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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I really have my purchase options for a new tractor narrowed down to either the 590 or the Kubota GR2020. Here are the issues I'm sort of hung up on. Hopefully someone here can address them and provide some advice / recommendations.

1) I've never used a tractor that has the 2-pedal hydro operation. I'm also considering the Kubota 1 "treadle" pedal design and have driven one. I will be driving a JD today to test out the 2-pedal. Any thoughts either way? (Actually, I've never had a tractor that had any pedals to operate the hydro, having used a Cub Cadet 129 for the past 37 years)

2) The reverse safety switch...again...my old Cub has no such thing so I can go forward and reverse at will. I know the switch can be disabled but, if I'm correct, whenever the dealer does work on it he will reconnect it (?) It just seems that having to hit that switch every time to go in reverse sounds like a bit of a pain.

3) The quick oil change system...any thoughts on this? It appears one is only doing an expensive partial change at best. Love the idea of not having to mess with an oil pan bolt, but, when it's time to change oil, then all the oil should be changed.

4) Mulching kit...yes or no? The Kubota dealer tells me that it doesn't work all that well (at least when mowing tall grass) AND he mentions that it's engaged all the time. The Deere dealer I've been visiting tells me that on the 590 it can be turned on and off. Thoughts on it? The mulching idea sounds nice if it works well.

Thanks for any input...

Keith
 

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I really have my purchase options for a new tractor narrowed down to either the 590 or the Kubota GR2020. Here are the issues I'm sort of hung up on. Hopefully someone here can address them and provide some advice / recommendations.

1) I've never used a tractor that has the 2-pedal hydro operation. I'm also considering the Kubota 1 "treadle" pedal design and have driven one. I will be driving a JD today to test out the 2-pedal. Any thoughts either way? (Actually, I've never had a tractor that had any pedals to operate the hydro, having used a Cub Cadet 129 for the past 37 years)
No worries. They are both good systems and it is just a matter of what you are used to. Regardless of what you've used in the past, once you've spent a couple hours on the tractor it will become second nature. My old 175 Hydro had the forward/reverse lever on the fender. I used that tractor for 25 years and it took me all of 15 mins to get used to the pedals on the new X500.

2) The reverse safety switch...again...my old Cub has no such thing so I can go forward and reverse at will. I know the switch can be disabled but, if I'm correct, whenever the dealer does work on it he will reconnect it (?) It just seems that having to hit that switch every time to go in reverse sounds like a bit of a pain.
Most folks agree the RIO switch is a PITA. The good news it has a habit of breaking... err.... ummm... I mean, it has a habit of no longer working shortly after you get the tractor. It can be disabled in such a way that if you ever need to send the tractor to the dealer it can be restored to normal operation in less than 5-mins. [hint hint - wink wink ]

3) The quick oil change system...any thoughts on this? It appears one is only doing an expensive partial change at best. Love the idea of not having to mess with an oil pan bolt, but, when it's time to change oil, then all the oil should be changed.
To the best of my knowledge the X-series tractors do not have the quick oil change system. Only the E-series. And even if it did, there is a $10 kit from JD to remove the quick change system and restore it to using a normal filter system. :)

4) Mulching kit...yes or no? The Kubota dealer tells me that it doesn't work all that well (at least when mowing tall grass) AND he mentions that it's engaged all the time. The Deere dealer I've been visiting tells me that on the 590 it can be turned on and off. Thoughts on it? The mulching idea sounds nice if it works well.
I installed the mulch kit and blades on my X500 upon delivery before I even mowed a single blade of grass. Mine mulches all the time and can not be turned off and on. Which, is fine because I would never turn it off anyway. Been mulching for over 30 years and it works FANTASTIC. You are correct though, if you are going to be mowing very tall grass you probably don't want to mulch.
 

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Just a word on the RIO. On the 590, just unplug the wire to the RIO switch under the dash. Loop the end of the wire back to itself and your good to go. If you take it to the dealer just remove the loop and plug the wire back in. Its that easy. I have a 2016 590 and have encountered no problems, just saying. Good luck with whatever you purchase.
 

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On the 2016 and newer x500 series, the mulching kit consists of some internal baffles and a gate that can be opened or closed to discharge.

