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Discussion Starter #1
My thirty year old 72" mid mount mower deck under my 855 tractor is starting to become a problem for me to handle. I want something that is a lot easier to push around & mount. I'm thinking about a rea finish mower for easier hook up & maintenance. Also, parts may become an issue now with my mid mount mower since it is ageing out along with me.

Has anyone replaced their decks on the 855. If so what did you replace it with. I've looed at County Line & I don't think they have any quality that will give long term service. Woods decks are looking good as well as King Kutter. I have not looked at Deere rear decks yet due to the poor service of local dealer & the skyrocketing cost of anything painted green & yellow.

Right now my main problem is that I no longer want to struggle with taking a mid mount deck on & off for servicing. Any suggestions. I'm also considering possibly going to a zero turn mower, but I would need an entry level commercial or a high end residential & either way those will really be more costly than a decent rear mount mower deck. Also the 855 tractor has a rear 540 RPM PTO & the tractor is rated at 24 HP so I would need to match the deck to the tractor's ability to drive the gearbox on the mower. Thanks
 

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I just got a land pride 60” rear finish mower. Ran it on the tractor today and was very happy.
Got it on Craigslist for a very good price.
Do see several 72” mowers out there and of course fall is the time to buy:bigthumb:
 

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Maddog,

I have the same deck under my 955, and you are right, it can be be a handful to manhandle. However, I was able to put mine on last week in about 15 minutes. Getting it under the tractor was fairly easy. I loop a nylon strap through the mount for the left side idler wheel which was removed, and simply pull it straight across. Granted, I have to walk around from side to side to tweak the alignment in and around the tires, but it gets the job done. The most difficult part is crawling under the rear differential to hook up the driveshaft.

I get where you are coming from though. I have thought about a rear mount finish mower, but the cost of a unit vs the amount of mowing I do with the 955 doesn't make it viable.

I had a friend who had a 72" JD RFM on an older 4 series, newer than the 955. I recall that the units were identical, but the gearbox would be different. The RFM also had a 3PH hookup. Maybe you can modify the MMM gearbox to get the proper speed and rotational direction and 3PH hookup for less than the cost of a new unit.

Good luck

Dave
 

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I have a 72" land pride that I have had since 93 that I pull with my 1020 and it has been a great mower. In the past two years I have replaced the gear box and drive shaft but that's after 23 years. I know land pride was bought by Kobota but I would still recommend them. The big improvement in them has been the rear discharge. My son used it this week for the first time this summer because we have the grapple on the 2038r so we too the MMM of of it and I actually think the 25 year old mower leaves the yard looking better than the new MMM, just my observation. :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maddog,

I have the same deck under my 955, and you are right, it can be be a handful to manhandle. However, I was able to put mine on last week in about 15 minutes. Getting it under the tractor was fairly easy. I loop a nylon strap through the mount for the left side idler wheel which was removed, and simply pull it straight across. Granted, I have to walk around from side to side to tweak the alignment in and around the tires, but it gets the job done. The most difficult part is crawling under the rear differential to hook up the driveshaft.

I get where you are coming from though. I have thought about a rear mount finish mower, but the cost of a unit vs the amount of mowing I do with the 955 doesn't make it viable.

I had a friend who had a 72" JD RFM on an older 4 series, newer than the 955. I recall that the units were identical, but the gearbox would be different. The RFM also had a 3PH hookup. Maybe you can modify the MMM gearbox to get the proper speed and rotational direction and 3PH hookup for less than the cost of a new unit.

Good luck

Dave
You have described almost to a T what I do to mount my 72 mower deck. The big PIA is hooking up the mower drive shaft to the PTO. Finding it to become more & more difficult to line up the splines. The rope you use is a good way to get it under the tractor. I tried it, but for me actually pushing it under the tractor instead of pulling it works better. I use my body weight to move the deck. Either way it is a real chore. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a 72" land pride that I have had since 93 that I pull with my 1020 and it has been a great mower. In the past two years I have replaced the gear box and drive shaft but that's after 23 years. I know land pride was bought by Kobota but I would still recommend them. The big improvement in them has been the rear discharge. My son used it this week for the first time this summer because we have the grapple on the 2038r so we too the MMM of of it and I actually think the 25 year old mower leaves the yard looking better than the new MMM, just my observation. :good2:
I think I'm going to take a look at those Landpride rear decks. The sound like a good deal. For me, I have 4.25 acres to mow & it's almost all clear land. I have no problem that it is now Kubota. Heck, Deere puts its name on everything but makes nothing. Like the rest of them, all they do is assemble parts. So who really knows who is actually making what.

I just looked at a zero turn mowers by Deere. They have such a light duty frame & the controls really look cheap. I would have to move up to an entry level commercial model & at that point I'm looking around 8-10,000 bucks for what? Just to cut weeds. Forget about it, as they say.
 

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If you cruise through Craigslist and are not afraid to travel a little bit you can find JD rear finish mowers for your vintage of tractor. The prices on them are really good compared to a brand new finish mower deck. I usually seem them for under $1k when they pop up.

