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View Full Version : John Deere 997 Owners?


Tonyr
08-24-2005, 08:11 PM
just wandering if or how many people here have bought the new John Deere 997 model ZTR....

Any problems?


mine is overheating every 1.5 hours due to the rear screen sucking up dust and clogging it, it clogs within 10 mins, even on turf. worse on dusty jobs.
Also, I am using the rear discharge deck on mine, so it is sucking air from the dustiest area...behind the mower.

These are very new here, I'm one of the, if not the 1st buyer apparently, so there isn't a lot of solutions actioned here, well none actually lol.

What has this company done in the USA to prevent the rear screen blocking and choking the cooling system?

(it isn't practical to stop every 10 mins and clean the screen)

Flex-Deck
08-24-2005, 08:37 PM
I am a JD fan from my toes to my head, BUT the biggest problem they have is the stupid cooling system. All the way from the 400 series garden tractors to the ztr. They do not allow or put a big enough radiator for the diesel in any of their units. It all started with the 332 when they put a 16 hp yanmar in a 318 frame - did not have enough room for an adequate radiator, and it seems they want to put in inadequate radiators even today - Love my 495 - 595 - but what I do is add and extra radiator on the side with its own electric fan. I mow for 8-10 hrs. - no clean radiators - would be glad to post a pic if anyone wants to see it.

Tonyr
08-24-2005, 08:43 PM
Thanks mate, I would love to see a pic!

not sure where or how to install it on this machine, but I may get ideas after seeing your set up.

S man
08-25-2005, 12:56 AM
You had to spend a lot on that thing! At least it can work right.

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 01:21 AM
exactly, very close to $30.000 aussie dollars....I thought spending this much with a company that I hear such great things about was a pretty safe investment.....seems this company is no better than the rest, mass produce units and fix em up later when the repair demands get high enough...

I haven't held back since I bought this, from deck issues that deere won't help me with to over heating, to the rear design having the breathing screen at the rear sucking dust against it clogging it 100%....very dumb idea, no thought went into this at all....and what makes it worse it is a rear discharge deck model....guess where it is dustiest lol. Yup, where the radiator fan sucks from!

I'm paying lease payments on a machine not properly set up to mow without choking every 1.5 hours....

I'm going through a stressy time with this mower, unbelievable! :angry:

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 01:30 AM
I can't stop thinking that this company sells so much because they spend so much design on cosmetics, not performance and durability.

Yes, I know most love their Deere's....and I'm sure they make fine machines, usually.

Maybe they are more interested in making pretty mowers, show ponies...not true work horses....

Wish I never bought the thing, deere has not helped me with any of my questions, this ain't the way I thought it would work switching from Toro to J.D.....knowing what I know now, and how deere simply aren't interested in direct communication with me, I wish I kept my toro.....switching companies did not gain me anything but stress.

olderthandirt
08-25-2005, 01:39 AM
I can't stop thinking that this company sells so much because they spend so much design on cosmetics, not performance and durability.

Yes, I know most love their Deere's....and I'm sure they make fine machines, usually.

Maybe they are more interested in making pretty mowers, show ponies...not true work horses....

Wish I never bought the thing, deere has not helped me with any of my questions, this ain't the way I thought it would work switching from Toro to J.D.....knowing what I know now, and how deere simply aren't interested in direct communication with me, I wish I kept my toro.....switching companies did not gain me anything but stress.
Hey Tony...Ever hear the saying "nothin stinks like a John" :D

6'7 330
08-25-2005, 01:46 AM
Hey Tony...Ever hear the saying "nothin stinks like a John" :D

And nothing buck's like a john's deere lol

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 02:32 AM
:D :D :D :D :D :D

ha ha ha, you blokes are so funny LOL!


Well, in that case I'll add, 'this deer is definetly a bucker!' lol.


