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Discussion Starter #1
has anyone put a ctc loader on a x739? is it even worth it? how would it compare to the loader of the 1025 as far as lifting capabilities? I need a mower and could really use a loader but I feel the 1025 is a bit too big and not for me. I have 1.5 acres mostly all grass that I mow with lots of things to cut around i really like the aws of the x739 for that reason. the tractors number 1 use will be mowing that's another reason i like it over the 1025 it will give a better cut. the loader will be used for light use i.e. stone , mulch , dirt etc. no digging. i have a 60" zero now and i hate it i guess im just old school and prefer a tractor.
 

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has anyone put a ctc loader on a x739? is it even worth it? how would it compare to the loader of the 1025 as far as lifting capabilities? I need a mower and could really use a loader but I feel the 1025 is a bit too big and not for me. I have 1.5 acres mostly all grass that I mow with lots of things to cut around i really like the aws of the x739 for that reason. the tractors number 1 use will be mowing that's another reason i like it over the 1025 it will give a better cut. the loader will be used for light use i.e. stone , mulch , dirt etc. no digging. i have a 60" zero now and i hate it i guess im just old school and prefer a tractor.
If you're using it for light work, you might consider a little buck loader...

Front end loaders for John Deere tractors | Little Buck Loader
 

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I looked at the 1023e and the x739 both side-by-side. I test drove both of them around all the others on the lot, as if mowing around obstacles. The x739 did it with ease. The 1023e needed lots of re-positioning. Since I was going to be using it for mainly mowing, I bought the x739. And I'm glad I did. The 4-wheel steer makes mowing go smoothly from start to finish. Now, like you, I'm looking into getting either the Little Bucket loader, or the CTC. I like the ergonomics of the Little Bucket Loader, but I don't think it would live up to my expectations considering the grade of steel they're made from given the price. At that point I decided to contact my dealer and ask if my putting the CTC Loader would nullify the warranty. He said absolutely not. But, he did state that if while using the CTC loader, and the front axle breaks from heavy load, it would not be covered by the warranty. Makes sense to me. At that point I sent an email to CTC to inquire of a loader to fit the 2018 x739. Rod got back in touch with me to confirm they do. For now, I'm going to hold off on ordering. Maybe next year.

Good topic
 

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. At that point I decided to contact my dealer and ask if my putting the CTC Loader would nullify the warranty. He said absolutely not. But, he did state that if while using the CTC loader, and the front axle breaks from heavy load, it would not be covered by the warranty.
That's good to hear that the dealer did not automatically dismiss you due to the aftermarket loader. I am also interested in a future loader for light work (mulch, dirt, etc.). The CTC loader is pretty expensive, but people seem to like them. I think the little buck loader would fit the bill, but I am concerned about your post regarding the steel quality. I guess I'll revisit the topic in a couple years as I'm fine for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was just at my local dealership comparing the 2 and while they are similar in overall size the rear steer of the 739 puts that tractor at a major advantage for me. I was not able to test drive either of them which kinda sucked maybe over the weekend I will try other dealerships. for me and for what im looking to do I think the 739 with the ctc loader is the perfect setup. I did look into the other loaders for the 7 series while they are cheaper I think you get what you pay for in this case. the ctc loader looks like it is built much better and has a larger bucket. would still like to hear if someone has that setup.
 

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Let me start by saying everyone is going to be slightly biased for the route they went but part of that decision process is evaluating how you are going to use something so that may eliminate one solution from one person but not for another. I will try and be as unbiased as possible but this is how I evaluated my selection. It may differ from your use and selection. Same goes for others here.

Sit down, grab a tasty beverage because this will be long. Sorry...

I would ask CTC about specific fitment questions with your machine in particular.

I have a CTC on my X585 so I can comment on the overall usefulness of it. There are pros and cons with everything. You have to evaluate what you are trying to do with a FEL and determine if it will work in your use case.

In general there are a couple options.

John Deere 45 Series FEL - Discontinued but they pop up every now and then on the used market. Normally on a machine and if a machine has one most people are not willing to separate. You will likely have to do a custom mount for the pass through bracket on the frame. It has been done. I will leave it at that. It will be hard to find the FEL though.

CTC - probably the most available option since the 45 is a tough thing to find. Never used a 45 personally so I can't say for sure the differences in capabilities. There are a few things I will note a little further down.

Little Bucket Loader - Never really looked at them that hard.

Johnny Bucket I will provide a link for this one because the link for the Little Bucket was provided above and you must have the CTC link.

First off, using a FEL with a AWS tractor. My understanding is that JD officially never supported or allowed this. There is some inherit instability risks that a solid rear axle mitigates a bit which is part of the reasoning also the linkages which may or may not interfere depending on the option you went it. This isn't to say that putting a FEL on a AWS tractor will immediately cause it to flip over or that no one has ever done it. Just to point out that JD was a but deliberate in not offering it on AWS models. On that same note the X739 is AWD but they also have always said to use 4WD when using a FEL. This is in part because if you lifted too much which unloaded the rear tires you would loose the ability to steer or stop which could be dangerous on a slope. The X series machines do not have a ROPS for protection in the event of a roll over. This is a very real risk because the front axle pivots so if you tip forward, the load can start to roll the machine very quickly. So, assess what level of risk is acceptable and no matter the type of machine be sure to address ballast as a factor.

