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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to jump ship from my cubs and into a jd with all wheel steer. I mow around lots of trees and uneven terrain so a zero turn doesnt work very well and my cub cant handle it.
I am in mn and have been able to find a few different models that would work. X465-495 or a newer x734.
I am convinced a shaft drive is the only way to go for the amount of green i mow every week ~10 acres.
Is there anything i should look out for in these models or the all wheel steer setups in general?
I demoed one last friday and fell in love with it. But am not gonna spend $12k on a new one when i can get a 400-700hr one for half price of new.

What do you guys think?


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I can't speak to AWS mowers in particular but here are some questions I think you should ask yourself.

Do you only plan to cut grass or are there other jobs that you will want to accomplish with this tractor? The AWS can limit you on some other uses.

Is this for professional or home use?

What size deck are you looking for? Though smaller tractors with AWS might have a tight turning radius sometime larger tractors with a wider deck can accomplish the same thing.

Have you tried a zero turn? I could not tell from your OP if you had one and did not like it or just did not think it was right for you.

I don't blame you for looking for something used. I have never owned a brand new vehicle and my current garden tractor was built in 1988. I wish you luck on your search for some JD green.


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Discussion Starter #4
I really only plan on cutting grass and maybe push a little bit of snow with a blade eventually.
It is going to be used professionally but only a part time gig. I mow our lot at work and my yard at home.
I am going for the 54" deck. The one i demoed had a 60" and it was too big to get into some areas and was not good for the ditches and hills.
We have a kubota zd25 at work now that i have used but dont like because it does alot of damage to the lawn on the hills and ditches. It does a good job on the flats and around trees but i can accomplish the same or better results with a tractor.


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Welcome to GTT cumminsmannow. Where in the United States are ya from.
Edit: Whoops, I see in your writings you're fromMinnesota, I looked at your profile.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the welcome.
Im kinda new to the jd's
Been sippin the red water for a while. :)


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Wow, 10 acres a week sounds like a lot of ground to cover with an X Series and a 54" deck. I may think about moving up a series or 2 with a larger deck??? I know obstacles are a problem but even my 2520 is quite agile.

Welcome and best wishes!
 

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I would like to try an AWS................If my current mower ever dies..........JD 285, bought new in 1989.
 

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At my last property I had a 2004 X495 that I bought used from a cemetery when they replaced it with a new machine. It was an AWS with a 62 inch mulching deck and a 3-pt lift. At the time I also had a newer 2007 X304 dedicated mower, plus a couple of 322 gas Yanmar engined tractors with an assortment of attachments. So, the X495 was only asked to mow and move materials with the Al Z Welding load-lifter, trailer hitch and pallet forks.

Others have said that the AWS can limit other uses than mowing -- and for sure Deere does not recommend or offer an FEL for these little guys if they are AWS. But as a mower, the 24 HP Yanmar Diesel and the foot operated ground speed controls, the suspension seat and the power steering with tilt wheel are really neat features. The 62 inch deck did not seem overly large or cumbersome as the AWS makes the machine very maneuverable. Unless you have to go through lots of gates or narrow tree spacings you might not have an issue. The uncut circle with this deck is about 6 inches so you can cut around even small trees in a single pass.

This used X495 had almost 3000 hours on the meter, but was well cared for and the steering system had been serviced as necessary by the dealer where the cemetery bought it. AWS is an added level of effort/complexity when it comes time to lubricate the tractor at service intervals but proper care is key. Here is an illustration from the manual that shows all the parts involved in the steering system.

AWS steering layout 1.jpg AWS steering layout 2.jpg

I would not hesitate to own another diesel AWS mower in this series if I were to have a larger property again -- the X495 was a dream to operate. As it is I kept the x304 for the one acre property we have now. Both these machines worked very well on our old place with lots of obstacles and slopes/uneven ground. Here is a selection of views of the grounds.
cherry blossoms starting 2010 low res.jpg side yard.jpg view from gazebo.jpg

Here is shot or two of the X495 and some of its non-mowing tasks:
may 13, 2012 004.JPG x495 load lifter first use.jpg

If you find a used AWS tractor in this class you won't be disappointing with it -- Oh, this one cost me $1800, but it needed new tires and seat and a few cosmetics. The low price was based on what the dealer offered the cemetery as a trade-in. I did my own evaluation of its mechanical condition and jumped on it. Used it for a couple of years and sold it for $4,000.

