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You had mentioned the mulching kit. Depending on how you like your yard and what kind of leaf load you get from your trees, you might be able to skip all the collection stuff and just mulch it.
 

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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.
X748 without hesitation or question. As has been stated, you'll never regret getting the loader. If at some time you want to add the rear PTO and 3-point lift, you can (you could also do that with the X729). The price for the X748 is a good one; the loader sold for $3500 by itself when new in 2013, the year they were discontinued. Not sure what the front blade was; the 54C deck is a good deck, does a nice cut. I was never a big fan of 4-wheel steer (X729), but 4WD is very nice. I owned a 2008 X748 for 11 years, bought mine new and put 1450 hours on it mowing and gardening with it. The one thing I do like about the X729 you're looking at is the collection system, I assume it's the JD Power Flow. If by chance you buy the X748, I'll make you a great deal on a Power Flow for it, I still have the one for my X748 (which I traded this past Fall for a 2520 compact). You can PM me for details if interested. The X748 you're looking at is what's called the MFWD version, which was made through the 2008 year. It is a selective 4WD and the front axle drives from a shaft from the hydrostatic tranny. newer models are full-time 4WD (the X729 you're looking at is one) and have hydrostatic motors that drive the front wheels. Owners and JD say the fulltime system doesn't scuff the ground as bad when making tight turns in 4WD, and they're correct, but I never had much issue with that, you just learn how to make your turns when in 4WD.

In either case, you'll get a great machine that will last for years. The diesel will hold its value better, long-term, and 4000-5000 hours can be expected from the engine before an overhaul. If you consider 100 hours/year as a standard, (that's actually higher than the average user), the machine will outlast you.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
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.
Thank you, I completely agree. I have no real reason for the collection system, I typically mulch when I mow and do not have a ton of trees to justify the use of the collection system. I am leaning heavily towards the 748 and will be going to the dealer saturday to try and make a deal. I have no place to store the bucket for the 748 now so I will have to figure that out. Also with the snow removal, the blade is nice but I may be better suited for a blower, I have a walkway that is only 36" wide and I typically have to clear a path in the lawn for the dog with the blower. If I could get a new one with no attachments for 9500 it wouldnt be a thought. I would get the new one and deal with the blower in the fall. I also went to Kubota today since the dealer is only 1 mile away, they didn't have anything in stock for a garden tractor but put together a quite of one of the G series, which seems equivelent to the x700 series and a new one with a blower is about 13,500.
 

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You may be shocked about the capabilities of this machine and a blade. I have a blade and a blower. I often go several years between needing the blower. The HDAP tires have lots of traction even without chains. Not sure what you get for snow and that is going to be a big factor. For instance if you live in an area with lots of lake effect snow or with no trees and you get a lot of drifting, then you are right, you will probably need a blower. While I live in MN, we have a lot of trees so we don't get very much drifting. We have a small dog as well and I plow a poop path for her. We probably have 1.5' of snow total on the ground but I keep the paths open. So really that means I am only plowing 1-8" of snow at a time depending on the storm. I push the snow out into the yard but I also don't have a manicured lawn by any means. If I scalp some in the process, I don't care much. Also by stripping away the snow like that it is harder on the grass as it doesn't have the protection from the cold when it dips way below 0F. If those things are deal killers, then a blower is a better option. My biggest gripe with my blower is we have so many buildings and windows around that it never fails, I have to blow into the wind. Now that is a job that will freeze you to the bone. More so when it is powdery snow. Because of that I will always plow powder. If I do put the blower on, it is likely because we got slammed with 12" of wet heavy snow which doesn't happen that often. Blowers also don't work when there is a little bit of snow. They need at least 2-3" or they don't seem to work well. That seems like the range of most of our snow falls. When it is 12" of heavy stuff, I can still plow it but it takes forever because if you angle the blade to widen the path down the driveway, the weight of the snow just pushes you over so you are lucky to make the path 6" wider with each path. The tractor just doesn't have enough weight. Because everything is shaft driven, it is a matter of two pins to drop the blade. You pin the pivot of the quick hitch to hold it straight, pull up to and pickup the blower, hook up the drive shaft, disconnect the two hydraulic lines for pivoting the blade and replace them with the hydraulic lines to turn the chute. That is about it. No tools and maybe a 5 min change over. Oh you might have to hook up the mid PTO shaft if you didn't install that. I normally leave mine hooked up all winter just in case since you have to crawl under the tractor to hook it up.

In the winter I bring my blower up from one of the storage buildings just in case. It is sitting out in the garage right now in front of the truck. That said if I know we are getting 12"+ of wet heavy snow, I just go out and plow mid storm and I do fine.