I would start this by assessing what your intent for a FEL is. For me I want to be able to lift things pretty high. For instance I put a generator on our camper quite a bit, I need a good 4' of lift height of a 150# generator. I also use it for moving things like my quick hitch with blade when I put it up on a shelf for storage in a building or my snow blower. That eliminated the Johnny Bucket. The Johnny Bucket might be fine for moving some mulch or dirt but doesn't have that lift height I need. I also lift pretty heavy stuff and even with a modified X585 I will max it out quite a bit hauling loads of dirt and other stuff. Based on how the weight is carried, I was hesitant on the design of the Little Bucket Loader. I am sure it works well for many people out there but I was concerned about how far forward the weight is carried. The CTC and 45 use a bar that passes through the frame to carry some of the weight in the middle of the machine. For me that had me focus on the discontinued 45 FEL or a CTC.

When we I first got the CTC there are some parts that need to be swapped. There is a pressure relief that needs to be changed out on the transaxle. This will require removing the fenders and fuel tank to get down to the top of the transaxle. As well as the bar that is used to freewheel the machine. It isn't hard work but it needs to be done. My understanding is that it protects the transaxle from pressure spikes if you are carrying a heavy load and lower the arms but stop before a the bucket hits the ground or something with the driveline. I don't remember exactly but don't run a 45 or CTC without doing this change or you run the risk of breaking something expensive that isn't covered under warranty. At that point in time I knew people were re-shimming the Implement Pressure Relief. May machine had an expired warranty anyhow so I should have done this change at the time but I didn't. It will likely void your warranty so keep that in mind. I thought I would try it with stock implement pressure and see how it worked. I wasn't happy with the CTC. If I had a full bucket of dirt it couldn't lift it. At that point in time I didn't worry about ballast all that much because it really couldn't lift much. I would say 200-300# but never actually put anything that I knew how much it weighed to rate it. Eventually I gave in and re-shimmed the implement pressure relief. The process is well documented and I think I went from 900 PSI to 1200 PSI. This was a night and day difference with the CTC. I went from not being able to pick up a bucket of dirt and not worrying about ballast to I fluid filled my back tires and use either a box blade or a heavy hitch with suitcase weights for ballast because it will lift the back wheels with ease. This is not only dangerous from a rollover and loss of control perspective but it also overloads the front axle and you run the risk of breaking it.

Other thoughts.

I found that while I liked the CTC, I didn't use it that much. Here is the problem. Most of my use is needing to move a heavy object. They may have changed the design a bit since I got mine but it will take 10-15 minutes by the time I would go down to where it was stored and put it on. From what I have seen in videos the 45 FEL goes on quicker. This of course also includes adding ballast. Well if I have the 3pt arms off it might even take longer. Then another 10 minutes to go and take it off. So it is going to take a minimum of 20 minutes of screwing around to put it on and take it off to move some heavy random object. I found I would often just go move it by hand. One might ask why I kept taking it off? I can have the mower and the FEL on at the same time which is very true. Here is the issue with that. First off my yard is has some grade to it and I mow a ditch. We also have quite a few trees. While you can mow with a FEL on the machine, it raises the center of gravity quite a bit. I have almost rolled my X585 a couple times trying to mow with a FEL on. The X has no ROPS as mentioned before, with all the weight it will kill you. With the 3pt/heavy hitch/suitcase weights and fluid filled tires my X585 weighs at least 1500#. Also it sticks out in front of the machine so far because the bucket doesn't come off the arms, that it is hard to get close to trees. So it adds a lot of time to mowing. Unless your ground it flat with few trees, you are better off taking it off. AWS might help with the trees. Not sure. I mow all the time. I don't use the FEL all the time. Because of the time to put it on I used the FEL even less unless it was a bigger project like cutting up a tree or turning the compost pile. The next issue is that the X Series only has two SCV levers. So, when you dump the bucket you also lower the mower deck and 3pt arms. This is kind of a pain. You can lock out the 3pt by turning the lower limit up (which is a PITA) and the same with the mower deck (not hard). This was always an issue in the compost pile. I could take off the mower deck but the auto-connect mower wasn't a thing back then.

I finally got to a decision point. The X585 had a few small issues. I didn't have time to work straight through them. At best it would be a couple weeks if nights and weekends to refresh it. Need it for mowing in the summer and can't predict snow in the winter far enough out to get by. I looked at other options and decided a new machine of some sort was in order. I really considered a 1 Series. It has ROPS for safety. You can get independent control over 3pt and other stuff. Auto-connect deck solves taking it off for compost pile work. The deal killer was at the time they only had the 3 bag collection system. I considered a X739 and keep the X585 for dedicated FEL work. I could get another quick hitch and put the blade on the X739 for plowing and blower on the X585 if needed but realistically that change over is pretty rare and easy. A X739 doesn't buy me much other than a dedicated mower and dedicated FEL. If that is how I am using it I am better off going with something else. So I went Z950R with the collection system. This sped up my mowing and gave me a much better collection system. A steel construction powerflow head vs plastic on the X and 1 series. Now that I have a dedicated FEL machine, I use it a lot more. This is a game changer now. Once the Z is paid off I will be looking at probably a 3 series. Let say that were to take place now, I would probably get a 3025E. I don't need mid PTO because I mow with the Z and would use a snow pusher on the FEL with a rear blower for rare use. That bumps me to full CAT 1 3pt and 1000# lift capability on the FEL from where I am at right now of around 500#.

