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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I own, and love, my GX355, but my back is a real train wreck and I think I would like to explore getting a tractor with a FEL. My GX355 is not suitable for a loader.....right? What model JD would still be a great mower like my GX355 and also give me something I can lift stuff up with (car parts, firewood, lawn waste, snow piles, etc)? I will need to mow my finicky acre, clear snow very effectively, and have a reliable machine. I looked at Kubota 2370 and 25D tractors and they are very nice, very expensive, and a little bigger than what I currently own. Any "helpful" suggestions based on my comments? Is my GX 355 good trading bait? Thanks, Bill
 

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Any of the X300/500/700 series tractors will do everything you mention. They don't have a loader like CUTs but they do have an optional front end "Tractor shovel" which is essentially a light-weight version of a front bucket. The tractor shovel is actually attached to the snow plow.

The trade-in value of your GX355 is really dealer-dependent. Just like cars though, unless it's a collector item, you are usually better off selling it yourself.

Just to add, the Deere equal to the Kubota 2370 and 25D would be the 1023E/1025R. Both of which can be fitted with a true FEL.
 

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FWIW, the GX355 diesel is a "rare bird" of the GX series. Keep that in mind for sale/trade in.

IF one goes to a "tractor shovel", stay away from the JD accessory that mounts to the 54 blade. It is not nearly as useful or well made as a "Johnny Bucket Jr." electric powered front bucket. I have the JB JR w/tooth bar and height extender ('04 GX335) and it was a very useful and handy tool for jobs like the OP has specified.

No, "it ain't a loader", but it's a damn site better than a shovel and cart or wheelbarrow. Only the purchase of a 1026TLB put my JB Jr. out to pasture!

Have a look: Johnny Bucket Jr. John Deere GX Type
 

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Here is a second vote for the Johnny Bucket. I had a Johnny Bucket Senior (the version with hydraulic lift and bucket dump) that was serial number 1001 for my 322. Johnny Products made it for me and it was their first one for the open frame tractors like the 318, 332 and my 322. It was an invaluable tool on our last property where we had lots of gravel to move whenever we redid the driveways and parking areas, plus all the wood chips on the pathways. Mine had a somewhat larger bucket than the 'production' units as he now ships UPS... If I still has that kind of work to do I would still have it...but it sat in storage after we moved to the place on the golf course and I sold it right out of the storage locker last year. I would not hesitate to have another one should the need arise. Here are some pictures:
Johnny Bucket Sr on 322.jpg Johnny Bucket Sr.jpg

As long as you are just moving materials and not trying to load into a trailer/truckbed, these work GREAT. And, I never had to worry about my wife tipping over a tractor with a raised FEL on our uneven property.
deer, Deere and Dear.jpg

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
JD FEL options

Thank you for the good information. I have looked at the JB jr in the past and I like what he does. My problem is that the JB does not lift high enough to serve as a spine replacement (my back). I want to lift mechanical items up to a work bench, logs up to a jog splitter, virtually anything that I might lift with my back. The JB would save me not having to go all the way to the ground, but it would not complete a lift to a work bench or pickup truck bed. What is the lift extender? How much higher are we talking. Also, does my GX355 being a rare bird make it more, or less valuable? Thanks again. Bill
 

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Thank you for the good information. I have looked at the JB jr in the past and I like what he does. My problem is that the JB does not lift high enough to serve as a spine replacement (my back). I want to lift mechanical items up to a work bench, logs up to a jog splitter, virtually anything that I might lift with my back. The JB would save me not having to go all the way to the ground, but it would not complete a lift to a work bench or pickup truck bed. What is the lift extender? How much higher are we talking. Also, does my GX355 being a rare bird make it more, or less valuable? Thanks again. Bill
You are right about the lift height!! You do need a front bucket or bucket/forks attachment (See Artillian's site on the forum).

The "lift extender" is really a "bucket 'increaser'" which bolts to the top of the bucket giving it about 10" or so more capacity for mulch, bark, compost loads, etc.

The GX355 IS fairly rare, but I'm not an expert on such subjects I just know there aren't very many in circulation... Hence, being it's a GX series tractor (very reliable and well made) AND it's a diesel + few in service = I'd look for mo' money, mo' money for it in trade or sale... BUT! When I got my 1026r I just couldn't part with my GX so I kept it and use it to mow when the TLB is on the 1026 and blow snow when the plow is on it in winter. (Plus, my wife gave it to me as a gift and I'll never part with it!!):good2:
 

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If a true loader is a must, the a JD 1-series or similar from other makers. I like the Mahindra Max, myself. Not as well engineered as JD, but more capable.

The other option is an older used X-series with a loader (if you can find one), and there is a company that makes one to fit the newer signature series too: 2013 John deere x ultimate
 

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If a true loader is a must, the a JD 1-series or similar from other makers. I like the Mahindra Max, myself. Not as well engineered as JD, but more capable.
So how's parts availability and dealer service/maintenance for those Mahindras in your area? Takes a week just to drive to a dealer from here and I hear getting parts is way longer yet!:laugh:
 

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So how's parts availability and dealer service/maintenance for those Mahindras in your area? Takes a week just to drive to a dealer from here and I hear getting parts is way longer yet!:laugh:
I second that. Mahindra dealer near me dropped the line to concentrate on the Ariens, Simplicity and Honda lawn/garden equipment. Next closet to me is about 90 minutes away. And I have also heard getting parts can be a challenge.


