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Hi everyone I would really appreciate a little advice...I tend to buy bigger models than I need for everything but this time i'm on a budget..I'm purchasing a john deer mower for my mother to replace her push mower. I would estimate her yard to be somewhere in the 10,000 square foot range. A small section (maybe about 800 sf) is on a slope (Not REALLY steep, but steep enough that i have this concern)...... I was concerned that if I bought her the d105 it wouldn't be strong enough to go up a the hill.. I know nothing about this stuff. any suggestions? should I go with the d110? is there a big difference between these two mowers?


thanks so much!
 

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The only significant difference between the D105 and the D110 that I'm aware of is that the D105 uses a CVT/Automatic transmission where the D110 is a hydrostatic.

The breakdown on the D1xx series lumps models within a couple of groups.

a.) D105/D110
b.) D120/D130/D140
c.) D160/D170

Other than the transmissions on the D105/D110, everything within each group is pretty much the same. The engines just go up about 2hp per model. (The D110 has 2HP more than the D105 as well.)

Between groups they tend to increase mower deck size, tire sizes, the seat and other creature comforts.

IMO, to be completely honest, I think any of these are probably overkill. At 10,000 sq. ft you're talking less than a 1/4 acre lot. This sort of thing is where the older rear-engine riders used to be a perfect fit.

As for your slope, I drive my D160 up/down and 45 deg slope in my side yard and it doesn't have any problem at all as long as the grass is dry. If it's wet I loose traction and the wheels will spin. If you go this route, I'd caution against going sideways across the slope and risk tipping it over. But if she's just mowing, I don't think you'll have much problem climbing hills.
 

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When I had less than 1/2 acre to mow, I used an Ariens rear motor with a 28" deck (sorry, can't recall the model number). I then went to a small ZTR with a 42" deck, which seemed like overkill at the time, but the deal I got on it was way too good to pass up ($1000 for a brand new Toro Z4200 at Home Depot because it was returned for flat tires).

Does JD offer a smaller rear-engine mower?

Edit... Went to JD's site and plugged in the parameters in the "help me decide" section. It came back with an x300 with a 38" deck. No rear-engine models available. An X300 seems like overkill to me @ $3K. I'd most likely go with a D110 if your heart was set on JD.
 

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the lot itself is about an acre of a half..but my GUESStimate is that there is about 10,000 SF of lawn...the d105 has 17.5 horsepower and the d110 has 19...means nothing to me..but if you think both are overkill then I should probably be safe with the smaller one.... If i'm not mistaken both the JD and the Ariens of a comparable size use a briggs and straton engine (which again means nothing to me)..There is about a $500 dollar difference between the JD105 and the Ariens, but i know nothing about mowers except that john deer are supposed to be the best so thats what I was planning on going with...The machine will probably never be used for anything other than mowing once a week or so...
 

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IMHO I'd go with the D110. Hydrostatic tranny's have been around a long time in the tractor world, and seem really reliable.
 

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I have to agree, I would get the 110 because of the hydrostatic transmission. Also none of the mowers mentioned are really over kill for anything... you cant ever really have too much tractor. :cool:
 

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I would fill the tires with rv antifreeze for ballast. It will make the mower much more stable and get better traction as well. The fluid actually makes it ride smoother IMO
 

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Any BBM (Big Box Mower) grade mower regardless of brand is crap in my less than humble opinion. But the bottom line is that you need to find a riding mower that your Mom will use. Make her life easier as she has earned it. If you go the X3xx series; be sure to get one that doesn't use the same Tuff-Torq K46 tranny that the BBM mowers use.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well....i think im gunna go with the D125...It seems like a good compromise between the most basic model and buying something that i probably don't need.
 

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Any BBM (Big Box Mower) grade mower regardless of brand is crap in my less than humble opinion. But the bottom line is that you need to find a riding mower that your Mom will use. Make her life easier as she has earned it. If you go the X3xx series; be sure to get one that doesn't use the same Tuff-Torq K46 tranny that the BBM mowers use.
Mom's deserve the very best we can give them so do whatever you can to take good care of her.

My new next door neighbors are a young couple from India with a small child. Both husband and wife are engineers, him for a major appliance manufacturer and her a software engineer. They have a 35,000 sq foot lawn to mow and they never have owned a home with a lawn, so they had no idea how to take care of it.

After they got quotes from a couple of lawn mowing services and found that they wanted $65 to $75 per week for mowing, they decided to buy a mower of their own. They asked me to help them, which I was glad to do as they are a really nice younger family.

The husband had been admiring my Deere and asked me to take him to the Deere dealer, so I did. I wanted him to buy a used 345 with 200 hours on it, but he wanted new. He went with the D140 and is very happy with it. He did get the 54" deck.