Getting back to your questions. It will kind of depend on your use. I would personally probably go 1 series. It won't mow as well as a X but if you are looking at a new machine and a FEL I wouldn't mess with a X Series. While they can do FEL work, they really can't do that much without voiding the warranty by shimming the implement pressure relief. You still have other issues like being limited to 2 SCV and a hassle messing around with limiting motion on parts. You are going to have to address ballast and the best way is with a 3pt. On top of that the 1 Series will have a removable bucket so you can use other things like a grapple. By the time you get the FEL, 3pt and other stuff to make it work, you are probably going to find that a 1 series was a cheaper and easier solution that has a warranty. If shopping used market that changes things a bit. Some people have done H3 conversions to X machines. I considered it but in the end I am better off looking at something bigger. You just have to sit down and see how you use it. There are many people out there completely happy with a Johnny Bucket or Little Bucket Loaders. If you are only trying to retire a wheel burrow then they may be fine. A CTC or 45 FEL will do a lot more than that though. Not to slam the other products as I am sure people are happy with them and if it was a decision between nothing or one of the other options, I would probably go that route as well. It is just for me they might only cover 40% or less of my use cases.

Now a few points on my CTC. I have had some issues with it. Some of this may have been addressed with newer revisions. I think we have had it for 5-6 years now. Mine attaches with bolts that have been modified into pins. These can be tricky to align to the front of the frame where it attaches. That is why it takes longer to mount than a 45. It isn't a spring loaded pin like on a quick hitch. Though this design may have changed. At some point I managed to tweak the frame and bucket on mine. The frame I really don't know. There is about a 4" wide steel section I bent. I noticed this because I couldn't get the pins to align anymore. I heated it, used clamps to pull it back in line and welded on more steed to reinforce this part. I will add pics if I find them. I also bent to top edge of my bucket. I did this from having a hook on the bucket and from lifting stuff that is too heavy. I welded in a section of 1" black pipe that I had laying around after heating and beating the bucket back into shape. It is much stronger now. I have read of other strength comments on the CTC before but no details on what people have had to fix. Those are the only real issues I have had and with some scrap steel, a torch and welder I fixed them and painted stuff back up.

Kind of long but hope it helps.











 

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I looked at the 1023e and the x739 both side-by-side. I test drove both of them around all the others on the lot, as if mowing around obstacles. The x739 did it with ease. The 1023e needed lots of re-positioning. Since I was going to be using it for mainly mowing, I bought the x739. And I'm glad I did. The 4-wheel steer makes mowing go smoothly from start to finish. Now, like you, I'm looking into getting either the Little Bucket loader, or the CTC. I like the ergonomics of the Little Bucket Loader, but I don't think it would live up to my expectations considering the grade of steel they're made from given the price. At that point I decided to contact my dealer and ask if my putting the CTC Loader would nullify the warranty. He said absolutely not. But, he did state that if while using the CTC loader, and the front axle breaks from heavy load, it would not be covered by the warranty. Makes sense to me. At that point I sent an email to CTC to inquire of a loader to fit the 2018 x739. Rod got back in touch with me to confirm they do. For now, I'm going to hold off on ordering. Maybe next year.

Good topic
That's good to hear that the dealer did not automatically dismiss you due to the aftermarket loader. I am also interested in a future loader for light work (mulch, dirt, etc.). The CTC loader is pretty expensive, but people seem to like them. I think the little buck loader would fit the bill, but I am concerned about your post regarding the steel quality. I guess I'll revisit the topic in a couple years as I'm fine for now.
Keep in mind that while this is true, you won't void the warranty, I found the CTC very limiting unless you also re-shim the implement pressure relief. That will void your warranty at least on the transaxle which is also very expensive. I think the X739 also uses the K92 transaxle. I have read lots of stuff on this and it sounds like it can safely take 1500PSI. I went to about 1200PSI to stay safe and have been fine.

EDIT: per my signature I guess I went to 1175. Close enough to 1200.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Let me start by saying everyone is going to be slightly biased for the route they went but part of that decision process is evaluating how you are going to use something so that may eliminate one solution from one person but not for another. I will try and be as unbiased as possible but this is how I evaluated my selection. It may differ from your use and selection. Same goes for others here.

Sit down, grab a tasty beverage because this will be long. Sorry...

I would ask CTC about specific fitment questions with your machine in particular.

I have a CTC on my X585 so I can comment on the overall usefulness of it. There are pros and cons with everything. You have to evaluate what you are trying to do with a FEL and determine if it will work in your use case.

In general there are a couple options.

John Deere 45 Series FEL - Discontinued but they pop up every now and then on the used market. Normally on a machine and if a machine has one most people are not willing to separate. You will likely have to do a custom mount for the pass through bracket on the frame. It has been done. I will leave it at that. It will be hard to find the FEL though.

CTC - probably the most available option since the 45 is a tough thing to find. Never used a 45 personally so I can't say for sure the differences in capabilities. There are a few things I will note a little further down.

Little Bucket Loader - Never really looked at them that hard.

Johnny Bucket I will provide a link for this one because the link for the Little Bucket was provided above and you must have the CTC link.

First off, using a FEL with a AWS tractor. My understanding is that JD officially never supported or allowed this. There is some inherit instability risks that a solid rear axle mitigates a bit which is part of the reasoning also the linkages which may or may not interfere depending on the option you went it. This isn't to say that putting a FEL on a AWS tractor will immediately cause it to flip over or that no one has ever done it. Just to point out that JD was a but deliberate in not offering it on AWS models. On that same note the X739 is AWD but they also have always said to use 4WD when using a FEL. This is in part because if you lifted too much which unloaded the rear tires you would loose the ability to steer or stop which could be dangerous on a slope. The X series machines do not have a ROPS for protection in the event of a roll over. This is a very real risk because the front axle pivots so if you tip forward, the load can start to roll the machine very quickly. So, assess what level of risk is acceptable and no matter the type of machine be sure to address ballast as a factor.

