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Discussion Starter #1
Good Afternoon and Greetings!
I live just outside of Milwaukee and have never needed anything more than a simple lawn tractor to cut my grass, but now I have purchased a 4 acre property in central Wisconsin that I need to "work". I would like something obviously to cut the grass, but having a long driveway snow blowing is just as important, I would also like a rear tiller and perhaps attachments I never even heard of. After searching and searching and of course confusing the heck out of myself I keep coming back to the 318. In a perfect world I would like rear hydraulics and a 3 point hitch. So I am asking you professionals what advice you can give me. Certainly I should preface this by saying although I would love one an actual compact is just out of my range. So I'm looking for something used, reliable and will allow me to keep my arm and leg. Thank you in advance for comments
 

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Good Afternoon and Greetings!
I live just outside of Milwaukee and have never needed anything more than a simple lawn tractor to cut my grass, but now I have purchased a 4 acre property in central Wisconsin that I need to "work". I would like something obviously to cut the grass, but having a long driveway snow blowing is just as important, I would also like a rear tiller and perhaps attachments I never even heard of. After searching and searching and of course confusing the heck out of myself I keep coming back to the 318. In a perfect world I would like rear hydraulics and a 3 point hitch. So I am asking you professionals what advice you can give me. Certainly I should preface this by saying although I would love one an actual compact is just out of my range. So I'm looking for something used, reliable and will allow me to keep my arm and leg. Thank you in advance for comments
Welcome!! :good2:

This is a bad crowd to hang around if you want to keep both arms and both legs.

Just ask BigJim, he ended up with a cadillac of gators with a heated and AC'ed cab, & plow - when he started I think he was shopping for a bicycle with a sidecar for CharleyBoy to ride in!! :mocking:

How much of that 4 acres is grass cutting?
 

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A 318 can do all you want, but you will probably be better off going for a used 750/755.

A 318 3 point is cat 0

The rear pto is 2000 rpm so you need specific tillers.

Mowing with a 50” deck your probably 2 hours or more to mow 4 acres.



And I say that as a big fan of vintage garden tractors. I’d go for a herd if you want to stay small, or step up to atleast a shaft drive x series or 4x5. Tilling will cost a lot for any of them, if you split that off to a 212,214 or 216 with a 31 tiller you can probably save a couple thousand.
 

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What's your budget? I'm not familiar with how much your arms and legs are worth. :dunno::laugh:
$2,000? $5,000? $8,000?
Lots of machines on Madison and Milwaukee Craigslist.

755, $8500.././.
John Deere 755 - farm garden - by owner - sale

X540, $5200.....
John Deere X540 tractor, mower, blower, weights and bagger - farm garden - by owner - sale

425, $2400
425 John Deere - farm garden - by owner - sale

318, $1500
Deere 318 - farm garden - by owner - sale
(that's down here by me tho)

JD Snowblower, $550....
John Deere Snowblower - farm garden - by owner - sale

Some zero turns on there too.

I'd try to get that 755 for $7,000 and find a rear 60" finish mower in the $500-$600 range. Then when fall/gets here, start looking for attachments to deal with snow.
I'm in the camp that says zero turn for mowing, and a tractor for everything else.

Realistic opinions need to take into account your budget, which we don't know.
 

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SRG gives good advice. Also look at used 445, 455, x55's, 4100 series, 22xx series. I really like the 4100 series: nice size, lots of ability. But they are not so common and usually have loaders which will drive up the price. If you land is flat, might consider a used zero-turn for the speed. But that won't solve your snow problem.

If you can swing new, the 1-series, and x5xx up through x7xx. You might also consider other brands. Many are good and reliable. And some will be thousands less than green.

You can use tractorhouse.com to get familiar with models and how much they are selling for.
 