If anyone is looking at the "D" series of Deere tractors at a Big Box store, I would strongly encourage them to purchase directly from the dealer. The dealer sold it at the same price as Home Depot and Lowes, but as I explanied to my neighbor, its important for them to directly have the relationship with the dealer for any warranty work and future service. So far, after about 25 hrs, he is very happy with his tractor.

I did ask the dealer if he was seeing any used "D" series or people who are trading them in for larger models. He said not very often. It seems that the people buying at the Big Box stores aren't as crazy about tractors as some of us on this forum. They seem to see them simply as a tool to get the job done and they don't necessarily make them a hobby the way many of us do.

I was very uncomfortable with the transmissions in the "D" series tractors, as they have plastic gears and there is very little servicing which can be done (according to the Deere salesman who seemed to know what he was doing as I quizzed him about the pro's and con's of different sizes for my neighbor). The salesman at the dealership essentially said that if there is a transmission internal failure of a major part, you have to buy an entire new transmission, which seems ridicolous to me. The idea of plastic drive gears in this lightweight case is not reassuring to me.

I know all about the use of plastic timing gears in cars and other uses of plastic in heavy wear items. I have worked with Plastic injection molders for decades and plastic has millions of uses. In my humble opinion, tranny drive gears in a lawn mower is not one of them.

For the money, the "D" series is very hard to beat. It is a mower, not a tractor, but if it meets the needs and hits the price points, then great. This seems to be what many people want. It is not something I would own, but alot of people do.

My neighbor is very happy and I welcomed him to the John Deere family. When he started talking about snow removal with his "D140", I told him to just leave it to me and I will take care of him. I told him if he gets the need to push snow, he can drive mine and after a few minutes of being in the weather, I bet he will have filled his cold weather quota for some time.
 

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You should have talked him into the 345 with only 200 hours. 100X the tractor the D series is. I have heard the new D100 or whichever one has the gear driven tranny has plastic drive gears which is insane. I didn't know the D140 had plastic gears also. :crazy: What made them decide plastic was a good material to use for tranny gears?
 

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Oh I did Try......

You should have talked him into the 345 with only 200 hours. 100X the tractor the D series is. I have heard the new D100 or whichever one has the gear driven tranny has plastic drive gears which is insane. I didn't know the D140 had plastic gears also. :crazy: What made them decide plastic was a good material to use for tranny gears?
Believe me, I gave it my very best to talk him into the 345, but he and his wife were all set on buying new. They said the primary reason was the new tractor warranty verses buying a tractor where he would be without any manufacturers warranty.

I assured them that I would help them with any issues which the 345 may need, but they really wanted the new one. They did purchase additional warranty coverage on the new tractor. They either extended the total warranty coverage to 4 years or they extended the TOTAL warranty BY 4 years.

Either way, he is happy thus far, which I am glad to see. Also, they did purchase directly from the dealer, which I was further glad to see.

I do want to clarify that my comments regarding the plastic gears in the transmission came directly from the Deere salesman. When I was inquiring about the service of the trans and asking about the differences to the unit in my 455, it was then he went into detail about the plastic gears. I have not confirmed this information myself, but I will say the trans case on the D140 does not resemble the Hydro cases which one typically sees in the larger lawn tractors.

I will say that I have not seen any of the D series up for resale on Craigs list or similar in my area. I was curious as to their resale value retention and was looking to see how they are valued after accumulating hours. Thus far, I am not seeing many up for resale.

Same at our local dealership, which is a large dealer with more than a dozen different locations. They do not have any used "D"'s in their used equipment inventory. I hope the buyers are happy with them. We don;t need another "Sabre" type product which brought down a rath of criticism from those who owned them.....
 

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ASSuming Tuff-Torq is using plastic gears; it's because it's cheaper to injection mold them instead of machining them.
That is what I like to refer to as the old "Price Verses Cost" issue.

While the price to initially produce the plastic gears is less than the price of a machined metal gear, it is the total cost of ownership, for both the tractor owners and Deere which will dicate if this is a good decision or not.

I know I wouldn't want plastic trans gears in my tractor(s)........
 

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I do want to clarify that my comments regarding the plastic gears in the transmission came directly from the Deere salesman. When I was inquiring about the service of the trans and asking about the differences to the unit in my 455, it was then he went into detail about the plastic gears. I have not confirmed this information myself, but I will say the trans case on the D140 does not resemble the Hydro cases which one typically sees in the larger lawn tractors.[/B]



I don't doubt that his dealer told him the gears are plastic but the guys that make the transmissions for Deere say otherwise. According to Torq-Tuff, all of the gears in the k46 are "Heat Treated Powder Metal". Maybe whoever he talked to at the dealership is just confused. Or maybe that's their standard line to try to convince people to jump to the x300 line?