I would start this by assessing what your intent for a FEL is. For me I want to be able to lift things pretty high. For instance I put a generator on our camper quite a bit, I need a good 4' of lift height of a 150# generator. I also use it for moving things like my quick hitch with blade when I put it up on a shelf for storage in a building or my snow blower. That eliminated the Johnny Bucket. The Johnny Bucket might be fine for moving some mulch or dirt but doesn't have that lift height I need. I also lift pretty heavy stuff and even with a modified X585 I will max it out quite a bit hauling loads of dirt and other stuff. Based on how the weight is carried, I was hesitant on the design of the Little Bucket Loader. I am sure it works well for many people out there but I was concerned about how far forward the weight is carried. The CTC and 45 use a bar that passes through the frame to carry some of the weight in the middle of the machine. For me that had me focus on the discontinued 45 FEL or a CTC.

When we I first got the CTC there are some parts that need to be swapped. There is a pressure relief that needs to be changed out on the transaxle. This will require removing the fenders and fuel tank to get down to the top of the transaxle. As well as the bar that is used to freewheel the machine. It isn't hard work but it needs to be done. My understanding is that it protects the transaxle from pressure spikes if you are carrying a heavy load and lower the arms but stop before a the bucket hits the ground or something with the driveline. I don't remember exactly but don't run a 45 or CTC without doing this change or you run the risk of breaking something expensive that isn't covered under warranty. At that point in time I knew people were re-shimming the Implement Pressure Relief. May machine had an expired warranty anyhow so I should have done this change at the time but I didn't. It will likely void your warranty so keep that in mind. I thought I would try it with stock implement pressure and see how it worked. I wasn't happy with the CTC. If I had a full bucket of dirt it couldn't lift it. At that point in time I didn't worry about ballast all that much because it really couldn't lift much. I would say 200-300# but never actually put anything that I knew how much it weighed to rate it. Eventually I gave in and re-shimmed the implement pressure relief. The process is well documented and I think I went from 900 PSI to 1200 PSI. This was a night and day difference with the CTC. I went from not being able to pick up a bucket of dirt and not worrying about ballast to I fluid filled my back tires and use either a box blade or a heavy hitch with suitcase weights for ballast because it will lift the back wheels with ease. This is not only dangerous from a rollover and loss of control perspective but it also overloads the front axle and you run the risk of breaking it.

Other thoughts.

I found that while I liked the CTC, I didn't use it that much. Here is the problem. Most of my use is needing to move a heavy object. They may have changed the design a bit since I got mine but it will take 10-15 minutes by the time I would go down to where it was stored and put it on. From what I have seen in videos the 45 FEL goes on quicker. This of course also includes adding ballast. Well if I have the 3pt arms off it might even take longer. Then another 10 minutes to go and take it off. So it is going to take a minimum of 20 minutes of screwing around to put it on and take it off to move some heavy random object. I found I would often just go move it by hand. One might ask why I kept taking it off? I can have the mower and the FEL on at the same time which is very true. Here is the issue with that. First off my yard is has some grade to it and I mow a ditch. We also have quite a few trees. While you can mow with a FEL on the machine, it raises the center of gravity quite a bit. I have almost rolled my X585 a couple times trying to mow with a FEL on. The X has no ROPS as mentioned before, with all the weight it will kill you. With the 3pt/heavy hitch/suitcase weights and fluid filled tires my X585 weighs at least 1500#. Also it sticks out in front of the machine so far because the bucket doesn't come off the arms, that it is hard to get close to trees. So it adds a lot of time to mowing. Unless your ground it flat with few trees, you are better off taking it off. AWS might help with the trees. Not sure. I mow all the time. I don't use the FEL all the time. Because of the time to put it on I used the FEL even less unless it was a bigger project like cutting up a tree or turning the compost pile. The next issue is that the X Series only has two SCV levers. So, when you dump the bucket you also lower the mower deck and 3pt arms. This is kind of a pain. You can lock out the 3pt by turning the lower limit up (which is a PITA) and the same with the mower deck (not hard). This was always an issue in the compost pile. I could take off the mower deck but the auto-connect mower wasn't a thing back then.

I finally got to a decision point. The X585 had a few small issues. I didn't have time to work straight through them. At best it would be a couple weeks if nights and weekends to refresh it. Need it for mowing in the summer and can't predict snow in the winter far enough out to get by. I looked at other options and decided a new machine of some sort was in order. I really considered a 1 Series. It has ROPS for safety. You can get independent control over 3pt and other stuff. Auto-connect deck solves taking it off for compost pile work. The deal killer was at the time they only had the 3 bag collection system. I considered a X739 and keep the X585 for dedicated FEL work. I could get another quick hitch and put the blade on the X739 for plowing and blower on the X585 if needed but realistically that change over is pretty rare and easy. A X739 doesn't buy me much other than a dedicated mower and dedicated FEL. If that is how I am using it I am better off going with something else. So I went Z950R with the collection system. This sped up my mowing and gave me a much better collection system. A steel construction powerflow head vs plastic on the X and 1 series. Now that I have a dedicated FEL machine, I use it a lot more. This is a game changer now. Once the Z is paid off I will be looking at probably a 3 series. Let say that were to take place now, I would probably get a 3025E. I don't need mid PTO because I mow with the Z and would use a snow pusher on the FEL with a rear blower for rare use. That bumps me to full CAT 1 3pt and 1000# lift capability on the FEL from where I am at right now of around 500#.

