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Good morning, Merry Christmas.

I am looking to get a lawn/garden tractor and was hoping for some insight from the experts. After doing some research, I want to go with a John Deere. I will most likely be buying a used machine.

I own 2 acres in NH, half of which is wooded. I'd be looking for a machine that can mow and also snowblow. I don't have any immediate need for any other implements currently, but the option would be nice.

Other forums and articles have lead me to stay away from machines made for Home Depot or Lowe's (the LA and LT) series. Do you believe there is truth to the claim that those machines are inferior?

There is a dealer down the road from me that has a 2007 X300 for sale with 550 hours on it. They are asking $3200 for the machine. It has a 44" snowblower, 42" deck, and a bagging system. Does this seem like a decent price?

Is there anything specific I should look at or be concerned with when I go take a look at it?

Thanks for any insight you can offer, and hopefully I'll be on the forums soon as an owner.

Mike
 

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That price seems high to me for a 11 yr old machine with over 500hrs. I would take the 3200 and put it towards a new x3 or x5 series. Not sure if you are paying cash or financing. Used lawn and garden units are at 9.5% now. If paying cash put that 3200 down on a new machine and your payments would be pretty small for 48mo.
The big box machines are what they are. Still way better than a Troy Bilt but lacking in some areas compared to the X series.

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That price seems high to me for a 11 yr old machine with over 500hrs. I would take the 3200 and put it towards a new x3 or x5 series. Not sure if you are paying cash or financing. Used lawn and garden units are at 9.5% now. If paying cash put that 3200 down on a new machine and your payments would be pretty small for 48mo.
The big box machines are what they are. Still way better than a Troy Bilt but lacking in some areas compared to the X series.

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My personal opinion: If OP can't get into at least the X350 series new (paid in cash), skip Deere altogether. He'd just be paying way too much for that green paint. It's nice and all to say "parts availability", but on these ultra-cheap machines, after ten years it's rarely worth fixing them up - UNLESS you can get a salvage units to peel off parts from it.

Go look at the mid-level Cub Cadets, or entry level Kubota's. My M-I-L just purchased the Cub Cadet XT2 (comparable to the S240) with a Kawasaki Professional series engine / K46 transmission. So long as dealer service is reputable, OP would likely come out ahead.
 

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$3200 is what that X300 sold for new and really it's just a D140. It's the base model X series and doesn't really have anything to offer over a 100 series JD has.

If you have two acres and need to snow blow I would look for a used X7 or a used 5x5 series. They come with full hydraulics and power steering. Attachments are plentiful. If $3200 is all you have spend then you might want to go a generation older and look at 4x5 series tractor. Make sure the cam gear has been fixed or its newer than a 1998. With that generation you can find a good running GT and a snow blower.
:greentractorride:
 

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What is the terrain of you 2 Acres Property?

Is It Flat?

Is it Hilly?

Flat terrain You Can get away with a X300 series Though Used I would recommend a X320 or a X360

Really the X300R, X300, X304 and X310 are 3/4 of an acre and Less Machines

The X320, X324, X340 and X360 are Your acre Machines

But if you have a Hilly Yard, I recommend a Used X500 series such as a X500, X520, X530, X534 or X540

The X500 will give You the a lot Versatility for Your size of Property with out going overboard such as a X700 or Sub Compact might be

Understanding that You don't Need these other attachments: The X500 Can Take a 30inch Mechanical Tiller or a 42inch Hydraulic tiller. The Hydraulic lift Models Can use up to a 47inch Blower You Can get a Integral Hitch(sleeve Hitch) either Manual of Hydraulically lifted(depending on if You Go with a Tractor that has Hydraulic lift).

All X500 series Have diff/lock which Can help if extra traction is needed when Blowing snow which You won't get with a X300 series tractor.

The X500 series Is a Perfect Machine for a 2 acre Property The X500 and a X300 series share the same frame Just different Hitch Pates and Depending on models some of the X500 series tractors have a Built In front weight bracket. The X500 series Have a serviceable K72 Transmission. The X300 series either Had a K46 or K58 transmissions. The X310 & X360 have serviceable K58's Meaning You can change the Transmission fluid with out removing the Transmission from the Tractor.

