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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking in to buying a JD Lawn Tractor.

I own a JD Compact Utility tractor. but it’s too big and heavy to mow my lawn.

Was looking at the various series JD lawn tractors and heard bad things about the K46 transmission. Also, that if you have any slope or uphill mowing that you need limited slip or else you’ll wind up spinning the one powered tire of the open differential.

The X370 looks like the lowest priced unit that uses a K57 Transmission, but I have heard that limited-slip is not an available option.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks
 

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Just slopes does not necessitate a locking rear end; I have a 2001 345 with the k70 in it, no locker, and I routinely mow 25 degree slopes. However, if the grass is wet, my traction is significantly reduced, and a locker would be beneficial to me, but not required.

Depending on how much slope you have, it would be better to stay away from the k46 if possible. Additionally, if you want to use any ground engaging implements, you will wear out the k46 very quickly.

A description of what you are mowing, acreage to be mowed, possibly a couple of pictures of the area you are most worried about would help a lot in giving you useful recommendations.
 

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While it is possible to spin a tire, the much cheaper answer to that is to put some more aggressive tires on it.

I have a D160 and had issues with it spinning tires going up a fairly steep hill in my yard that is usually covered in moss. Changed the tires out and haven't spun one since.

I know of no Deere mowers/tractors that have limited slip transmissions. For that matter, I don't know of any from any other manufacturer either. Seems like you'd pay more for the transmission that the rest of the machine. These things tend to use locks where both wheels are either locked together or they aren't. That's cheap and easy to build.
 
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The OP may be referring to a "differential lock".
 

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I would ask the dealer if you can try the unit you are interested in. Some dealers are very accommodating and I believe at one time Deere had a 30 day satisfaction guarantee might not hurt to ask.
 
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I bought a D170 in 2015 and tried using a Cyclone Rake to pick up oak leaves that fall. It was obvious that it was going to have trouble before I even hooked up the CR. It struggled on anything that wasn’t flat ground. It could barely move the CR even half full and couldn’t back it up. After looking up reviews on the K46 trans, I knew I bought the wrong mower for our yard. They’re designed for a homeowner with an absolutely flat yard and maybe it can pull a P10 cart to pick up debris. I sold it to my FIL who has a flat yard and bought an X380. It did fine pulling it. We have since added an X570 with the K72 trans and diff lock. Now my wife and I can mow our 3 acres of yard at the same time. The X570 doesn’t even know the CR is back there. Expensive, yes but those mowers will last the rest of our lives.
 
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I agree with JimR - if you are concerned with the mower slipping (make sure you try it first - no need to spend $ unnecessarily), I'd consider an HDAP type tire vs. a locking diff. The locking diff would be good to get out of a quick jam, I don't think it's meant to be used long term as you are mowing.
 

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I don't think an SCUT is that big or heavy on lawns. Not spinning tires does less wear and tear than a smaller one that does and it won't cost you anything.
 
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Going to a smaller, lighter machine means a lot of sacrifices of things which you are used to. Power steering, machine balance, stability, mower deck width, ease of use, comfort of use. I buy machines and resell them. I always try and make the machines as reliable and operating as close to when they were new as is practical. But I can also tell you when I drive these other machines, it ALWAYS makes me really appreciate the equipment I do mow with and use.

This is not meant to be critical of the smaller lawn mowers. It's just a reality of what you get used to and the differences of these other machines. Yes, they are less for a reason. . In theory it sounds great. In actuality, Many of those reason's might not be something you are willing to sacrifice or tolerate in order to lighten the machine.

I have bought and sold several of the D series machines . The people who have bought them are very happy with them. But they haven';t been using a full fledged SCUT or CUT, so they don't know what they are sacrificing. I have a feeling if you keep your CUT, which I think if your plan, your CUT isn't going to end up mowing much less than it currently does as time goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thank You for all the Great replies, suggestions and information. Lots to consider. I don’t think my local dealer would be all that into allowing me to try it on my own lawn. Tough enough to get them to deliver after purchase.

My lawn isn’t huge, maybe 1/3 acre, but it is time consuming (to use a push-mower) and particularly rough when the temperatures are 100 degrees plus during the summer months. Not super steep slopes, but most all of the property is sloped north to south and west to east. If it was wet, particularly tough.

The Compact Tractor I have is a JD 790 MCUT with R4 tires. With 432 lbs (9) suitcase weights on the front it weighs around 2,500 lbs or a bit more. Also, I don’t plan to swap tires (to turf tires) as I do use ground-engaging equipment, tiller, cultivator, box blade, subsoiler on the rest of the property. Also, I need to get into tighter spaces in my lawn. I was even thinking 42” would work out better than wider for the lawn.

I had read that some of the larger lawn tractors had at least an option for limited-slip.

Maybe I wouldn’t need it? I know my local dealer has two JD Lawn Tractors, an E180 and D170, that customers had returned with really low hours as they could not do the job.

The E180 had front and rear wheel weights, rear grass catcher, and it still didn’t work out. I was looking at buying one of those two on discount, but after reading reviews, it had me concerned about making the right choice and looking at larger, more capable units, plus the detractors of the K46.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
783185


This is the used one I had been looking at... just front wheel weights, but only has 10 hours yet it’s been sitting a year and a half on their back lot.
 