The buckin' deer! lol.



you can shoot these buckin' thangs in your country can't ya?? :D

While John's deer is buckin' him, mine sure is buckin' me lol lol lol :cool2:

True Cut Lawn Maintenance
08-25-2005, 08:52 AM
I know you all will knock deere but theres been several generations of my family and several generations of my friends families that have run deeres

Give thme a couple of years, anyone remember when they first came out with the M series ZTR? dont remember hearing good things about them when i was working at the dealer then they released the 700 series and ive heard plenty of good things about them

honestly they should have stuck to what they know and thats regular lawn and garden tractors, farm, and construction equipment

that being said if someone offered me a deere ztr id take it in a heart beat

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 09:31 AM
yeah, I ain't impressed, I'll admit that Joe....you go spend $30.000 and hear all the hype etc, it started with me having issues about the deck, company would not even talk to me, the customer services chick blew me off.

and I was promised solutions from my country....ha ha ha ha.

now my 30k mower is getting hot, and we are still in winter!

I think this company who promotes itself as the greatest, bestest, most client orientated company out there should get off it's but and start living those words.

AND, do more bloody tests on new models!


I understand your respect and effection towards deere, but I've been treated like crap from the start, and have a machine that can't work cause they didn't address the air intake area when fitted with their rear discharge deck.

If I got what I thought I would get, great company support etc, well tested mower etc, I'd be the happiest guy here.

You go pay 30k, and get a lame deere....with no company care, how would you feel?

ya reckon my bank is giving me a break on my lease payments because this thing sits at the dealer's, or is constantly broken down on jobs?

When deere starts giving a damn about my investment, I'll start to build respect and will happily stop the negative words on here. But it ain't gunna happen is it?

anyway, if you want this lame deere, deposit 30k AUD into my account plus shipping and it's all yours. I'll even drive it to the wharf free lol.

Mowingman
08-25-2005, 09:56 AM
Tony,
Could you adapt one of those "reversing" fans to your Deere. If the one Hustler uses will not fit, maybe the manufacturer of the fan assembly has another model that would work. I know this is not something you should have to do yourself, but at least you may get the mower to a point where it is more useable.
Option 2, take the darn thing back and get your money returned. Do they have a "Lemon Law" over there like many states here have.
I had one of the early JD ZTR's. What a poorly designed piece of junk. I forced the dealer and JD to buy it back by threatening legal action.

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 10:11 AM
yeah mate, that's what I'm thinking, do like what hustler did, only maybe 2 smaller fans, and all they do is start up every few minutes for a minute to flow the crap off, exactly how hustler does it.

dealer reckons these 12v fans aren't strong enough though....

have you had any experience with em?

Do they push a lot of air?


I did say to dealer yesterday about this mower just ain't good enough, if we can't solve this then deere should take it back, he said 'oh yeah'' and grinned....so don't like my chances!

I wanted to demo a side discharge model 997, they wanted 1000 bucks deposit!

so I bought this one thinking I could tweak the deck to work better, which I failed.

It is still winter here, I struggled getting the point accross that in summer this mower will cook!

They said not to work it so hard, and clean screen when dirty, 10minutes!

Fairdinkum, if this doesn't resolve soon, I will seek legal action as it simply wasn't set up right.

True Cut Lawn Maintenance
08-25-2005, 10:54 AM
Tony do you have another dealer near you besides the one you bought the mower from?? Ive had to search around till i found the dealer that wanted my business and ive got two right now and theyre absolutly great to me

also did you think about demoing a side discharge??

marvinlee
08-25-2005, 04:53 PM
I have a Kubota ZTR, not a John Deere, but I would like you to have a satisfactory solution to the clogging problem. Here are some uninformed suggestions. 1) Can you add a prefilter to the rear engine air intake screen? I am thinking of a screen that would be coarse enough to filter out the larger debris while letting your inner screen filter out the remainder. By dividing up the screening duties, perhaps you could go longer without cleaning.