Getting back to your questions. It will kind of depend on your use. I would personally probably go 1 series. It won't mow as well as a X but if you are looking at a new machine and a FEL I wouldn't mess with a X Series. While they can do FEL work, they really can't do that much without voiding the warranty by shimming the implement pressure relief. You still have other issues like being limited to 2 SCV and a hassle messing around with limiting motion on parts. You are going to have to address ballast and the best way is with a 3pt. On top of that the 1 Series will have a removable bucket so you can use other things like a grapple. By the time you get the FEL, 3pt and other stuff to make it work, you are probably going to find that a 1 series was a cheaper and easier solution that has a warranty. If shopping used market that changes things a bit. Some people have done H3 conversions to X machines. I considered it but in the end I am better off looking at something bigger. You just have to sit down and see how you use it. There are many people out there completely happy with a Johnny Bucket or Little Bucket Loaders. If you are only trying to retire a wheel burrow then they may be fine. A CTC or 45 FEL will do a lot more than that though. Not to slam the other products as I am sure people are happy with them and if it was a decision between nothing or one of the other options, I would probably go that route as well. It is just for me they might only cover 40% or less of my use cases.

Now a few points on my CTC. I have had some issues with it. Some of this may have been addressed with newer revisions. I think we have had it for 5-6 years now. Mine attaches with bolts that have been modified into pins. These can be tricky to align to the front of the frame where it attaches. That is why it takes longer to mount than a 45. It isn't a spring loaded pin like on a quick hitch. Though this design may have changed. At some point I managed to tweak the frame and bucket on mine. The frame I really don't know. There is about a 4" wide steel section I bent. I noticed this because I couldn't get the pins to align anymore. I heated it, used clamps to pull it back in line and welded on more steed to reinforce this part. I will add pics if I find them. I also bent to top edge of my bucket. I did this from having a hook on the bucket and from lifting stuff that is too heavy. I welded in a section of 1" black pipe that I had laying around after heating and beating the bucket back into shape. It is much stronger now. I have read of other strength comments on the CTC before but no details on what people have had to fix. Those are the only real issues I have had and with some scrap steel, a torch and welder I fixed them and painted stuff back up.

Kind of long but hope it helps.












holy hell now that's a reply!!! thank you so much for taking the time to post that for me I found it to be VERY helpful and made me see things I did not realize. I really have no clue what im going to do now.
 

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holy hell now that's a reply!!! thank you so much for taking the time to post that for me I found it to be VERY helpful and made me see things I did not realize. I really have no clue what im going to do now.
No problem. Let me know if you have any questions here or in PM.

There isn't a right answer. It took a while to write and there were more posts where some other stuff was clarified in how you will use it.

I am not dissapointed in the CTC in any way. I have had some minor issues but I fixed them as stated and they were not that big of a deal. But I wasn't happy with it when I initially ran it without the modified transaxle which is something to seriously consider if dealing with a new machine. My X585 is an 02 and if you are not familiar with it, they renumbered stuff a while back so it is equivalent to a X738 in today's numbering but with select 4wd rather than full time. Nothing like a current X5xx. So basically the same thing as a X739 but without 4ws.

For me it came down to limitations in mowing with it on, limitations to the X series in general in terms of 2 SCV and change over time to mount it and take it off. I think I read that they use a spring pin for the front attachment now which would speed the process. Not 100% sure though. I am relatively happy right now but I would like a bigger machine with full CAT 1 3pt and independent control over 3pt from dump on the bucket. I don't put the mower deck on anymore since it is retired form that. It would also be nice to have a quick attach on the FEL so I could go from bucket to grapple, snow pusher or other devices. For me if I had to live with one machine it would be a 1 Series. It is much easier to take the FEL off a 1 Series for the times you don't need it and put it back on for a quick job. They fixed the collection system now that they have a hopper. Of course it came out 6 months or so after I bought my Z950R. Overall I am still glad I went the way I did because I can go for a 3 series.

I don't think there are a lot of people here that actually have a CTC to speak for how they work. There are several people with the 45 FEL as well as some with the other two options.
 

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Sometimes the best machine for the job is actually the BEST MACHINE for YOUR job or task......

Personally, I thought those who had the 1 series and didn't use or even own the MMM were nuts. Well, Now I am officially nuts and I have never been happier mowing and doing all of the other tasks.

One thing that these multi purpose machines do is they are great at doing a bunch of things, just not doing all or many of them exceptionally. Yes, the FEL works, but nothing like a small Bobcat or designated "bucket" machine. The speed, capabilities, etc hamstring it compared to a designated bucket machine.

But most of us use the FEL for a variety of "occasional tasks" and the point of the FEL is to make it easier to do these tasks. The SCUT with the FEL isn't the best machine for the bucket duties, but it does them and many more "occasional tasks" such as snow plowing, snow blowing, MMM mowing, debris clean up and the list goes on and on.

If your primary task is mowing, then focus on getting the BEST mowing machine that meets your goals, budget, etc. and that you have test driven and like the machine. If that means ending up owning a x739 to mow with and a 1 series with the FEL to do the other tasks, then maybe that isn't such a bad way to go.

Using a "compromise machine" for an occasional task is certainly better than doing it manually or "by hand". But using a "compromise machine" for your PRIMARY task can be downright annoying and leave you always thinking "What about this machine with that option" or "What about adding this implement or attachment to my current machine?" There is certainly nothing wrong with all the "What if"s", but in reality, at the end of the day, it's our financial budgets or storage space or other constraints which actually may be inposing the limits on us.

