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View Full Version : jd 997 vs 970 a


AEL
01-17-2011, 08:11 PM
Hey guys. Looking at purchasing 2 mowers for a contract I just picked up. I am choosing john deere due to the fact that the dealer has excellent service and is 2 mins from my yard. So please no anti deere posts.

The areas I'll be cutting are fairly level athletic fields and parks. Is it worth spending the extra money for the diesel? What are the pros and cons you guys are seeing over each? What is the expected fuel economy of each?

Thanks
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ramcat
01-17-2011, 08:26 PM
The fuel economy on the 2011 z9 series i hope would be better but here's what i think:
We tried a 997 and bought a Z950A because the machine is lighter better on hills and is capable for using to power the three bag power flow bagger. I don't know the exact fuel numbers on the 997 but i would guess its significantly better than the z9's. If you are using it for those big fields i think the z9 would out mow the 997 but the diesel is nice....its a tough decision

deereequipment
01-17-2011, 08:30 PM
I have all deere, but am considering the Scag cheetah.
If speed is what you want, that new mower has a hi range that can mow up to 16 mph.

People around here that have the 997 LOVE it. I am not sold on it yet. For the money, not sure it's "all that".

SNAPPER MAN
01-17-2011, 08:52 PM
If you aré cutting mainly fields, etc I would get the 997. The fuel savings will add up quick.
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AEL
01-17-2011, 09:25 PM
There is a 4500 difference in price, il use them 3 mabee 4 days a week. Do you feel in the 3 year period i will save 4500 worth of fuel? Any other reasons besides fuel economy that would make you pick either. Thanks to all who replied so far.

mowerbrad
01-17-2011, 10:27 PM
The JD 997 will use roughly 1 gallon per hour in fuel, many people have reported even lower numbers than that (I've heard of .6-1.2 gallons per hour). The z970 is going to use roughly 2.5 gallons per hour. So in other words you'll probably use 3x as much gas with the 970 over the 997.

Look at it this way...If you plan on putting 500 hours on a mower each year, you would use roughly 1250 gallons with the 970 and 500 gallons with the 997. With fuel prices of 3.10 for gas and 3.29 for diesel, you would spend $3875 in fuel for the 970 and $1645 for the 997. That's $2230 in fuel savings every 500 hours. So over three years (if you put 500 hours on a year) you will save $6690 over gas.

JDeereZman
01-17-2011, 10:44 PM
Two things to add if I may. If you are mowing mostly flat area's would a Z950 be sufficient for your needs? The fuel consumption would be less than the Z970. Also one thing to consider on the 997 is that it is a more complex machine than the Z900's so there would probably be more service involved with the 997. The Z900's have the integrated transmission and very easy to maintain and service. We build both machines at our factory in Fuquay Varina,NC and I don't think you can go wrong with either machine.

AEL
01-17-2011, 10:54 PM
Does the 950 come with a 72" deck? Reason why i am going with the larger machines is the amount of ground i have to cover . Quite a few acres each cut... I want to make sure the machine has the speed, and power for the acrage and size of deck.

JDeereZman
01-17-2011, 11:14 PM
Does the 950 come with a 72" deck? Reason why i am going with the larger machines is the amount of ground i have to cover . Quite a few acres each cut... I want to make sure the machine has the speed, and power for the acrage and size of deck.

I believe you can get a 72" deck on a Z950 but I will check tomorrow and make sure. But I know the Z960 and Z970 have the 72". If a 72" is what you want to run I can understand your desire for more power. The 997 and Z970 will definitely cover the ground you need and with both machines power should not be an issue. The only other major difference would be that the Z970 deck is belt driven and the 997 deck is gear driven which should produce even more power. Going by what you said that you need, just my opinion I think maybe the 997 would work better for you.

SouthSide Cutter
01-18-2011, 07:11 AM
Two things to add if I may. If you are mowing mostly flat area's would a Z950 be sufficient for your needs? The fuel consumption would be less than the Z970. Also one thing to consider on the 997 is that it is a more complex machine than the Z900's so there would probably be more service involved with the 997. The Z900's have the integrated transmission and very easy to maintain and service. We build both machines at our factory in Fuquay Varina,NC and I don't think you can go wrong with either machine.

Go with the 997 its drive train is proven and the Z9,s are new. No body knows how any of these new integrated trans are going to do with a lot of hours on them, including the people who build them. Theres a lot of 997,s out there with a lot of hours on them. They are a heavy mower but large area,s are perfect for them.

JDeereZman
01-18-2011, 04:21 PM
Go with the 997 its drive train is proven and the Z9,s are new. No body knows how any of these new integrated trans are going to do with a lot of hours on them, including the people who build them. Theres a lot of 997,s out there with a lot of hours on them. They are a heavy mower but large area,s are perfect for them.

I checked today and you can get the Z950 with a 72" deck but there is a difference of 6hp between the Z950 and Z970 so I don't know how that would work out for you as for your needs. As for the integrated transmission reliablity, it is a proven transmission in the fact that it is made by Tuff Torq which is owned by Kanzaki and Kanzaki made the hydros for the 700 series. A lot of the applications from the 700 hydros are the same as the hydro's on the Z900. But based on your earlier posts I still believe that the 997 may work best for your needs but that is just an opinion.