But for Used and Your Property size I would recommend a X500 series as the Minimum Tractor you should be looking for :bigthumb:
 

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Other forums and articles have lead me to stay away from machines made for Home Depot or Lowe's (the LA and LT) series. Do you believe there is truth to the claim that those machines are inferior?
I think "inferior" is a poor choice of words. The LA/LT/L/D/E-series of machines have all been sold by HD, Low'es and Deere Dealerships. They are lawn tractors and not much more than that. I think many people have to high expectations of them and try to use them as garden tractors and they were never designed to be used that way. The transmissions in them just aren't meant for that sort of use. If you've gt a 1/2 acre of flat lawn they're fine. I own a D160 so it isn't as if I hate these things but they are what they are.


There is a dealer down the road from me that has a 2007 X300 for sale with 550 hours on it. They are asking $3200 for the machine. It has a 44" snowblower, 42" deck, and a bagging system. Does this seem like a decent price?
Personally, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't buy anything below the X340 if I planned on using it for anything other than cutting grass. $3,200 for an X300 with 550 hours on it seems high to me, even with the blower and bagger.
 

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What is the terrain of you 2 Acres Property?

Is It Flat?

Is it Hilly?

Flat terrain You Can get away with a X300 series Though Used I would recommend a X320 or a X360

Really the X300R, X300, X304 and X310 are 3/4 of an acre and Less Machines

The X320, X324, X340 and X360 are Your acre Machines

But if you have a Hilly Yard, I recommend a Used X500 series such as a X500, X520, X530, X534 or X540

The X500 will give You the a lot Versatility for Your size of Property with out going overboard such as a X700 or Sub Compact might be

Understanding that You don't Need these other attachments: The X500 Can Take a 30inch Mechanical Tiller or a 42inch Hydraulic tiller. The Hydraulic lift Models Can use up to a 47inch Blower You Can get a Integral Hitch(sleeve Hitch) either Manual of Hydraulically lifted(depending on if You Go with a Tractor that has Hydraulic lift).

All X500 series Have diff/lock which Can help if extra traction is needed when Blowing snow which You won't get with a X300 series tractor.

The X500 series Is a Perfect Machine for a 2 acre Property The X500 and a X300 series share the same frame Just different Hitch Pates and Depending on models some of the X500 series tractors have a Built In front weight bracket. The X500 series Have a serviceable K72 Transmission. The X300 series either Had a K46 or K58 transmissions. The X310 & X360 have serviceable K58's Meaning You can change the Transmission fluid with out removing the Transmission from the Tractor.

But for Used and Your Property size I would recommend a X500 series as the Minimum Tractor you should be looking for :bigthumb:


This is everything I would have told the OP as well. I own the X580 and could have bought more of a machine, but would not have bought less of a machine. And, every time I think I've found a need for a larger machine I prove myself wrong. X580 or X590. Great way to go for 2, 3, 4 acres or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow. First of all, thanks for all the information and insight.

I signed up expecting a few pointers on what to look at on the X300 down the road, but now I have more questions. My original plan was to offer $2500 for the machine with the deck and the snowblower, but perhaps that isn't the best option for me.

Looks like I have some more thinking/looking to do....

To answer the question about the property and needs: 2 acres of level land, some marsh, and about half of it is wooded (for now). I have a push mower to take care of about .75acres and a 22" snowblower for my drive. I want a lawn/garden tractor to tackle the mowing and the snowblowing. I hope to do some major landscaping work and some lawn rehab and eventually expand the lawn by about .25 acre. I don't need a big machine, but I was thinking that a smaller Deere would cover all my needs.

Thanks again.
 

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To answer the question about the property and needs: 2 acres of level land, some marsh, and about half of it is wooded (for now). I have a push mower to take care of about .75acres and a 22" snowblower for my drive. I want a lawn/garden tractor to tackle the mowing and the snowblowing. I hope to do some major landscaping work and some lawn rehab and eventually expand the lawn by about .25 acre. I don't need a big machine, but I was thinking that a smaller Deere would cover all my needs.


