTrak and was talking with some commercial mowers. They all told me not to get it and to go full mulching. The more I thought about it the more I realized that the way we operate is completely different. They are going around and cutting grass all day every day and in the fall dealing with the leaves. A commercial mower making several passes can make a lot of leaves just disappear. For them this was great. It was faster than picking them up, then dumping them somewhere. Then loading them up and hauling them offsite somewhere. No wonder why they didn't want to mess with it. I don't do that. I pick up the leaves, run to my back yard and dump them in a pile. Then I come by with my X585 and pile them up. Once I explained this to them they said it made more sense.

    As far as what system. There are three basic options. You have the two powerflow options. This adds another pulley on top of the right spindle. The powerflow head hangs off the discharge chute and is belt driven by the extra pulley. Then it either goes into a cart which has a fixed mount to the back of the tractor and has two casters. So not a trailer that you have to back up with. The other is going to be a bagger depending on size could be 2 or more likely 3 bags. The other option is a trailer with a small 5 HP or so engine that has an impeller on it to act as the vac system. It then blows the clippings into a utility trailer. Lots of pros and cons and no right answer. You need to look at your situation.

    Powerflow options are nice because you don't have another small engine to maintain. The systems are a little smaller so take up less storage. The bagger options are nice if you need to haul the clippings/leaves off-site. The cart is better if you are dealing with them on property like I am. The bad is that hanging a powerflow head off the side of a deck will mess with the deck a bit and throw it off level. It also makes the machine wider. The housing on the powerflow system is all plastic on the X Series and they will wear through. They are expensive and kind of a pain to swap the housing. I guess there is also the dump from seat option. I haven't seen it but would classify it along with the cart. You just don't have to get off the machine to dump. Well maybe. I have a dump from seat on my ZTrak, most of the time I can dump from the seat. The problem is it is easy to overfill these hoppers and if you do that, you have to get out to clear them and clear out the tube going from the powerflow to the hopper.

    The trailer with pony engine is going to have the biggest capacity. Again best for on-site disposal options. You don't have a lot of weight hanging off the deck so it won't throw the deck off like the powerflow will. Not sure if the impeller housing is metal or plastic but there is another engine to maintain. I think they are a lot louder than powerflow options.

    As I said, we don't have enough info for what is best for you. My father has a 1 acre lot and cuts around .7 like you. He uses has been using the trailer style with pony motor since I was a kid. It works for him but he has a place to dump the leaves. If you don't have that and need to haul everything out, then you might want to consider a powerflow with a bagger. It will be easier for you. It is also the smallest package of the options so take up less storage space.
    Drifterbike likes this.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

  7. Top | #5
    sbronemann's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:13 AM
    Location
    Williamsburg, IA
    Posts
    117
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    I currently have the MC542 system and loved it for leaf season and just picking up grass period. I currently am trying to sell it however because I'm getting out of the leaf collection business end of mowing. Just not enough time in the fall with harvest(helping in-laws) and juggling my full-time job as well. I can give a bit of insight. The MC542 holds A LOT of material. It is louder than the power-flow I'm sure because of the 9.5 HP motor on the tongue, but it does chop stuff up vs just blowing material in. It is a steel impeller. The one thing that is annoying is going around obstacles. Low trees are a pain because it is tall. It takes a shorter path because of the longer tongue so gotta be really careful not to run it into things. When unloading....all the material that piles up behind the steel sides comes down on you especially when it's windy. But...it does work great and any more questions....feel free to ask. They hold 3x material than the bagger and cost about the same. But, for only .7 acre lot, the bagger would probably serve you well.
    2018 John Deere 2038R
    72D mower
    220R loader
    72" Frontier landscape rake
    CenPeCo synthetic oil

  8. Top | #6
    sennister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:18 AM
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    2,095
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 224 Times in 185 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by sbronemann View Post
    I currently have the MC542 system and loved it for leaf season and just picking up grass period. I currently am trying to sell it however because I'm getting out of the leaf collection business end of mowing. Just not enough time in the fall with harvest(helping in-laws) and juggling my full-time job as well. I can give a bit of insight. The MC542 holds A LOT of material. It is louder than the power-flow I'm sure because of the 9.5 HP motor on the tongue, but it does chop stuff up vs just blowing material in. It is a steel impeller. The one thing that is annoying is going around obstacles. Low trees are a pain because it is tall. It takes a shorter path because of the longer tongue so gotta be really careful not to run it into things. When unloading....all the material that piles up behind the steel sides comes down on you especially when it's windy. But...it does work great and any more questions....feel free to ask. They hold 3x material than the bagger and cost about the same. But, for only .7 acre lot, the bagger would probably serve you well.
    I agree that these are loud and hold a lot. One thing to watch is over filing them. The one my father runs a version of this design but not a John Deere one. I don't remember the brand. He has filled it so full that he has had to use the FEL on his Case tractor to lift it and dump the trailer. More of an issue when it is wet leaves. Chopping the leaves and such smaller is good because you can hold more in the collection hopper/trailer/cart/bags but they get heavier. I noticed the DFS Hopper on my Z950R chops the leaves a lot more wet or dry than my X585 did. Even when running Gator blades on both mower decks. This means on the hopper, even though it is smaller, it can hold almost as much because it packs better. Since the bottom of the hopper opens it doesn't matter how heavy it gets.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

  9. Top | #7
    sbronemann's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:13 AM
    Location
    Williamsburg, IA
    Posts
    117
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    I agree that these are loud and hold a lot. One thing to watch is over filing them. The one my father runs a version of this design but not a John Deere one. I don't remember the brand. He has filled it so full that he has had to use the FEL on his Case tractor to lift it and dump the trailer. More of an issue when it is wet leaves. Chopping the leaves and such smaller is good because you can hold more in the collection hopper/trailer/cart/bags but they get heavier. I noticed the DFS Hopper on my Z950R chops the leaves a lot more wet or dry than my X585 did. Even when running Gator blades on both mower decks. This means on the hopper, even though it is smaller, it can hold almost as much because it packs better. Since the bottom of the hopper opens it doesn't matter how heavy it gets.
    Ya, the one thing that is nice that the kit does come with a little cylinder thing to put on the bottom of the cart to assist in dumping. It has no problem lifting the full load even with grass in it. I just use a pitch-fork to unload it. I can have the 17P cart dumped in about 2-3 mins with the pitchfork no problem.
    Last edited by sbronemann; 03-31-2018 at 12:19 PM.
    2018 John Deere 2038R
    72D mower
    220R loader
    72" Frontier landscape rake
    CenPeCo synthetic oil

  10. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •