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Getting my first Garden tractor - need advice.

3248 Views 67 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  Idcutthat13
Looking for some advice on my first garden tractor. We will be moving in a few weeks to a new home and will need a garden tractor. Have almost 2 acres, that are a little hilly. I would also like to attach a snowblower to clear the driveway. What do you suggest? I have read from a few people online that an X370 with a snowblower attached could not get up a sloped driveway for a few people even with chains. Attaching pictures of the driveway and backyard. Help is much appreciated.

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I agree but those great tractors are getting long in the tooth. Having older tractors is fine providing you have a backup tractor and are willing to work on your own tractors.
Can't go wrong with a 425/445/455. One of the best machines Deere has ever made.
It's already been said but a condensed version is that OP will best suited by a X5 series to meet budget and needs stated.

The x3 series will work but the rear axle just isn't all that great. The k72 on the X5 is worth the price.

Any of the AWD x7 series machines would be better an every regard but over budget. Snow performance is world's better.

1 series or higher gains stock FEL and a bigger machine. Mowing suffers and the 4x4 in the 1 series is not nearly as good as AWD in the x7. Oh and budget is still blown but even more so.
As a few have said I think at a minimum you want and x580. You want a machine that has hydraulics available. Honestly I would be looking for a SCUT myself but I get you just dropped a bunch of money for a new place. If new isn't in your budget look online maybe you can find a good used x580 or larger machine or check the dealer sometimes they have good low hour machines. People buy them then realize they should have gone bigger.
From the pictures of the lawn, I'd say any of their mowers can handle that - it doesn't look like the slopes are all that bad. The only concern there is the deck size - how much time do you want to spend mowing? FWIW Western Equip. did some videos comparing how long it would take to mow an acre with various JD lawn tractors with 48" and 54" decks. IMO the actual time isn't going to be relevant because he's mowing a park-like open field, no obstructions and probably going as fast as he possibly can - not very realistic in my book. But the time difference between the different deck sizes is useful info. 1 acre with a 48" deck = 45 minutes. With a 54" deck = 36 mins. so approx 10 minutes faster with the bigger deck. Just for comparison, a ZT 60" knocked it off in only 27 minutes.
By the looks of how much pavement you have to clear, and given you live in upstate NY, I think that's the challenge of picking the right machine, not the mowing. I would error on the side of 'more tractor' rather than less. As others mentioned, probably something in the x500 lineup. The ultimate 'garden tractor' setup would be an x738/x758 with a mow&blow package - but last time I saw an ad for for a x758 with that package it was for more than double your budget. Maybe you will luck out and find one gently used but even those seem to go for a premium. I'd also talk to a few different JD dealers in your area - see what they recommend because they will be most familiar with what works and what doesn't for that region.
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would like to see pictures of your mini skid steer on your X749. What brand do you have?
$10K is probably in the right ballpark. You can do well with that budget.

I would suggest going to a dealer and really looking at, sitting on, and driving both the X500 series and X700 series machines to see how you like the feel of them. The X570 (cheapest of the current models) is $7800. With the blower you will only be a little over your price range for new. The X700 series machines would put you at double your budget.

It took me a couple of years before I finally got that I needed a real tractor. I have 10 acres that are wooded and have horses and goats. You probably don't need a real tractor, but there are times it might be nice to have one. People on tractor forums usually give advice based on their experience on their properties. But people are different as are properties. What is excellent for one set could be a really bad choice for a different set.

For mowing, the X500 series machines are great. For blowing snow, I believe they are too. With the X500 series you will need weight and probably chains, but it should be fine for you size driveway.

For me the big advantage of the X700 series is the two spools of hydraulics. That (and the AWD and AWS of the X749) are why I bought one. I love my QH plow on my X749. I also have the QH grapple. I added a mini-skidsteer QA and I can use it with my rock bucket and mini-landplane for gravel maintenance. I didn't see any gravel in your pictures, so you probably really don't need even an X700 series, let alone a 1 series or 2 series (that some others have suggested).