Deere considers the current X300 series (and lower) to be lawn mowers. They have some implements that you can tow with them (sprayers, carts, areators, etc.. as well as snow plows and blowers. But that's it. If you want ground engaging implements (i.e. tillers, box blades, etc..) or any PTO driven implements you are in the X500 series at a minimum and even most of those require that you jump up to the X700 series. So if your lawn rehab and expansion are going to require tearing up whatever is there now, an X300 won't be able to do that for you.

If I were in your shoes, I'd consider something like an older 425 machine that you can put ground engaging implements on. The old 425/445/455 machines are roughly equal to today's X700 series machines. They were built through the 1990s but many solid machines are out there. In between the 425/445/455 and the current X700 series there was an X4xx line (i.e. X465, X475, X485, X495). Those would also meet all your needs but you don't see many of them come up for sale on sites like Craigslist.

Depending on how trusting you are, you can also look for a rebuilt 318. Again, they are older machines but very capable. The 318 has a bit of a cult following and lots of guys tear apart older ones and rebuild them. I see rebuilt 318s on Facebook Marketplace for under $2,700 and you can pick up used implements for them for a song. They'll do everything you need.
 

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A great site to become familiar with is Tractor Data. It helps with understanding the drive trains, options, and production eras of the machines. Even for mowing I would look at higher level 300 series with Kawasaki engines rather than Briggs. The K58 transmission is better regarded than the K46. And then there is deck sizing. Decks 48 and larger can be sized with a Power Flow blower that is pretty handy with wet grass and leaves. Smaller decks take longer to mow as well as bring the wheels closer to obstacles. Power steering may seems ridiculous until you actually have used it. It’s pretty nice. Tractor Data can help you sort this out.

As for the 300 my understanding is that it was more entry level at a certain price point. An inter webs search of various forums should bring up a host of problems that some people had for a while with deck leveling, adjustments, raising, etc. In my opinion if you are buying used go for a higher grade model. As a point of comparison become familiar with Machine Finder. It will give you an idea what dealers ask for different machines.

Those two sites are both helpful and interesting. Good luck.

Bob
 

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Wow. First of all, thanks for all the information and insight.

I signed up expecting a few pointers on what to look at on the X300 down the road, but now I have more questions. My original plan was to offer $2500 for the machine with the deck and the snowblower, but perhaps that isn't the best option for me.

Looks like I have some more thinking/looking to do....

To answer the question about the property and needs: 2 acres of level land, some marsh, and about half of it is wooded (for now). I have a push mower to take care of about .75acres and a 22" snowblower for my drive. I want a lawn/garden tractor to tackle the mowing and the snowblowing. I hope to do some major landscaping work and some lawn rehab and eventually expand the lawn by about .25 acre. I don't need a big machine, but I was thinking that a smaller Deere would cover all my needs.

Thanks again.
From what you said here you can do like so many of the rest of us have. Buy small, wish you'd have gone bigger, less money. Yeah, I did that right out of the gate. Or you could do what some of us should have done in the first place. Don't waste money on what will work, spend money on what will work from now till 30 years from now. Pay for it once. From what you've said, you need at least a garden tractor to do what you want to do and what you'll end up doing. If it was me, I'd buy the SCUT. What you said above you need 4WD(marsh), FEL for everything, BH for all the stumps you'll have after making the wooded area smaller, iMatch for equip. hook up(tillers and such), snowblower for the white stuff, MMM for all lawn cutting jobs, want me to go on?!
 

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Correction: There was a post above that erroneously said an X300 was the same as a D140, which is totally wrong. Get them side by side and compare the quality, frame thickness, steering support, engine, deck, and you will see that the X300 is not even close to a D-series. Both were made by Deere, but in different factories and for different markets.
 

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Good morning, Merry Christmas.

I am looking to get a lawn/garden tractor and was hoping for some insight from the experts. After doing some research, I want to go with a John Deere. I will most likely be buying a used machine.

I own 2 acres in NH, half of which is wooded. I'd be looking for a machine that can mow and also snowblow. I don't have any immediate need for any other implements currently, but the option would be nice.

Other forums and articles have lead me to stay away from machines made for Home Depot or Lowe's (the LA and LT) series. Do you believe there is truth to the claim that those machines are inferior?

