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Need advice: JD X380 vs CC XT2 GX54


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#1 BigDukeSix OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 11:42 AM

I am looking at purchasing a garden tractor for our church property and after a fairly exhaustive amount of research, I have come down to two choices that are in our price range:

 

·         Deere X380 w/ 48” deck & 44” 2 stage snow blower

·         Cub Cadet XT2 GX54 w/ 54” deck & 42” 3 stage snow blower

 

The property consists of approximately 2 acres of lawn that needs to be mowed and need to clear snow for a relatively long driveway and parking lot for 50 cars.  Everything is pretty flat.  Also, this is central NJ so we don't get too much snow, but we do get some.

 

Any thoughts between these two tractors? 

 

·         Transmission: They both have the K58

·         Motors: Deere  has the kawasaki FS651V, and the Cub has the Kohler 7000

·         Deck: close in size, but the CC is fabricated while the JD is stamped

·         Snow blowers: Deere is slightly wider, while the CC is a three stage

·         Price: Negotiated price is about $1500 cheaper for the Cub Cadet

 

I really want to buy something that is going to do the job and will last.  Is the Deere worth the extra money?  If so, why?  Based on the stats I have looked at, it appears that it might not be, but I know people swear by them.  What am I missing here?  Anything else I should consider between these two?

 

Any input that you may have would be greatly appreciated.  

 

Thanks,

Tim



#2 framesteer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 12:16 PM

Just don't overlook the quality of service provided by the dealer - timeliness, priority, knowledge, integrity, etc


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#3 EricFromPa ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 12:18 PM

:welcometogttalk:  :welcometogttalk:

 

 

Cub has 12" rear rims doesn't it? Fab deck will last 10x longer than the JDs stamped deck.

 

Don't like all the plastic on either of them but the deck on the Cub will last a good bit longer.

 

kawasaki engines are normally pretty reliable other than the occasional ignition system problems or the plastic cam gears.Haven't heard much about the newer 7000 series Kohlers but I'm assuming they're a redesigned Kohler courage twin which was a redesigned Kohler Command.Those were a good engine.The Kohler courage single cylinder engines were complete garbage though.


Edited by EricFromPa, January 03, 2017 - 12:45 PM.

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#4 Dane in PA OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 12:42 PM

I work at a Cadet dealer and have worked with both units.  Had some of the Deere units traded in.

I prefer the operator station on the Cadets.  Deck will also be heavier, and the only real draw-back is the Kohler 7000 series vs. the Kawasaki.  

Honestly, you'll prefer to save time in the summer, mowing, than in the winter, blowing.  

The Cadet is the clear choice in this case, but I'd forgo the front-mount blower on either and go with a nice walk-behind 3-stage unit.  But, that's just my $0.02

But, as with all things --do yourself a favor and go to your dealer.


Edited by Dane in PA, January 03, 2017 - 12:43 PM.

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#5 BigDukeSix OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 01:33 PM

, but I'd forgo the front-mount blower on either and go with a nice walk-behind 3-stage unit.  But, that's just my $0.02
 

Thanks Dane.  If you don't mind, will you please expand on this a bit?  I thought about getting a nice ZTR and a separate walk behind snow blower, but wouldn't the garden tractor mounted unit provide much quicker snow clearing?  What would the advantage be of buying two machines?  I assumed that buy purchasing a snow blower that mounts to the tractor, that I would be better off overall since I would only need to invest in one motor.  What is the counter argument here?


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#6 Dane in PA OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 02:44 PM

Thanks Dane.  If you don't mind, will you please expand on this a bit?  I thought about getting a nice ZTR and a separate walk behind snow blower, but wouldn't the garden tractor mounted unit provide much quicker snow clearing?  What would the advantage be of buying two machines?  I assumed that buy purchasing a snow blower that mounts to the tractor, that I would be better off overall since I would only need to invest in one motor.  What is the counter argument here?

My argument here is time changing attachments, attachment storage, attachment moving/handling, and longevity of your investment.  

You'll be moving, storing, and changing between deck and blower bi-annually.  You'll be storing, moving, and tripping over the other attachment the entire time you're not using it.  The snow-blowers are large and unwieldy --having no wheels of their own.  They take up a lot of room.  

You're also going to, for the money you spend, get two engines for the price of one --and two separate machines to spread the work-load across.

Lets say Cadet or Deere change their frame design within the next 5 years, and new models no longer accept the old attachments.  You may use your blower 7-10 times within 6 years --never coming near to wearing it out, only to have the engine on your mower fail within 6-7.  You now need to replace both machines, even though only one has failed, if you go with a tractor-mounted unit.  With a WB blower, just replace the mower.  