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View attachment 783185

This is the used one I had been looking at... just front wheel weights, but only has 10 hours yet it’s been sitting a year and a half on their back lot.
Give it a pass; transmission isn't up to the task on hills, and there must be a reason it has sat for so long and not been sold.
My JD 790 weights
Why do you need 430 lb of weight up front?

I'd look for something in the X5xx line. Good transmission, and they have a differential lock.
 

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Once you’re in the $4000-$5000 range I’m looking at used shaft drive gt’s
 

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I will admit that I just went back to a scut to cut grass instead of a zero turn. Had one years ago and sold it when I got the deere and went to a zero turn. Not to get in that whole debate of which is right machine, better, faster, etc. I still have a 3032 for loader and pto work. I found a used, extremely low hour (forgive me on the color) orange tractor bx2230 with turf tires and only a 60" mmm (no loader). It cuts wonderfully and will allow me to pull a cyclone rake or mount a terraking as well as use it for spreader and aerator instead of the 3032 with r4 tires. I looked long and hard at the X5 series and the new price was up there. Having said that I would still consider them a fantastic machine. Finding a good used one is hard at least where I am at. Around here you can find a used 1023 with mower deck only for a reasonable price.
 

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I am looking in to buying a JD Lawn Tractor.

I own a JD Compact Utility tractor. but it’s too big and heavy to mow my lawn.

Was looking at the various series JD lawn tractors and heard bad things about the K46 transmission. Also, that if you have any slope or uphill mowing that you need limited slip or else you’ll wind up spinning the one powered tire of the open differential.

The X370 looks like the lowest priced unit that uses a K57 Transmission, but I have heard that limited-slip is not an available option.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks
The K46 gets a Very Bad reputation On these forum and Many forums Because The K46 was Used In the Deere L series when In first Came Out During the 2005 Production Year Deere switched from the K46 In Most L series Hydrostatic Models to the T40J/TLT200 which Is designed More for a Rear engine rider and Not a Lawn Tractor But Most assume all Deere entry Level 100 series Have a K46 when Only the Top two Models still use the K46 The K46 is the Most widely used Lawn tractor transmission used in the Lawn & Garden Industry there are 56 DIFFERENT VARIANTS OF THE K46 and Husqvarna Uses a K46 In a LGT Model that is sold at Lowes Which is sold as a Garden tractor That doesn't Help Of Coarse when You Use a Transmission Beyond it design Limits You will Have Problems with It But the K46 Is Fine for Use In a Lawn Tractor for Mowing the Lawn and Occasional snow removal with a Blade Or Blower. or towing equipment. If you abuse a Tuff-Torq K92 it will fail as well

That said the K46 is Not a Good Transmission for Hills Husqvarna uses a K46 with Auto Diff/lock and Simplicity uses a Traction control On the Broadmoor & UP There is no Limited Slip On the Current Deere Lawn Tractors or Garden tractors.

If You want diff/lock You would Have to Look at the following Models Used GX255, (Model Years 2004 or 2005 of the GX335, GX345 & GX355) and any of the X500 series Made since 2006. There are a few 1983 thru 1992 Models the 420 & 430, 1992 to 2002 models 425, 445,455. 2002 to Present X465 thru X495 2WD X575 thru X595 4WD & X700 thru X758.

The K57 is basically a K46 with a Bigger Pump other then that same Internals. K58 Might Handle the Yard Fine But no limited slip feature either (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Appreciate the time you have all spent and Great information. There is more to this than I had earlier expected.

Seems like my lawn isn’t huge, but big enough that it takes two hours with a rotary push mower and I’m not getting any younger. Hard for me to justify $5k for a mower but I don’t want to essentially waste $2k or more and be dissatisfied.

As to why I have 430 lbs of extra weight on the front of my tractor, it came with four weights and without a FEL that wasn’t enough on the front tires (in 4-wheel drive) to provide effective traction when pulling a box blade, plow, subsoiler, etc. That extra weight made for night-and-day better traction.

As I said, I do appreciate all of your experienced advice and suggestions.

DC
 

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Appreciate the time you have all spent and Great information. There is more to this than I had earlier expected.

Seems like my lawn isn’t huge, but big enough that it takes two hours with a rotary push mower and I’m not getting any younger. Hard for me to justify $5k for a mower but I don’t want to essentially waste $2k or more and be dissatisfied.

As to why I have 430 lbs of extra weight on the front of my tractor, it came with four weights and without a FEL that wasn’t enough on the front tires (in 4-wheel drive) to provide effective traction when pulling a box blade, plow, subsoiler, etc. That extra weight made for night-and-day better traction.

As I said, I do appreciate all of your experienced advice and suggestions.

DC
Always good to hear from folks who have "technical" lawns. Mine takes about 1 1/2 hours with my old Lawn Boy 6.5 commercial and in high gear it really hoofs as compared to most consumer grade machines.

I'll be beginning my first full season with the x738 today after work and I have to say i love the tractor and how it feels. It cuts well, turns on a dime and is planted as well as a rock

I just wished it were 3/4 size for the lawn that I have. I'm wasting a lot of those 25hp and 54" of cut but both of my neighbors and their tractors prove to me that it's either AWD or a push mower for a significant part of my lawn.

On the upside, I can keep my new 1025r without a deck and put it to work on the rest of the property.
 

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OP,

I certainly wouldn't have those weights on the JD790 if all you are doing is mowing. WHY?
 
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