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 03-29-2001, 06:59 Post: 26042
Don M



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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

Last night I was sure I was going to buy a Kubota BX2200 to mow my new 2 - 3 acres and clear 6 annual snowfalls from the 750' driveway, plus some light loader and utility work. But now as usual I woke up with a different idea. For the approx $14,000 for the BX2200 with FEL, I think I can buy 2 used machines; one more suited to mowing and one for the rest of the work. This is not an orange vs. green debate. It is just that the local JD dealer, who has 6 or 8 locations, is having a giant auction of used equipment. The sale bill lists garden tractor after garden tractor, page after page. I am not that familiar with them. There are 425, 445, 455, 2WS, AWS, gas, diesel, front mowers 510, 525, 620, 930, 935, older 314, 316, 318, 322, 325, 345, plus 200-series, GT, LX etc etc etc. Which of these represent a great dependable easy to use mowing machine in at least 48" cut, and are likely to be under $4000? Under $6000? They don't have much in compacts. They have a 755 w/o FEL, a 955 with FEL, a 970 with FEL, and a Kubota B2400 w/o FEL. I have a better feel for what these type tractors can do and what they should cost than I do for the garden tractors. In general I have looked at slightly older tractors with FEL that I can get and like for under $10,000. And I know they are much stronger than a BX2200. So, any advice on the mowing end of this transaction will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.... Don M






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 03-29-2001, 09:33 Post: 26049
Ted Kennedy



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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

Don, sounds like a resonable plan to me. I've always been partial to the 455 and haven't heard anything bad about them, they can power a big deck with relative ease. Of the compacts mentioned, I really like the 955. These two would make a very versatile combination. I know you'll give whatever you buy a good going over first, good luck.






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 04-03-2001, 12:37 Post: 26249
Big Eddy



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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

That is exactly the approach I took. I have a JD322 3cyl, liquid cooled, 50" deck that I use to cut 2 acres of grass, and I bought last year a used 855, 4wd, FEL, Backhoe, that I use in my sugar bush for everything from hauling sap to ditching. I could use the 855 to cut the grass, but a mower deck for it is close to the value of my 322, so why would I bother? Also this way, my kids can cut the grass for the neighbours, where the 855 would never fit. My only question now is whether I should trade the 322 in on a front mount mower, seeing as it is primarily used for mowing.

Certainly I would recommend the 2 used tractors model to anyone who has the space and need. The requirements for ground engaging use (weight, traction, tread) and mowing (small size, maneuverable, no ROPs) are sufficently different in my case that it made sense to me. And a good used machine will outlast you anyway if properly maintained.

As to the machines you listed, I would highly recommend you stick to the higher end models (300, 400 series),and look for liquid cooling and multi-cylinder models - they are more reliable, smoother and tend to work better.
The front mount mower solution is something I would also consider, if you are sure that your primary use of the "mowing" tractor will actually be mowing. (I have a front blade for my 322, and I push dirt / snow with it, tow trailers around the yard, etc. which might be more difficult with a front mount)

Big Eddy






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 04-03-2001, 14:34 Post: 26255
Jeff Golden



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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

I agree with looking at splitting the lawn duties off into a seperate piece of smaller equipment. My wife and I were confronted with this same decision last summer. Needing to cut lawn and do light work around the property, we looked at a JD 4100 with a mower deck for the lawn (about 1.5 acres) and adding a rotary mower / FEL / blade for the heavier work. In pricing it out we realized that we could buy a dedicated lawn tractor for the cost of just the mower deck on the 4100! Since it is totally dedicated to the lawn, we ended up with one of the smaller JD lawn tractors and are very happy with it thus far. Things changed during the course of the summer / fall and our final decision was to upgrade from the JD 4100 to a JD 4300 with 420 FEL and 513 rotary mower. We like that fact that we can split the work between two pcs of equipment. The kids can use the lawn tractor / trailer for small jobs while I'm kicking up dust on the 4300.