It all depends on what you want and what jobs you want to be able to accomplish. Since you do want to blow snow, I would say the X580 is probably the right one for you. The X590 adds EFI, so easier to start when it is cold, might be an upgrade to consider. I didn't see anything in your pictures that suggested you need AWS. I love AWS and have a property that needs it, but also recognize not everyone needs or likes it.
I believe I saw in another post that the tiller for the x5 series was discontinued. This seems sad since it forces folks to jump up to the much more expensive x7 series.

The x7s we have are great tractors but expensive and nearly at 1023/25 price levels.

Deere really needs to see that pricing people out of the midprice GT sector isn't necessarily a good thing. Lots more folks can afford a step up machine like an x5 than can spend car-like prices on an x7 or a one or two series.
It's already been said but a condensed version is that OP will best suited by a X5 series to meet budget and needs stated.

The x3 series will work but the rear axle just isn't all that great. The k72 on the X5 is worth the price.

Any of the AWD x7 series machines would be better an every regard but over budget. Snow performance is world's better.

1 series or higher gains stock FEL and a bigger machine. Mowing suffers and the 4x4 in the 1 series is not nearly as good as AWD in the x7. Oh and budget is still blown but even more so.
X580 owner here, 1.25 acres in Ontario, so similar snow patterns I’d think. Skipping the jump to a 7 series or 1 series debate and looking at your original question/budget I’d recommend X580 or X590. I’ve owned a X300 series at our old property to just mow a flat half acre and it did just fine. But when we built or new place on a larger lot outside town I needed a bit larger machine that could handle hills, more grass, and snow removal on a larger drive. I don’t for a second regret spending the extra for the diff lock, HDAP tires, hydraulic lift and power steering on the X580. Every one of those features I enjoy and use nearly 12 months a year. If I didn’t have them I’d miss them. In the grand sceme they where not much more over say a X570 or X380. So if it’s a garden tractor I’d go with either X580 or X590 without question.
Also when we moved, I had to keep a lid on the budget having just built a house. Do I wish I could have bought a X738 or 1 series right away? Of course I do, and some day when the time is right I likely will. But mainly just because I want one not because the X580 really falls short. I fell into the pit of thinking I needed an upgrade to X7/1 series but the more time I spend on the seat I realize The X580 is practical and handles all my tasks just fine. Leaves a very nice cut and handles some serious snow. Unless you have a really sharp hill in your driveway I can’t see. I think it would handle your needs just fine.

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If you do some looking there are some great used machines around...

Here is an example, not sure how close to you but it's all you could ask for...

I lived In the North Country of NY. FT Drum/Watertown about 20 Years ago, Spent More time there than anywhere In my 20 plus years In the Army.

So I am familiar with the snow fall. My Family and I lived Off Post On a 17 acre rental place



Well, a X580 with a 47-inch Blower will cost just a Bit Over 10K



X580 comes standard with a 54-inch deck from the Factory has Hydraulic Lift and Hydraulic Power steering Plus Diff/lock, I would recommend going with HDAP Tires for the Rear depending on You your driveway You Might get away with them & Not Need Chains. A good paved driveway saver if You Need chains are Terra-Grips Recommend you Invest In 4 suitcase weights to try first for ballast. You Can always add wheel weights later if you feel You Need them. Deals Right now, you may have a hard time finding one buying a new Machine. Just the nature of the current economy. If You do buy an attachment with the Tractor, like a snow Blower, it will be covered Under the same 4-Year warranty as the Tractor. Otherwise, it will be covered by a 1-year warranty

The other Option is looking at a late model used that still has some of it factory warranty left if say You wanted to go with an X700 series

I did that with my 2012 X748 sold In December 2012 to original owner I purchased In June 2014, so I had over 2 years of warranty left when I Purchased it.

Now this Place Riding Mowers » Roeder Outdoor Power they specialize In Late Model Used Deere Machines & they ship across the Lower 48 using mayflower movers. I would say add at least a $1,000 to the Price for shipping Now couple Year ago is what about $800 to anywhere In, NY. I bought my 2012 X748 from them in 2014, and I Bought a 2012 X540 from them In 2016 a Member over On another forum of which I am a Member of Bought a Used X585(older version of an X728- X738) site unseen other Than Pictures and Had it shipped to the New Hampshire/ Massachusetts Boarder for about $1,000. They have been selling to Members on this forum and My Tractor forum dot com for 20 Plus Years. They are a Very reputable Deere dealer. Most of their local customers are Deere employees from the John Deere Dubuque, Iowa Plant who trade their tractors every Two years or so and they usually have a service History with the Machines they sell. Had a Member over On MTF Buy an X748 which Had an Issue, and they turned around and gave him an X758, I don't know if He Had to Pay the difference or not. But they really do go the extra Miles to make things right with people across the country.