There is a dealer down the road from me that has a 2007 X300 for sale with 550 hours on it. They are asking $3200 for the machine. It has a 44" snowblower, 42" deck, and a bagging system. Does this seem like a decent price?

Is there anything specific I should look at or be concerned with when I go take a look at it?

Thanks for any insight you can offer, and hopefully I'll be on the forums soon as an owner.

Mike
Mike, a great way to assess a machine's quality is to look at the confidence in the quality of the machine by the company which produces it. The easiest way to make this assessment is actually very simple, take a look at the manufactures warranty on the machine when new. How does this bear any helpful or valuable insight or opinion? Because the manufacturer knows the lifetime they expect of the machine to be largely trouble free and when the machine will transition from being a pleasure to own to becoming more of a burden to the owner. You couldn't use this method 20 years ago, or maybe even 10 years ago, but you certainly can use it now.

Warranties
The warranty period is the expression of the manufacturers confidence in the largely trouble free operation of their machine. They know the useful life of the bearings, the engine, the drive train. Generally, the shorter the original manufacturers warranty, the more inferior the machine's components compared to machines with longer warranty periods.

The warranty provides the machine owner the confidence and financial reassurance that most problems which occur with the machine during the warranty period will be repaired by the brand's dealer, who is reimbursed by the brand's manufacturer for making those repairs. It's an economic reality that the company can't survive long term by paying higher and higher warranty repair costs. In fact, when you review John Deere's latest financial report, their operating results reflected lower warranty costs which improved profits. These lower warranty costs were partially offset by higher than anticipated manufacturing costs, but they still are a very important economic component of a companies financial results.

You will almost always find the lower the price of the item compared to it's peer group, the shorter the manufacturers warranty. Let's take a look at the warranty offered on the Deere Machine's you are interested in, lawn and garden machines and Sub compact tractors. Here is the link, the summary per tractor model is about 1/2 way down the page. Note the large difference in the coverage of machine hours, as this is the factor which really distinguishes coverage per machine. After all, a machine which is used very little won't have many hours after 24, 36 or 48 months.

But a machine which is used often and is accumulating machine hours on the hour meter, is wearing the very components covered in the warranty. It's the total number of hours and months, which comprise most warranties, but the covered hours speaks the most about the manufacturers confidence in their machine's expected useful life. Please note the warranty coverage expires when the machine use reaches the limit of either the covered hours or the covered months, whichever is depleted first.

https://www.deere.com/assets/pdfs/common/parts-and-service/warranty-protection-plans/DC1360_1 Oct 18 US FINAL.PDF

100 Series machines and S200 Machines - 200 hours or 36 months.
X300 Tractors - 300 hours or 48 months.
x500 Tractors - 500 hours or 48 months.
x700 Tractors - 700 hours or 48 months.
SCUTS and CUTs* (see below for model description) - Tractors 24 months, 2,000 hours / Power train 60 months, 2,000 hours / Loaders 24 months

So, is there a difference in the "Big Box" sold machines and others? Yes, to the extent the Big Box stores are limited to the entry level machines which are sold as a commodity at a price point and therefore have the shortest warranty period.

Machine Maintenance History
Much of a machine's useful life depends upon maintenance. Truth is, many people are not good at maintaining their machines and following oil change and fluid change schedules. Many people simply add gas and turn the key and go, until one day when they turn the key, it won't go and then they are upset and often disparaging towards the brand.

All machines need maintenance. If you are looking at used machines, if you can speak with the owner and you will know immediately whether they are someone who properly takes care of the machine with regularly scheduled maintenance or if they are a "Turn the Key and go till they won't" type of owner. Those who maintain a machine often perform the maintenance themselves, or they can produce paperwork and documentation showing they had the machine serviced. If it was serviced at the brand's dealer, then there is a record of maintenance and repairs performed on the machine which you can learn about by having the Serial Number of the machine and asking the dealer to produce the history of the machine.

When looking at any used machine, the maintenance history is very important. The general appearance of the machine is also important. A machine which has broken body panels, damaged hood or side panels is a machine which has often been used hard.

Machine Intended Capabilities
Are the entry level machine's a good value? It depends upon the buyers needs. If they are looking for a machine which can mow less than an acre of grass and nothing more, they will likely meet the buyers needs. If they are looking for a machine to plow or blow snow, the entry level machine's are going to be pushed to the limit.