The key here is proper engine maintenance as well.  Learn how to store your equipment over long periods of time --and I especially recommend products like TruFuel and the like for snow-blowers.

I would suggest looking at some of the S series Z-turns.  See what is in your budget in a steering wheel model.  


Edited by Dane in PA, January 03, 2017 - 02:46 PM.

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#7 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 02:46 PM

A tractor with a blower on it is long.  Not too great for tight spaces and narrow sidewalks.

 

A walk behind will take a long time to clear a long drive and parking lot.  That might not be a big deal if you don't get much snow.

 

I was thinking along the lines of a push blade for the tractor and a small walk behind blower for walks and clean up.

 

On the other hand, a ZTR will mow the grass in about half the time it'd take with a tractor.


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#8 BigDukeSix OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 02:57 PM

A tractor with a blower on it is long.  Not too great for tight spaces and narrow sidewalks.

 

A walk behind will take a long time to clear a long drive and parking lot.  That might not be a big deal if you don't get much snow.

 

I was thinking along the lines of a push blade for the tractor and a small walk behind blower for walks and clean up.

 

On the other hand, a ZTR will mow the grass in about half the time it'd take with a tractor.

And this is why I am going around in circles.  I keep reading advice on various forums that a blade would be better, but others say it just won't work with garden tractors of this size.  Someone donated some money for us to buy something descent, but I don't want to drop these funds if we still need to call the plow guy if we get more than an inch or two of snow.  FWIW, I have another $1,500 to work with for a separate walk behind snow blower for the sidewalks.  I can certainly mix and match - like if there is such a thing as as $2,500 walk behind snow blower that would be better than a garden tractor w/ blower attachment, then I could go that route - am just overwhelmed with the various possibilities and I really don't know what i am doing...



#9 JohnDeere110 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 03:33 PM

Have you gone and looked at both of those tractors in person and had a hands-on look at them?

 

I would recomend doing that. Find what feels better to you. Both tractors look nice however I would personally go with the Deere because Ive grown up with Deere GTs and I like quality of the machines (unless its the Deeres from Home Depot. or Lowes) and overall have had a good experience with them.

That being said I have looked at Cub Cadets at different farm shows and such and yes the higher end models were nice I just didnt like them as much as the Deeres.

 

I know some people think otherwise but thats just my 2 cents.

 

Good luck



#10 BigDukeSix OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 04:10 PM

Thanks for the reply.  I have been to the dealers and seen these GTs.  I am sure that each dealer is biased for their own equipment.  I figure both options will meet my needs.  Just want to make sure I make the better choice.



#11 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 04:51 PM

(unless its the Deeres from Home Depot. or Lowes)

 

The X380 is not a model you will find at a box store, that is the D series.



#12 BigDukeSix OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 05:23 PM

The X380 is not a model you will find at a box store, that is the D series.

yep, I went to my local JD dealer to look at it.



#13 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 07:15 PM


I keep reading advice on various forums that a blade would be better, but others say it just won't work with garden tractors of this size.

 

I suppose it comes down to what the snow situation is.  I suspect neither tractor is heavy enough (or strong enough) to push 6" of wet snow.  On the other hand just about anything will push 1" of powder.

 

One challenge you can get into with a blade is you pile up the snow along the drives and at the edges of the lot.  If it keeps snowing you can end up with nowhere to push the new snow.  That's not an issue with a blower.

 

Looking back at your original post it looks like mowing is the significant job.  All other things being equal I'd go for the wider deck on the cub.  I'm going to expand on something Dane said: That extra 6" really adds up on 2 acres.  He also talked about comfort of the operator station, someone is going to spend a lot of time on the machine.

 

Unless the walks are wide or long I'd suggest an inexpensive, light single stage unit for that job.  Consider it disposable.  I've got a 21" 2 stage walk behind I use for a 27'x60' driveway and 95% of the time I wish I'd just got one of those compact flingers.


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#14 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2017 - 09:31 PM

I would suggest a plow on the tractor and a bigger walk behind blower. Why? A sticky 2-4" snow is easier to plow than blow. And you are far enough south that most of your snow is wet and heavy. Just my 2 cents.

One other thing to consider, what do others in your area use. Snow moves differently in different climates. What works in upstate New York won't work as well in southern Pennsylvania.

Edited by shorty, January 03, 2017 - 09:34 PM.


#15 secondtry OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2017 - 12:54 AM

I would ask how many times are you going to have to through the snow to get it from the center of the parking lot to off the edge. Don






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