Deere V/S Cadet - REO Property Preservation Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Deere V/S Cadet

Hello everyone, first time poster long time reader. I was curious to the opinion of everyone on the subject of mowers. First of all I am located in the mountains of south east Kentucky. That being said i encounter several properties that have hillsides for yards. I also plan to do some commercial mowing on the side if I manage to produce any contracts. Keep in mind this is a very rural mountain area so you never really know what you are going to get. my current plan for this season is to purchase either a John Deere X570 580 590 or purchase a cub cadet pro Z 1 series with a steering wheel. I would also maybe consider the Zforce series if i knew that it would hold up to the rigors of daily use. Another contributing factor is i plan to also purchase a pull behind rough cut mower and i plan to use a sweeper for clipping collection. Thanks in advance for any input.

Also i realize that this maybe should have went into the tools and equipment area but I assume that it being specific to lawn maintenance this would be a better home
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 12:50 AM
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What brand has the best customer support in your area? One mower could be 10x better than another, but without a quality local dealer to help when fit hits the shan it isn't worth buying it,

and on a side note, why not pursue more commercial mowing and do pres mowing "on the side"?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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What brand has the best customer support in your area? One mower could be 10x better than another, but without a quality local dealer to help when fit hits the shan it isn't worth buying it,

and on a side note, why not pursue more commercial mowing and do pres mowing "on the side"?
Thank you for the response Andthe input. My family has dealt with a local John Deere dealer since the early 1980s. That place is somewhat in my blood and I believe they would offer excellent service. My fear is just capabilities but the service issue is one that has been making me consider deere as the better option.

As far as the commercial mowing being primary that is the goal. Trying to use property preservation to launch my business. I work under an excellent regional (yeah I know) but I am a one man operation. My goal is to eventually leave preservation in the dust and do landscaping/earthmoving.

Anyone have any opinions or input about the machines sound them off! Not going to get offended
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Psycho61 View Post
Hello everyone, first time poster long time reader. I was curious to the opinion of everyone on the subject of mowers. First of all I am located in the mountains of south east Kentucky. That being said i encounter several properties that have hillsides for yards. I also plan to do some commercial mowing on the side if I manage to produce any contracts. Keep in mind this is a very rural mountain area so you never really know what you are going to get. my current plan for this season is to purchase either a John Deere X570 580 590 or purchase a cub cadet pro Z 1 series with a steering wheel. I would also maybe consider the Zforce series if i knew that it would hold up to the rigors of daily use. Another contributing factor is i plan to also purchase a pull behind rough cut mower and i plan to use a sweeper for clipping collection. Thanks in advance for any input.

Also i realize that this maybe should have went into the tools and equipment area but I assume that it being specific to lawn maintenance this would be a better home
Zero turn or tractor? Ask yourself if you'd like to get done today or tomorrow. Seriously, I've got my Z running 15mph where top speed on the JD you suggest is 5mph. Maneuverability on a Z is unbelievable and cumbersome at best on a tractor. The stamped deck is too shallow on the JD. It won't process the tall grass from a biweekly foreclosure cutting worth a crap. It will leave clumps and then you're raking trying to get paid. A good 4 inch tall welded deck with a large discharge and plenty O horsepower is essential.

U say you're on hills? NO TRANS-AXLES! This type of hydro drive system has improved over the years, but still can't take the heat. They need to be shut down an fully cooled before running again. Any salesman will tell you differently...go talk to a shop guy and look around while your in there and see all the dead trans-axles in there. What you want is a hydro drive with separate pump and motors for each side. Parker and Hydro-Gear are the only 2 pumps/wheel motors worth looking at. I believe both of these brands can carry 3000 hr warranties.
Just my opinion.

Just a side note, if you've never operated a Z turn, steep hills are not the place to learn. A strong Z will climb any hill. Hell, it'll pull wheelies on flat ground. Bot going steep downhill can be...let's say...hazardous to your health, to the inexperienced operator.

One other thing since you say you not offended. Your giving away about 20% of your money to the holy name John Deer. I am not biased, there's other great brands out there, but I've run my Bad Boy for a long time. I have over 23,000 yards mowed on this machine , so I am familiar with parts/servicing and repairs. I've been to the JD dealer a few times in a pinch to find a pulley or bearing that might cross over. I've tossed the JD part right back over the counter know it won't hold up a day to abuse I'm going to give it. (plastic bushing for a deck belt idler pulley??!!) Mmmm...I wonder how many people I just offended.