Chuck
 

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I've owned a JD AWS for 20 years now. Used a 425 for 19+, and now have an X739. It is very reliable. There are just a few extra grease fittings to hit. As long as you keep those lubed, you won't have issues with it. I love AWS because I, too, have a lot to mow around. Pretty much eliminates the need for a weedeater or push mower. For mowing around a lot of obstacles and into tight spaces, it's hard to beat. It also makes an excellent snow plow because you retain steering and can literally plow sideways. Helps when turning on hills to too because you are always driving in the direction of the turn.

You can get an aftermarket loader that does work with the AWS. But, I really think these tractors are too small for a loader anyway, unless you are just using it as a wheelbarrow. And for that, a tow behind cart works better, costs less, and holds more. For about half the cost of the loader you can get a really nice pronovost or similar hydraulic dump trailer and make use of the tractor hydraulics. I modified a Country Manufacturing 1-ton trailer to add hydraulic dumping. I think I have about $700 in it with the mods. We love this trailer; at 3x6' it holds a huge amount. Yet fits into tight spots pretty good.

The new models (at least my X739) has a different linkage configuration from what chuckv shows. The moving parts of the AWS are now higher, across the top of the axle. I think this is a big improvement for ground clearance, and is better protected.

With the amount of grass you are cutting, I suggest going diesel. Less fill ups, longer engine life. And I would reconsider the 60" deck. If it won't fit and you can't move plantings, etc. then maybe not. But if you can make it fit, it'll save you hours of cutting time.

I do strongly recommend the 3PH. It gives you so many options for attachments now and later.
 

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0001566142____________A1.jpg New models AWS linkage is like this. A rod from the front steering connects to the plate that is over the top of the right wheel hub (in photo). This rotates that hub and the bottom rod rotates the other hub. The center hub with grease fitting under the transaxle case has been eliminated.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info guys. This is good news.
I really dont think the 60" deck will shave that much more time off considering it is only 6" wider than the 54". That would mean that every 10 passes would get me an extra pass. Only every 50 feet or so. So in the big open area where it would save me it would only be a few passes total. But would prevent me from mowing a few spots in front where i would have to spend time with a push mower instead of the rider.


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Thanks for the info guys. This is good news.
I really dont think the 60" deck will shave that much more time off considering it is only 6" wider than the 54". That would mean that every 10 passes would get me an extra pass. Only every 50 feet or so. So in the big open area where it would save me it would only be a few passes total. But would prevent me from mowing a few spots in front where i would have to spend time with a push mower instead of the rider.


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Understand. I can't use the 60" either. Won't fit between things. I'm constantly fussing at my wife not to plant thinks too close together. If you can find a lightly used X749, you can get diesel, 4WD and 4WS. Some do say the decks on the X749's and similar vintage, are inferior to the new decks. I don't know. I do know the new decks cut great and have a huge capacity.
 

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Understand. I can't use the 60" either. Won't fit between things. I'm constantly fussing at my wife not to plant thinks too close together. If you can find a lightly used X749, you can get diesel, 4WD and 4WS. Some do say the decks on the X749's and similar vintage, are inferior to the new decks. I don't know. I do know the new decks cut great and have a huge capacity.
If that happens here and I'm mowing,,,,,,Guess who/what wins? Although it gets real hard to mow over a tree that is big enough that she uses the BH to plant it.:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gittyup thanks for pointing that out. In my research i didnt realize there were 2 different series in the x700's.
Now i have another model to look for. X734, x744. As well as all the x4..'s since they were all available with aws.


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Gittyup thanks for pointing that out. In my research i didnt realize there were 2 different series in the x700's.
Now i have another model to look for. X734, x744. As well as all the x4..'s since they were all available with aws.


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Here is a good site for used tractors that i use quite often to get an ideal for a price. Click Here :bye:
 

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I would love to have an X749 AWS tractor just for mowing as I have the 2001 vintage 4200 for the heavy stuff. If the X series had drive-over auto-connect decks like the 102x SCUT's do I'd be in hog heaven.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes on all the x series tractors.
From what my local dealer told me it is an option but they dont order any of the non-drive over ones.


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