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Good Afternoon and Greetings!
I live just outside of Milwaukee and have never needed anything more than a simple lawn tractor to cut my grass, but now I have purchased a 4 acre property in central Wisconsin that I need to "work". I would like something obviously to cut the grass, but having a long driveway snow blowing is just as important, I would also like a rear tiller and perhaps attachments I never even heard of. After searching and searching and of course confusing the heck out of myself I keep coming back to the 318. In a perfect world I would like rear hydraulics and a 3 point hitch. So I am asking you professionals what advice you can give me. Certainly I should preface this by saying although I would love one an actual compact is just out of my range. So I'm looking for something used, reliable and will allow me to keep my arm and leg. Thank you in advance for comments
If you're in the under $3000 market, the 335 or 345's are a good choice. The newer versions are the GX335 & GX345. They're a very nice tractor to work with! There's a lot of good advice here depending on the depth of your pockets!
 

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Based on what I have learned from others try to avoid trading in. Avoid buying something new and too small and ending up feeling like you have to trade up. Avoid the idea that a single machine will solve all your problems. You may want to buy used and for specific tasks, be that mowing, snow blowing, etc. What are your true need now, versus projects that may take years to get to?. Ask yourself where will I store these tools? Will your financial situation improve in two, three, or seven years? I moved to seven overgrown acres 15 years ago. I started with a push mower and no chain saw. Then a friend brought over a 17 horse kubota a few times. Then the neighbor sold me his 9 hp rear engine 30” mower. After three years came the 2305 and and RFM and the place started looking pretty good. The last kid finished college last year and I started hanging out here and Craigslist. Whoops. The new 36x60 building got finished today.

The point is it took time, sweat, and resources ��. I do agree that the 1025R is a great choice and platform though most owners have a smaller mower or ZTR.

Good luck,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank You!

Thank you all very much!

I think I am looking around the 425 or 455

I think the 318/325 might be just a little small/ I was hoping to get the Tractor, blower, mower and tiller for under 4K but I think that might be a pipe dream.

Again thank you ALL
 

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What's your budget? I'm not familiar with how much your arms and legs are worth. :dunno::laugh:
$2,000? $5,000? $8,000?
Lots of machines on Madison and Milwaukee Craigslist.

755, $8500.././.
John Deere 755 - farm garden - by owner - sale

X540, $5200.....
John Deere X540 tractor, mower, blower, weights and bagger - farm garden - by owner - sale

425, $2400
425 John Deere - farm garden - by owner - sale

318, $1500
Deere 318 - farm garden - by owner - sale
(that's down here by me tho)

JD Snowblower, $550....
John Deere Snowblower - farm garden - by owner - sale

Some zero turns on there too.

I'd try to get that 755 for $7,000 and find a rear 60" finish mower in the $500-$600 range. Then when fall/gets here, start looking for attachments to deal with snow.
I'm in the camp that says zero turn for mowing, and a tractor for everything else.

Realistic opinions need to take into account your budget, which we don't know.
Given the option of mowing with a tractor or mowing with a commercial zero turn, HANDS DOWN, mow with the zero turn. Commercial zero turn mowers don't do many things, but the things they do, they tend to do EXTREMELY WELL and that is mowing.

I have heard all of the arguments against maintaining two machines, etc. etc. But cutting with the zero turn sure made a believer out of me.

If the OP is truly mowing 4 acres, he will save himself a minimum of 1.5 hours a week, week after week, mowing with a commercial grade zero turn mower. Note, I specify commercial grade............

The tiller is going to be the tough part of his goal. If he can find a 455 with a tiller, that would be ideal. But that's also very difficult to do these days.

He may want to think about paying someone or trading for them to do his tilling. If the tilling is for a garden, he can get someone to do that for him and it opens up his options for other machines.

I understand used is the goal. He Just needs to make sure the parts are available for the machines, especially used implements. Deere is very good at keeping their parts going for their machines but I am starting to run into issues getting some parts for my 20 plus year old 455. If the implements he were to find aren't Deere double check for parts because some after market brands are hard to get parts for even a few years old.