I will say that I have not seen any of the D series up for resale on Craigs list or similar in my area. I was curious as to their resale value retention and was looking to see how they are valued after accumulating hours. Thus far, I am not seeing many up for resale.

Same at our local dealership, which is a large dealer with more than a dozen different locations. They do not have any used "D"'s in their used equipment inventory. I hope the buyers are happy with them. We don;t need another "Sabre" type product which brought down a rath of criticism from those who owned them.....

I've seen a handful of the D1xx machines up for sale used but they're still pretty new machines. They've only been out for what, 3 years now? The one's I've seen up for sale, people seem to be very proud of. I saw an add for a used D140 a couple of weeks ago and the guy wanted exactly $1 more than retail price for it. Yeah, I could go and buy the machine NEW for $1 less than his asking price. And his machine had 70 hours on it.

But they're really just updated versions of the L1xx line so I'd guess that you can gauge pricing pretty well by looking at how those are selling used.

The resale question really, IMO, comes up more on what they'll sell for in 20+ years. You can find plenty of 20 or 30 year old Deere lawn tractors selling for good money. I don't think you'll see that with these. I just don't see very many of them surviving more than 15 years.
 

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The resale question really, IMO, comes up more on what they'll sell for in 20+ years. You can find plenty of 20 or 30 year old Deere lawn tractors selling for good money. I don't think you'll see that with these. I just don't see very many of them surviving more than 15 years.
I think after a few hundred hours, these machines will need a lot of attention. A plastic push on oil drain plug on the engines? Yep, I changed the oil in my neighbors so that I know to be a fact. At least it does have an oil filter on it. Also, very few grease fittings. Not much to "maintain", just a lot to replace down the road when these items wear out since they couldn't be maintained.

The "D" machine owners that I have spoken with, for the most part, simply see their machine as a tool to mow the yard. They seem content with what they have and I have yet to speak with one who seemed to be using the "D" model as a stepping stone towards bigger models.

But I also think that is a directly related issue to those who purchase at the Big Box Stores. They seem primarily interested in the price and not much more. After all, anyone trying to comparitively shop or analyze differences between various options would find very few answers from the sales staff at a Lowes or Home Depot.

From what I have seen the sales people at the BB Stores for the most part say "We have green ones and Yellow and White Ones and they cost about the same." Beyond that, it is up to the consumer to research their purchases, if they are interested enough to do so.

Many don't seem to care, they simply want something that cuts grass and they are told has a warranty. It is Deere's good reputation which gives them the confidence to swipe the plastic and go.
 

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The "D" machine owners that I have spoken with, for the most part, simply see their machine as a tool to mow the yard. They seem content with what they have and I have yet to speak with one who seemed to be using the "D" model as a stepping stone towards bigger models.
Well, I have to say that I'm a bit confused on this. Are they supposed to see their lawn mowers as something more than lawn mowers? I mean, I've bought several pickup trucks and never once considered them to being a stepping stone towards a Peterbuilt. I also bought my CUT but didn't consider it to be a stepping stone to a full-size farm tractor.

If all someone needs is a lawn mower, why shouldn't they be content with buying a lawn mower?



But I also think that is a directly related issue to those who purchase at the Big Box Stores. They seem primarily interested in the price and not much more. After all, anyone trying to comparitively shop or analyze differences between various options would find very few answers from the sales staff at a Lowes or Home Depot.

From what I have seen the sales people at the BB Stores for the most part say "We have green ones and Yellow and White Ones and they cost about the same." Beyond that, it is up to the consumer to research their purchases, if they are interested enough to do so.
Well, just to go off the rails here for a second (And this isn't really directed at you but I see this sort of comment quite a bit...) , IMO, the biggest problem with the BB stores is that customers tend to have unrealsitic expectations of them. When you walk into a HD or Lowes the first thing you'll notice is tons of pallets racks. That's because they're warehouse stores. The entire concept of a warehouse store is self-service. They're no different than Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's or the rest of the warehouse stores. Walk into Costco and look for someone to answer questions. They're as rare as hens teeth.

The Deere dealers have dedicated sales people that don't do anything but sell equipment. They don't stock the shelves, they don't clean the showroom and they only have one line of equipment to sell (And at most dealers there are multiple sales people that each specialize in one segment of that line). And they still tell people things like "Your mower's transmission has plastic gears..." when they don't.