2. Is it possible to put a diverter attachment onto the rear discharge outlet to either direct the debris slightly downward to the grass, or off to the side to prevent a blast of debris toward the engine cooling air intake?

3. Have you tried calling the John Deere factory and asking to speak directly to the engineering department for your mower? Often, large companies have layers of rather ignorant public relations personnel whose main job is to dampen down complaints and inquiries. I have found the actual engineers at most companies to be highly intelligent, interested professionals who wish to make their products function well.

4. I blush to suggest this to a professional, but is it conceivable that you are cleaning the air screening system more than is actually necessary to prevent overheating?

John Gamba
08-25-2005, 05:20 PM
Tony
Try a mud flap. Hang it to the ground. This is what i did on our hustler 4400 when this problem happened to it.

John

stuie
08-25-2005, 05:25 PM
Tony
Give consumer affairs a ring they would be interested.
I know its a bit of a hike for you but there was a jd dealer in gympie if you feel like a drive.Went there and just kicked tyres and i said as much and the sales dude spent 10 mins with me.So that may be an option there with their service.
Also went to the Corvette and US truck dealer but didnt want to know me :) Not paying 100K + for a chevy pickup! :dizzy:
Also if the deere was all metal you could make a new shed outta her.
Suggest ring dealer today and ask for a loaner even if it old toro.Ask the dealer too what progress has been made.I bet they havent progressed far :angry:

stuie
08-25-2005, 05:26 PM
That mud flap idea i was thinking of as well like on the demo mower ive got at the moment.Would stop alot of the cuttings rising.

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 07:11 PM
Thanks Marvin, John, Stuie.

I have tried the rubber flap idea behind the deck to stop under machine dust, no difference.

grass doesn't come out the back, it is dust and fibre that clogs the screen.

J.D in Gympie Stuie is head office to my local dealer....the guys who wanted $1000 deposit before letting me demo a side discharge model, that's why I bought this one. My dealer isn't the problem, because these are so new no fixes have been invented yet, not much info etc, dealer has contacted usa twice now, so until usa give advice the guys here can only wait.

I have tried and tried to get to talk to techies at j.d, but after many attempts couldn't get past customer un-service, she would not pass me on for any reason, told me to talk to australia....who my dealer contacted and they said my answers were in the usa....was given the run around so I gave up.

Some members here found some direct phone numbers for me, but I lost momentum and never called, that warm fuzzy feeling ya get when ya make a big purchase was gone after week 1, but the feeling of regret is very strong.


The machine has a big rubber mat under it for protection, and it has a diverter on it to aim everything down, only fibre etc floats.

A pre screen....yeah, something to think about.

So, my idea of those 12v radiator fans blowing the crap off...anyone think these fans have such ability?

And, corrugated screens like toro, exmark etc....more surface area....do these screens clog or does this design tend to stay cleaner?

Mowingman
08-25-2005, 08:33 PM
FYI,
I believe those machines are built in Europe, possibly Holland or Belgium. I guess they do not get much hot dry weather there, so this problem did not show up.

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 08:55 PM
oh....that makes sense lol.

now because of all the dramas with the machine at the shop, and I have stayed out of it....2 days later they are just emailing usa today!

And dealer won't even talk on phone, just puts me to the mechanic, no update, no hello, so I'm in the sh!t for buying a crappy product from him expecting him to fix it....hmmmmmm....nearly had enough, nearly time for some legal advice and see if I can get my money back as it ain't set up for our conditions, and continuing will only shorten it's life, and when dealers start taking repairs personally it's time to get away.

these buggers need to remember, without us clients they have no job, period.

John Gamba
08-25-2005, 09:00 PM
oh....that makes sense lol.

now because of all the dramas with the machine at the shop, and I have stayed out of it....2 days later they are just emailing usa today!