I have it on mine, and it works great most of the time, except this year when we kept getting all the rain and my grass would never dry out all the way. With the way the baffles are set up, the blade furthest from the discharge chute only passes 50% of its clippings to the middle, where as the middle will attempt to pass 100% towards the discharge. With the dampness of the grass, I was getting too much build up in the deck around that far blade, even with the discharge open.

Finally removed the mulch kit (about 15 minutes once deck was off tractor) and put my regular blades on. I'll put the mulcher back on for leaves.

Quick Gear Grinder here. All the hardware for the mulch kit was 1/2 inch nuts/carriage bolts except the nut/bolts holding the little chute plate, that was 10 mm. I can understand needing something smaller there, but don't switch to metric just in spot. Pick one or the other but don't mix SAE and Metric.
 

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I really have my purchase options for a new tractor narrowed down to either the 590 or the Kubota GR2020. Here are the issues I'm sort of hung up on. Hopefully someone here can address them and provide some advice / recommendations.

1) I've never used a tractor that has the 2-pedal hydro operation. I'm also considering the Kubota 1 "treadle" pedal design and have driven one. I will be driving a JD today to test out the 2-pedal. Any thoughts either way? (Actually, I've never had a tractor that had any pedals to operate the hydro, having used a Cub Cadet 129 for the past 37 years)

2) The reverse safety switch...again...my old Cub has no such thing so I can go forward and reverse at will. I know the switch can be disabled but, if I'm correct, whenever the dealer does work on it he will reconnect it (?) It just seems that having to hit that switch every time to go in reverse sounds like a bit of a pain.

3) The quick oil change system...any thoughts on this? It appears one is only doing an expensive partial change at best. Love the idea of not having to mess with an oil pan bolt, but, when it's time to change oil, then all the oil should be changed.

4) Mulching kit...yes or no? The Kubota dealer tells me that it doesn't work all that well (at least when mowing tall grass) AND he mentions that it's engaged all the time. The Deere dealer I've been visiting tells me that on the 590 it can be turned on and off. Thoughts on it? The mulching idea sounds nice if it works well.

Thanks for any input...

Keith
The operator pedal is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I wouldn't own a Kubota because of the Treadle Pedal design. I am tall and have long legs and the treadle pedal is very uncomfortable to use for me verses the two pedal system. I have friends with Kubota's which I drive several times a year, so I am familiar with both systems.

No question that both brands sells a lot of tractors. I found I end up stepping on the Treadle Pedal when I am getting on and off the Kubota's which can be dangerous. But, it comes down to personal preference so try both and see what you like. Also, the rest of the machine ergonomics make a big difference. And drive the machine on a lawn surface to see how they ride. I always laugh when people tell me they drove the tractor at the dealership on the parking lot and it seemed fine and when they get on a bumpy lawn, they are shocked at the bad ride. Try to drive the machine where it's going to be used. If possible, see if the dealers have a demo they will drop off for you to mow at your home. That's the best test of any new machine.

The oil change issue is easily returned to "normal, full change system" as others have mentioned. I don't care for the partial oil change system, but I do think its going to expand and become the "norm" as time passes. Hopefully, the ability to "over ride" or "bypass" the partial change system continues to be available as an alternative.

The RIO is easily overridden and should be as far as you are cognizant of what's going on around you when mowing. There was just a local story on the news where a 7 year old girl received her prosthetic lower leg and foot with the help of local Shriner's after she lost her foot and a portion of her lower leg in a lawn mowing accident in May of this year. I don't know the details of the accident and frankly, don't want to. But obviously this is a risk and I can't imagine the impact such an injury would have on both the victim of the accident as well as the person operating the machine.

There are a lot of really good mower blades available now to achieve various types of mowing objectives. I just replaced the blades on my zero turn with some new special blades which have a special coating as well as being sharpened nearly to the spindle (despite the reality that you really just use the outer few inches of the blade, but having more of the blade sharpened doesn't hurt a thing). These blades have a different designed tip on them and I have never seen a blade which cut very long grass and leaves very small clippings as well as these blades.

