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I need your guys considerable knowledge on what to do about my tractor deck. I have a 425 w/60" deck. I'm not able to find a way to keep the deck mounted and the tractor in the garage, which is my preferred method of storage, sooooo. now for the decision. I have a good pal, who has a 455 w/ 54" deck. This is a guy who takes excellent care of his equipment, and although I've never really inspected the deck there is no worry about it's condition. So, he says, the 60 would work better on a stronger tractor like his 455, and the 54 would work better for me, and I do think that I just might be able to squeeze it into the garage with some rearranging of stuff. I know 6" difference isn't much, but I do think he's right about the deck exchange.
My only consideration is that the 60 is built like a tank. I mean a tank, you guys know what I mean. My ground is hilly and bumpy, but not real rough or too bad, the 60 does fine for me, no problems or complaints at all. Even the 425 seems fine running a deck that big. But I would trade if I thought the 54 was a really good deck, you know build tough etc. and it would stand up to some minor beating around the yard.
This is my third JD GT and I've had a 214 w/46 deck and a 318 w/50 for years, and they worked fine.
How would you rate the JD 54" deck for the 425 against the 60 and the previous decks? I'd sure hate to trade off a really good deck only to find it won't hold up.
Thanks for the help in advance guys!
 

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While its true a 54 deck ain't no 60 in terms of ounces and pounds, it ain't a piece of $h!t either. I just switched from a 54 to a 60 (because I wanted a 60 and the warden says I gets what I wants) and would have zero issues using the 54 again any day of the week. The 60 I picked up yesterday became available at the right price. I traded my 54 for it much like you and besides finding the driveshaft a little rough everything is GTG. I personally wouldn't lose sleep over the difference. If it works better for you go for it. As far as the 455 handling the 60 better, I don't think that would enter my decision process. All 3 models came with all 3 decks and I've run every model with everything but the 48, (I've never seen one of those in captivity) and all had more than enough snort to handle the big deck. Hell, I'd bet they would run a 72 if you could mount it up.
 

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Make the trade before he trades with someone else!!!! The "old" stuff was built tough!
 

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I had a 425 with a 54 inch deck. It cut great. The deck was beat too crap by the previous owners and I did end up doing some welding to it, too make it right since I used it on a 5 acre athletic practice field in Texas in addition to my own yard. That practice field was pretty rough. I liked how the deck cut so I put some money into it. If you don't abuse your deck with a lot of thick brush occasional stump then I think you will be fine. A 54 does cut really nice and I think it's a better deck for the 425. The guide wheels tend to wear out fast, even if you keep them off the ground as you are supposed too but you probably already know that.
 

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I have a 54C for my X585. Probably not much difference. I had no issues with this deck. I just moved up to the 60 because it was the small deck on the Z950R.

I will say this much, I noticed in ares that had a quick change in slope (my ditch) the 54 did a better job than the 60. It is only 6" but I can tell the difference. I still won't go back to the 54 though because I don't want to put the deck on my X585 anymore and the Z is so much faster getting around the trees and the higher ground speed while cutting.

Not sure how much grass you cut but it might add a bit more seat time but only 6" a pass. So every 10 passes you made with your 60 you will have to make 11 with the 54. That might be the biggest thing you noticed if you have a bigger yard with lots of open space.
 

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A 60 is nice but a 54 still works great.

The ability to park it inside would far outweigh anything else to me, it makes a 5 year deck a 10-30 depending how well you clean it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys. Your advice is always greatly appreciated. Exactly what I needed. I'll go look at it tomorrow and make the deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did the deal

I went and looked at the 54 today while taking a break from a hvac install i was doing nearby. The way some people talked i got the impression the 54 was some kinda junk, so i just hadnt bothered to go look at it. Its certainly no 60, but its a well made deck for sure. Itll be a lot easier for me to handle alone, and i think i can live with in on the tractor in the garage. As i knew beforehand, its well taken care of, so works out for both of us.
 

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on my 92 420 I still have the original 50" deck. keep it maintained and they last a long time.
 

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I went and looked at the 54 today while taking a break from a hvac install i was doing nearby. The way some people talked i got the impression the 54 was some kinda junk, so i just hadnt bothered to go look at it. Its certainly no 60, but its a well made deck for sure. Itll be a lot easier for me to handle alone, and i think i can live with in on the tractor in the garage. As i knew beforehand, its well taken care of, so works out for both of us.
One thing is dead certain. The 54 is easier to muscle alone than the 60. I had a 60 on a 425 years ago but forgot how much it weighed. My strategy for swapping the deck and plow will certainly be changing. Storage options will need updating too.
 

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I used a 54" deck on a 425 for better than 20 years. Never an issue and I was pretty hard on it. It's plenty well built. At about 20 years and 1100 hours I did replace the gauge wheels, but mostly because I was getting it ready to sell. Keep it greased and avoid washing it and it'll last for many many years. You will be glad you made the switch to get it into your storage space.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One thing is dead certain. The 54 is easier to muscle alone than the 60. I had a 60 on a 425 years ago but forgot how much it weighed. My strategy for swapping the deck and plow will certainly be changing. Storage options will need updating too.
I HEAR YOU on that one. I got the 54 today and it is soooooo much easier to muscle around that the 60. It's incredible how much weight difference there is. I'll say one thing, the 60 would be darn near impossible to destroy. I would think you could mow every day for decades with it, assuming proper maintenance and not literally trying to tear it up.

Someone told me the 60 was for commercial use, every day mowing, and the 54 was for homeowner mowing once a week for years and years and I can believe it. I just don't need that kind of commercial exercise equipment. My previous JD tractors didn't have the wheels that you could turn and roll the deck out from beneath the tractor, thus I hardly ever took the decks off, unless the deck or tractor needed maintenance. When they did, I didn't look forward to the task, and would put it off as long as possible. With the 60, it was easier to get off then those older smaller decks, but it was still a huge job for me. the 54 I will not worry one bit, as it slides in and out with ease. WOW! what a difference.

I was surprised when I mowed with the 54 today, how much quieter it is than that big 60. Also, I can tell a huge difference in the handling of the tractor. It would shudder when the 60 started up, and doesn't even wiggle when the 54 starts.

I'll be 61 soon, and although I'm in pretty darn good shape, I still don't want to hurt myself.

Thanks to all for the advise and info.
 
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