And dealer won't even talk on phone, just puts me to the mechanic, no update, no hello, so I'm in the sh!t for buying a crappy product from him expecting him to fix it....hmmmmmm....nearly had enough, nearly time for some legal advice and see if I can get my money back as it ain't set up for our conditions, and continuing will only shorten it's life, and when dealers start taking repairs personally it's time to get away.

these buggers need to remember, without us clients they have no job, period.


Try Hustler.
John

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 09:18 PM
I demoed one, I thought the cut was better on the deere though, the deere windrows against each drive tyre, the hustler throws more in the centre.

in normal mowing both are great...

If I could of bought a 60'' rear discharge hustler I would of.

I've admitted that many times here.

I didn't simply because hustler couldn't offer a trade on my toro, but mainly because the 60'' models aren't due here till early october.

I didn't want to wait that long....simple as that.

The huster is clearly the toughest built one, and company support is unmatched I see on here.

The toro was tired, it needed money spent on it, and repairs take so long, dealer so far away.....was best to trade it while I could get a half decent price for it.

Not sure what the buy back policy is with j.d.....it is 4 weeks with homeowner, not sure for commercial....but if it fails to work due to not set up for here then that is different....yes?

Maybe they will eventually fix it it.....but just how long is the question!

BTW, they have my toro in their yard, they have my deere in their shop, I emailed asking for the toro as a loaner, no reply.

When we called before for update, he wouldn't talk to us, so I guess I offended him in asking.....fark!

Fairdinkum, this crap isn't worth the stress, as if running a small business isn't tough enough already!

marvinlee
08-25-2005, 09:49 PM
Mowing conditions must vary within Australia. Your John Deere might be the right choice for another user with different mowing conditions. Can you sell your mower and buy a preferred brand this autumn? If so, you might be able to get by with the John Deere this summer and make a good trade in the fall. Ebay may be a way of offering the JD for sale and finding a brand more suitable for your use. And, yes. A corrugated screen will offer more area. In addition, the corrugations discourage the accumulation of a large matt of debris. Possibly a shop could fabricate one.

Another thought is to have another person actually watch the debris flow as you mow a very thick area. Perhaps direct observation will provide some hints as to what you can do to alter the airflow. Do you think all the debris that collects on the air screen is coming directly from the rear discharge area?

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 10:13 PM
When I showed the dealer the problem again, he came to the paddock, I drove, then he drove, we played with deck settings, pitch, heights etc....all you see is a cloud of dust and fibrous stuff.

then next visit to shop dealer stays in his office and 2 mechanics go to the test site with me with heat sensor tools....

Dealer took it down by himself and it clogged like every other time....he mowed short grass in front of his shop, it clogged there.

lots of people have seen it, it is just a simple fact that rear discharge decks make it dusty behind the mower, that's not the problem, the problem is that deere put it's screen at the rear, right in the dust....they could of designed a duct in the hood to suck in clean air around the seat, how hard could that be.

it ain't rocket science, just lack of real world testing for the countries deere export to.

When I get it back, I'll take it to somewhere and try to get a corrugated screen built for it, don't even know where to start with a job like that....sheet metal works?

The stupid thing is, right back when I was researching mowers the Iseki dealer said be very carefull, most machines that come here aren't set up for our conditions and bugger up, while their's are....but I couldn't demo a rear discharge deck model so dismissed that brand....maybe I should of listened to him, seems he was right!

MMLawn
08-25-2005, 10:42 PM
Tony,

Being that I have already bought 6 JD ZTR's this year if you don't already have it I have a direct number to Deere......but I will add that I love this mowers and have had no real issues at all...as a matter of fact I bought the latest 757 this past week.

Tonyr
08-25-2005, 11:32 PM
I'm not trashing or knocking the companies products, only the lack of thought that went into the cooling system on my particular model.

dealer just said they can't do more until deere usa designs a better system, so I'm basically stuck with a mower that overheats in winter, summer is just around the corner and will kill this thing. if the fuse goes and the buzzer doesn't go off then it's gunna cook, and I know deere won't take the blame because I knew it had issues and worked it anyway.