I mowed a neighbors lawn last night and in the week since i last cut it, it had grown to where i had to cut 7"+ off the grass. I mow at 3.75" of cut height and the grass height measured between 11" and 12" tall when I cut it last night. We have had rain every day for the past week plus and until yesterday, very warm temps which has made the grass grow like crazy. I was sure I would need to either bag the lawn last night and in the end, I cut the first cutting of the front yard, then the first of the rear yard, going back to the front so it has some time to dry and cutting it at 90 degrees to the first cut and then returned to the rear yard and did the same. In the end, no clumps, no obvious clippings on the lawn and the result looks great. Yes, I cut the entire lawn twice, but it really looks great and not like the other lawns cut in our neighborhood cut yesterday or today (it's drizzling here and has been all day.)

Personally, I focus on blades which provide great lift as they stand the grass up when its being cut, which provides a much better appearance when done with the mowing. Also, your ground speed makes a difference on the cut as does the number of turns in the cut. Changing direction every cutting helps. Some people get on their tractors or mowers and mow the lawn the exact same way, every single time to the point of developing "ruts" in the lawn which the machine can follow without operators input.

Probably the most important factor in your purchase you haven't mentioned is the dealer and their ability to support you and your equipment. Everything from the condition of the dealer facilities to the depth of their parts inventory and the way they treat and interact with you is very important. If you feel like you are a bother now, or that you are not a priority to the dealer when shopping for equipment, good luck trying to get their support when you need it.

The responsiveness of the sales person and the dealership's inventory of equipment can help you gauge the operation and whether it will be able to service you down the road when your machine needs a warranty repair or an emergency service. So weigh your feelings about the dealer in your purchase decision as well. Hopefully, you have top notch dealerships of both brands in your area. Such is not the case in our area. Our Kubota dealer is very difficult to deal with and outright hostile to many customers. Hard to believe, but it's true.

Good luck with your purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for such quick and helpful replies! Good to hear about the apparent ease of disabling the 590 RIO, especially since I looked at a few sites and youtube clips that refer to a more expensive re-wiring approach. The suggestion of simply unplugging one wire is a remedy I've not encountered yet.

The Kubota dealer nearby is HUGE...they do more than just Kubota. The inside of that place - especially the shops - must approach the square footage of the average shopping mall, whereas the Deere dealer is a small, family-owned operation. I must admit to being partial to the latter being that my Dad (and now my brother) owned and operated an auto repair business. Interestingly, the KB dealer said that hardly any tractors come to the shop for repairs. They send out mobile repair units and do it right at your house. Both dealers have been very nice to work with so far (though both are probably tired of all my inquiries - I think the KB rep and I have a bit over 60 email exchanges that started last fall already, plus I've been there three times already. Rather stupidly of me, when I test drove the 590 (yes...unfortunatley only on the parking lot), I never thought to go in reverse; rather went forward the whole time, so that's why I really need to go back.

I do like the 4-year warranty versus only 2 for the KB. I agree that any system of hydro operation will quickly become accustomed to. Not sure what to say on the Kubota 20 HP Kohler vs. the Deere Kawasaki 25 HP engine. I can only speak for the longevity of my K-301 Kohler that was in my Cub, but that was a cast-iron block. No matter what I buy here, I'm still planning on putting another engine in the Cub - hopefully then to be used to mow a few woods paths I maintain and also to do the plowing with, being that I already have the blade for it. Wasn't planning on ordering any snow equipment with either the KB or JD. Perhaps not a great move, but that's where my thinking is for the present. Could always get that stuff later on and, of course, could sell the Cub.
 

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Single pedal is horrible, Quick change oil is only on a few E tractors and get "mulch on demand", it has a lever, mulch or no mulch in 2 seconds. Get the X590, seat is comfy!
 

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And I am in the "Why all the complaining about the RIO?" club.

Geeez...is it really that hard to get used to pulling a knob or pushing a switch before pushing on the reverse pedal? You learn how to tie your shoes, didn't you? Does your mommy still dress you, or did you get that figured out? What about complaining that "I started my tractor but it just sits there. It won't mow the lawn for me. "

Seems like many people want to take the short route without care of the consequences. "Oh, I disabled the RIO because I'm the only operator of this tractor. No one else will ever use it and I'll never forget I disabled a safety feature." Must be nice to be able to see the future. I'll buy the winning lotto numbers from you next Wednesday when I get paid.