How much land are you trying to mow? I never wanted a ZTR but picked Cub Cadet Tank off my buddy who was moving out of state and it is hard to beat as a mower. For the price of a new rear finish mower deck from JD I am thinking you can get a nice entry level ZTR or real close to it. If you need a high end commercial style unit then be prepared to pay a lot of money.
 

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I have a 2720 tractor with both a 72" belly mower and an 84" RFM. The RFM is much easier to get on and off due to the fact that I have a quick hitch on my tractor and my implements are setup for it. The 84" RFM is a rear discharge and uses about the same HP as the 72" belly mower due to I believe not having to shuffle all the cut grass across the deck to the side discharge. Also the deck is deeper so handles tall grass better.

For brands mine is a Farm King/Behuler. The deck is quite thick and the unis has stood up well to the field mowing I do. I would look at what is sold locally and then buy a used unit. For me availability of parts is huge. No sense in buying a unit for cheap if you cann't find blades or parts locally.

I also have a Z918B with a 60" deck. Bottom of the commercial line. Its very fast, a bit under powered when in thick/tall grass, not good on hills(as compared to the 4wd 2720). Expensive to buy. Its robust enough that I use it in the fields as well.

If you weren't field mowing I'd suggest getting a cheaper/residential line Z turn mower but don't think one of those would last in the fields. A 72" RFM is probably your best bet but you'll miss the maneuverability of the belly mower though. Takes a while to get used to the "swing" of a large RFM. Also you should budget to add some front weights to the front of your tractor, I had to add 3 to keep the front wheels on the ground.
 

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When did that happen? It doesn't bother me that Kubota owns Land Pride now; but I'm curious as to when.
Announced May 13, 2016 for 230 million$
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you cruise through Craigslist and are not afraid to travel a little bit you can find JD rear finish mowers for your vintage of tractor. The prices on them are really good compared to a brand new finish mower deck. I usually seem them for under $1k when they pop up.

How much land are you trying to mow? I never wanted a ZTR but picked Cub Cadet Tank off my buddy who was moving out of state and it is hard to beat as a mower. For the price of a new rear finish mower deck from JD I am thinking you can get a nice entry level ZTR or real close to it. If you need a high end commercial style unit then be prepared to pay a lot of money.
I have 4.25 acres as mentioned before. I have looked on CL for a RFM, but right now there is not much in my area or the within reasonable distance just for a look. I am no longer inclined to buy anything by Deere. My one & only JD dealership here is terrible in terms of service, there stuff is priced well over the top especially for ad-on implements, etc. & they don't discount anything at the parts counter. The best thing I can say about them is that they are really pros at blowing smoke where the sun never shines.

I have thought about a zero turn, but I would need a entry level commercial or high end residential model which puts the price almost at the same level as a utility tractor. I have level areas & rolling areas on the property. I'm considering possibly a Kubota compact or utility tractor & maybe selling my 855 tractor for the down payment. I don't need a lot of bells & whistles. I mainly have mowing tasks, pulling a cart around with materials, running a single blade middle buster & a box blade for ground leveling now & then & that about covers my needs. I'm hearing & reading a lot of complaints about JD sub compacts, like the 1025 model. With the crap dealer I have, its the service dept. that stops me from considering buying anything branded JD.
 

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I have 4.25 acres as mentioned before. I have looked on CL for a RFM, but right now there is not much in my area or the within reasonable distance just for a look. I am no longer inclined to buy anything by Deere. My one & only JD dealership here is terrible in terms of service, there stuff is priced well over the top especially for ad-on implements, etc. & they don't discount anything at the parts counter. The best thing I can say about them is that they are really pros at blowing smoke where the sun never shines.

I have thought about a zero turn, but I would need a entry level commercial or high end residential model which puts the price almost at the same level as a utility tractor. I have level areas & rolling areas on the property. I'm considering possibly a Kubota compact or utility tractor & maybe selling my 855 tractor for the down payment. I don't need a lot of bells & whistles. I mainly have mowing tasks, pulling a cart around with materials, running a single blade middle buster & a box blade for ground leveling now & then & that about covers my needs. I'm hearing & reading a lot of complaints about JD sub compacts, like the 1025 model. With the crap dealer I have, its the service dept. that stops me from considering buying anything branded JD.
You must have a line on some really cheap utility tractors. Or are looking at some really expensive true commercial zero turns. You should be able to get something in the $5000 range new. Not apple to apples, but maybe look at used too, as there is even more money to be saved with the right deal. I bought a lightly used Exmark commercial for $2500 when we moved. Last year, I bought an older commercial Exmark with a bad engine for $700, put a new short block on it for another $800 and sold it for $2000. I guess my point to that is that there are some darn good used deals out there if you want a zero turn. If you dont, and lots of people just dont like them, thats fine too.

Bad dealers certainly can turn one right the heck off of a brand if they are the only ones around. Its sad that manufacturers dont get on bad dealers like they should. My local Stihl dealer cant fix simple problems with saws, so when I was shopping for a new pro saw, they got crossed off the list pretty quick. It was an issue my neighbor had with them and his saw being in 4 times. Turned out to be a cracked intake boot, a fairly common saw problem, and it took Stihl sending him to a different dealer who got it done in 3 days. Nothing was ever done to the other Gold Level Stihl Service dealer.
 
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