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If you're thinking about which you want on one of these tractors, here's my take.
I started with a 425 with a 60" deck... grrrrreeeeeaaat deck, built like a tank. If you can tear one of these up, even after years of hard abuse, you must be a gorilla on equipment. They are waaaay over built. The lone overhang makes mowing next to flowerbeds and trees really easy. The 425 has no trouble whatsoever handling this monster deck, even in very tall grass, and it cuts tall grass well. I only used regular blades on it, not high lift or gators. Even when mowing wet grass, this deck handles it very well, with little or no buildup, I was quite happy with this as my old 318 50" was horrible about wet grass. The only real item of mention is that when starting the blades, the engine better be warm or it'll stall, though once warm it starts with ease. The 60 handles rolling humps and bumps in the yard very well with almost no scalping, another great surprise.

The 54" is a different deck, very well made, but not a brute like the 60". I'd guess the 54 to weight 2/3 the weight, just not as much steel as the big bute. I tried gator (G5 I believe) and WOW! it almost made dust of clippings, so much so, you get a cloud of debri around you while mowing. All the screen intakes for the engine get covered almost immediately. Everything's a tradeoff, and if you can stand the dust, then they work like magic, clippings are well dispersed and fine. There is a spreader reinforcing bar that spans the bottom of the chute to stiffen the deck, which is good, and it doesn't affect discharge at all. This deck has to be the king of wet grass mowing, no buildup, and the deck looks polished in places it's so clean, absolutely fantastic. There is not much exciting about starting the blades, even when only a barley warm engine, cold it might stall, but not always, as with the big 60. With proper gage wheel setup, scalping in minimal, if not non existant, but it is not as easy to achieve as with the 60, which required no special setup. But, isn't that what gage wheel and roller are for? so no surprise they have to be adjusted.

If you can handle the weight, taking the deck on and off, and have a place to store the deck (assuming you don't keep it on the tractor), the 60 is the deck to have, without regard to your lawn. I'd keep the 60 even for a smallish lawn, it's that good.

My problem was, at 61, and in good condition, it was still hard for me to handle the 60 alone, and I don't store it one the tractor, so I opted to not go the back surgery route again, and traded for the 54. It's a great deck, just not the fantastic monster, commercial duty deck the 60 is, and I'm happy with it.

I read someone say, that the 60 was designed to mow every day all day for years and years without problems, and the 54 was designed for once or twice a week mowing, even of large properties, for years and years without problems, and I would totally agree.

Hope this helps the next guy looking for info on which deck to get or whether to keep one or the other. Truth is, these are some of the best decks every on Deere garden tractors, and I've had a few Deeres.
 

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The 54 deck is the same as the 54 on my 345 (mounts a little different) one nice thing if your looking for a PF they're easier to find then the 60.
 

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I'm glad you are happy with your trade. 60 inch decks are not as plentiful as the 54s. I start my 60 at half throttle and it gives a small puff of smoke and away we go. The 60 makes a bit more noise. My dad has a 62c on a x720 and I honestly don't think it weighs as much as the 54s. There are things about it that don't impress me like the way the gearbox is mounted and plastic tensioner bushings.
 

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We have the 60 on our 455 and it is a brute, I sure wish it was a drive over like our old Gravely it would make getting it on and off a lot easier.I have to pick up the front end of our tractor to slide it out sideways. I was never able to get it to hang just so at the right height and it does not pick up that far so we use our wheels to set the height, so far so good. It is extremely well made but I do wish it picked up more.
 

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We have the 60 on our 455 and it is a brute, I sure wish it was a drive over like our old Gravely it would make getting it on and off a lot easier.I have to pick up the front end of our tractor to slide it out sideways. I was never able to get it to hang just so at the right height and it does not pick up that far so we use our wheels to set the height, so far so good. It is extremely well made but I do wish it picked up more.
I had the same trouble with mine. Last year I put 25" Carlysle All Trails on the back and 18s on the front. It helped get the deck off the ground and gave more adjustment but I still have to lift the front to get the deck out. 25" is as high as I can fit with the AWS.
 

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We have 25" turfs, 2ws, I think the difference between our cutting height with the wheels all down to fully picked up is less than 2".
 

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When I sold these new we never put 60's on 425's. We found the power to be marginal in heavy conditions, and when you risk customer complaints you just don't stock that combo. I still stand by it - 60's are best left to the 445 or 455. There are certainly many around, but not my favorite combo.

You are right though, the 60 is a tough deck overall.

The 62C on later tractors wasn't quite as tough. It actually cut better, but had some rigidity issues early on. The later ones were better. Offering the green 60" 7-Iron gave people a super HD option. By far the best deck ever offered on any JD residential machine, but it was expensive.

The current HC High Capacity decks are based on the green commercial decks and give the same cut quality, but the price is reasonable and the tractors are not heavy enough to hurt them.
 

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I had the same trouble with mine. Last year I put 25" Carlysle All Trails on the back and 18s on the front. It helped get the deck off the ground and gave more adjustment but I still have to lift the front to get the deck out. 25" is as high as I can fit with the AWS.
I’m surprised you were able to get that big a tire on it with AWS. Good to know.:good2:
 

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I’m surprised you were able to get that big a tire on it with AWS. Good to know.:good2:
Snug but I absolutely love them. No chains pushing snow this year. :thumbup1gif:
 

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