A 318 is going to have been made between 1983 and 1992, that means the machines are from 27 to 36 years old.........
 

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Better to finance all of it in with the 60mo 0% too. I wish I would have.


1025r TLB (Loader and Backhoe) or bigger model

Minimum list here:
-Front Weights
-Rear Weights
-Box Grader
-Forks - Make sure the frame has a receiver hitch
-Mower (Spring for the separate center lift. Seems useless until you figure out you need it)

If you have these, you can handle 90% of the business you run into.

Optional/Nice to have:
3Pt hopper spreader: Consider spreading of fertilizer, seed or salt. I have a 3pt spreader that people laughed at the size I got. Then they all wanted their lawns done with it because it was so much easier to do. I use it to spread salt on the driveway and sidewalk in the winter. It is a 950# capacity spreader. You can put 900# in it, you just can't lift it with the hydros if you do. You can also put 100# of PennState B and overseed 2 acres without stopping to refill.

Landscape rake - If you have 4 acres and there are trees, moles, driveway.... this can be useful. I prefer the box grader for most of the driveway tasks but the landscape rake is mighty handy too.

Electric Sprayer - I have a small one, should have gotten a big one. Nice to use liquids for fertilizing and pesticides. I also fill mine with house wash twice a year and tote it around on a pallet with my power washer. One pass to soak it down with the electric sprayer and a second to hit it with the power washer. (Forks are a must! - Palletize and organize everything you have. I have chainsaws and all the tools for cutting on one, I have the power washer and car washing equipment on another..... Winter storage of items on pallets are so much easier to deal with.)

Dump trailer - I got one big enough to haul my tractor on (14'). I also use it to bring supplies: Mulch, sand, gravel, lumber... that I unload with the FEL. Spring for a remote control option. I can tell you it is easier to pull up to the trailer with the FEL, tilt it and let supplies run down to the FEL. You don't need to run back and forth and you don't need an extra body to do work. Mulch is nice when you can just scoop it out of the trailer rather than pile it up and make trips.


Always nice to spend someone else's money for them! ;)
 

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Thank you all very much!

I think I am looking around the 425 or 455

I think the 318/325 might be just a little small/ I was hoping to get the Tractor, blower, mower and tiller for under 4K but I think that might be a pipe dream.

Again thank you ALL
FYI, I have had a 455 since new in 1996. I bought it with the 60" deck, the front snow blade, the front quick hitch, the 47" two stage snow thrower, the front PTO option, MC519 collection cart and other implements. Its a great machine. I use it rarely now as I have replaced the mowing with a zero turn ExMark commercial mower and also a 1025r with cab.

Just a personal opinion, I prefer the 455 first, the 445 second and the 425 third but you will likely find more 445 than 455 and I don't see many 425 for sale in my area. Also, to get a tractor, mower and blower and tiller for under $4000 means its likely going to need work.

If the machines have been well maintained, I wouldn't be afraid of a 455 with 2,000 or more hours on it and a 445 with 1,500 hours on it. You see some 455's where they have 5.000 or more hours on them. That I would only consider if it was a smoking hot deal as you are going to be putting money into it and working on it.

Things to look for in the 425 / 445 / 455 machines. These are common issues......

1. Leaking front steering cylinder. Tough to source other than Deere ( I tried) tough to rebuild due to design and 0ver $400 in parts cost. (I know because I replaced the one on my tractor last summer.)

2. Leaking from rear hydro case / rear end assembly. Most leaks are either seals such as the Differential Lock shaft seal, missing case vent assembly, leaking between the pump and transmission. If you are mechanically inclined, these are issues you can repair yourself for about $200 to $300 in parts. If you have to pay someone to rebuild the rear hydro assembly (and I have done it several times so I know first hand) its a lot of work and will cost at least $1,500 to have a shop do it. The dealer may get up to $3,000 and that's assuming the gaskets and seals are all that needs to be replaced. ( I went through my tractor rear and replaced all gaskets and seals and a new PTO clutch.)

