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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering buying a new mower for my home and business use. Thinking along the lines of a four wheel steer, whats the pro's and con's on this? Know for a fact I wan't at least the X324 with the K58 tranny but maybe 4x4 should be included too? I am all ears on this and would consider up to the X749. Anyone have one of these 4ws models X324, 534, 724, 749?
 

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I don't have the new model of the X7xx, but I do have a 445. That is the model the new ones replaced. I love the tractor for my grass (400' by 300') but I don't know if the deck is up to a commercial application. If you could get that machine with the 7 iron deck, I would think it would do much better. I think the 7 iron deck spins the blades faster.

Our 4110 has the 7 iron and the cut is 10 times better!

I know little about the all wheel steer, but if its only for mowing, why not a zero turn?
 

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I am debating this with myself just as Builder is can't get the 7 iron with the AWS, not enough clearance for the wheels to steer. I live in the mountains and we have lots of steep hills which makes me leary of a ztr mower.
 

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You just said 5 words to me that make me drool....
I live in the mountains
Do you have any pictures of your yard? :spy: I keep telling my wife that we are going to move out to the mountains..... She keeps telling me to go find some land. I wish I had time to do it!

I have one sort of steep area behind my barn and I turn on it with my 445. I would not turn on it, and I avoid it with my 3720. I would never want all wheel steer since my 445 can almost turn on a dime... IMHO, I would go for the better deck over the AWS.

:laugh: Duanne is going to have a hard time buying anything green. He used to help me moderate on one of my other sites when he was a die hard ford guy. Now fords are the devil to him.:shhh: Don't over think it!
 

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Brian,
My own yard is fairly level, but some of my customers yards are fairly steep. I will post a pic of my yard that I cleared and smoothed last summer. This part of my yard is 1 year old last week, before this it had a gulley running across the top right quarter of it. It also had the various mounds and rocks so common with the Rocky Mountain region. Lots of brush, Juniper and Pine trees that were very crooked.

This was rototilled, boxbladed and planed smooth. Sprinklers were added this spring. Next project is putting up a fence for the dogs and a new 306010 shop building.
 

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That looks like a ton of yard to cut. Its beautiful!

I would want nothing less than a diesel x700 sieries. I seen a nice Z925 at a dealer last night and that might be something to look at also. If you load the rear tires it might work out better on the hills. What ever you buy, you are going to want some speed to get it done and make money.

Will you dealer let you test models?
 

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Brian,
I can test out whatever the dealer has no problem but most of what he has are larger tractors.

I am pretty sure I can cut my own lawn faster with an X748-9 than a 2305 or 2320 due to range gears on the 2xxx tractors. Also I look at lawn work in two ways, initially doing the sitework and prep, and then mowing and maintaining. The 4520 and 110tlb are great for the initial work and the X7XX mowers are great for mowing, cleaning and reseeding.
 

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The 7 iron is the best cutting deck in the business - even in the ZTR arena....nothing handles wet conditions, or high vacuum applications (mulching, etc) than these decks....I have many Wright standers, and others and its the 7 iron that stands out on top....

That aside, your cutting speed between the X7xx or 2320/2520 will be about the same....why? your going to be moving and bouncing around with any of them....X7xx is more nimple, tighter radius but you have a open golf course there, so get the machine that does more out of the gate.....2xxx series
 

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Before I got my 4520, I ran through all the directions I could go if my B21 or JD318 garden tractor died. The only option for replacing the 318 would be the X748. Wanted diesel and 4WD (for the rare but challenging snow removal). So what was up in the air was the 4 wheel steering or not. The turning radius difference between the 748 and 749 was 25" vs 21".

