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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I am brand new to this forum and currently researching a JD Garden Tractor. Just a little background, I just turned 51 and I am finally starting to take my fathers advice and think like an old man and work smarter not harder. I have about 1.5 acres that I maintain so I know either of these machines are overkill for what I need but hey why not! I currently mow with a Scag ZTR and its a great mower, however that's all it does and quite honestly I have a terrible back and that machines cripples me everytime I use it. I have amazing grass but the yard is bumpy and it knocks me around. So the primary use will be to maintain the lawn, hopefully add a few attchments, such as aerator, dethatcher, electric spreader, roller, etc. I currently use a walk behind spreader to fertilize the lawn 4-5x per year and thats getting to be alot of work.

I would also like to either plow or snowblow my driveway - it's roughly 40 feet long x 12 feet wide and I use a walk behind snow blower now to use it. I am thinking I can get one machine that will handle all of my outside maintenance work.

My local dealer has two used machines for sale that caught my eye. The first is the x729, from 2012 with collection system and 190 hours on the clock and the second is a 2007 x748 with 770 hours on the clock and has the front loader, 54" deck and 66" front blade for $9,500.

Both the same price, both more tractor than I need - any thoughts on either of them? The lower hours on the 729 are more attractive but so is the diesel on the 748, although much higher hours. 10k is alot of money for a used piece of equipment, I am sure I can get a decent amount selling my Scag to put towards it bit overall confused on getting a used model. Maybe a new 5 series for around the same $.

Appreciate the thoughts of you more experienced tractor owners.
 

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Once you have a front loader you will wonder how you got through life without one. I would go that route in a heart beat.

The X7xx is a better machine all around than a X5xx more so if you are looking at getting into snow removal. They have better hydraulics and shaft driven attachments (mower/blower) which are much easier to change over. Some even have drive over decks.

If it were me, no question, X748. Diesels last a lot longer. The X729 is 4ws so it will be a little better at mowing around trees but the X748 will do just fine. It might take a little longer to mow your yard though if you have a lot of trees.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Once you have a front loader you will wonder how you got through life without one. I would go that route in a heart beat.

The X7xx is a better machine all around than a X5xx more so if you are looking at getting into snow removal. They have better hydraulics and shaft driven attachments (mower/blower) which are much easier to change over. Some even have drive over decks.

If it were me, no question, X748. Diesels last a lot longer. The X729 is 4ws so it will be a little better at mowing around trees but the X748 will do just fine. It might take a little longer to mow your yard though if you have a lot of trees.
Thank you - no reason to worry about the hours on the used 748?
 

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Oh another question when you say the X748 comes with a front loader is it the John Deere 45 Series FEL or CTC? The 45 isn't made anymore but you can still get the CTC. I ask because it might come into play if you went with the X729 and maybe considered adding the FEL to it later. If you think you might want to go this route, your only option is the CTC. I don't think you can do a FEL on the 4ws versions of the X729 (at least not the 45 if you could even find one). I want to say the linkages for rear steering are in the way but I think CTC might have a solution for that. Or just get the X748 and be done with it.

It is common to see people question buying a FEL for the first time as in if they will be able to justify it. I don't think I have ever seen much for comments about buyer's remorse once they have one. The 45 is fairly rare and very rare to pop up on the used market so worst case if you never used it, you could sell it and get a lot of the money back. I see you mentioned $9500 not sure if both machines are the same price or if you didn't include the price of the X729.
 

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Thank you - no reason to worry about the hours on the used 748?
It is a Diesel, they last a long time. Simply seeing 770 hrs wouldn't scare me off. I have 1200 on my 2002 X585 (which is the gas version of the X748) It runs great. What it comes down to is how it was maintained. I would take a well maintained 770 or more hour machine over one with 200 hrs that has never seen an oil change or other maint and beat to crap over those 200 hrs.

That is something that we can't really see or evaluate from our seat at a computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh another question when you say the X748 comes with a front loader is it the John Deere 45 Series FEL or CTC? The 45 isn't made anymore but you can still get the CTC. I ask because it might come into play if you went with the X729 and maybe considered adding the FEL to it later. If you think you might want to go this route, your only option is the CTC. I don't think you can do a FEL on the 4ws versions of the X729 (at least not the 45 if you could even find one). I want to say the linkages for rear steering are in the way but I think CTC might have a solution for that. Or just get the X748 and be done with it.

It is common to see people question buying a FEL for the first time as in if they will be able to justify it. I don't think I have ever seen much for comments about buyer's remorse once they have one. The 45 is fairly rare and very rare to pop up on the used market so worst case if you never used it, you could sell it and get a lot of the money back. I see you mentioned $9500 not sure if both machines are the same price or if you didn't include the price of the X729.
I am a brand new newbie to this but looking at the picture of the loader there is a big "45" decal on it so I am going to say its a 45 LOL.