How about "Oh that shield made it difficult to do a repair and maintenence on that part so I just let it off." Care to tell that to the person that fell victim to a dismemberment from a similar situation? Really think they asked to be maimed by a machine? Personally, I don't know of anyone who asked the machine to tear their arm off, but have met a couple fellows that had it happen to them. What about the little girl SulleyBear mentioned? I believe I heard something about that story also. Tragic. What if was your daughter?

Personally I dislike hearing about safety feature over-rides. Like it or not, they are there for a reason, whether you understand or appreciate them or not. True, maybe Big-Brother has gone over-board on some things, but in my mind, not when it comes to machines and electricity. I'm an electrician by trade, and some of the things I have to deal with can boggle one's mind, but it is what it is. Do you think I like to dress and work in a hot, restrictive arc-flash suit on live gear? Not particularly, but I think it's better than having my boss call my wife and tell her my body can be claimed at the morgue later that day.

Whether you disable a safety feature is up to you. Not many are going to be able to stop you. But remember, things happen fast. Faster than you can think, let alone re-act.
Machines are dumb. They are not designed to stop when your pants get caught and you're about to lose your leg. They go until their input energy is cut or they burn up. Think of all the damage that can be done in the mean time.
It's like playing in Vegas. You get tricked into comfort and a sense of control, but the house is geared to be the winner.

This is not intended to be critical of anyone or start any debates. Just my personal take.

Back to topic. Rant over.
 

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This is not intended to be critical of anyone or start any debates. Just my personal take.

Back to topic. Rant over.
Most commercial quality ZTR mowers are capable of traveling 2X faster than any standard lawn mower and they have the ability to make rapid 360-degree direction changes. They do not have RIO.

I figure I've been operating a riding mower for 40 years without having to push/pull any switches or levers to enable mowing in whatever direction I need to. No point in starting now.

There are some safety interlocks which make sense and do help to keep the operator safe. Unfortunately RIO isn't one of them.
 

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Most commercial quality ZTR mowers are capable of traveling 2X faster than any standard lawn mower and they have the ability to make rapid 360-degree direction changes. They do not have RIO.

I figure I've been operating a riding mower for 40 years without having to push/pull any switches or levers to enable mowing in whatever direction I need to. No point in starting now.

There are some safety interlocks which make sense and do help to keep the operator safe. Unfortunately RIO isn't one of them.
With the greatest respect, duly noted, and I knew this was coming, just not from whom. Again, personal opinion. Yours is that is not a safety feature, mine is that it is. My opinion is that the RIO is not intended to keep the operator safe, more so to help make the operator aware of the surroundings to keep others safe. I do concede that it's far from perfect though.
 

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Just bought the 590 recently and I just love it. Others have already answered your questions but this has been a great investment for me.
 

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I recently bought an X580. That would be a 590 minus the steering wheel tilt, EFI, and high back seat. I now have 32 hours on the machine and have nothing but high praise for JD's construction and features.

Compared to the KB you're looking at, I think that for more than one reason the X590 would be my choice. I actually looked at the KB you mention prior to buying the 580. My intent was to find a small machine capable of ground breaking that could push dirt and snow, haul heavy loads, pull a York rake, and handle a large assortment of sleeve hitch and receiver hitch attachments.

After comparing the machines I found that in many ways they were very similar. However, the JD had some features that just stood out over the KB. The first thing I noticed, and one thing that took the KB out of contention almost immediately, was the frame construction. KB does not use box frame construction on the model you mention, and when it comes time to do more than mow the lawn all I could picture in my mind were bending frames similar to those found on Husqvarna and some Cub lawn tractors.

Another feature is the dual pedal forward/reverse. As Sullybear stated there is a tendency to step on the pedal getting on and off of the machine. The JD took about 15 minutes to get used to, and that was after using a manual shift machine for better than 35 years.

