View Full Version : Demoed a JD Z-Trak 727

Joel B.
09-18-2002, 08:21 PM
I demoed a JD Z-Trak 727 yesterday and was quite impressed. It had a 23 horse Kawasaki and a 54" deck, plenty of power.

It seemed to have a nicer cut than the Exmark Lazer HP I had demoed earlier this summer. I know there are many factors in the quality of cut, but has anyone else noticed the quality of cut with one of the JD Z-traks?

The Exmark dealer is a little closer and they sure have the reputation but I really liked the cut of the JD. The JD dealer said the deck really shines when cutting heavy, wet grass.

Oh well, I guess I couldn't really go wrong with either one.

Thanks for any opinions,

Joel B.

09-18-2002, 08:32 PM
I have no clue what kind of grass you're cutting but it must not stripe good with any mower and it must not grow much between mowings either. If this is true, the JD might be OK (if it wasn't for the dealers :rolleyes: ). The 7 iron deck, IMO, doesn't cut that good and doesn't rechop clippings like the eXmark does (not good unless you're only cutting off 1/2" and you're mowing at 3"), doesn't stripe at all, and did i mention the dealers? :rolleyes: They just seem to be priced higher than they're worth IMO. I guarantee you'll see alot more eXmarks, Scags, Dixie Choppers, etc. than you will John Deere's. There is a very good reason(s) for this! Investigate investigate, investigate! If you get one you might like it and for your situations it might be better than another mower but I just mean look close first! :cool:

Joel B.
09-18-2002, 08:38 PM

You're right about one thing; about 99% of the cutters I see around here use Exmarks and like you say, there must be a good reason why they do.

Joel B.

09-18-2002, 08:51 PM
I recently ran a poll on personal choices...it went something like this:

JD--------------2 votes
Exmark------22 votes
All others---20 votes
Then there was Grasshopper with 0 votes.
I ran the poll so that a friend would see what other professionals were using.


09-18-2002, 08:53 PM
If this is a 2001 mower, I'm right about more than one thing ;) I just mean check it out real good first. I know they made some changes to the mower for this year, but I haven't tried out the newer ones. Last year's M655 54" 25hp Kohler midmount ZTR really sucked.
If you get it I hope it works out good for ya.

09-18-2002, 09:30 PM
At the Expo, 65Hoss and I tried a few of JD's z's and was impressed with the 717's controls and speed. the 737, i think, was not as easy on the hands for the controls. I wish they would have let us engage the blades for a cut demo but that was not going to happen. I'm an Exmark guy but i must say the 717 was impressive in speed. Ask Hoss about how he popped that thing up on two wheels without even trying.


lee b
09-18-2002, 10:02 PM
I have a M665 with the 60" 7-iron deck, over 600 hours with very few problems. Gives a very nice cut, it's true it doesn't mulch the clippings up as fine as the exmark, but in tall wet grass it shines. And I've dealt with several Deere dealers {farm also} and I've never met a Deere dealer who wouldn't bend over backwards to help me, plus they always have the best shop and mechanics you can find. Deere stands behind their products 100%. Everybody loves the exmark, so it must be a fine machine, but in MHO so is the Deere.

09-18-2002, 10:15 PM
I have no experience with deere's ztr's, but many people in my area operate them. If I were to buy one, I would definetely check out exmark because people recommend them most here on lawnsite. I would say that half of the lco's around here use deere. Others use toros, and there are a few other brands, but I don't see a lot of exmarks.

PS- someone mentioned deere dealers not being any good...mine has good service:)

09-18-2002, 10:22 PM
Lee and I are on opposite sides of this JD ZTR issue. He has had good luck with his. I had the same model machine and it was the worst ZTR I have ever owned. About the cut. I found it would cut anything you could run over. Problem is, it cuts it once and sends it out the discharge chute. Clippings were very long and coarse. I would say to get the mulch kit if you go with the JD. If it was a choice of Exmark or JD, I would get the exmark. I say this without ever having owned an Exmark machine.:D

09-18-2002, 10:59 PM
Many things about the JD are right I bought 665 this spring got a great deal on the price love the seven iron deck for making one pass cut or when cutting in the rain have yet had to clean the deck out.

BUT! I have started looking at other mowers latley and the scag has a much bigger fluid cooler (twice the size of JD) and is behind the seat out in the open where more air can get to it (mine is down under the seat where alot of grass and other objects can get to it). Scag has on ten gallon tank in the middle of the machine seems better to me, many other features that i personaly find better than the JD .

Well be checking Exmark out soon,(winter project)

I guess it all boils down to what you think is best for you personaly but I am starting to see things on other machines that I wish mine had.