The guy (or gal) you see at HD or Lowes isn't really there to be "the expert". Contrary to what many people think and the image that both chains promote in their commercial, that person is really there to pull product down from overhead and fill the holes on the sales floor so the customer can walk in, grab what they need/want, shove it in their cart, pay for it and leave. When the customer does that, the clerk comes around and fills that hole on the shelf again. Rinse and repeat endlessly. They're also responsible for making sure every single price tag is correct, their section of the store is clean, the store bathrooms are clean, the parking lot is clean and all of the product that came in on the last delivery truck is up on the shelves somewhere. That same clerk that people expect to be the "expert" on lawn mowers is also responsible for generators, chain saws, grass seed, fertilizer, insect/weed killer, patio furniture, wood/pellet stoves and a host of other products that are totally unrelated to mowers.

The reality is that the "ideal" customer for those big box stores is the person that comes in, knows exactly what they want and never asks a question. If you want a concierge to wander the store with you and tell you what to buy then Neimen-Marcus is the place to go for that.

Now, I bought my D160 at Lowes and I'll tell you exactly why I did. When I bought my house Lowe's sent me a 10% off coupon in the mail. I pretty much knew what I wanted to so walked into the store and pointed to it. While they were loading it onto my truck I went to the cashier and laid the coupon on them. After they deducted the 10% I flashed my military ID and they took an additional 10% off the price. So the end result was a $2600 mower that I got for $2100. $500 off and no one even blinked at giving me the discounts. (plus, I went to a NH store where there is no sales tax either...so that was another $130 saved.) The local Deere dealer wasn't willing to budge at all on price and they weren't offering me any credit towards buying a CUT just because I was willing to buy a mower from them either.
 

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I assured them that I would help them with any issues which the 345 may need, but they really wanted the new one. They did purchase additional warranty coverage on the new tractor. They either extended the total warranty coverage to 4 years or they extended the TOTAL warranty BY 4 years.

I never buy extended warranties as they are nothing but pure profit as few people actually cash in on them. However; I do prefer new whenever possible for the manufacturer's warranty and just to be the first one to screw it up. :laugh:

I do want to clarify that my comments regarding the plastic gears in the transmission came directly from the Deere salesman. When I was inquiring about the service of the trans and asking about the differences to the unit in my 455, it was then he went into detail about the plastic gears. I have not confirmed this information myself, but I will say the trans case on the D140 does not resemble the Hydro cases which one typically sees in the larger lawn tractors.

Not all Deere salesmen/women know the products they are selling. The D(ud) series use the throw-away Tuff-Torq K46 transaxle. Your 455 probably uses a similar transaxle as my X754's Tuff-Torq. Sorry I don't know the transaxle model number off hand.

I will say that I have not seen any of the D series up for resale on Craigs list or similar in my area. I was curious as to their resale value retention and was looking to see how they are valued after accumulating hours. Thus far, I am not seeing many up for resale.

Give it another year or two when these things fall apart and piss off their owners, and that's when I'll bet you'll see more D(ud)'s on the market. Probably there are more L(emon)'s there now, which will be a good indicator of how much people will ask for their D's.

Same at our local dealership, which is a large dealer with more than a dozen different locations. They do not have any used "D"'s in their used equipment inventory. I hope the buyers are happy with them. We don;t need another "Sabre" type product which brought down a rath of criticism from those who owned them.....

I can't picture any dealer in their right mind taking a BBM grade lawn tractor in on trade unless it's for a good well established customer buying something pricey. When I bought my X754, I didn't even bother asking about trading the L130 in.
I don't doubt that his dealer told him the gears are plastic but the guys that make the transmissions for Deere say otherwise. According to Torq-Tuff, all of the gears in the k46 are "Heat Treated Powder Metal". Maybe whoever he talked to at the dealership is just confused. Or maybe that's their standard line to try to convince people to jump to the x300 line?

"Heat Treated Powder Metal" is sintered metal using a process similar to making sintered bronze filters for fuel and hydraulic lines. It has the advantages of plastic in that the gears are quickly molded; but are far stronger than plastic ever could be. That being said I'd still prefer good old fashioned machined gears.

I saw an add for a used D140 a couple of weeks ago and the guy wanted exactly $1 more than retail price for it. Yeah, I could go and buy the machine NEW for $1 less than his asking price. And his machine had 70 hours on it.

The seller is an idiot hoping for an even bigger idiot to come along.

The resale question really, IMO, comes up more on what they'll sell for in 20+ years. You can find plenty of 20 or 30 year old Deere lawn tractors selling for good money. I don't think you'll see that with these. I just don't see very many of them surviving more than 15 years.

Agreed! I got 10-years and 100-hours out of my L(emon)-130 before I had my fill of that POS and sold it to my gearhead neighbor for $400. If I had my way, I would have gotten rid of it at 56-hours when the electric clutch and PTO switch puked; but a replacement X series wasn't in the cards then. That L130 was always nickel-n-diming me, or just a pain to use when it was working.
 
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