The RIO feature, which many people complain about, is IMO not a hassle at all. Just push the button on the left hand side as you back up, and to be sure, the only attachments it will effect are mower decks, tillers, and attachments that use the PTO. It has no effect on blades or towed ground breaking attachments. I also wouldn't disconnect the seat safety switch. I've literally fallen off of tractors twice, both large and small in the over 50 years that I have been using them. It happens, and I've been lucky, very lucky. In my first case I was working my sisters farm in NH. I was 16 and fell off an IH which ran over my foot. The ground was soft and nothing broke, which to this day I don't understand. The second was a Craftsman GT18 that rolled on me. I had the seat safety switch deactivated and the tractor ended upright, still running and going straight ahead until it hit a tree. In that case I fractured a knee cap. Lucky again. Nothing is a do all, but safety switches are there for a reason.

I have been dealing with a huge state/town/DOT road project that has effected about 1/2 acre of my land. I mowed once prior to tilling the entire 1/2 acre again. I didn't opt for the mulch kit, and who knows, maybe later, but I did upgrade the blades with Oregon high lift mulching blades. No "la3wnmower" sounds out of this machine. More like a low pitched hum and very, very little vibration. The blades did a wonderful job cutting through 6" grass. For less than $30 for the full set of blades it's a good place to start before spending money on a mulch kit.

The 590 and 580 are great tractors backed by a great company. I bought mine from a dealer in NH (to save MA sales tax) from a smaller dealer. The service was excellent and I felt like they cared about me and my purchase. The KB dealer was huge, and I felt like I was on a car lot looking for something that I was never going to get, a relationship with the dealer.

At any rate I couldn't be happier with my choice, and I'm sure that if you choose a JD X590 you'll be happy too.

Good luck, and have some fun with whatever you purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just bought the 590 recently and I just love it. Others have already answered your questions but this has been a great investment for me.
Thanks, again, for all the helpful replies. I'm definitely leaning towards getting the 590. I test drove again yesterday and have no issues with the 2 pedals. Actually, somehow, it feels a bit more natural (makes sense, in a way, considering how one uses a brake and gas pedal in a car). I think the 590 will more than suit my needs. And, if I wind up using it to plow snow, I'm sure it would do the job there but at this point am planning to keep my old Cub to perhaps continue the snow removal duties.

Regarding the safety switch issue - albeit the points raised by kylew are well taken and have merit - I'm not going to debate this either way, but suffice it to say that, from my perspective, I'm coming from having spent 37 years with a mower that has absolutely no safety features whatsoever, so, for me, it just seems logical to want to keep things as uncomplicated as I can. I totally understand the RIO as indeed being a 'safety' precaution - makes total sense in terms of being aware of what is going on behind the operator prior to backing up. But, that being said, my situation is that I'm mowing where there are no kids or animals anywhere nearby - I live on a corner 1+ acre lot out in the country with one neighbor who lives on the other side of a 100 foot-long 6-foot high hedge that one cannot even walk through - so a lot less to be concerned about in terms of worrying about what's going on behind me. Thus, for me, the RIO really becomes more disadvantageous, in terms of it being a bit of an inconvenience, compared to whatever advantages are afforded in the way of the safety aspect of it. For someone with kids or pets, or mowing in a more populated area, absolutely it becomes more important.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I recently bought an X580. That would be a 590 minus the steering wheel tilt, EFI, and high back seat. I now have 32 hours on the machine and have nothing but high praise for JD's construction and features.

Compared to the KB you're looking at, I think that for more than one reason the X590 would be my choice. I actually looked at the KB you mention prior to buying the 580. My intent was to find a small machine capable of ground breaking that could push dirt and snow, haul heavy loads, pull a York rake, and handle a large assortment of sleeve hitch and receiver hitch attachments.

After comparing the machines I found that in many ways they were very similar. However, the JD had some features that just stood out over the KB. The first thing I noticed, and one thing that took the KB out of contention almost immediately, was the frame construction. KB does not use box frame construction on the model you mention, and when it comes time to do more than mow the lawn all I could picture in my mind were bending frames similar to those found on Husqvarna and some Cub lawn tractors.

Another feature is the dual pedal forward/reverse. As Sullybear stated there is a tendency to step on the pedal getting on and off of the machine. The JD took about 15 minutes to get used to, and that was after using a manual shift machine for better than 35 years.