One thing to look at on those machines is the PTO pass through for the blower. I mentioned the PTO mid shaft above for the blower. The way it works is there is a mid PTO output on the front side of the rear axle. This is where the mower deck hooks up in summer months. When you take the mower off and go to use the blower, there is a shaft that goes from the output spline on the rear axle (where the mower was hooked up) and it passes under the tractor to a spline that passes through the front axle and out the front of the tractor. I mention this because, and I don't know for sure on this, but I think that pto shaft pass through is only installed when the dealer sets a machine up for a blower. I can't think of any other attachment that uses the front PTO like that other than the blower or broom. If the machine wasn't set up for one of those two it might not have it installed. I seem to remember some people asking about how to install that which makes me think it might not be standard. It is another thing you might need which could add to the cost of a blower. I just don't know for sure since our machine came with the blower, blade and mower.

Here is a video on installing the blower. If you watch the entire thing, much of it is the change over from mowing to snow and is just done in the fall/spring. If going from blower to blade much of this will remain the same. Fast forward to 1:21 to see the mid shaft and the pass through shaft that I was talking about. Then at 3:04 he is hooking up the driveshaft.


Here is a thread where I think someone was installing the front PTO shaft that passes through the front axle. You can see there are a couple pics where there were caps that he pulled. The shaft is installed through there. Once that is installed, you don't have to mess with it anymore.

I think this is the driveshaft pass through. If not there you would need one of these plus all the bearings, seals and related parts. That shaft might not be the exact part for your machine but an example. The dealer would be able to look it up.

Another thing to ask is about that front blade. Like I said a 66" isn't normal for a John Deere front blade. My guess is it is a CTA or some other 3rd party blade. That can be fine. The CTA blades are nice. However you want to make sure the quick hitch that the blade mounts to is the John Deere one. This is the part with the hydraulic cylinders. If you want to get a blower later, if this isn't the JD version of a quick hitch, you might have to add that to your blower purchase. That will tack on another $700 at least to the blower which is already several thousand unless you score a used one. It is entirely possible that to add a blower to either one of them could be in the $3k range depending on how it is set up now with the mid/front shaft and quick hitch.

This is a big part of why I am on the fence about replacing my X585. Part of me is leaning toward a 3025E because I don't need a mid PTO for a mower. I have the Z950R. If I don't have a mid PTO (the 3E machines only have rear) then I can't do a front blower. I hate to have that much cash tied up in an attachment that sees so little use. If I get a bigger machine, which the 3 series is huge compared to what I have, I likely will have less problems plowing than I do now so there is even less use for a blower. If I really found I needed one, I could pick up a used rear mounted blower. While they kind of suck using being you have to back up. It would be used so infrequently that it really doesn't matter.

This is how I use my machines. I have a coworker with a house in the country but he isn't in a wooded area. His house is along the edge of a field and all it takes is a windy day and he is back out there clearing his 1/4 mile driveway as it drifts over. For him he has to use a blower and he doesn't own a blade.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
This is all tremendously helpful. I will be going to the dealer tomorrow to take a look and see about moving forward. Any idea how I determine the value of my Scag?
 

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This is all tremendously helpful. I will be going to the dealer tomorrow to take a look and see about moving forward. Any idea how I determine the value of my Scag?
You can value it as high as you want, but it's what the dealer is willing to give you for it that counts. Hopefully they'll be fair about it. If you have the manuals and a service record, they may be willing to give you more. My local Deere dealer was tickled to get all the manuals (tractor, loader, mower, lift and PTO) plus a complete service record showing all maintenance and parts replacements when I traded my X748 for the 2520. The new owner was even happier, as he then saw how well-maintained it had been.
 

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Being in NY, there’s probably next to no private sale value for your scag until spring breaks. The trade in offered will be your best option unless you want to sit on it a couple months and sell it yourself. See if the dealer will give you a number you can live with knowing they will sit on it a few months.
 

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Thanks everyone. I went to the dealer yesterday and looked at both tractors. While they looked “ok” I am hesitant to buy a 13 year old machine for almost 10k. The dealer priced out a x738 with air suspension seat (I have a bad back) and blower for $13k. Seemed like a pretty good option. He also pushed me toward an x590 which seems like plenty of tractor for my needs for $8k. The only downside I see with the 590 is not having the quick connect and disconnect of the deck and blower. Other than that it seemed like a good tractor. I also went to Kubota and they were priced higher for a GC series garden tractor.
 