When you are looking at these machine's, see which attachments and implements the manufacturer sells for use on the machine. Once again, the company will be very careful about what implements and attachments they sell with their machine's as they understand the impact on the machine's functional life. Implements which are "ground engaging", such as rototillers and plows or discs, even snow plows and snow blowers, put much more strain on the machine's core components of the transmission and engine and accompanying components. The more it stresses the machine, the shorter the machine's trouble free life is likely to be unless the machine was specifically built to handle these ground engaging tasks as an everyday chore.

The entry level machines are mowers, not garden tractors. Not meant to be disparaging, it's just the reality of the marketplace. Then, the next line up are Lawn Tractors and then as you move up in size and horsepower, you enter the Garden Tractor machines and then progress into Sub Compact and Compact Tractor categories. The biggest mistake many buyers make is they buy a machine which is too small, either physically, power wise or in capabilities. If the model doesn't have a rototiller available from the manufacturer, that machine most likely wasn't intended to operate one.

Here are the machines capabilities, in my opinion, based upon their category (other's may not agree);

Lawn Mowers - Mowing grass and pulling a light weight poly cart on reasonably level terrain. Perhaps some leaf collection. Ideal for typical urban / suburban lawn up to 1 acre. Examples include D100 series, S200 series.

Lawn Tractors - Mowing grass and able to pull fertilizer spreaders, sprayers and other lawn care implements. Basically capable of complete lawn maintenance and some limited snow removal duties with manufacturer provided attachments. Ideal for typical urban / suburban lawn up to 5 acres. Examples include the x300 series

Garden Tractors - Full lawn care capabilities plus rototilling soil, plowing and blowing snow. They can handle just about any task on the typical suburban residential property. Ideal for typical urban / suburban lawn up to 7 acres. Examples of Garden Tractors would be the x500, x700 models

*SCUT'S (Sub Compact Utility Tractors) - Everything a Garden tractor can do plus the benefits of a front end loader, 3 point hitch and rear PTO output shaft, Mid PTO shaft for mid and front implements. diesel powered. A complete small tractor. Ideal for suburban and rural properties of 1 acre to 10 acres. Examples include 1023e, 1025r, 2025r. Usually 25 horsepower and less.

*CUT'S (Compact Utility Tractors) - Everything a SCUT can do with the benefits greater lift, PTO operation and pull capacities, front end loader, 3 point hitch and rear PTO output shaft, Mid PTO shaft for mid and front implements. diesel powered. A complete small tractor. Ideal for suburban and rural properties of 3 acre to 20+ acres. Examples include 2032r, 2038r, 3 series machines, 4 series machines. Usually 32 horsepower and higher.

Final Advice for Selecting a Machine
- Buy the most machine you can afford and make sure to very carefully consider the machines intended capabilities and the manufacturer produced attachments and implements for every machine. If you have a 500 foot driveway, the very smallest machine Deere sells with a snow plow will eventually get the driveway cleared, but it's going to take much more time and also put much more strain on the machine.

- When new buyers purchase a machine designed and intended to complete the tasks they want to have on their to do list, the end result is usually a happier customer. Sure, you could mow 10 acres with a D100 series machine, but the machine isn't designed to do this on a regular basis. That's why I put the property size in the machine descriptions.

- Also, consider the actual cost to own the machine with Deere's 0% financing deals. Now, its often less expensive to own a SCUT than a Garden Tractor based upon the low cost financing and the options and capabilities of the machine.

- Take your time.

- Think about how you might use the machine in the future

- Test Drive the machine and make sure you are comfortable on it. There is no point in trying to decide between two machines on paper if in the real world, you can't even get on the seat of one of the machines based upon the size, ergonomics, etc.

- Good luck and make sure to let us know what you decide.
 

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Much good advice here. As others have said, get the best/most tractor you can afford.