I didn't want to mow with my 1025r because I wanted to have the Mauser cab. I was concerned about the weight of the machine, its stability on some dicey areas I mow and I didn't want to get it into the limbs or trees and scratch it all up or otherwise damage it by tearing off the tail lights, etc. Then, I started rethinking the entire purchase and maybe I should forgo the Mauser Cab. Fortunately, my wife, Mrs. Bear, stepped in and said "Absolutely NOT. If you are buying a new tractor, you MUST get the cab based upon the amount of time you spend plowing snow and out in the winter elements." She was right, last winter I put 165 hours on my tractor plowing snow from Dec 6th to March 15th.

Well, being a wise man, I listened to her and ordered my 1 series with everything I wanted, which is listed in my Signature, but I did NOT order the MMM and instead, I bought a Commercial Zero Turn Mower. I couldn't be happier with my decision. The ExMark Lazer is an outstanding mowing machine and is extremely efficient. The mowing cut quality is superb and in fact, it has already brought 5 neighbors lawns to me for their mowing. While I wasn't looking for more to do, the mowing adds about $400 per week in pocket money. Truth is, the neighbors are reimbursing me for the $12k I spent on the mower at the tune of about $1,700 per month right now. It won't take long and the money I spent on the mower will be recovered .

So, my advise is to focus on the main task you plan on doing with that machine. Get the machine which does that task the best. The consider all of your other tasks and perhaps a used 1025r with a FEL and an implement or two might just fit the bill. Reality is you can buy a used 1 series, and most have a FEL, for $10k or so. The Auto connect MMM for the 1 series is about $3,500. On the other hand, the x739 with the 54" deck retails for around $13k and I am sure you can buy one for less than that.

John Deere is offering the 0% for 60 months and a $500 "savings" on the purchase. So, if you finance it, for every $1,000 you finance, the payment is $16.66 per month. Finance $13,000 and the monthly payment is $217 per month.

You can spend a lot of money in a hurry on implements and attachments. In my purchase, the actual tractor was about 30% of the total amount of money I spent. The implements add up quickly.

One last point, while the changing of implements is fairly easy, it's also handy if your not using the same machine for mowing as you would other tasks. with my 1 series, the implement I use the most is the FEL with the pallet forks. The bucket would be second and the carry all platform I made for the 3 point hitch is very handy. This time of year, I have the 45 gallon 3 pt sprayer on the tractor often, probably once a week for either spraying weeds or using the tank and hose for watering plants before I fire up the under ground sprinkling.

I leave the FEL on my 1 series all the time, but most wouldn't want to mow with the added weight and the clearance issues with the loader bucket sticking out in front of you. Plus, if you were mowing with the FEL on your tractor, you are carrying all of the extra weight and wearing steering components turning back and forth at the end of every row you mow. So, in the long term, by leaving the FEL on the machine all of the time, its actually adding the weight to mowing and also just the wear on the components. Putting the FEL on and Off isn't hard, but it is "One more Thing".....Plus you have to have a place to set it or store it when it's not on the machine.

So having two machines is very handy. Since you don't like your Zero turn mower, sell or trade that for the mowing machine you really want. In the end, I would make sure to have the best machine to do my primary task as efficiently and comfortably as possible. Then I would focus on the other tasks in order of importance. Just don't rule out having another machine instead of trying to add after market implements. In the end, it might work out even better and be the best use of money........
 

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Thank you sennister for taking that great deal of time to write what you have for those (us/me) who are interested in adding the CTC to the x739. What you've written is very in-depth on every aspect to take into consideration. You Sir, are a man of many words in sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your time in doing so. I read through it once. I plane to re-read it several more time for better absorption.

One again, Thanks.

Boonie
 

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Thanks for posting SulleyBear.

I have a friend who has a JD tractor with all the implements. This is why I decided not the get a SCUT. We live on 3/4 acre. 1/3rd of that being trees across a stream that I have not made accessable because it would be too much work, time, and money to make it sensible. My x739 was my first liking in the x700 series because of the AWS. We don't get snow where we are very much, that stops us from getting anywhere. Occasionally we get a foot at most. For that I have a 54" plow if needed. Which I have used in the past when it was on my 140H3. It was a PITA to operate in small spaces while trying to be an octopus. It got the job done though. I went from a 98 Craftsman GT3000 with a 48" deck that served us well with 20 years, to the x739. Our property is flat. I don't need 4x4. For that matter, I could have gotten the x590 and it would have done the same thing for me for lesser money. After adding Powerflow and the aluminum 2-bin (self dumping) into the equation, it was near the x739 cost. That's when I reconsidered going bigger. For 20 years I been fighting a clogged grass chute when things wet. Get off, clean it out, 5 minutes later rinse-repeat. I'm getting too old to be fighting that situation every year. So, the reasoning for me in getting the x739. I got a bad back, bad knees, bad hips. Hell, my brain say do it. When I get to adding the motion into the thought, my body say WHOA. Not so fast..NOT SO FAST. So my plan of attack concerning mowing is I'm going to mulch it as much as possible. Rain or shine. The 54HC drive over deck, that makes things easier to remove the deck and clean it for winter. That was a BIG selling point for my stepping up from the x500 series. I don't "need" a CTC FEL, my buddy comes over and does the grunt work with his tractor. I'll likely end up getting the Buford Bucket or the Little Buck loader and be perfectly content.


By the way, what are all the options available?
I like the Buford Bucket concept for what it is, but are there any other options out there to consider?
 