Both machines are the same price, the difference being the hours, the 748 has 770 hours on it - not sure if that is a concern. I never thought about getting a loader, not even sure where I would store it but I am sure it would come in handy for top soil or mulch or whatever
 

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First off the loader would win the debate for me. Once you have one you never want to be without one.

I’m also not a fan of 4ws even though many others are.

770 hours isn’t real high but it is into midlife when there will be a few repairs occasionally on the tractor. The gas one isn’t there yet, but both have lots of good life left. I consider a gas well used at 1800, a diesel at 2500. That’s not end of life and it doesn’t mean either might not require a major repair to get there, just that they are still worth repairing without question until that range then it becomes debatable depending on the entire condition.
 

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I would definitely buy the X748. I own two X595 diesels which were the model before the X748. I have owned many older diesel models, but the X595 is the best GT I have ever owned. The 4X4 option is something that is wonderful for a loader tractor. Diesels are easy to maintain and are more economical than a gas tractor.

George of Buford
 

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As you kind of pointed out at the beginning you are looking at work smarter not harder. Put some hooks on that bucket either of your own design or Ken's bolt on hooks (member and sponsor here) and you will find a lot more uses for a FEL.

I can honestly say that my FEL sees more work doing other things than the traditional things people associate a FEL for (moving dirt/sand/mulch). With the hooks you can throw a chain on it and move logs. If I am cutting up a tree, I cut it into large chunks then pick up the log and cut it into firewood while standing up rather than bent over. I puck up generators and move them around. I pick up appliances. Move around snow. Move around the attachments to storage or up to the garage where I put them on or work on them. Get that stuff up off the ground. Maybe I am working on a project in the house well I keep a lot of the tools in the pole barn so it might be loading up the pancake compressor, nailer, air lines and other supplies and tools into the bucket and drive them to the house lifting it up the steps so I am not going up and down. I use the FEL so much that I went the other route and the X585 is now a dedicated FEL machine Spring/Summer/Fall. This time of year I have the blade on or blower for snow. It is hard to cut the grass with the FEL on as it gets in the way with trees so I bought a Z950R Zero Turn. I get that you are going away from that but I am just pointing out that the FEL sees that much use with me. In fact I am now looking at going to either a 2025R or 3025E for that dedicated FEL/snow work.

For what it is worth, if you don't use the FEL, as mentioned they can be sold off. They are rare and I would probably start around $3K for one if in good condition and probably wouldn't take anything less than $2500. A new CTC which is the only option now is $3200 plus shipping.

Model X4750+ F.E.L $3,200.00

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all, this is great information. I figure I will only put 150-175 hours per year on the machine si I should have decent life left on a machine with 770 hours on it. I am trying to confirm that the dealer has service records for it and what kind of warranty comes with it. In regards to the loader, is it a quick connect/disconnect set up? Since I will be mowing with it mostly I wouldnt keep the bucket on
 

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Yes 45 loader is a quick connect/disconnect with built-in parking stand. Just need to handle the hoses but no big deal (similar to any other tractor). If it doesn't have any rear weights, get a click-n-go weight bracket and suitcase weights and/or wheel weights.
 

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Dealer may or may not have service records. I don't think many people take them back there for service and the work themselves.

Here is a video of removal and installation to get an idea. I haven't seen one with forks before. Kind of hard to put forks on being it is a pin on bucket unless they changed it over to John Deere Quick Attach Bucket. Some people did that. I just mention that because you should ignore the pallet fork part of the video. The rest applies. You will still have the sub frame on there but that doesn't get in the way.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you - it looks really simple, I am now looking into what my Scag is worth to see the net cost. I am thinking I can get 3k-3.5; for it. The Deere has the loader and blade so I will only need to add mulch kit to it short term and then other items as needed. From what I read, these decks cut very well - may add a stripe kit to it as well.

So I am leaning heavily towards purchasing it, maybe a little play in the price at the dealer, we'll see. You all think its a fair price at 9,500?
 

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Used market is kind of hard. There are no Kelly Blue Books. You can google search a model and find places like Machinery Pete. To get some comparible ones for sale.


Funny, I'll bet this is the one you are looking at which was the first one listed.


There looks to be 4. The one above is the most expensive. But factor in around $3K for that FEL. The next one down was $9K with a blower. I want to say a blower is probably $1.5-2K with quick hitch so that gives you an idea. Then there is one for $7k with just the mower. Add $3K to that and you are at $10K so I would say $9.5K is about right. More so being it also comes with that front blade.

The 54" deck has a little better cut than the 62. This is because the bigger the deck, the harder the time it has with uneven terrain. You mentioned a lot of bumps. Of course it is less grass per cut so it takes longer to cut with a smaller deck. With your lot size, not really that much of a factor.