3. PTO Clutch assembly might need replacing. Especially if the machine has more than 1,800 hours. This is something that you can do if you are pretty skilled in mechanics or plan on spending $800 to $1,200 to pay someone other than the dealer to replace it. Just the clutch parts and gaskets and sealant alone are almost $450. You have to get into the rear end assembly beyond the surface level to replace it.

4. Steering wheel is loose or wobbles. Common issue from people grabbing the wheel to get on and off the machine. Repairs are anywhere from $100 to $400. If you can do it yourself, its about $60 in parts and a few hours of labor assuming its the bushings or loose tilt adjuster or similar. You can drive it with the wheel loose, its just annoying.

5. Seats are usually shot or worn, they are between $150 and $280 depending upon source and seat. (I put on a new seat and cover)

6. Seat suspension platform can have springs added to it for a "repair" of between $30 and $50. (New Springs)

7. Broken hood or side panels is a costly problem. Hood is $300 to $400 and outer side panels are about $300 per set and complete side panels, with inner and outer pieces can run $600. Very hard to find used ones which aren't damaged. You can run without these to some degree but is does affect cooling etc. plus it fills the engine compartment with grass clipping and crud you don't want.

8. Deck spindle bearings, deck spindle grease seals, deck guide wheels and anti scalp wheels. Can run from $60 t0 $500, depending upon the total parts needed.

9. Fuel pumps and fuel shut off modules are commonly needed on the diesel machine. About $110 to $240 depending upon parts needed.

10. Front tie rod ends. $60 to $85 if you are doing it yourself and it is an easy repair.

Tires are often original on these machines. A set of new tires for the 455 can run $300 to $400 for quality replacement and assuming your wheels are good.

Issues to walk away from, engines burning lots of oil, engines needing rebuilt, diesel tractors poorly maintained (really any tractor poorly maintained can get expensive) This is all depending upon your personal skills and abilities. If you have to pay someone else to do this work its usually more costly than the machine is worth.
 

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As others have mentioned, new part availablity for the 455 and 445 is starting to fade.


Wanted to put a snowblower on my 445 2 years ago but found the hydraulic control for the lift and float was seized up. Started to look into pulling the valve assembly out and attempt to free it up. Holy nightmare. I figured before getting any deeper into that process I better check to see how much the valve assembly was. Ouch! Said $369.00 and part no longer available. Hmmm?


Sold the 445 last spring after 19+ years of use with 1875 hours. Was in above average condition. I disclosed the issue with the hydraulic valve but the buyer didn't care, he was just cutting lawn with it. $2600.00 out the door. 60" deck, no 3 point or PTO.

I would at least try to find an X485 or X495 for 2 wheel drive, or X585 or X595 for 4 wheel drive. The X485 and X495 replaced the 445 and 455. (we won't discuss carb'd models) Avoid the all wheel steer models.


Spent close to 3 years looking for a decent used X series tractor with a 3 point and a rear PTO. Only found a couple and they had been abused. The local dealers had a few but thought they where gold plated. I drove over 2 hours to Southwest Wisconsin to buy my X595 from a private party. No 3 point, no rear PTO. 400+ hours and just shy of $6000.00


If your handy another option would be the Reisterer & Schnell equipment auction this spring. They auction off all sorts of tradeins.


As for the GTT members trying to remove your arms and legs....buying a used X series and then installing the 3 point and PTO is no cheap date. At some point it just makes more sense to buy say a 1025R with a front end loader. Already has the 3 point and power take off. Just put your tiller on and go. My 1025 warranty was 3 years bumper to bumper and 6 year power train. The implements can be purchased at a discount when you buy the new tractor. 0% interest for 60 month's.
It's kinda like half a leg now, half a leg later or just let them take the whole leg now.


Good Luck and let us know what you find. (with pictures!)
 

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