07-05-2007, 10:30 AM
I was going to buy this nice 19HP 48" Exmark HP, but the dealer made an adjustment in price (upward) to about 7600.00 That was too much for me - I only run about 15 lawns (4 are really big 2 - 5 acres). I decided I did not need such a horse for such a price for such a small business. Soooo, I went back to my lawn tractor idea (don't laugh, I have a a JD345 that does a great job, has over 1000hrs and has never given me any serious trouble). Back to JD I went, resigned to get a 300 series tractor and lo and behold the dealer had a JD445 (mid deck Z-turn) witha 25hp Kaw and 54" Deck. I did not really pay attention to this mower while looking because I thought it was another cheapie homeowner version like the 100 series JD tractors. The dealer showed me the specs. Wow! It has the same hydro system as the commercial 700 Zturn series! The difference is the deck (lighter) and the frame (lighter). NO issue with either of these, because weight is an enemy for me. Lighter is better. I bought the mower for 4,440 plus all the bells and whistles (power flow, mulch kit, automatic nose picker etc) for 5,200 all told. The Exmark was 7600 for 48" deck and no accessories. Much better for my pocket book. I have used the machine for a week now - will show pics soon. It does a great job mulching and is lightning fast. I have knocked off on the average about 15 - 20 min on my bigger lawns. Is is a surprisingly good striper too! One last thing that surprised me and my daughter agreed (I'm dong this for her college money-so she helps), was it drove and tracked better than the Exmark HP or Hustler Super Z! Very smooth! Remember I demoed 'the Exmark and a Hustler! I'm a happy camper! Anybody else have the 445? What do I watch out for? Any issues?