I know there are a zillion JDs out there, but I also know they won't hold up the abuse of foreclosures.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome!!!! thank you for that very strongly worded post. I can understand that hills are not the place to learn but thatís why I lean to a steering wheel zero turn model so that I can mow across and point my front wheels back uphill. Right at this moment Iím strongly considering going for a cub cadet pro z 500 S or a used cub cadet tank sz 60 s.
Just a curiosity, I found a diesel tank s at a kubota dealer with less than 200 hours for 8 grand. Would this be worth fooling with or is weight 2 much of an issue
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 04:26 PM
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Couple things....
When you are looking at engine power, horse power rating are worthless. You need to look at ft lbs of torque. I had a Briggs 30 hp with 30 ft lbs of torque and it was a turd. I replaced it with a Kawasaki 30 hp with 45 ft lbs of torque and wow, night and day difference. As far as diesel goes, unbelievable power, because of the torque they create. Just make sure the blade belts is no more than 180 inches, otherwise you'll go through $100 belts in pretty quick order. The diesel is so strong it won't slow down the engine for tall grass and something has to give. I've never owned one but this is what I've heard from my main parts guy. Other diesel disadvantage is if something does go down, do you know how to fix it? Is your JD shop experienced enough? Parts will almost always have to be ordered, where if you run a more popular Kaw or Kohler engine, parts are almost always in stock. Sucks having one machine...when it goes down you want to fix it NOW, instead of watching the grass grow while you thumb is in a shady place.

As far as 8K for a diesel with 200 hours, yeah that sounds like a pretty good deal, but shoot me a good model number and I'll look at the hydro specs. To me the hydro is more important than anything. They are amazing when they work right, and can easily $2500 just in parts when they go down....the entire system should be replaced when one component goes bad because they have extremely tight tolerances, and any contamination of other components can quickly ruin new parts.

Another thing, I would not own a Z turn with a steering wheel. Over complicated system, difficult repairs, and completely unnecessary. If you ever get stuck, and you will, believe me when I say you want 2 steering sticks. Hills are not an issue with the sticks. When you do your first steep hill before you're confident with the machine, simply back down the hill then go sideways, climbing the hill as mow your way up. Very easy.

One more thing, I wanted to show you these blade spindle bearings. Left to right... bearing I replaced on my father in law's John Deere tractor. Pathetic. Middle one is stock bearing on on my Bad Boy. The third one is an aftermarket Bad Boy. You can mow 4 inch stones and not destroy them. The JD bearing was $10. The after market Bad Boy bearings are $118 each for the hardened steel American made. Going more expensive is not a guarantee of better quality, but going cheap is a guarantee of corners cut somewhere. It's up to you to find where the costs have been cut and see if you think you can live with it.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Couple things....
When you are looking at engine power, horse power rating are worthless. You need to look at ft lbs of torque. I had a Briggs 30 hp with 30 ft lbs of torque and it was a turd. I replaced it with a Kawasaki 30 hp with 45 ft lbs of torque and wow, night and day difference. As far as diesel goes, unbelievable power, because of the torque they create. Just make sure the blade belts is no more than 180 inches, otherwise you'll go through $100 belts in pretty quick order. The diesel is so strong it won't slow down the engine for tall grass and something has to give. I've never owned one but this is what I've heard from my main parts guy. Other diesel disadvantage is if something does go down, do you know how to fix it? Is your JD shop experienced enough? Parts will almost always have to be ordered, where if you run a more popular Kaw or Kohler engine, parts are almost always in stock. Sucks having one machine...when it goes down you want to fix it NOW, instead of watching the grass grow while you thumb is in a shady place.

As far as 8K for a diesel with 200 hours, yeah that sounds like a pretty good deal, but shoot me a good model number and I'll look at the hydro specs. To me the hydro is more important than anything. They are amazing when they work right, and can easily $2500 just in parts when they go down....the entire system should be replaced when one component goes bad because they have extremely tight tolerances, and any contamination of other components can quickly ruin new parts.

Another thing, I would not own a Z turn with a steering wheel. Over complicated system, difficult repairs, and completely unnecessary. If you ever get stuck, and you will, believe me when I say you want 2 steering sticks. Hills are not an issue with the sticks. When you do your first steep hill before you're confident with the machine, simply back down the hill then go sideways, climbing the hill as mow your way up. Very easy.

One more thing, I wanted to show you these blade spindle bearings. Left to right... bearing I replaced on my father in law's John Deere tractor. Pathetic. Middle one is stock bearing on on my Bad Boy. The third one is an aftermarket Bad Boy. You can mow 4 inch stones and not destroy them. The JD bearing was $10. The after market Bad Boy bearings are $118 each for the hardened steel American made. Going more expensive is not a guarantee of better quality, but going cheap is a guarantee of corners cut somewhere. It's up to you to find where the costs have been cut and see if you think you can live with it.