There was a "how close can you mow" spec of 28" radius vs. 6" radius. I've seen a lot of trees with nicked bottoms from the deck hitting it. Around here, a nicked bottom means bugs in a few years, and the tree has a high probability of falling down in 10 years. Now you can have the same damage from a weed wacker too. So the 4WS vs. normal is a how good are you at being careful and what do you do with the areas around the trunk of the tree. You can survive an error or two with a weed wacker, not so with the deck. My choices are also influenced by landscaping that has very few trees to mow around, and my being content with a little boarder of grass around them. Classic lawn-yard-field trade offs. You have to contend with both your aesthetics and those of your customers.

The 7-iron vs normal deck choices are both straight forward and agonizing- how much to do have to cut and how often. The constraint of no 7-iron with AWS compounds the agony.

Steve, based on your picture I can understand why the 4WS is enticing. With the right operator (that would be you), you don't have to go back and do anything where your trees are. No mulch, no weed wack, just trees in grass and mow it, once around each tree and your done. If your customers want closer than that, they can pay for a hand held grass clipper to get the last 1".

If all your areas you mow are this clean and have these sorts of obstacles, I'd just get the 62" deck and save time. If you manage to wear out that deck to the point of you'd have to buy a new one, you'd have to buy another deck but you would have saved a lot of time over the years. Time is a precious thing, and it tends to win out when I'm wrestling with trade offs.

Pete
 

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Hey guys,
Like Brian stated,the zero turn might be OK on the hills. A coworker of mine told me he'd never get another,and a friend of mine got rid of one after one week. It ended up in his pond which is at the bottom of a hill!! He wasn't injured,but it could have been bad. He got a tractor. I never ran one,but from what these guys think of them,zero turns and hills just don't jive.
Just a little info.


Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the replies guy's.

I think my lawn is easier to cut than most customers lawns because I had full control in the decisions to lay it out. Large enough spacings on the trees to allow me to trim around them, smooth enough to run mowers full speed.

I should say that my focus is primarily building up the lawns for customers, mowing is a service I provide for only the top customers. Not really interested in competing with the guys' with a small trailer and lawnmower only.

One of the reasons I prefer the AWS models is the added manueverability when moving in and out of denser stands of pine trees, a pine needle rake behind an X749 will fit nicely. Built up needles really slow down and stifle the grass and is one of the first things I consider when working with a new customer. I should add that the pine needle rake is very light (about 75 lbs) and any small 3 pt can handle it. Turf tires are all I need or wan't on a lawn mower the tractors are in place to handle the heavy tasks and once a lawn is up and planted I prefer to keep the heavier tractors off the turf. One reason I prefer the X7XX mowers is the variable front drive for the front wheels, less tire scuffing than a mfwd model. On my own lawn there is no need for 4x4 but some of my customers jungles are a different story.

Pete, ringing the trees is a very valid concern, you can scuff up the bark at the base of the trees with any of these mowers and as you pointed out wind up with dead trees within a few years. Last year I purchased a trimmer mower with the front caster wheels, the dealer had two of these left and this model has been replaced with fixed front wheels now. See pic below. How wide of a mower I get is another issue I need to be careful not to get one that is wide enough that it wont fit betwen the trees and that is a judgement call I am looking at carefully now.

Ducati, I would wonder why you feel a 2xxx series would be the better choice? I am considering these as well but mowing is the prime concern for this purchase. The lawn picture I posted above was cut with an L130 BBS mower it is decent but not up to par with a 7 iron. If I still lived in the deep south with lots of thick grasses I would put more stock in the heavier deck but here in the mountains on steeper inclines and dense trees I may need the AWS more than the heavy deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mjncad,
Thanks for the compliment, thought you would appreciate what an L130 can do too by the way.:laugh:

These cheap mowers will last alot longer if the lawn is prepped first.
 