AEL
01-18-2011, 04:53 PM
Appreciate all the opinions guys, I'll let you know what I end up doing.
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LawnCareNoobie
01-18-2011, 05:11 PM
997 is a beast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txRazdbcjcc&feature=related

jeasley
01-18-2011, 06:34 PM
We have a 997, 970(72" on both), and 960(60"). 970 is better machine, faster, smoother, and much easier to service, imo, but burns alot of gas. I love all of them. We have had alot of belt issues with the 970 tho. They are both good machines! Holler with more ????'s

I think the 970 is more comfortable too....
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AEL
01-18-2011, 06:42 PM
How many hours work are you seeing out of a tank on the 970? What type of belt issues are you having exactly? Any problems with the 997?

jeasley
01-18-2011, 07:39 PM
Our 997 is several years old. We had a few small issues with it but just minor stuff. We did buy a 997 the year they were out and it was a lemon. Traded back into a new one after a year and that is the one we have had for several years

The 970 deck belt repeatedly jumped off. They put belt guides on to keep belts on. Then belts started breaking. Guides were rubbing and burning belts up. Dealer adjusted them. Then pulley seized up and belt broke again. They replaced that and so far so good. I bought a 960 a few months ago and one belt broke. Hopefully I'm not destined for problems too. The 970 didn't come with the belt guides. I know the dealer submitted some dtac cases. My mower arrived with the guides installed. (different dealer also)


Overall we have had some problems, buy we run HARD. Prob cut 100 hours a week. I do like the new mowers alot and hope the bugs are gone. The 997 was my favorite over the exmarks, until we got the 970 and 960. They are 'BAD' Machines and will cover alot of acres. We will probably sell our 997 this spring and get another new mower.

We got the 970 last spring. Dunno how many hours it has, but it's in the 100's
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jeasley
01-18-2011, 07:42 PM
Oh, forgot to answer about the gas. We start a daylight, 5:30 or 6, and it will prob run out around 2 or 3. I think I figured 1.4 gal/ hr one time. This is one thing I am disappointed with. But remember these are 36-37 up mowers and we push them hard!
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jeasley
01-18-2011, 08:07 PM
37hp that is, typed this on iPhone, sorry for typos etc
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7 IRON
01-19-2011, 12:35 PM
I would go with the 997.

3D Lawn Care
01-19-2011, 08:35 PM
Run a 950 and a 997, both with 72s. The 950 is a little low on power with the 2 week mow, but under normal conditions it does fine. Love the thumb controls and the rear bumper with the tappered back end. Wish I could get a diesel in z9 style. The 997 is a real beast though and the diesel engine will outlast the gas, but you still have to take care of the rest of the mower to realize the extra life of the engine.

LawnCareNoobie
01-21-2011, 09:08 PM
Run a 950 and a 997, both with 72s. The 950 is a little low on power with the 2 week mow, but under normal conditions it does fine. Love the thumb controls and the rear bumper with the tappered back end. Wish I could get a diesel in z9 style. The 997 is a real beast though and the diesel engine will outlast the gas, but you still have to take care of the rest of the mower to realize the extra life of the engine.

Yeah, I wish JD had more diesel models. A smaller diesel would be nice.

rusty_keg_3
01-21-2011, 09:32 PM
Hmm, well i used a 997 for atleast 6 hrs a day straight all summer long.. I LOVED it! The power in this machine is unbelievable! It would go through ANYTHING, the thickest, tallest grass was no problem...

I could mow for 6 hours every single day, and when i got back to the shop i was only down about 1/2 tank at the most... So thats about 6 gallons of diesel a day, or 1 gallon per hour...

I wanna say our brand new Lazer Z (not a jd 970 i kno) it was some where around there i think, maybe a little more fuel used...

As you may know a diesel costs more up front, but this will out last any gasoline model, and i would say its well worth the extra money... I actually "brush hogged" with the 997 (just tall THICK grass) and i just slowed it down a little bit, and it did great!

And with no striping kit, it layed some decent stripes...

AEL
04-02-2011, 09:26 PM
Update here - Purchased 2 997s brand new with 72`` decks, suspension seats, and stripe kits. Picked up the mowers today and the seats and stripe kits on monday. Cant wait for the grass to grow! Thanks for all the advice. Good luck this year!

McKinney Lawn Service
04-02-2011, 11:27 PM
I have a 997 with 1100hrs. No problems other than fuel pickup screen got pluged once. Not the best on hills or wet spots. Mine uses 1 to 1.3gph. I think it is the better of the 2 machines.

lawnangel1
04-02-2011, 11:33 PM
Looking good!

Apples
04-03-2011, 07:59 AM
Nice mowers T S S, I'm very happy with my 2010 Jd 997. Good luck with them! Please post a picture of your suspension seat.

dutchacres
04-03-2011, 09:27 AM
Good choice as kawasaki is having a ton of valve issues on there engines in the 30hp and up. The 997 is a sweet machine and the yanmar diesel is bullet proof. I been considering trading my 930 off on a 997 myself. Let us know how you like them.
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