When we moved to an acreage back in the 1990's, funds were limited, so I got a Sears Craftsman riding lawn mower 48" deck, 18HP, to mow our 3 acres. It was shot inside of three years. Co-worker suggested I look at JD 425/445/455's...factory just an hour away, and the local dealer always had low hour units for good price. I ended up getting a 445 and loved it! So much better than the "disposable" Craftsman. Wife thought I was crazy to spend $6k on a mower, when another Craftsman could be had for $2k. I knew what quality meant in the long term.

The 445 was rock solid and went up for sale when we moved to the city. Just didn't need 54" deck on my .25 acre lot. I tried to sell to a neighbor who had one of the larger lots in the neighborhood, but he balked at the price, saying he could get two new Cub Cadets for the price I was asking. I reminded him the 445 would likely outlast three or four Cubs...

He didn't believe me.

Note: in the 13 years we lived in that house, that neighbor went through five different "box-store" riding lawn mowers. He choose poorly.

Fast forward to this summer and the wife and I purchases acreage in a small town just outside the metro. 3+ acres. Told the wife months in advance that I would be getting a John Deere again...likely used. Found a used Craigslist x750 with under 80 hours and paid $7,600. Tires still had the little nubbies on the sides.

Do I really need an x750 for 3+ acres? Nope. I always try to get more machine than I need...plan for future use. Beats the hell out buying twice, or having to upgrade.

I really didn't need a 3/4 ton crew cab, 4x4 with 496/8.1L w/ Allison transmission either...but in the ~15 years I have owned that truck, I have never been disappointed and wished I had gone bigger/more powerful.
 

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I'm late to the game here, and certainly can't match SulleyBear's information, but for reference, here's how I ended up with an X350. I agree with earlier posts that if you pan to "lug" the transaxle (slopes, ground contact implements, or heavy snow removal), you need a garden tractor with a good transmission. Otherwise, you can do quite a bit with a "tweaked" X350 (K46) or X380 (K58). (See the accessories link in my signature block.)

My advice is to get the biggest tractor that won't make the neighbors laugh. You'll always find new, unanticipated needs. I have 1/2 acre with slopes and definitely wanted a trailer. Anything below an X350 was clearly too limited. The X380 would have handled the terrain better and pulled heavier loads, but a 48" deck was too big for my shed and would have scalped some areas of the lawn. I really wanted a garden tractor and "real" implements, but the extra weight would have probably formed ruts in our soft Florida sand. The neighbors definitely would have laughed given the size of my suburban lot!

I'm happy with my X350 choice. In the first two years, I hauled 15 yards of rock, 6 yards of sand, over 30 trailer loads of brush, carried ladders, lumber, potted ornamental trees, and even lifted a 230 pound cast iron storm grate. However, its turf tires have very little traction. That protects the transmission, but can be frustrating when they spin so easily. From what I've read, It seems like you'll want to go up a series or two to get more pulling power.
 

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My advice is to get the biggest tractor that won't make the neighbors laugh. You'll always find new, unanticipated needs.
Neighbors laugh -- HA!

I'm in a small, unincorporated village just outside of Omaha. Six of the seven neighbors on my street have ZTR mowers for their 2-3 acre lots. The other has an old box-store riding mower, I think it's a yard-man. He struggles.

The ZTR's mow faster than me, but the are very limited with attachments.
 

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A few years ago I bought an 04 X585 with 230 hours on it. 4x4 locking differential power steering. I didn't give much more than what you are talking about. 24 horse Kawasaki has plenty of power. I looked at some other machines new and used for around $$6000.00 . I traded it in on a 1025r a couple of months ago and got what I gave for it in trade. I have just shy of 2 acres and the X was plenty of mower for me. My place is a little hilly and the 4X4 really comes in handy. Just my opinion but get a bigger machine than you think you will need. I've seen a couple of the older X series sitting on my dealer's lot and they have been about 5000.00. I know it's a lot for a used machine and if I hadn't talked myself into the 1025 I would still have it.
 

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There is a dealer down the road from me that has a 2007 X300 for sale with 550 hours on it. They are asking $3200 for the machine. It has a 44" snowblower, 42" deck, and a bagging system. Does this seem like a decent price?
A better fit for your needs: A 2010 X500 with 290 hours + 48" mower deck + snow blower + weights + chains + lawn cart = asking $4,000.
2010 John Deere x500 - farm garden - by owner - sale
 
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