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Keep in mind I have a X585 which is basically the X748 with a gas engine. A while back a neighbor bought a X590. It was his first tractor. He bought it with the mower deck and front blade. He has a couple suitcase weights for the rear but it is only 2wd. They delivered it with the mower deck on and he asked for a hand swapping it over. Granted, he didn't know what he was doing and I had never worked with the X590. It was a lot harder and a lot more involved. A lot of it had to do with belt driven attachments. The blade was manual pivot vs hydraulic. Everyone's yard/driveway is different but I am constantly changing the angle on my blade and to have to get off to do that would be a deal killer. I don't think you can put much down pressure on the blade. It reminded me of plowing with my ATV which lasted about half a season and I got rid of it since I had the X585 which was so much more effective.

It is better than shoveling but a huge difference. I don't have any seat time with the X590 but it is worth it to go with a bigger machine.

Going new is always an option. Then you get a warranty and can do 0%. If you do this, make sure you get it configured with all the accessories you think you want because they can be rolled into 0% as well but only when you make the initial purchase. So look at that blower and other stuff you might need. I would throw the angling kit and blade on with it because it isn't that much more and there are times where there is snow you want to clear but not enough and if only 1-2" the blower doesn't work well. It is super easy to swap between the two.
 

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One other thought. Maybe go to the dealer and see if they have a X590 and a X7xx as well as attachments for them. Have them demo the change over or better yet have you do them.
 

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One other thought. Maybe go to the dealer and see if they have a X590 and a X7xx as well as attachments for them. Have them demo the change over or better yet have you do them.
This is exactly my thought - although I will be saving quite a bit of $ on the x590 vs. the x7xxx, I am thinking that the time and conveninece saved from the changeover process may make it worth the extra $
 

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This is exactly my thought - although I will be saving quite a bit of $ on the x590 vs. the x7xxx, I am thinking that the time and conveninece saved from the changeover process may make it worth the extra $
More so with a bad back and such. If you wanted to go all out with the newer X7xx machines they should have the options for an auto connect mower deck where you just drive right over it.

One area that I have my biggest concern with your use case and the X590 is clearing poop paths for the dog. It might be fine with a blower but I have gotten my 4wd X585 stuck in the yard doing this. I don't like using the blower as I have mentioned before.

Also for what it is worth, the X7xx will hold the value a bit better. Those 13 year old machines as you can see are still going for $10K. There isn't really a direct comparison for a X590 that would be from the generation of say a X729. Maybe a X540 is pretty close to a X590.

Here is one with a bagger for comparison to the X729.


Not an exact comparison when it comes to resale down the road but It gives you an idea. At $6K it is harder competition with someone just buying a new one rather than yours. Maybe you will run it until you are on the other side of the grass and it isn't an issue for you at that point but something to consider.

At this point it will come down to a decision you have to make. What makes sense financially, with the specifics of your needs and what you are comfortable with.

Normally, I am here talking people out of the X Series and tell them to get a 1025R. It is even more machine for not that much more. But then you are playing the game of for a little more I can get this, then for a little more that. Next thing you know you are pricing out a $40K machine. It is easy to spend someone else's money. I am just trying to cover what I know from my experience.
 

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More so with a bad back and such. If you wanted to go all out with the newer X7xx machines they should have the options for an auto connect mower deck where you just drive right over it.

One area that I have my biggest concern with your use case and the X590 is clearing poop paths for the dog. It might be fine with a blower but I have gotten my 4wd X585 stuck in the yard doing this. I don't like using the blower as I have mentioned before.

Also for what it is worth, the X7xx will hold the value a bit better. Those 13 year old machines as you can see are still going for $10K. There isn't really a direct comparison for a X590 that would be from the generation of say a X729. Maybe a X540 is pretty close to a X590.

Here is one with a bagger for comparison to the X729.


Not an exact comparison when it comes to resale down the road but It gives you an idea. At $6K it is harder competition with someone just buying a new one rather than yours. Maybe you will run it until you are on the other side of the grass and it isn't an issue for you at that point but something to consider.

At this point it will come down to a decision you have to make. What makes sense financially, with the specifics of your needs and what you are comfortable with.

Normally, I am here talking people out of the X Series and tell them to get a 1025R. It is even more machine for not that much more. But then you are playing the game of for a little more I can get this, then for a little more that. Next thing you know you are pricing out a $40K machine. It is easy to spend someone else's money. I am just trying to cover what I know from my experience.
Appreciate your very considerate responses. I am not looking at the x729 quite heavily. My only concern, and probably not an issue is that it is 2wd with wanting to use a blower or blade for winter. I think I mentioned this earlier but also looked at a Kubota GR series and that priced out at 13k with a blower. I really have no affinity to either brand, What is most important to me is cut quality and from what i have read JD is the winner there
 
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