The RIO feature, which many people complain about, is IMO not a hassle at all. Just push the button on the left hand side as you back up, and to be sure, the only attachments it will effect are mower decks, tillers, and attachments that use the PTO. It has no effect on blades or towed ground breaking attachments. I also wouldn't disconnect the seat safety switch. I've literally fallen off of tractors twice, both large and small in the over 50 years that I have been using them. It happens, and I've been lucky, very lucky. In my first case I was working my sisters farm in NH. I was 16 and fell off an IH which ran over my foot. The ground was soft and nothing broke, which to this day I don't understand. The second was a Craftsman GT18 that rolled on me. I had the seat safety switch deactivated and the tractor ended upright, still running and going straight ahead until it hit a tree. In that case I fractured a knee cap. Lucky again. Nothing is a do all, but safety switches are there for a reason.

I have been dealing with a huge state/town/DOT road project that has effected about 1/2 acre of my land. I mowed once prior to tilling the entire 1/2 acre again. I didn't opt for the mulch kit, and who knows, maybe later, but I did upgrade the blades with Oregon high lift mulching blades. No "la3wnmower" sounds out of this machine. More like a low pitched hum and very, very little vibration. The blades did a wonderful job cutting through 6" grass. For less than $30 for the full set of blades it's a good place to start before spending money on a mulch kit.

The 590 and 580 are great tractors backed by a great company. I bought mine from a dealer in NH (to save MA sales tax) from a smaller dealer. The service was excellent and I felt like they cared about me and my purchase. The KB dealer was huge, and I felt like I was on a car lot looking for something that I was never going to get, a relationship with the dealer.

At any rate I couldn't be happier with my choice, and I'm sure that if you choose a JD X590 you'll be happy too.

Good luck, and have some fun with whatever you purchase.
Thanks....great to have someone respond who also has done some comparison between the KB and JD. I can't speak to the quality of the frame construction on the 2020, though I must say I've been impressed every time I've looked over that tractor - does seem to be very well built. One thing that is leaning me more towards the JD (and perhaps a groundless and unfair point of view), is that it appears the 2020 and 2021 are the only 2 garden tractors that KB makes, whereas JD has so many different models. I think of Kubota's main strength as being perhaps in the larger equipment that they make. Relation of mine has had one of the larger diesel tractors - with front end loader, etc. - for over 20 years and has had no problems with it. Again, I could be way off on this, but I'm just thinking that JD knows garden tractors probably as well as anyone. I also like how the JD deck wheels rotate to facilitate easier removal from under the tractor.

One thing I don't fully understand is...how does this mulching feature actually work? Other than the discharge chute closing, what does the baffle system that is installed to 'mulch' do differently than just normal mowing without it? I assume the blades are the same either way....guess I'm just not understanding completely how it functions.
 

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Thanks....great to have someone respond who has a basis for comparison on the KB and the JD.

One thing I don't fully understand is...how does this mulching feature actually work? Other than the discharge chute closing, what does the baffle system that is installed to 'mulch' do differently than just normal mowing without it? I assume the blades are the same either way....guess I'm just not understanding completely how it functions.
I think the parts system can be of some help. There appear to be three different mulch options. For the sake of discussion I will address the 54" deck.

Without any mulch options the deck as a choice of two blades... Standard (M143520) and Hi-lift (M152726).

Then there is the standard full-time mulch kit shown below that has been around for sometime. It has some baffle sections that bolt in and plug the discharge opening and it uses dedicated mulching blades (M145516)



On recent models they now offer the "Mulch Control" kit which is a set of baffles that can switch between normal discharge and mulching. It appears to have a section of baffle near the discharge opening that is on a hinge. You move a little lever to open and close this baffle section. The kit uses blade (M177791) which I suspect is a compromise blade between the full mulch and standard blade. I highly doubt this switchable mulch kit will work as good as the full mulch kit with dedicated mulching blades.



Finally, they offer an electrically operated Mulch Control kit which is basically the same as the manually operated kit except it has an electrically operated door and associated switches and wiring (shown below). It still uses the same combo blade as the manual Mulch Control kit (M177791).