If that something You Might be worried about, the Other Option is used the JD Machine finder Used Lawn & Garden Tractors For Sale | 2475 listings | MachineFinder You Might find a decent deal for a Late Model Deere from a dealer In NY as well with a few Years of warranty left. The warranty is transferable to You, any Deere dealer Can do the Transfer to you (y)
I live in upstate NY and we can get lots of snow here. I would like to stay around 10K in spending. The pitch of the driveway is not too steep
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Paid $12,400 I believe for the X730 with a 54” deck
If I was in your shoes, buying a new home and starting a family I would get a brand new Cub Cadet zero turn mower with a 54 inch deck for $3800 That would have no problem cutting that 2 acres in a short amount of time. And I would also get brand new Cub Cadet walk behind 30 inch wide snow blower for $2500. I have a 30 inch snow blower and it can clear 2 feet of snow with no problem. That's $6300. You would save $3700 you can spend on something else for your new home.

Just my 2cents. Don't be mad, Be glad. There's all kinds of options.
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If your budget is that tight and you have a small area to clear it's not a bad solution but why spend hours with a walk behind clearing snow when you can spend minutes with a tractor and also have the versatility to add other attachments in the future as needs may change. There is no way I would want to use a walk behind on a driveway as big as the one the OP posted or even 1/4 of that.
If I was in your shoes, buying a new home and starting a family I would get a brand new Cub Cadet zero turn mower with a 54 inch deck for $3800 That would have no problem cutting that 2 acres in a short amount of time. And I would also get brand new Cub Cadet walk behind 30 inch wide snow blower for $2500. I have a 30 inch snow blower and it can clear 2 feet of snow with no problem. That's $6300. You would save $3700 you can spend on something else for your new home.

Just my 2cents. Don't be mad, Be glad. There's all kinds of options.
If it's in your budget pick up a 1025R.... you won't be disappointed.
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His Primary Job is mowing. That was not the design of the 1 series, Its Primary Job is utility, with a secondary Job is mowing. The X700 and below, the Primary Job is mowing, with a secondary job of utility. I have owned a 1 series at the same time as my X748. The 1 series is nowhere near as nimble when it comes to mowing as and X700 series or below. Plus, the 1 series is not as stable as an X500 or X700 series with Hillsides. That lower center of gravity of either the X500 Or X700 series makes both better hillside Mowers. I mowed a season with a 1 series where I live now. Terrible at mowing compared to my X748. Tried a 2210, 2305 and a 1026R each for a month on my previous property which is similar to the OP's current property. None of the sub compacts were as stable as my previous X485 or current X748 and it always took longer to mow with the Sub Compacts.

Current Property had a 1 series for a year then upgraded to a 2025R(backhoe & fork work), still bought a Mid-Mount deck for the 2025R. While the current property is relatively flat, both the 1025R and 2025R took me between 20 to 25 Minutes longer to cut this property than my X748. I have seen so many members here and on other forums get the 1 series thinking it will be the best of both worlds, and they end up adding a secondary Tractor or Mower such as an X300 / X500 series or a zero turn to handle their mowing duties. Because those Machines are so much better at the mowing duties than a sub compact
If it's in your budget pick up a 1025R.... you won't be disappointed.
Over 15+ years ago when I bought my CUT, some people suggested getting the mid-mount mower for it. The cost of the MMM was more than I figured I could get for then 2 year old X300. I kept the X300 and didn't get the MMM. That was a very wise decision. The CUT is a great tractor. It would be a REALLY bad mower. The 1 series makes a less bad mower than a CUT, but nowhere near as nice as the X700 and other machines designed to be mowers first.

If you want to have one machine that can do it all, it won't do anything very well unless your needs are very limited. There is a large overlap in capabilities, but there isn't any machine that does everything well. Be clear about your priorities and what constraints you are willing to accept.