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Thank you sennister for taking that great deal of time to write what you have for those (us/me) who are interested in adding the CTC to the x739. What you've written is very in-depth on every aspect to take into consideration. You Sir, are a man of many words in sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your time in doing so. I read through it once. I plane to re-read it several more time for better absorption.

One again, Thanks.

Boonie
Not a problem. Keep in mind I wrote that over a couple hours a little here and there so please excuse any rambling or poorly worded areas. I didn't go back and read it again.

As I offered the other member if there is anything you would like clarification on or have any questions, ask away. I have used the CTC for several years but that also means they may have some design improvements. While my machine is very similar to a X739, I don't have AWS so my initial installation process may have been a bit different. Also design changes may have changed the connection and removal process. I will say based on videos I have seen, the 45 can be removed pretty much from the seat of the tractor with the exception of the hydraulic hoses. That isn't the case with the CTC. At least not my generation.

I do think it is a good product but it really does take re-shimming the implement pressure relief to do so and with a machine under warranty that may be a tough choice.

While I would still recommend the 1 Series, SulleyBear makes some good points in that none of these machines will do everything perfectly. It is impossible to make a machine that will do a wide range of tasks good and impossible to make one that is the best at everything when the tasks are very different. There are times where you should look at where the use case is, maybe mowing grass and maybe it makes sense to sacrifice some capability in the other areas to have a machine better at that one task that sees the most time. You have to ask yourself if the degraded mowing on a 1 compared to a X7xx is worth the other capabilities. That isn't an answer anyone here can give you. It actually gets easier if you were looking at a bigger machine. Say something in the 2 series. The mid mount mower decks start getting so expensive and those machines are so much more heavy that by skipping a MMM you can buy a smaller mower. Easily if you are looking on the used market.

If it is the weight of a 1 that is scaring you off, realistically they are not that much heavier. I think they are around 1500# and a X739 is probably close to 1000#. If you add wheel weights or fluid filled tires to the X for ballast, then you are going to be getting really close to the weight of the 1 Series. One other thing to note. I have been happy with my Kawasaki engine in my X but a diesel is going to last longer. In the long term I would imagine a 1 Series will hold its value better. The costs factor, if you start looking at 3 pt hitch and rear PTO and CTC on a X739 you may find the 1 Series comes with that and after adding a FEL it might actually be less expensive. They will be closer if you don't need the rear PTO.
 

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Thank you sennister for taking that great deal of time to write what you have for those (us/me) who are interested in adding the CTC to the x739. What you've written is very in-depth on every aspect to take into consideration. You Sir, are a man of many words in sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your time in doing so. I read through it once. I plane to re-read it several more time for better absorption.

One again, Thanks.

Boonie
Some Points as well. I own Both a 1025R TLB and a X748 with a 45 Loader. I have used the 45 Loader for 15 years.

Without shimming the relief Valve You Can Lift about 700Lbs to 36inches to Max Height it is Only 375Lbs It basically the same for the CTC Loader Now shimming I don't recommend above 1300.

Prior to the Signature series coming Out The CTC Loader could actually Void Deere's warranty Because it has actually Happened a few Times In the Past. Deere is a little weird if They don't Make a attachment for there Tractor they don't seem to care as Much if You Go with a aftermarket attachments and it won't Void the warranty today

sennister pointed out You will need a different Valve and Handle to use the Loader

BW15044 TRANSAXLE HYDROSTATIC RELIEF VALVE 4WD or AWD

M146148 free-wheeling valve control lever is also required. 2WD or 4WD & AWD

And I suggest getting a AM134625 Lock out Valve if You don't already Have One It diverts Hydraulic Fluid to your Outlets and You will have better Loader Performance Now if You Have a 3point Hitch with Deere's OEM Lock out Valve the 3 point hitch will continue to Move Because Deere's Lock out Valve is really a divert-er Valve If You truly want to Lock it Out a aftermarket Lock out Valve from Aux Hydraulics will actually Lock it out https://www.auxhyd.com/Heavy-Duty-Lockout-Valve-Loader-Lift-Applications-X465-X749-PXLockout2.htm With the OEM Lock out Valve on and a 3point Hitch You will need to Manually Lock up your 3 point hitch with the Depth Stop on the 3 point Hitch.

Personally I have never shimmed the Valve On either My X485 or X748 which I had or Have a 45 Loader Mounted To Unless You Need to Lift 700lbs to Max Height which I have found I have never Needed to. I could lift a Full bucket of Gravel over a 48inch chain link fence

If You Going with a Loader I do suggest getting a True Ballast Box and Not Just going with the 6 suitcase weight Bracket. You will find if You use enough Ballast that the Loader does Perform Better. For Light Jobs such as Mulch Moving the click N Go 6 suitcase weight Bracket is fine. For Heavier items

As Far as using a Loader On AWS/AWD they actually do Perform well You just Have to be a little More Careful when Backing and don't turn real Sharpe and you will be fine over On another forum Called MTF John Deere 45 FEL and AWS - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information Look Up a X729 with 45 Loader and You will find a lot of Information on using a Loader with AWS

Now as to CTC Most Issues Have been with the fitment of the Loader On the 425 thru X700 signature series

Some of His Older Loader for the 318,322,332,420 & 430 He did try a PTO Pump version for those tractor which was a real Bad design Most aftermarket Manufactures Like Kwik-way or Deere's own 44 Loader Had a Better Pump design to Hold the Pump Pulley His design only used 1 set screw to Hold the Pulley On the Pump while Kwik-way and Deere used 3 set screws.