I have the basic full-time mulch kit on my X500 and I am very happy with how it works. Many times my grass is over 6" high yet I don't get any windrows or clumping. It does get grass build up on the baffles and needs to be periodically scraped clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I think the parts system can be of some help. There appear to be three different mulch options. For the sake of discussion I will address the 54" deck.

Without any mulch options the deck as a choice of two blades... Standard (M143520) and Hi-lift (M152726).

Then there is the standard full-time mulch kit shown below that has been around for sometime. It has some baffle sections that bolt in and plug the discharge opening and it uses dedicated mulching blades (M145516)



On recent models they now offer the "Mulch Control" kit which is a set of baffles that can switch between normal discharge and mulching. It appears to have a section of baffle near the discharge opening that is on a hinge. You move a little lever to open and close this baffle section. The kit uses blade (M177791) which I suspect is a compromise blade between the full mulch and standard blade. I highly doubt this switchable mulch kit will work as good as the full mulch kit with dedicated mulching blades.



Finally, they offer an electrically operated Mulch Control kit which is basically the same as the manually operated kit except it has an electrically operated door and associated switches and wiring (shown below). It still uses the same combo blade as the manual Mulch Control kit (M177791).



I have the basic full-time mulch kit on my X500 and I am very happy with how it works. Many times my grass is over 6" high yet I don't get any windrows or clumping. It does get grass build up on the baffles and needs to be periodically scraped clean.

Thanks for further clarification on the various options. Being less of a visual/conceptual than an auditory learner, I find it a little difficult to envision and grasp the differences in the mulching mechanisms from just the pictures, but I greatly appreciate your taking the time to post all that. I would not want a dedicated version that does not allow for normal discharge, since sometimes I mow areas that are of much rougher terrain (and greater weed/grass height) than what I typically encounter in my yard. All I know about it is what the dealer told me..that it can be turned on and off and that there is some sort of device that can open/close the discharge. I'll find out more about it from him.
 

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Thanks for further clarification on the various options. Being less of a visual/conceptual than an auditory learner, I find it a little difficult to envision and grasp the differences in the mulching mechanisms from just the pictures, but I greatly appreciate your taking the time to post all that. I would not want a dedicated version that does not allow for normal discharge, since sometimes I mow areas that are of much rougher terrain (and greater weed/grass height) than what I typically encounter in my yard. All I know about it is what the dealer told me..that it can be turned on and off and that there is some sort of device that can open/close the discharge. I'll find out more about it from him.
Let's try this. The curved pieces in the mulch control kit bolt onto the underside of the mower deck. It then has a little flapper door at the exit chute that you can open and close with a lever. Open = discharge grass normally. Close = mulch.



 

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The mulch on demand kit seems to work better than the old system that used the plastic plug. Far less complaints. Keep in mind that trying to mulch 6 inches of wet grass is a no go. You will leave wind rows.
The X590 is an EFI engine with an electronic governor. It works great with very very little issues.
I have worked for other dealers besides Deere and one thing I can say.. There is no other that has the service infrastructure and parts system like Deere. Yes.. There are poor dealers on both sides but all in all, Deere demands that their dealers follow the standards. Also with warranty, a Deere dealer never has to deal with an engine manufacturer separate from the unit. Or transmission or whatever.
Check out the service dept, parts dept ect. If you have that warm fuzzy.. Go for it.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
 

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Hello from germany!

My thoughts on the RIO switch discussion:
On my X100 (European version of the D100 series) it was NO problem for me to get used to it, maybe 3 times of mowing (6 hours) and I clicked the switch without even thinking about it. My advise for you: Just try to get used to the switch, it won´t take long!:thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
J....thanks again. I had looked on the Deere website and they also have a detailed explanation of it. They say that even with the discharge open, there is still around 1/3 of the cuttings that get mulched. What I'm trying to avoid (even moreso than the fertilizing advantages gained from mulching), is the amount of raking I've been having to do with the old Cub. Part of that may well be due to the fact that there are no longer ANY baffles on my deck...they've disintegrated over the years! I just don't want to bog down the mowing operation since sometimes (if I wind up using the 590 for this purpose), as stated previously, I mow an area in the woods that can get pretty high and weedy. I suppose the mulching kit can always be removed if desired (? )

The more I read - not only here but also on the JD website - the more I'm liking this machine. :)
 
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