What a great feeling to now be "free and clear" owner of my 1026R and X310 I purchased in 2012 with John Deere's fabulous 0/60 deal. At the time, I thought the purchase was a bit excessive, since I "only" have 3 plus acres to tend - lawn and a 2-acre largely wooded tract thick with briars and other brush. But not once was I sorry because even though I'm a "senior citizen" with a bum shoulder, I was able to almost completely clear the back lot and keep the wild grasses neatly trimmed. As for the X310, with power steering, hydraulic deck lift and twin MCS bags, keeping the lawn looking great was a breeze -- especially on one of the properties with lots of nooks and crannies. This year I added a front mounted snowblower, although I didn't get to use it much. All of this equipment was garage kept, and carefully maintained. As a former broadcast TV engineer, I like everything to be working as intended -- with no surprises. And (knock on wood) my maintenance issues were very minor over the years, and I was able to take care of most of them thanks to the GREAT advice I received from folks on this forum! Of course, I have less than 300 hours on both tractors, which I know is just about broken in.
I love my John Deere equipment, and wear my hat with a great deal of pride. I also know when the time comes --in a couple of more years -- when my bride and I have to scale down as we find it more difficult to do the heavy work ourselves, I know we will recover much of our initial investment. Heck, when we built our new house, guys wanted $300 just to knock down the grass on the back 2 acres with a brush hog. The way I saw it, I gave that $300 to John Deere financial and got A LOT more for my money. Thanks to everyone for the advice and looking forward, God willing, to 5 more years of fun --sorry, I mean "seat time" working the yard.