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 04-03-2001, 16:53 Post: 26261
DennisCTB

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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

I am going to have to go against the tide here. It sounds like you are talking about a residential flag lot with a 2.5 acre parcel with a house on it, based on that I would go with the BX. With 4 wheel drive the driveway will be a cake walk, particulary if its paved and you get the easy attach front snow blower. I believe that satisfaction comes from use. With the BX you'll be driving it all summer long with PS and great engine. The Duo route you've got too pieces of equipment with the potential for maintenance problems storage etc. And the Big Used Tractor will be rarely used. You may find that for those very few times in residential use you need something bigger than a BX or B series machine that is just cheaper to rent a backhoe for $250 day then it is to own one fulltime that is lying around. Its been my experience that anything you don't use much has problems getting going when you need it. My bias is that I hate to see things laying around unused. If your lawn size is 2.5 to 3 relatively clear acres in addition to the House, beds, walks and drives, I would look at the B7500. For the bigger machines to be useful for mowing you should have nice clear runs that you can mow 200 to 300 feet before having to turn around. If you have runs of only 70 to 100 feet I think you would be better off with the lawn tractor.






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 04-03-2001, 17:17 Post: 26263
Bird Senter

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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

I can certainly see two sides to this issue, so I hadn't responded before, but I'd have to go with our Webmaster. In fact, I had a Cub Cadet garden tractor (darned nice lawnmower) and a B7100 Kubota for over 4 years. Then I traded both of them in and got a B2710 Kubota with a rear discharge 3-point finish mower. There were several reasons I did that. Neither the Cub Cadet nor the B7100 had power steering. The Cub Cadet had no canopy (sun protection). The Cub Cadet was a 38" cut and the finish mower I now have is 60". And then another important reason for me was the fact that I don't really enjoy changing oil, oil filters, cleaning/changing air filters, changing spark plugs, checking tire pressures, fixing flats, etc. This way I have one less engine to maintain, and besides that it was new with a warranty.






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 04-03-2001, 19:12 Post: 26274
Don M



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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

Thanks for all the feedback. I'll add some more info to the mix. We have 5.5 acres. About 2 acres are "lawn-quality". There is not much landscaping in the lawn areas, but it is not 2 acres of continuous lawn, it is a small back yard, a 1/4 acre front yard, a 3/4 acre lower front yard, and miscellaneous lawn along the drive, roadside, "paths" etc. I am not overly finicky about the cut quality; I mean it has to be decent but not perfect. Another 2 acres are weeds dotted with clusters of big wild bushes. The rest are buildings and wild tree and bush-lines along the road, drive, lot line etc. We don't want to turn it all into lawn, but I do want to mow/shred the weeds a few times per season. This is a neglected property. There is a lot of crap to be moved, hauled, etc. A lot of dead or dubious trees and bushes to thin out. We might get a horse at some point. (I'd like to get a goat for the weeds, maybe that's not so far-fetched). Smile

I just bought a 1983 John Deere 420 mega-garden tractor with 60" deck. I was hoping I could use it on the lawn and the weeds. But I don't think it will be right for shredding the weeds. If I kept them mowed short, yes. But I just want to cut the weeds when they get 12" high or so. So I am thinking I really need something that can swing a 5' rotary mower. And man, a loader would be SO useful. I can live without a backhoe because I can borrow one for the few times I need it.

I would love to just have one machine that can do it all. But is it really possible? I'd have to have turf tires for the lawn, but would they be a drawback elsewhere, like the snow? And would the one machine be too darn big for the smallish lawn sections?

Or can I just take my JD or a BX with deck mower into the 12" weeds without worrying about wear and tear? I know I'd have to go *slowwwwww".

It still seems like a 2 machine property to me. But I'd love to hear any more feedback since many of you have already been there, done that. Mistakes are expensive here, it's not like buying a toaster.

I have a line on an 87 New Holland 1210 4wd hydro. It has a 60" deck and turf tires. From what I read here on CTB, it probably can swing a rotary. But to me, it sounds like an older version of a BX. Maybe I'm back full-circle, I should buy a BX with deck and rotary to handle everything?

thanks,

Don M








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 04-03-2001, 20:15 Post: 26277
Bird Senter

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 Deere for mowing another for snow and dirt

Don, it IS a fact that no ONE tractor is perfect for everything, just as no one car, pickup, boat, airplane, etc. is. So a lot depends on personal preference, and there's certainly nothing wrong with having multiple machines if you don't mind the maintenance, and like the Webmaster mentioned, those that are seldom used seem to be the highest maintenance. In your position, I'd probably go for the BX, FEL, small brush hog, and a finish mower (either mid-mount or 3-point), but that's just MY personal preference. You'll just have to decide what'll work best for YOU.






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