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Discussion Starter #1
I have a fairly low hour 915B and have been thinking of stepping up to the 997. I mow a lot of rural properties that only get done a couple times a year so the grass gets fairly long and thick. I'll be staying with 60" deck to fit thru some tight areas I have.

So far I've shied away from the 997 due to the price tag. But I recently found a 997 with 2200 hrs. From the pics looks in decent shape. Has a rear discharge 60" deck. The price he is asking is pretty close to what I think I could get for my 915B.

How are these units for longevity? Anything in particular to look out for in a higher hour unit. Hows the ride compared to a 915B?

Thanks!
 

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Since nobody else has chimed in....

If that has the Yanmar diesel, 2k hours is just getting the engine broken in. It would be the rest of the mower I would be concerned about, if the owner kept up with maintenance of the deck and hydraulics it might be fine. I had to rebuild the deck on my Gravely Promaster 100 at about 300 hours and I was fairly consistent keeping the spindles greased. I would certainly have a look at it, I'm a big fan of diesels, and Yanmar makes one of the best.
 

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Thanks for the input. I've got a Yanmar in my 2720 and a had gas Yanmar on my in my old F932. Both have been bullet proof.

I wonder what shape the spindles in the deck would be in. I've got 200hrs on my 915B and they are all still solid.
 

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Since nobody else has chimed in....

If that has the Yanmar diesel, 2k hours is just getting the engine broken in. It would be the rest of the mower I would be concerned about, if the owner kept up with maintenance of the deck and hydraulics it might be fine. I had to rebuild the deck on my Gravely Promaster 100 at about 300 hours and I was fairly consistent keeping the spindles greased. I would certainly have a look at it, I'm a big fan of diesels, and Yanmar makes one of the best.
I agree with this - you don’t really have to worry about the engine. It’s all the rest of it especially the deck with 2200 hours. Gauge wheels, spindles, etc. But if it has been properly maintained I wouldn’t hesitate myself for the right price. At least with Deere all parts will still be available.
 

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I'd give it a really good go over.

If it was a commercial machine maintenance is $ and time. They don't get treated like a one owner machine.

They do the required maintenance to keep the machine working but they also run them to a point and then trade them before the "little stuff" shows up and starts eating at the bottom line.

Once you go over the machine, price some of the parts that you think you'll possibly need and add that cost to your purchase price.

If you can, find a mechanic and get his opinion of what you'll need on the machine given the hours of use.

Many of the used commercial machines I've seen look like they have been rode pretty hard.
 
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When I rebuilt the deck on my Gravely, I think I had over $400 in parts alone - and this is a fairly simple 50" deck. It would be interesting to price deck parts for that 997 deck assuming the worst.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the engine much. I agree with others that spindles and such are going to start being an issue unless they already were. Other than that the drive units are probably my biggest concern.

You sound kind of a like a "commercial mowing company". How hard is downtime on your bottom line? I think that is the answer and only you could come up with it. If it was just for cutting your yard and you could be down for a few days/week waiting on parts, then it isn't an issue. If you have customers that will flip out, well there is your answer.
 
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I have a couple of 997R units, both with 72” decks. The decks are shaft driven and pretty bullet proof if given normal attention. Spindles are main concern. If one is bent deck will vibrate and shudder. Diesels are the way to go if cutting a lot of grass. Big machines which weight over 2000 pounds, with 72” deck.


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I would agree 2k hours is nothing on a Yanmar diesel. These mowers are designed to go well past that with proper maintenance hence why there is usually grease zerts all over the place. I wouldn't hesitate at all buying a commercial mower at that # of hours but the first thing I would do is go through and change all the fluids and filters and give it a complete service.

Every item I have ever bought used I do this and give the engine/radiator and driveline a real good cleaning with a degreaser. This way I know right away if there is a leak somewhere 1. where it's coming from and 2. how bad it is. Usually a large cost catastrophic failure will give you warning signs before ever occurring. Idea is to catch it in that time frame before big $$ has to be shelled out.
 

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Thanks for the opinions. My grass cutting contract is something I do as a side gig and is pretty small. That being said I've always bought JD equipment because the local dealer is great and has a large parts inventory, anything they don't have is often a day or two away. The fields I mow are rough and my stuff does get beat up so I maintain it myself so I have a pretty good idea at what to look at. I generally don't look at vehicles past 150,000miles as I know that even something well maintained is reaching the end of its life span and the upholstery is often bagged out. Just not sure how 2000hrs compares for one of these mowers. I imagine the engine is good for 10,000hours, but the rest....

I'm going away for a week. I'm going to take a look at it when I get back. One sketchy thing though is originally it looked like a private sale on Facebook but when I searched the number I found another ad for a Kubota Z turn and it looks like its at a dealer lot and the general location matches with the local Kubota dealer. Might be trade ins but not sure why they just don't list them commercially.
 

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I'm going away for a week. I'm going to take a look at it when I get back. One sketchy thing though is originally it looked like a private sale on Facebook but when I searched the number I found another ad for a Kubota Z turn and it looks like its at a dealer lot and the general location matches with the local Kubota dealer. Might be trade ins but not sure why they just don't list them commercially.
Not 100% sure but some of those Facebook groups don't allow dealerships or businesses to advertise items for sale as it is intended to be a private sale type transactions. It very well could be at a Kubota dealer and they are just looking to advertise it since they may have taken it in on trade and most people won't think to go to a Kubota dealer to buy a Deere.
 
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