Ok see now Iím learning! This is exactly the type of info Iím looking for. The diesel was a cub Cadet tank s diesel not sure on model year. My concern of a diesel mower would be weight. With this input from you Iím starting to consider buying a cheaper (box store) zero turn, using it for a few months and then purchasing a big boy like a scag turf tiger or an outlaw bad boy. That way I have backup. I mean letís be honest wouldnít it be nice to just go get something like a Ventrac with a rough cut and a finish cut deck right at the start.

Iíve also been considering Husqvarna zero turns as well as the awd 322. I like the 322 because itís awd and has the ability to quick change between flail and finish mowing but Iíve been told that due to how they articulate they are easy turned over on slopes.

Name me a few good models at various price points. If you donít mind that is. Thanks
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 09:23 PM
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Ok see now Iím learning! This is exactly the type of info Iím looking for. The diesel was a cub Cadet tank s diesel not sure on model year. My concern of a diesel mower would be weight. With this input from you Iím starting to consider buying a cheaper (box store) zero turn, using it for a few months and then purchasing a big boy like a scag turf tiger or an outlaw bad boy. That way I have backup. I mean letís be honest wouldnít it be nice to just go get something like a Ventrac with a rough cut and a finish cut deck right at the start.

Iíve also been considering Husqvarna zero turns as well as the awd 322. I like the 322 because itís awd and has the ability to quick change between flail and finish mowing but Iíve been told that due to how they articulate they are easy turned over on slopes.

Name me a few good models at various price points. If you donít mind that is. Thanks
you will be better off buying a used commercial mower with a welded deck than buying a brand new box store z turn, the deck will not be able to handle the amount of grass you need it to process

Stay away from fools, for you won't find knowledge on their lips.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Psycho61 View Post
Ok see now Iím learning! This is exactly the type of info Iím looking for. The diesel was a cub Cadet tank s diesel not sure on model year. My concern of a diesel mower would be weight. With this input from you Iím starting to consider buying a cheaper (box store) zero turn, using it for a few months and then purchasing a big boy like a scag turf tiger or an outlaw bad boy. That way I have backup. I mean letís be honest wouldnít it be nice to just go get something like a Ventrac with a rough cut and a finish cut deck right at the start.

Iíve also been considering Husqvarna zero turns as well as the awd 322. I like the 322 because itís awd and has the ability to quick change between flail and finish mowing but Iíve been told that due to how they articulate they are easy turned over on slopes.

Name me a few good models at various price points. If you donít mind that is. Thanks
Charge back is right, don't be afraid a a decent used machine over a new box store mower.

Don't know much about pricing....not in the mood for a new one so I don't even look. but here's my opinion of some good machines.

Finest finish cut, durability and highest price, you can't beat a Scag Turf Tiger. Expensive!, but very nice. Also has fine mulching ability with under deck add ons for leaves in the fall. See, if it's going to mulch good, you give up a little fine finish cut. If you're going for perfect cut, you give up some mulching ability. You can't have both at the same time. It has to do with suction and how it processes the clipping for discharge.
Next I would look at Hustler Super Z. Really fast and a great cut.
Don't overlook Exmark. Another fine machine.
Bad Boy and Dixie Choppers are just good rugged machines that are easy to repair and get the job done.
However, if I had to choose one machine brand new for right now, I'd have to have a new full suspension Ferris 60" deck with dual 15cc Hydro gear pumps powered by a 30 HP Kaw. I'm adding some years to my age group and the bumps are starting to hurt! These full suspension Ferris mowers can cruise 15 mph and its just like riding a 4 wheeler. I don't know long term durability yet but a friend of mine got one a couple years ago and he'll never own anything different. I have to think the suspension system would have to help ease some of the stress on the machine. My Bad Boy is built like the proverbial brick #[email protected]*house, but it's almost too rigid with no give. Some welds have broken and had to be repaired. Then again, it is a 2008 with 23,000 yards cut. The hour meter quit working 3 years ago with 3800 hours on it.

If you're going to buy a "cheap" back up mower, I might look at Big Dog. Very solid mower, but they have cut the quality at the hydro. As stated before I don't like transaxles, but at least they use a good HydroGear transaxle. A little slow at 7.5mph forward and 4mph reverse. Might not be a bad "starter mower". Bad Boy also make some decent entry level Z turns that you can buy at some local farm and fleet stores. Huskavarna might be OK for 10,000 sq ft or less, then you better cool it down. I wouldn't buy it, but I'm not the one spending your money either.



Oh, and I just looked up the Awdawful 322. At $5300 if you buy that POS I'll never talk to you again. Ever!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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THanks guys for all the input you have really opened up some options and I think I may be better able to find a proper mower now that I better know what I need. Will update when I find a few machines to get opinions ect ect
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