Again, can't tell a lot from these photos (assuming it is the same machine) but fire it up and drive it around and see. Kind of hard to test the mowing this time of year but you can get a feel for the rest. The deck looks petty clean. It isn't the drive over version. It looks like the same one that I have. To take it off there is a front bracket that pivots down. Disconnect the drive shaft and roll it back off the lift arms. Raise the lift arms then you can turn the gauge wheels sideways and roll it out from under the machine. No belts to mess with which is why I like it much more than say a X590. A neighbor got one of those and I helped him take the deck off and put the blade on. A lot more fiddling with stuff and it isn't nearly as nice. For instance maybe they may a hydraulic angling kit for it but he didn't have one so to angle the blade you have to get off the machine. It also appeared that you can't put down pressure on the blade for scraping.
 

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If it has a front blade, it should be a quick hitch style. If a rear blade it might have a 3pt hitch.
If it is the one on Machinery Pete (price, hours and attachments all match so very likely). It states front blade. I will say a 66" blade isn't that common on a X7xx. Most people have the 54" JD one. If I were to guess, it might be a CTA front blade on the front quick hitch. They only have the one photo of the tractor with the 45 FEL and 54" Deck.


I also don't see any weights. Maybe the tires are fluid filled but there are no wheel weights. Can't tell if there is anything on the back of the machine for ballast. He would want to add some ballast before pushing the FEL. So he needs to plan for a bit of an added cost for that. I think someone else mentioned that above.

If it is the CTA 66" front blade and normal is the 54" I wouldn't take that as a concern. I have the Artillian wings on my 54" so it is about 66" wide. It is a nice size on these machines. I don't have any personal exp with the CTA blade but I know others here use it. Though it is possible it is something completely different as well. When I see the 66" mentioned with this class machine the CTA comes to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Used market is kind of hard. There are no Kelly Blue Books. You can google search a model and find places like Machinery Pete. To get some comparible ones for sale.


Funny, I'll bet this is the one you are looking at which was the first one listed.


There looks to be 4. The one above is the most expensive. But factor in around $3K for that FEL. The next one down was $9K with a blower. I want to say a blower is probably $1.5-2K with quick hitch so that gives you an idea. Then there is one for $7k with just the mower. Add $3K to that and you are at $10K so I would say $9.5K is about right. More so being it also comes with that front blade.

The 54" deck has a little better cut than the 62. This is because the bigger the deck, the harder the time it has with uneven terrain. You mentioned a lot of bumps. Of course it is less grass per cut so it takes longer to cut with a smaller deck. With your lot size, not really that much of a factor.

Again, can't tell a lot from these photos (assuming it is the same machine) but fire it up and drive it around and see. Kind of hard to test the mowing this time of year but you can get a feel for the rest. The deck looks petty clean. It isn't the drive over version. It looks like the same one that I have. To take it off there is a front bracket that pivots down. Disconnect the drive shaft and roll it back off the lift arms. Raise the lift arms then you can turn the gauge wheels sideways and roll it out from under the machine. No belts to mess with which is why I like it much more than say a X590. A neighbor got one of those and I helped him take the deck off and put the blade on. A lot more fiddling with stuff and it isn't nearly as nice. For instance maybe they may a hydraulic angling kit for it but he didn't have one so to angle the blade you have to get off the machine. It also appeared that you can't put down pressure on the blade for scraping.
Funny, that is the exact one I am looking at!
 

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A bit more confirmation. Here is the X729 at the same dealer that he was talking about. Attachments, hours and price all match. No I am not a stalker...


Again in this case only one photo.

I see this one has the collection system as he mentioned in the first post. Here is my thoughts on the collection system. There isn't a right answer here.

This one has the bagger. Personally I dump my clippings (mainly just fall cleanup) in a compost pile. There is no way I would go with the bag version. This is because I am not hauling offsite. I get it some people have to deal with that and then it makes sense. In fact when I bought the Z950R a big reason for that was the dump from seat collection system. I was looking at selling the X585 with all attachments, getting a 1025R at the time but back then the only collection system was the 3 bag version of this one. NOPE. The hopper for the 1025R came out a couple months after I bought the Z. I am not going to deal with the bags to just dump them on the ground. Again I don't haul them off and I get it that this would be nice for those that have to do this. Over time these bags will rip out. Just another reason to go with the cart like I have for the X585. Besides a lot more capacity. Is that just two bags? That would fill up really quick with leaves and be a lot of work dumping.

The next issue is the plastic housing on the powerflow head. I don't know what it is but I seemed to wear out the plastic housings on the powerflow for the X (1025R is basically the same) every few years. I think our top soil is pretty sandy or something. It is a huge pain to change them out and I think the housing was close to $300 the last time I bought one. The powerflow head on the Z9xx is commercial and solid steel other than a plastic deflector, the deflector is $80 and easy to change.

On top of that the X729 doesn't have a front blade or anything for snow. What is a front quick hitch with hydraulic angling? Probably $1000 plus you need the blade which is another $600 or so. That means on top of the price of the X729 you need to add another $1600 to deal with snow.

Just more reasons to go with the X748. You might still have to invest in some ballast but you are going to have more expenses with the X729 for snow anyhow.
 
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