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So how's parts availability and dealer service/maintenance for those Mahindras in your area? Takes a week just to drive to a dealer from here and I hear getting parts is way longer yet!:laugh:
Don't really know about parts. I just like the specs vs size on the smaller tractors. I've heard parts complaints on just about every make. Hard to believe they'd be any worse than others, especially since they sell more world wide than any other.

If you are afraid of other brands, the loader link I sent you might be your best option on say an X7xx series diesel. Seems like a real nice little loader.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
GX355 issue

I waited 54 years to get my first JD, its not that any other brand won't do, it more that I would like to enjoy JD for a little while before I try to date a new lady. If I go to a dealer to trade for an X7 series I am gonna get abused. If I look for a clean 455 with a loader, that would be a decent option. I suppose I could look at Kubota's, but I prefer to stay JD for now. MY GX355 is an outstanding mower, I worry that I could lose some of that if I go to a multi use tractor. Everything is a trade off. That being said, my neighbor has an X748? ultimate, 4x4 with 4 wheel steering, and 26hp Kawasaki motor? It does a fine job of mowing (rear bagger with blower motor at discharge), and looks like it would do really well with a loader. Now were talking $$$$$$$$. I wish someone made a mini loader for my GX355, but it probably does not have enough hydro capacity to run it anyways. Anyone have a nice 455 with a loader they want to trade off for a nice GX355? :) I suppose the Johnny bucket is a good half measure, as in it only lifts half as high as I need it to. Does the Johnny bucket work well with my snow blade? It could be that the mounts for the JBjr would interfere with my plow. I asked JB about that and they could not answer the question, which I think means yes it does.






Don't really know about parts. I just like the specs vs size on the smaller tractors. I've heard parts complaints on just about every make. Hard to believe they'd be any worse than others, especially since they sell more world wide than any other.

If you are afraid of other brands, the loader link I sent you might be your best option on say an X7xx series diesel. Seems like a real nice little loader.
 

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With the JD 1-Series you won't have much struggle hooking and unhooking implements as most come "quick attach". If your back is jacked up I can't imagine sliding under a machine to hook up the deck is going to do you any good. I've used my pallet forks as a work bench and they did great. I'd take a hard look at a 1 Series with auto connect and H120 loader. If you get a ballast box and iMatch you can add your ballast without leaving your seat. Somethings to look at if you don't see your back getting better. The "R" tractors are going to give you a better seat. So keep that in mind when shopping.

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I started looking at an X748 S.E. when I ended up getting my 1026R. When the 3 point and PTO are added to the X as well as the loader then price is so close it wasn't worth considering. I know plenty of people love their X series machines, but if you are pricing new take a look at the differences when similarly equipped. I love my 1026R. Not trying to sway you, but letting you know my situation and the path I ended up taking. Still have my 318 for yard work help when I have the tiller and loader on my 1026. It does great with my roller and harrow.

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No free lunch when you want a loader and a mower, etc. Maybe keep your JD and get a used 20-25HP little tractor with a loader and keep it just for that purpose. That's what I have, two tractors: one for heavy work (loader, digging, etc), one for grass/leaves/snow. You can find nice small tractors with loaders for around $5K.
 

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One tractor per attachment and one attachment per tractor is VERY convenient if you have the space and funds. As far as the Johnny Bucket is concerned, my JBSR used the standard front frame mount points, so it would swap with my 54 front blade in just minutes with no tools needed. The top spring pin snaps into the frame hole at the top front, and the non-moving pin (just visible as the welded area in the lower left corner of the yellow JBSR frame in this photo) tips into the lower tractor frame hook.

fitting & hose clutter at full lift - right side.jpg

Here is a front view of my prior 318 showing those same lower hooks...

nearly straight front bumper.jpg

I am unfamiliar with the 355 front frame attachment points but if it is similar you should not have issues.

Chuck
 

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I suppose the Johnny bucket is a good half measure, as in it only lifts half as high as I need it to. Does the Johnny bucket work well with my snow blade? It could be that the mounts for the JBjr would interfere with my plow. I asked JB about that and they could not answer the question, which I think means yes it does.
Your dealer "answered your question" correctly in his own little way! To use the plow on a GX, the JB front bracket must be removed. It is however 4 simple machine screws, 2 on each side of the frame (2 are the existing muffler shield bolts which are exchanged with longer ones supplied by JB for the bracket.)

In my massive 1/2 acre mowing work here and for some neighbors, I find the 1026r/54D work as well as the 48C on the GX and better at grinding up leaves in Fall. I believe the blade RPM is higher. I use my own "mulch kit" which is simply a block off of the discharge chute. Leaves become smaller than 1/4 of a postage stamp and pine needles are no match for it.

If you "test drive" a 10XX be sure to notice how nimble it is (w/steering wheel spinner) for a 4WD unit. It won't out turn a GX, but it will come pretty close when you get used to it.
 

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A potential alternative between the capability of a Johnny Bucket and a full FEL is the Buford Bucket, as seen in this for sale posting on the WFM classifieds today. Don't know what might be involved in fitment to a 355 or if that is a possibility, but $1500 is a far cry from the cost of a SCUT...
Weekend Freedom Machines: <font size="+1"><b><font color="ff0000">For Sale</font></b></font>

May not apply in your particular case, and I am the last one to talk anyone out of getting another Deere of any size/description... :wink:

Chuck
 
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