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Ducati, I would wonder why you feel a 2xxx series would be the better choice? I am considering these as well but mowing is the prime concern for this purchase. The lawn picture I posted above was cut with an L130 BBS mower it is decent but not up to par with a 7 iron. If I still lived in the deep south with lots of thick grasses I would put more stock in the heavier deck but here in the mountains on steeper inclines and dense trees I may need the AWS more than the heavy deck.
Im re-reading your needs and it does sound like your needs are particular and it does seem like at least right now the X749 fits the bill the best....
I could have sworn the 7 iron was available on the some of the 2xxx series, and if not then it has to be soon.....just now unsure of timing.....the 7 iron is worth its weight in gold, in my opinion....I automatically tend to pick the tractor that offers more flexibility for almost the same price as the X series when fully loaded (like the 2320 or 2520), but in this case your needs are specific enough that maybe its not the answer to go bigger.....now if the 7 iron isnt available on the 2320/2520 then you have no choice but the X749.....I do feel the 2320/2520/2720 are excellent mowers and really deceptivily nimble (drop the FEL, etc).....I think the mowing speeds will be about the same.....they are fast but not ZTR mower fast without being bounced around.....I will be interested in the final outcome here :)
 

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I do feel the 2320/2520/2720 are excellent mowers and really deceptivily nimble
That is totally true.You'd be surprised how well they can mow,although I can only attest to the 2520.:)

I think the mowing speeds will be about the same.....they are fast but not ZTR mower fast without being bounced around
BTW,that is a beautiful lawn,but just how fast do you need to cut it anyway?



Greg
 

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jenkinsph,

Im going to throw something out here, and totally outside of the box -

the item below is what they call a dual hydro, walk behind ZTR mower....with a Dually Step-Saver you have a real ZTR for a fraction of the cost....

You buy direct and save a bunch over competitvie offerings

I have one, its my favorite....works excellent on hills for this type

http://betteroutdoorproducts.com/?page=VideoQuickDually_H.htm

I know your looking for a larger deck, this is only a 44" but it will mow at high speeds and leave a professional cut......

Its green too LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Greg,
Thanks for the compliment.

I am not overly concerned with super fast mowing ability, rather I am at issue with filling the needs for a mower with good quality cut, durability, and compact size. I want to be able to perform yard maintenance without the added weight of the heavier 2X20 series. My lawn isn't the problem, I should take some pics of the customers problem yards to better explain my reasoning, maybe this week I will snap a few pics.
 

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IZt sounds like your narrowing in on what will fit you best. I just want to throw this out for you to think about. My 445 is a fuel injected kawasaki 22hp. Today, when cutting the front yard in fairly tall grass, it was bogging down and I had to slow to 1/2 normal cutting speed. That is without the multcher (tri-cycler0 on. With it I would have been at a snails pace. My only beef with this mower is the lack of power to run the 60" deck. My 4110 at the farm will out-power this tractor mowing, but it has the 7-iron deck. I don't know if its the deck or the tractor. I think the 4110 has less hp, but is diesel so probably has more torque.

The cut difference between the 7 iron and my yellow 60 is night and day. It must be all blade speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ducati996,
Looked at the walk behinds, I can see lots of advantages to these if mowing was my only concern. Something like this would be great for highly conjested lawns and for mowing banks.

I should add that the tasks for the mower will be to pull a rear cart, pine needle rake, landscape rake, rear drop seeder, small broadcast seeder both for seed and fertilizer. Might be interested in a narrow tiller for working up lawns in confined spaces.

The 4520 and 110tlb are used to smooth up the larger areas, remove stumps and rocks and I have an OS 820 to use in the trees. The 110 is the only tractor I have with a fel and I prefer not to have a fel in the way on the tractors, makes them awkward to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Brian,
You make a good point about the 7 iron decks, wish this was available for the X749 but I seldom have to mow tall grass in my residential lawns. I can opt for a small 3pt brushhog when and if it is needed. I did have one yard that was overgrown and in need of cutting down this year, I used my MX6 and 4520cab for this. Made short work of it too.:laugh:

I really need to be able to compare the 7 iron and 62C deck cut quality if I go this large. Just depends on the final deck size I come up with, if I stay with a 48" or 54" it is a mute point as the other two models are over this width.
 
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