As an example, I have two grapples. One is for my X749 and one is for the loader on my CUT. Yesterday I needed to move some brush. I need to rewire the controls for my CUT, so I used the one on the X749. It actually is probably better for picking up brush. But, it is horrible at letting stuff go, since it doesn't really have much of a dump position. The one on the CUT is narrow (like a bird's beak) and is great at picking up wood/logs, but not so much with brush. It however is great at dumping and picking up, since it as 3 axis of motion (up/down, angle, open/close). The QH only provides two axis (up/down, open/close) and it doesn't get very high. This makes it very hard to pickup up some things and hard to dump most things most times, unless you have a drop-off that you can use. I am glad that I have both grapples, because the X749 is a lot smaller and more nimble than my CUT, so it makes some jobs easier/possible. But, sometimes it is actually easy to do it by hand. Bottom line use the best tool (you have) for the job.
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Sounds like your lazy. I have and others have done long driveways and sidewalks with no problem. Its more economical than spending 10 to 15 grand on something to use for a half an hour a week.
If your budget is that tight and you have a small area to clear it's not a bad solution but why spend hours with a walk behind clearing snow when you can spend minutes with a tractor and also have the versatility to add other attachments in the future as needs may change. There is no way I would want to use a walk behind on a driveway as big as the one the OP posted or even 1/4 of that.
How about I'm 68 and have gone through several major surgeries lazy doesn't even come in to play I still do all my own yard work and snow removal... how about your an idiot for even saying something like that, maybe that sums things up better...

This is a place to share idea's not for name calling... I didn't condemn what you said and agreed under some circumstances it's a good one but for his situation not a path I would take and I'm sure many others would agree.
Sounds like your lazy. I have and others have done long driveways and sidewalks with no problem. Its more economical than spending 10 to 15 grand on something to use for a half an hour a week.
Oh sorry, don't take it personal. I'm 70 my self with multiple surgeries. But The thread is not about you its about the OP.
How about I'm 68 and have gone through several major surgeries lazy doesn't even come in to play I still do all my own yard work and snow removal... how about your an idiot for even saying something like that, maybe that sums things up better...

This is a place to share idea's not for name calling... I didn't condemn what you said and agreed under some circumstances it's a good one but for his situation not a path I would take and I'm sure many others would agree.
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Congrats on your new home, it looks like a very nice place. I think you'd do fine with X-370 or whatever you choose. A new X-370 with mower deck is $5,000 + $2,100 snow blower. My layout is similar sized with more hill. I got 15 years out of a basic big-box unit doing just mowing and snow blowing. Yes, it eventually died but paying for the house, colleges, etc. was more important to me than spending moolah on a big tractor.
You learn how to blow snow in half rows and your hind end will work like feelers to tell you how the traction is going. With your slope you may want chains, but I went a few winters without and just learned to work my drifts better.
Have fun!
Looking for some advice on my first garden tractor. We will be moving in a few weeks to a new home and will need a garden tractor. Have almost 2 acres, that are a little hilly. I would also like to attach a snowblower to clear the driveway. What do you suggest? I have read from a few people online that an X370 with a snowblower attached could not get up a sloped driveway for a few people even with chains. Attaching pictures of the driveway and backyard. Help is much appreciated.

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And the OP said he has a 10k budget and sounds like he has his mind made up on a tractor. Some people don't mind getting out behind a walk behind, obviously you don't, and others just don't have the budget or don't want to spend the money and will take the least expensive way out. All I was getting at is why spend a lot of time doing something most of us would prefer not too if it's in the budget to do it faster. I'd rather have one machine to maintain and do multiple jobs with rather than multiple machines that take turns sitting for months doing nothing and then give you a bunch of grief when it comes time to use them because they have been sitting. What took me 3 hours to do with a walk behind I could do with my x738 in 45 minutes, then go do most of the neighborhood and get cookies and hot coco brought out to me. After 5 years I went to a 1025r and it hasn't sat more than a week in the last year without getting used for something even if it was just lifting something heavy out of the truck because it is so versatile... let me see a zero turn or walk behind do that.
Oh sorry, don't take it personal. I'm 70 my self with multiple surgeries. But The thread is not about you its about the OP.
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