View Full Version : John Deere choice

12-15-2001, 03:22 AM
Hi there,

I recently asked on the forum which John Deere would suit my semi-commercial application. From the replies the GT range seemd best. However, I've now discovered the GT range isn't imported into New Zealand so I've been looking at the LX279 with the 48" 'convertable' deck which can be either a mulching mower or a normal side discharge. (I want the normal deck). They're only available here with the 17hp Kawasaki V-twin liquid cooled engine.

My dealer also has a used one of these. It's five years old, has about 400hrs on it, and looks to be in good condition. It's priced at just over half the new one. (It has a different model number but I can't remember it. It has the same engine and deck).

Are these machines generally OK? Is the mower deck sturdy and long lasting? Is the hydrostatic transmission OK? I don't have any choice about the engine and I notice those Kawasakis get mixed reviews here.

As always your comments are appreciated,

12-16-2001, 03:31 AM
sorry about the late respnse first,:) , i would go with the discharge and mulch deck, a kawasaki lc will last a long time, that's another +, also, is it a 7-iron deck they have on it?

12-16-2001, 04:43 AM
Hi Vipermanz,

Thanks for the reply. You sound quite positive about the Kawasaki. I'm not sure what a "7-iron" deck is though. Can you explain?


12-16-2001, 07:09 AM
You can view specs on this mower right here


and you can go to


and search whatever you wish.

The 7 iron deck is the gauge of steel used in making the deck.

7 guage steel. Its pretty tough as some commercial mowers are 10 or 12 gauge which is thinner than 7.
I personally don't have a Deere but you are really into homeowner quality equipment with the Deere tractors and if you don't put lots of work to it and don't need to be fast than this may work but it probably wouldn't be my first choice new but if you can get it for half then mayby its worth it to you.

Just as a side, what do you mean by semi-commercial? If you are spending 2500 or 3000 (US) on a garden tractor to just mow lawn you might want to look into a commercial walk behind. Quicker, easier to service and run, less down time, double blades, ect. the list goes on. What commercial dealers do you have there?

12-17-2001, 04:04 AM
Hi Mow Ed

Thanks for your reply. I understand now about the steel thickness. I hadn't heard it expressed as "7-Iron" before, only "7 guage". Anyway it sounds like they're pretty tough decks.

My "semi-commercial" situation is that we're commercial flower growers. The small lawn tractor we have at present cuts about two acres of grass, but also pulls a 300kg sprayer unit (self powered) up and down slopes, and also is in daily use pulling a trailer full of picked flowers. For these reasons it has to be a tractor type machine rather than a walk behind. Cutting grass is only one of it's tasks. A small tractor like the 17hp Kubota diesel is too clumsy around the narrow flower rows. I tried one once. Great machine but too big and heavy for my needs. My problem really is achieving the right compromise for my small operation between cost v. equipment that's up to the job. It certainly works harder than a domestic machine would, but it's not like I cut grass commercially and run it at full load for several hours every day. Looking at John Deere as a non-owner it seems to offer the right mix for my needs.

Regarding commercial dealers here: Obviously John Deere, also the Japanese manufactureres such as Kubota, Iseki, Yanmar, etc and several US lawncare brands like Murray, MTD etc. On the larger Agricultural and orchard side of things it's limitless. As an agricultural/horticultural based economy there is a large service industry to support growers. All the European equipment manufacturers have a presence here.

Any other suggestions are welcome.


12-18-2001, 08:20 AM
After your detailed explanation it does appear that you are on the right track for your needs. I was particularly glad to see you stay away from MTD and Murray.
The reason I was a little shy on the garden tractors was that I started my mowing business 6 years ago with a pretty solid Toro Garden tractor and really beat it up. By year 2 it was in the shop more than on the lawns but that was from commercial mowing and bouncing down the street on a trailer.
Any major manufacturer that you buy from will have a decent piece of equipment with many repair parts available. Inevitably you will break something.
You can figure that you will get at least 3000 hours out of the liquid cooled Kawi if you do regular maintenance on it. I doubt you will get that much out of certain bearings, electric clutch, belts and the like. All factors like maintenance and downtime should be considered.

I think the garden tractor from Deere would do you well, I know my Toro worked great on slopes and hills. One word of caution, don't use it to yank small shrubs out of the ground. The tranny was covered by warranty but they certainly were confused on why it went. Good Luck.

12-18-2001, 08:32 AM
Thanks again Mow Ed. I'm encouraged by your comments. I think I'll have another look at the used John Deere. It's done about 400hrs but I'm forming the opinion that there's plenty of life in it yet with regular servicing etc. Your comments suggest the engine will outlast many other parts of the machine. Nothing lasts forever of course, but I was a little concerned that I may trade one secondhand machine for another, spend a few thousand (NZ) dollars and end up no better off! It doesn't sound like that would be the case.

This ia a great site. Thanks again for the helpful comments.


lee b
12-20-2001, 09:18 PM
If your gonna do alot of pulling I would look at Deeres 300 series garden tractors {325,335,345}. They are built way stronger than the LX series, have power steering and hydraulics to run tillers and stuff, and larger engines. May be alot more useful in your operation.