S man
08-25-2005, 11:51 PM
Tony do you have another dealer near you besides the one you bought the mower from?? Ive had to search around till i found the dealer that wanted my business and ive got two right now and theyre absolutly great to me

also did you think about demoing a side discharge??

You don't even have any deere equipment.

oldturf
08-26-2005, 01:28 AM
Just curious, why the rear discharge? Is their some advantage that I am not aware of. It seems to me to be a big part of the problem.

Tonyr
08-26-2005, 01:47 AM
good question....

I work for developers, as in mowing parks and curb sides, in new estates there is a lot of construction, vehicles everywhere etc....working in these areas is a public liability nightmare.

next reason, I do work for the local council, they are getting strict, I was told in the very short future contractors without rear discharge mowers won't get works orders. They run rear discharge machines in public areas or mowers with catchers, or a mulcher.

Councils side discharge are for less populated areas or where the big outfronts can't go.

When the council buyer saw mine at the dealer he wished he bought it and not the 3 little toros, he didn't know you could buy a rear discharge ztr lol.

installing a OCDC on a side discharge deck isn't good enough...

Also, next reason, rear discharge is very good in long grass, stalky stems etc, most acreages hire me when native grass goes to seed, side discharge decks struggle with a lot of our ferral stuff.

rear discharge loves rough work.

next reason....I do vacant blocks, rear discharge is perfect for that as most rotations are 6 to 8 weeks.


I do not do fine finish mowing on nice manicured properties, residential market mostly hire me when their own mower won't go, or grass is too long.


The speed is awesome with rear discharge, blades stay sharp so much longer, dual side trim.

side discharging is good and often leaves a better clipping despersal, but when speed counts and liabilities count, these decks are the future in commercial mowing, I doubt you will find many pros using side discharge in 10 years.

main reasons were public and property liability, councils suggestion, rough work ability.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-26-2005, 02:57 AM
oh....that makes sense lol.

now because of all the dramas with the machine at the shop, and I have stayed out of it....2 days later they are just emailing usa today!

And dealer won't even talk on phone, just puts me to the mechanic, no update, no hello, so I'm in the sh!t for buying a crappy product from him expecting him to fix it....hmmmmmm....nearly had enough, nearly time for some legal advice and see if I can get my money back as it ain't set up for our conditions, and continuing will only shorten it's life, and when dealers start taking repairs personally it's time to get away.

these buggers need to remember, without us clients they have no job, period.

Tony, how long have you had the mower? I was told when I bought my last 2 JD that they come with a 30 day buy back guarntee if you are not happy with it. It is something though that a lot of dealers will not tell you unless you ask them.

John Gamba
08-26-2005, 07:44 AM
Tony

Get the LAZER Z XS. Put a OCDC on it and cut away :D

John

Tonyr
08-26-2005, 08:29 AM
no such animal down here John.

and the ultracut ain't that good on our ferral grasses, I demoed a XP

Tonyr
08-26-2005, 08:36 AM
OK, a development re my ideas about a cooling fan cleaning the rear screen from deere australia...

plus my dealer says deere will have a solution within a week, so just maybe this company is ok once the right people get involved...

here is the reply from deere here...

========= quote========

Hi Tony,

We do not recommend modifying this machine in the way you suggest. If you do modify it you may jeopardise your warranty due to increased electrical load and alteration of air flow across the engine. However, there is an enclosure kit available that mounts to the rear of the discharge deck. This should help to reduce the amount of air borne material and reduce the amount of material reaching the screen.

Your dealership has been contacted and they will be able to order this for you and assist you further in rectifying this situation.

========end quote========


So there is hope yet!

Deere usa over rules deere australia, dealer deals with usa about tech stuff apparently, they suggested fans, and corragated screen, and a better radiator/ hood seal system...so I'm keen to see what they end up recommending.

Once I get the bugs sorted this will be a great machine.