Good Luck:)

Joel B.
09-19-2002, 12:04 AM

The JD 727 I demoed had one fuel tank under the seat.

Joel B.

09-19-2002, 05:00 AM
I bought a 2002 JD 757 with a 60" deck and 25hp Kawasaki this year. I have no complaints so far. I have not had to clean the deck out this year. There is something about the 7 Iron deck that keeps grass from building up under it. My dealer bends over backwards for me. I have have never had a problem with John Deere dealers. Someone here said that JD do not stripe, well I OWN one and yes they do stripe.


09-19-2002, 08:56 AM
I purchaced a 737 this year. They are leaps and bounds about the old 665 or whatever they are. They do stripe. And I haven't had a problem yet. Hand controls are no problem. My dealer absolutly DOES bend over backward for me and any other commercial guy. One this I will say is that the mulching kit doesn't cut as well as regular open deck. 9 gallon gas tank rated at 1gallon per hour useage. The deck adjustment control is second to NONE! I was the first in my town to buy one. 1 month later 1LCO had 3, another had 1. 10 mph ground speed. I could go on...lol. I know alot of guys are running toros and exmarks. but those dealers are here suck as far as service goes. I thing Scag is a better machine than toro or exmark. The only reason I see for so many machines is that they are cheaper in price, but I also think in quality. JD has come a long way in the commercial department. It really comes down to your dealer and what is in your area. I also have a scag SSZ 52" 22hp. 1000hrs and still wants more. All I'll ever buy anymore is Scag or JD.

09-19-2002, 09:03 AM
Not the best yard or pic but yea they do stripe.

09-19-2002, 11:45 AM
That looks pretty good Brimow, I think mainly with the 54" M655 it was mainly that the wheels had bad spacing to the edge of the deck. If it had been a 60" it probably would have been better at striping and definately have more trimability. I didn't mean they are all that way but this was a bad configuration. Again, I'm sure they improved some things to this years mower. Not all mowers or dealers are equal!!!


09-19-2002, 09:09 PM
Hey, BRIMOW525, those stripes from your Jd look like the stripes that my Scag makes. It like leaves 2 small lines down the middle but the grass there is still cut. I think i'm gonna ,make a striping kit finally this weekend, (roller type) and this will solve it and really enhance my stripes.

09-19-2002, 10:06 PM
Joel B
I have not had time to check out the 2002 models yet!
I am not totally againts my 665 but I know there is better out
there and do intend to improve.

I dont have anything against JD really except the high price of parts.

I am glad to see someone show that a JD can stripe.

I have always had JD mowers and more than likely will
by another one.:D

Albemarle Lawn
09-20-2002, 12:44 AM
Why ride anything under 60"

Check out the Kubota ZD18, more cut, direct drive diesel (no belts), not much more than the John Deere and you get a real kubota diesel instead of that kawi junk.


09-21-2002, 08:56 AM
Hey Lawnkid...........
The extra stripe in the middle is from moving our mowing pattern from previous cuts in the year. Also I too have a Scag SSZ with a 52" deck. The JD is 54". Even though its only 2" difference, it matters after 6 or 8 passes when your a foot off of the Scag lines. I would love to make a striping kit for both mowers but can't decide if chains or roller system. Let me know how it works. As for the mower issue, it really comes down to what machine u like for the application u need. Who give u the best service and if u think your getting your monies worth.

09-21-2002, 09:57 PM
Hey Lawnkid
Let us know on when you make that roller for your Scag. I have the same problem at times wiht my turf Tiger striping with an extra line down the middle. My rubber stripe kit doesnt seem to work much. I would think a roller would do much better, ive heard YOrk Sheet metal company makes them for Exmark and can make one for Scags too.
I've also heard Scags got a stripe kit coming out this spring so we will see.
Oh and about the JD ZTR's its looking like the newer ZTR's from Deere seem to be better, because they do look familar in some ways to the GD Chariot. Ive seen the 7-Iron deck in use and drivin a M653, nice machine, though i like some features on my Turf Tiger but would put a 7-Iron deck under it and i would be totally Happy about the Turf Tiger.

09-21-2002, 11:18 PM
so whats deere getting for a new 52 or 60 of these new mowers.

09-21-2002, 11:36 PM
I dont know about the 2003
2002/ M665 60' /25 hr Kol $7100.00

09-22-2002, 02:38 AM
There is nothing wrong with most mowers. They all do the same thing - it is dealer response and care that counts - JD - eXmark- and many others may take care of you - just find the one in your area that will - In my part of the country JD rules and I have a very-very good JD dealer that takes very-very good careof me.

Thanks, Brad/