The owner is Not easy to deal with from the company He actually does need to work on His People skills. I dealt with Him for a friends CTC Loader On a X495 The fitment was Pretty Bad My friend actually had to widen the Holes On his Tractor frame for the Loader to actually Mount.The owner will actually treat You Like Your a Idiot if Your run into fitment issues. Keep In Mind My friend is a Mechanical engineer who use to Design Tractors for Garden-way Back In the early 1990's So He knew a thing or two about How a Loader should fit on a Garden tractor. I just Happen to Be The Monkey In the Middle actually on the Phone with CTC's owner. And we are Not the Only People that had a Problem with Him.

In the Last few Year he started designing a Loader to work On the 318,322,332,420 using the Tractors On Board Hydraulics well those Tractors don't Have a Large enough Pump in the Transmission to run a Bucket Loader so Performance On those tractors is very iffy at Best. Last year a Member at MTF Bought a Loader for His 300 series and the fitment was way Off. After Being berated By the Own He did finally Take the Loader Back.

So Be Leary if You Have a Problem with the fitment. But really he is about the Only choice You Have Unless You can find a 45 Loader and Make Your Own sub frame for it Another 45 Loader Tale - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

Even after My Incident with CTC I still considered Getting a CTC Loader for a X758 Back In 2014. But found a great deal On a 2012 X748 and just Kept My 45 Loader. Which I still use More than My 1025R with H120 Loader.

Bought the 1025R Just for the Backhoe Next week I finally be Ordering a 2025R TLB Because I want a Little Higher Ground clearance and a Bit More Lift In the 3point for certain attachments and a Better Backhoe IMHO the 260B

The X739 Is More than Capable of running a Loader with In certain Limitations For the average acreage owner.

Tractor forums always seem to go with Bigger is Better. But I have found In reality that is not always the Case
:bigthumb:
 

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I use forums like this, or any other for "food-for-thought" reference. Places like this are good, given the sole intent.
I'll probably not mess with the CTC and go with the Buford Bucket. The more I think about things, and read up, the less money I try to spend.
The Buford Bucket will keep me away from my wheelbarrow and shovel. That's about all it would be used for, landscaping and whatnot.
 

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I use forums like this, or any other for "food-for-thought" reference. Places like this are good, given the sole intent.
I'll probably not mess with the CTC and go with the Buford Bucket. The more I think about things, and read up, the less money I try to spend.
The Buford Bucket will keep me away from my wheelbarrow and shovel. That's about all it would be used for, landscaping and whatnot.
I know that little buck loader has a formal website, but the Buford Bucket does not. Is the gentleman still making the Buford Bucket and is it of higher quality than the little buck loader?
 

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I'm not real impressed by the looks (mainly the thickness) of the steel used to build the Little Buck Loader.
My contractor grade wheelbarrow looks tougher than that thing.

Here's the contact info.
Buford Bucket Manufacturer
[email protected]
 

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I'm not real impressed by the looks (mainly the thickness) of the steel used to build the Little Buck Loader.
My contractor grade wheelbarrow looks tougher than that thing.

Here's the contact info.
Buford Bucket Manufacturer
[email protected]
While I don't own a Little Buck Loader I Know Two People who do own them A friend Of Mine Has One He uses On either His 425 or X728. His Neighbor was one of the first to Buy a Little Buck Loader in are area It actually Built about 15 Miles from My house. It is a Tough Little Loader and Can actually lift Higher Than Pete's Buford Bucket.

But Keep In Mind with Both the Little Buck & the Buford Bucket is a side Job for Both Manufacturers. They Have day Jobs so Be patient with Pete.

Pete Makes a Great Bucket perfect for Loading a Cart Not the best for a Pick Up truck. Depending on the Height of the Pick up a Little Buck Is More suited than Pete's Bucket at Least for dumping over the side walls of a Pick Up Bed. I Know if I had Pet's Bucket(Buford) at My Last House. It would Have Been a Let down for what I would Have Needed it for. I personally Had two Loader Back then Now I have 3 Loaders so don't really need any of these Half Loaders for my self

Pete's Buford Bucket is a Very well Made Product. But what I don't Like about it Besides Lift Height is the Way the system attaches to the Tractor It still needs to Be Bolted On. I think if He Made it a Pins On Product Like the quick Hitch it would be a even Bigger seller. Yes it May only Take a Few Extra Minutes to Take off and on. It would still drive me a Little Nuts since I am so Use to what Most Garden tractor Manufacture have gone to a quick Pin On system for Most Implements after the Initial Install. The Only Garden tractor I own with Bolt On Implements is a 1965 Cub Cadet 70.

Little Buck is a pretty good Half Loader as well. I do Like the Fact that it is Pin on system once You Install the Hydraulic Hoses. But I am Not thrilled with there Bucket design. I think It should be More Like Pete's
One thing I will say Little Buck has excellent customer service . There were some complaints about the weld quality of there Bucket On another forum. But not Buy the Purchaser of the Bucket. But Little Buck went the extra Mile and sent Out a whole new system to the Purchaser and didn't require the Purchaser to ship the Old One Back.

Now My friend's Little Buck and His Neighbors Little Buck were Purchased Before That Purchaser even Bought a Little Buck and I have seen them Both. I am Not a expert welder By any means but there Little Bucks Looked Just fine and seemed to Be a quality Job welding.

I really wish Or-bilt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvISfjwmDh8 was still being Produced By Metal Fabrication & Welding Minnesota | O'Reilly Fabrication & Welding Services they would be a Nice compromise Between Pete's Buford Bucket & the Little Buck Loaders. We Had a few Members over On Mytractorforum that had the Or-bilt Loader
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